Shakshuka a.k.a. Eggs in Purgatory (Paleo, Gluten Free & Vegetarian)


Also known as Eggs in Purgatory, Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern egg dish that is super easy to make, not to mention lusciously delicious and the perfect brunch for a crowd. Or just for you in a smaller skillet. Or this whole big skillet to yourself.

I'm not judging...

You simply make a flavorful tomato sauce, drop a few eggs in it and cook them to your liking.

The eggs in the photo above are on the more well-done side, because the hubs likes his egg yolks hard (which is such a sad thing in my opinion). If I was making this for myself or my friends, the yolks would be glorious and runny.

But don't cry for me Argentina, I got one runny yolk to soothe my soul and fill my belly:

Mmmmm.... Runny yolk is the the nectar of the gods.

I use it as my facial moisturizer.


Ok, so you need the following aromatics to give your tomato sauce flavor:

Chop all this stuff up.

Begin by sautéing the onion and bell pepper with these spices:

(You can use a fresh chili like jalapeño instead of the chili flakes if that's what you have or prefer)

 Sauté until the onion and bell pepper have browned, then add the garlic.

Cook the garlic for a minute, not too long because you don't want it to burn and turn bitter.

Once it's cooked, add the tomato sauce. I used a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, but you can use whole peeled tomatoes and crush them yourself. I wouldn't recommend fresh tomatoes for this recipe because you would need a huge amount of tomatoes and time to make the sauce.

Stir the sauce and let it bubble up, then taste and adjust for seasonings. Tomatoes have a tendency to by very acidic, which mine were, so I like to add some sweetness to offset them. To keep it Paleo add honey or maple syrup. Otherwise you can join me while I go crazy, live on the edge and add sugar:

 It also needed a little S&P and cheese, so I added that and made a few wells in the sauce to create space for the eggs.

 Crack the eggs in the well, season if you want, cover them and turn the heat on to low.

For runny yolks and set whites, cook for 5-7 minutes. For more well-done eggs, like the one in my photo, cook for 10 minutes.


shakshuka eggs in purgatory 35



1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes or peeled tomatoes and crush them yourself
5 eggs
1 small onion
1 bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground coriander
S&P, to taste
red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
sugar/honey/maple syrup, to taste (optional, I used sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes - honey/maple syrup keeps this paleo)
1-2 tbsp oil
grated hard salty cheese, like parmesan, pecorino or manchego (optional, not paleo)


Begin by heating up some oil in a pan.

Dice the onion, bell pepper and finely chop the garlic.

Sauté the onion and bell peppers with S&P, coriander and chili flakes until they have browned.

Once they have browned, add the garlic and cook for about a minute.

Add the tomatoes, stir and let it bubble up.

Once the tomatoes have bubbled up, taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If the sauce is too tart or bitter, add some sweetness with honey/maple syrup or gasp, sugar. If it's too bland add some more S&P and coriander. To give it some oomph, grate in your favorite hard cheese, I went with a little manchego cheese. Yummmmm.

Once the seasonings are to your liking, make 5 little wells in the sauce (to create a space to crack the eggs in).

Crack an egg into each well and add S&P to the eggs, if you like.

Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the egg whites have set and the yolks are still runny. If you don't like your yolks runny just cook them longer.

Enjoy as is if you're paleo, otherwise enjoy with pita bread or your favorite gluten-free bread.