Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a rich tomato sauce that has existed in Mediterranean cultures for centuries. This vegan shakshuka recipe uses potatoes and beans instead of eggs for a healthy and delicious breakfast, brunch or dinner.
When Louise and I were working in Dublin - Ireland, shakshuka was one of our favourite dishes for our Sunday brunch. We would go to this tiny little place on Bath Ave called Juniors, and we would eat ourselves into an afternoon-long food coma. We weren't vegan at the time, and so the shakshuka was with two large eggs in it.
Fast forward a few years and we are both vegan. Sadly, we realised that it is not easy to find a good vegan shakshuka around. And so, a couple of weeks ago we made our own. The result was so delicious that we decided to make another one, but this time with potatoes and Italian spices instead. And it was a success!
Tomatoes: it depends on season and location. If you live in a country with good tomatoes, then go for fresh red extra-ripe tomatoes. On the other hand, if you don't have access to good tomatoes, then get some Italian canned whole peeled tomatoes. Add some tomato paste to give the sauce extra richness.
Potatoes: small, yellow, new potatoes, better if all of the same size.
White Beans: fresh or canned white or cannellini beans. You can sub these with most other legumes such as chickpea, black-eyed beans, other beans, etc.
Onion, celery, carrot, garlic: the base for many Italian inspired dishes. Chop them up and gently fry them in some olive oil to give max flavour to your dish (soffritto).
Spices: since this is an Italian version of shakshuka we use bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and chili flakes. You can sub these with the traditional shakshuka spices (cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, nutmeg).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: a must in most mediterranean recipes.
Flat-leaf parsley: chop it up coarsely and sprinkle on top to add freshness and cut through the rich tomato sauce. You can sub it with coriander.
Extras: you can add fresh spinach to the sauce and top with some vegan unsweetened yogurt or sour-cream.
📋 Recipe Card
Vegan shakshuka with potatoes recipe
- 28 oz whole peeled tomatoes canned (800 grams)
- 8 small potatoes (300 grams)
- 1 cup white beans (150 grams)
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley (20 grams)
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 small carrot
- 1 white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- Finely chop onion, celery, carrot and garlic
- Peel the potatoes and set aside in bowl with cold water
- In a cast iron pan or stainless steel pan, fry carrot, celery, onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of water, tomato paste, salt and chili flakes. Stir continuously to create a curry-like paste. Let cook this paste for 2 mins.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and add the pelati tomatoes, crush the tomatoes gently with a wooden spatula and stir well.
- Once tomatoes are crushed, add thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.
- Add the peeled potatoes and 3 cups of water, let simmer for 30 minutes on low-medium heat.
- Add the white beans and stir well, let simmer for another 15 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked and can be pierced with a fork.
- Let cool 10 minutes before serving, this will increase intensity of flavour.
- Serve with a slice of thick sourdough bread or your favourite grain (rice, couscous and buckwheat all go amazingly well with this dish)
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
What is the soffritto?
Onion, carrot and celery, chopped and gently fried in little extra virgin olive oil make the soffritto. This aromatic base will add flavour and depth to your vegan shakshuka.
Do I need to add tomato paste?
Add a couple of table spoons of tomato paste to the soffritto to give even more flavour and richness to your shakshuka recipe.
Let is fry gently with the soffritto, adding some water, till you have a rich red paste. Not a must, but highly recommended.
Which tomatoes should I use for shakshuka?
Shakshuka is originally made with fresh almost over-ripe tomatoes. Pick the reddest, ripest, tomatoes you can find. The red pigment called Lycopene (btw, that's also good for men's health) gives the tomatoes lots of colour and flavour.
If you don't have access to good fresh tomatoes, then opt for canned good quality whole peeled Italian tomatoes.
What potatoes should I use?
Pick small potatoes that are similar in size so that they will cook evenly. When you peel the potatoes, place the in a large bowl with cold water so that they will not oxidise and turn brown.
When do I add salt?
You need to let the vegan shakshuka simmer for a long time, till the potatoes are fully cooked and most of the water has gone, and you are left with a thick, tasty tomato sauce.
If you are not an expert cook, then I'd suggest you add salt when the shakshuka is almost ready. If you add salt early, you need to consider that as the liquid evaporates, the concentration of salt increases, and your shakshuka will be too salty.
📖 Questions & answers
Shakshuka literally means "mixture"in Arabic language and it's a tomato-based stew generally made with olive oil, spices, and poached eggs. There are many variations of shakshuka, and this one is our own potato and beans shakshuka variation. We also made a vegan chickpea shakshuka that is out of this world!
Shakshuka is definitely full of spices but it is not a "hot" spicy dish. Typical spices for shakshuka are cumin, paprika, nutmeg and chili powder.
Not at all. Traditional shakshuka is made in cast iron pans, however, you can easily make it in a stainless steel or non stick pan. If you do use cast iron, make sure is well seasoned, or else the acidity in the tomato sauce will ruin the pan.
Traditional shakshuka is made with eggs and therefore is often eaten for breakfast and brunch. This version with potatoes is perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Serve shakshuka with a thick slice of toasted sourdough bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and a swoosh of garlic.
Yes! This vegan shakshuka is perfect to be reheated as it does not contain eggs that would otherwise overcook. You can reheat it in a pan, in the oven, or in the microwave. Add a splash of water if too thick.
This vegan shakshuka with potatoes can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. You will notice that the second day the shakshuka will taste even better as the flavours have time to come together and intensify.
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If you have any tips or questions let us know in the comments below!