The long line was worth the wait on a cold dreary morning and all I was craving was a hot beverage and a comforting pot of something warm and delicious. One bite into the tagine (a close cousin to the North African dish known as “shakshuka”) and the smoky, intense flavors in the tomato sauce, I was hooked!
I got to work recreating this dish once we returned home.
Origins of Shakshuka
Shakshuka is believed to have originated in North Africa and perhaps been inspired by a similar dish called saksuka from the Ottoman Empire.
Its popularity spread throughout the Middle East, especially in Israel, where it was embraced as a hearty, inexpensive, and simple dish. The Israeli version is thought to include eggs served over a seasoned tomato-based sauce.
The following is our plant-based (not traditional) take on the concept, made with chickpeas instead of eggs.
How to Make This Recipe
This 30-minute, 1-pot meal starts with a mixture of onions, garlic, and bell pepper. Next comes tomato puree (or diced tomatoes) and tomato paste for plenty of rich, hearty flavor.
Seasonings can practically be whatever you have in your pantry, but I felt that cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, coriander, and cardamom worked best, giving the dish a smoky, earthy, rich, and comforting flavor.
Next comes cooked chickpeas and olives to provide a little more saltiness and substance. Plant protein to the rescue!
This dish is quite amazing. It’s:
Protein- & fiber-rich
& Insanely easy to make!
This is the type of plant-based meal that can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. From what I gather, shakshuka is traditionally a baked egg dish, but I swapped in chickpeas for the protein. Serve with toasted bread, flatbread, or over rice, cauliflower rice, or gluten-free pasta of choice! I think this pairs especially well with my Garlicky Chickpea Kale Salad.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you came up with. Cheers, friends!
1-Pot Chickpea Shakshuka
- 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 cup diced white onion or shallot
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (3 cloves yield ~1 1/2 Tbsp)
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1-3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2-3 tsp coconut sugar or maple syrup (or omit if avoiding sugar)
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 pinch each cardamom and coriander (optional)
- 1 ½ 15-ounce cans cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 4-5 whole kalamata or green olives (optional // pitted and halved)
- Heat a large rimmed metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant.
- Add tomato puree or diced tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut sugar, sea salt, paprika, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (optional), cardamom, and coriander (optional). Stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add chickpeas and olives (optional). Stir to combine. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop and marry with the beans.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more cumin or paprika for smokiness, cayenne for heat, coconut sugar for sweetness, cardamom and coriander for earthiness (or slight curry flavor), chili powder for smoke/heat, or olives for saltiness and to balance the tomato flavor. Cook longer, as needed, to develop flavors.
- Serve as is or with bread, pasta, or rice. I loved this alongside a kale salad, and it went especially well over gluten-free pasta! Garnish with fresh lemon juice, additional olives, and cilantro or parsley for extra flavor (optional).
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop until completely warmed through.
*Recipes makes ~4 cups total.