Shakshuka with chickpeas and lemon

Contributed by Benjamin Maring, MD

Shakshuka with chickpeas and lemon

Sunny spring weather is upon us! This calls for eating brunch outside with family and friends, whether in your backyard, on your front porch or stoop, or simply next to a wide-open window.

This classic egg-and-tomato dish from North Africa and the Middle East is a luscious combination of spices, sweet and tart flavors from tomatoes and sweet peppers (I omitted these this time), and richness from eggs. I have heightened the tart a little bit with lemon juice to brighten the final flavor, and added chickpeas for a little more protein and texture.

Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, sweet, spicy, or smoked
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon, zest reserved
  • 1 28-ounce can whole-peeled tomatoes, crushed between your fingers
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, no salt added, in their liquid
  • 6 eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small handfuls of parsley, cilantro, and mint, roughly chopped


  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Add the olive oil and, when hot, add the onion and cook until starting to get tender and more translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the garlic and spices and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. 
  4. Add the lemon juice, bring it to a boil, and let about half of the juice boil away. 
  5. Stir in the tomatoes (now crushed thanks to you) and the chickpeas with their no-salt-added liquid (if a salted chickpea liquid is used, just be mindful about seasoning less later on). 
  6. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  7. Let the mixture come to simmer and bubble away until slightly thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. 
  8. Using a slotted spoon, work around the perimeter of the pan to make little wells into which you crack the eggs. You can mound the tomato-chickpea mixture around each egg to give it a little cozy nook. 
  9. Season each egg with salt and pepper. 
  10. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat slightly to low, and let cook until the whites of the eggs are cooked and the yolk is just set, about 5 to 8 minutes. 
  11. Alternatively, you could place the skillet into a preheated 400 degree oven, lid-free, and cook for about the same amount of time. 
  12. Garnish the dish with the chopped herbs and reserved lemon zest. 


Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 310
  • Total fat: 13 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 325 mg
  • Sodium: 480 mg (does not include added salt)
  • Total carbohydrate:35 g
  • Dietary fiber: 9 g
  • Sugars: 3 g
  • Protein: 18 g