Herby green shakshuka with pesto eggs and feta is a healthy and flavor-packed breakfast and brunch dish. Serve it with some crusty bread for a full meal. This shakshuka recipe is so easy to make, it is done in less than 20 minutes!
All the herbs you want, creating a wonderful aroma, as they blend with savory garlic and onion. This is an easy way of eating a lot of spinach, and then I mean A LOT. It's amazing how it wilts, but wilted kale could be used too. Although I would reduce the amount as it doesn't wilt as much.
In addition to this, using pesto, you don't even have to rummage through your spice rack, it's so flavorful on its own! Easy should NOT come before flavor, so do not worry about this lacking in flavor, it absolutely does not. It is ultra herbalicious, both from the fresh herbs but also the pesto. I love it.
If you want more fresh green dishes, I also recommend trying this lovely peach salad or halloumi quinoa salad. Healthy, fresh, and flavorful. Or this Middle Eastern feta grilled sandwich for another breakfast option! And if you have any leftover pesto, use it in this chicken pesto pasta.
For more Middle Eastern egg recipes, try these Turkish eggs!
So what exactly is shakshuka?
Shakshuka is originally a Tunisian dish that is made with eggs in a warmly spiced tomato sauce. Shakshuka (or shakshouka) actually means "shaken", which can be because of how you mix things up in the pan. It is very popular in the Middle East and especially in Israel.
It is made in one pan, and the sauce itself can also be made in advance, making it a quick and easy breakfast or brunch dish.
However, I actually think the best shakshuka recipe is a green shakshuka.
Green shakshuka may not be a traditional Tunisian dish, but it is such a fantastic way to use up tons of spinach or kale and herbs. Tons of herbs. And if you know me, you know I love my herbs.
TikTok pesto eggs
I'm apparently too old to be on TikTok, but some friends told me on Instagram about these viral pesto eggs on TikTok. I was just going to say I don't cave into viral food trends, but then my dalgona coffee came to mind, which I even made into a Christmassy eggnog dalgona as well... So forget I said that I completely cave into food trends.
So yeah, the feta cheese with tomato and pasta dish that went viral, never spoke to me. I thought it sounded bland and boring, so I never tried it. However, pesto eggs are a whole different thing.
They immediately sounded like my thing. I was going to make green shakshuka one day and thought to myself - why not give pesto eggs a go at the same time?
You will not be sorry.
You can use homemade or store-bought pesto. I only have a recipe for red pesto, so I used a store-bought one this time. Yes I know, I'm supposed to make things from scratch, but sometimes you want things to move fast, right?
And definitely use as much or as little pesto as you want, don't feel you need to follow my measurements, they are just a guide.
Ingredients in this green shakshuka include:
- Garlic: Why NOT use garlic? Garlic makes anything savory taste even more savory and yummy.
- Yellow onion: I could say the same here. I love how the onion enhances all the other flavors in the dish.
- Zucchini: You don't have to use zucchini, but it is a beautiful summer vegetable that is flavorful and a gorgeous color that works well with green shakshukas!
- Spinach: You can use kale or a combination of spinach and kale if you wish, but I think spinach is softer and milder, which gives room for the other ingredients in this dish to also show their magic.
- Herbs: Any herbs are good herbs when it comes to shakshuka. I have literally used 11 different herbs* in this dish, but you use whatever you have on hand. If you can only have one, I would recommend parsley.
- Pesto: As I mentioned, you can use both homemade or store-bought pesto, but make sure you use one you really like. And if you don't like pesto? Simply forget I mentioned anything about pesto and leave it out.
- Eggs: Can't have shakshuka without eggs! That's what is transforming this from a side dish to a brunch and breakfast dish.
- Feta cheese: I love my shakshuka with feta! That salty, creamy cheese works beautifully with all the spinach and herbs.
- Pine nuts: Also a fantastic combination with pesto and herbs and I always pair them together. However, you can use any other nuts if you don't have pine nuts or want to use cheaper ones.
All of these have various health benefits and nutrients and including them all will leave you with a well-balanced dish, that not only tastes amazing but is pretty amazing for your body as well.
Make it extra herby
* If you're interested in knowing which herbs I use specifically, I use a concoction of everything I have in my garden. This includes basil, parsley, mint, lemon balm, lemon thyme, regular thyme, chives, sage, tarragon, oregano, and rosemary.
For any herbs with stubborn stalks, remove them and just use the leaves. I do this with some basil and mint, thyme, and tarragon. I let the rosemary sprig just sit on top while cooking the eggs and removed it after, just to lightly infuse it.
If I were to use just one herb, I'd go for parsley, or with just a few herbs, my main ones would be basil, parsley, and mint. And a little thyme. Now, see how quickly I get up to 11 herbs? It's hard to stop when you first begin.
How to make it
Add olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant, and then add onion and zucchini. Let this cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent (2).
Add spinach and chopped herbs and stir until the spinach has wilted (3-4). You can also add the feta now if you want it melted. Create four wells in the spinach (5). In each well, add 1 tablespoon pesto (6) and top with 1 egg (7). Also top with the rosemary sprig, if using.
Let this cook until the desired doneness, about 7-10 minutes (8) for a runny yolk but firm white. You can also add a lid for the last 30 seconds to cook the white faster.
Meanwhile, in a dry non-stick skillet, add pine nuts and roast for a couple of minutes on medium-high heat or until they get some color.
To serve, sprinkle over the pine nuts and feta cheese, flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper and chili flakes, and more herbs if desired. I also love to serve it with some crusty bread.
Did you like this recipe? Here are more brunch dishes I think you would like:
- Lemon ricotta pancakes and whole wheat banana pancakes
- Crepes with blackberry and lemon cream cheese
- Chives and cheese scrambled eggs
- Bakery style rhubarb muffins
- Strawberry scones
- ... and don't forget grapefruit mimosas or ginger pear bellinis
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