Middle Eastern Spiced Shakshuka

Middle Eastern Spiced Shakshuka

For the third time this month, I pushed the tomato sauce in our skillet from one side to the other, swirling in a dollop of Harissa paste. Once the Harissa paste was completely mixed in, it was time for the eggs. They found their place snuggled in the spicy sauce, and cooked there. 

Just as I started mincing parsley for a garnish, it hit me. Why isn't this recipe on the blog? I keep coming back to it, undoubtably because the ingredients are easy to keep on hand. 

Middle Eastern Spiced Shakshuka

When I make shakshuka I eat it with a spoon or a fork--honestly whatever I find first. Lately I've been toasting a piece of sour dough for Oliver, so that he can pile the eggs and spicy tomato sauce on top and eat it like an open face sandwich. You can pretty much each it however you want though, and for whatever meal you want, too! 

Middle Eastern Spiced Shakshuka
Middle Eastern Spiced Shakshuka

Lately, the finishing touch on our spicy shakshuka is a sprinkling of feta cheese, which balances out the bold Harissa paste that is swirled into the sauce. I didn't grow up eating shakshuka, but it's made its way into my standard day. 

Middle Eastern Spiced Shakshuka

Middle Eastern Spiced Shakshuka

Paleo, Primal, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Regular shakshuka gets a swirl of harissa spicy for some spicy flare, and a sprinkle of feta.

Serves: 2   |    Total Time:


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Harissa paste (1 if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  1. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. While it melted, dice the onion and bell pepper. When the oil glistens, add the onion and pepper to the pan. Sauté until the onion is transparent.
  2. Pour the canned tomatoes into the pan, and add the harissa paste. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, make 4 indents in the tomato where the eggs will sit. Crack one egg into each indent, and place lid on pan. Reduce heat to low. Keep covered until egg whites are fully cooked (I leave my yolks runny, but you can cook the eggs for a bit longer if you prefer your yolks hard).
  4. Sprinkle with feta and minced parsley. Serve hot.


Harissa Goat Shanks with Carrots, Tomatoes, & Butternut Puree (Paleo)

I have a love-hate relationship with our pressured cooker. It may be energy efficient and convenient, but as soon as it's closed, it's closed. There's no peeking in. There's no poking the food for doneness. There's no turning back. It drives me nuts. If you're like Oliver, and speed is the trump-all factor, a pressure cooker is your dream. If you're like me, and you want to watch your food the entire time it cooks, a pressure cooker might just drive you crazy. There's no finesse. No way to tweak as you go. Really, you have to let go of your inner control freak and let the machine do the cooking. 

No wonder it drive me nuts. 

Despite how much I despise the process, I admit that the pressure cooker might be the most useful kitchen appliance we have. Our Instant Pot looks like R2D2, minus the "arms". ...If those are arms… See: 

Twins. Sort of. Long lost cousins? They're related somehow. 

Anyways, the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker/slow cooker hybrid. Here's where the love comes in. One of the best things about this little robot is it allows us to start a meal in the morning, go climbing all day, and come home to a warm homemade meal that would have taken hours to make otherwise. So while we're out playing, the Instant Pot is chugging away, making pretty much any sort of meat fall-off the bone tender. We get home, serve it up, and I take all the credit. See why this thing is gaining my affections? 

The view from Central Flatirons, our go-to spot for day trip climbing.

When you're tired and hungry, everything tastes good. This Harissa Goat Shank, however, tastes amazing whether you're tired or not. A knife is not necessary--after 4 hours in R2D2, a fork is all you need to pull off succulent pieces of meat from these goat shanks. In fact, I think I ate this entire meal with the spoon that was sitting in front of me when I served the dish. 

 The bold flavor of Harissa gives the shanks flavor without over shadowing the goat, which is a surprisingly subtle meat. The tomatoes and carrots are sweet, especially after a day of stewing. It's the sort of dish that takes your mouth halfway across the world and back, conjuring up visions of the middle east. It's the sort of meal you want to make again, the very next day. 

Harissa Goat Shank with Tomatoes & Carrots over Butternut Purée

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 young goat shanks

Homemade Tunisian-Style Harissa (recipe follows)

4 ripe roma tomatoes, diced

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 large carrots, diced

Salt & pepper

1/4 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup bone broth

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced. 

Homemade Tunisian-Style Harissa

1 ounce guajillo chilies (roughly 4-5 dried chilies)


1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon caraway 

1 garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons avocado oil or melted coconut oil


Make the harissa: Soak the chilies in water over night (or cheat: place the chilies in a microwave safe contain full of water and put in the microwave until the water boils and the chilies are soft. Drain the softened chilies, and place in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Store in air-tight container. 

For the goat: Turn your slow cooker on low and heat the coconut oil in the bottom of the bowl. Add the onions. 

While the onions brown, prepare the goat--peel and trim away any leathery membrane and patches of fat. Goat is a very lean meat so don't concern yourself with peeling off everything (some of that fat will add good flavor). Rub the prepared shanks down with Harissa sauce, and then place in the bottom of the slow cooker to brown. Turn the shanks after a few minutes and brown the other side. 

Add the wine to the pot, along with the broth. Scatter the diced tomatoes, minced garlic, and carrots around the pot. Add salt and pepper. Close the slow cooker and set it for 4 hours. 

When the slow cooker is almost done, steam the butternut squash in a steam basket for 8 minutes. (TIP: Alternatively, before you start the slow cooker, simply leave the butternut squash in two halves, place a steam basket OVER the goat shanks in the slow cooker, and put the butternut squash in the basket.  When the goat is done, the squash will be too!). Mash the squash with a potato masher or in a blender. 

To serve, spread a scoop of squash on a plate, top with a shank. Then drizzle with the softened carrots, tomatoes, and pan sauce.