Vegetable Shakshuka With Pesto

Summer Vegetable Shakshuka! Poached eggs in a rich tomato and vegetable sauce with pesto. Serve for brunch or light dinner.

Sheryl Julian

Have you ever tried shakshuka? It's a North African specialty similar to the Italian dish Eggs in Purgatory (Uova in Purgatorio). Shakshuka is basically eggs poached in a quick, spiced-up, homemade tomato sauce.

In late-summer, shakshuka is also a great way to incorporate some more garden bounty into your meal.

Sheryl Julian

I use two kinds of tomatoes in my shakshuka: plum tomatoes, because their flesh is so meaty, and a beefsteak tomato for its flavor and juiciness. Whir them in a blender or food processor and then simmer into a sauce with sautéed scallions and garlic.

At this point, you can add what you have available: spinach leaves, coarsely chopped if they’re large; fennel, shaved into strips; or something golden, like pattypan squash, summer squash, or golden zucchini, very thinly sliced. The extra vegetables make the tomato sauce substantial and chunky.

When it’s time to poach the eggs in the sauce, use the back of a spoon to create four shallow indents for the eggs to sink into. They’re finished when the whites are just set, but the yolks are still runny. Garnish with dabs of pesto and fresh basil leaves.

Vegetable Shakshuka With Pesto

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 servings

Equipment: A blender or food processor


  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 8 pieces

  • 1 medium beefsteak tomato, cored and cut into 8 pieces

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

  • 1 medium clove garlic, chopped

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 cup water, or more if needed

  • 1 yellow pattypan squash, 1 medium summer squash, or 1/2 golden zucchini

  • 4 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup pestohomemade or store-bought

  • Handful fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

  • Baguette, or thick slices of bread, to serve


  1. Blend the tomatoes:

    Blend the plum and beefsteak tomatoes in a blender or food processor until they are saucy (you should have about 3 cups).

  2. Cook the tomato sauce:

    Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper, cumin, and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

    Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until they stop sizzling. Add 1/4 cup of water. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Sheryl Julian
  3. Prepare the squash or pattypan:

    Trim top and bottom from the squash and cut into quarters. If using a yellow squash or zucchini, remove the column of seeds from the center (the pattypan has fewer seeds, so it’s OK to leave them in). Very thinly slice the vegetables.

  4. Add the squash to the tomato sauce:

    Stir well and continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add more water, if needed.

    Sheryl Julian
  5. Cook the eggs:

    Use the back of a spoon to make 4 indentations in the tomato mixture. Break one of the eggs into a measuring cup and then carefully pour it into an indentation, being careful not to break the yolk. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until the whites are set (the yolks will still be runny).

    Sheryl Julian
  6. Serve:

    Garnish the dish with dabs of pesto and fresh basil leaves. Serve straight from the pan to individual dishes.

Check out these other great shakshuka recipes!

Smoky White Bean Shakshuka from BudgetBytes

Shakshuka Pizza from My Name is Yeh

Individual Shakshuka With Hominy and Feta from Spoon Fork Bacon

Caprese Shakshuka Breakfast Casserole from What Jew Wanna Eat

Harissa Eggs in Purgatory from Skinny Taste

Sheryl Julian
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
481 Calories
37g Fat
26g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 481
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 197mg 66%
Sodium 455mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 25mg 125%
Calcium 219mg 17%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 684mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.