Recipes

chickpea and kale shakshuka

The fact that it’s taken me almost 10 years to find a new version of shakshuka to fuss over, is as much a testament to the superbness of the classic as it is a compliment to these new additions. Shakshuka, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a North African dish, largely Tunisian, of eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s also one of the most beloved recipes in the Smitten Kitchen archives, right up there with broccoli slaw and my mom’s apple cake, and for good reason: it’s about the highest calling of eggs-for-dinner I’ve found, and I think we know how hard I’ve studied this category. This recipe takes it a step further into the realm of a stew, with chickpeas and kale, and it comes from a wonderful book out this past spring, Family, by Hetty McKinnon.


what you'll need

McKinnon got her start in Sydney, Australia almost 10 years ago with a salad-delivery service she ran out of her home kitchen and biked the deliveries around town, which sounds amazing right now, doesn’t it? Now in Brooklyn, she co-founded Neighborhood Studio, a communal cooking space. Family, her third cookbook, focuses on vegetarian comfort food with an eye towards the daily ritual of cooking, however your family might look, and it might be my favorite yet. It’s incredibly down-to-earth about weeknight cooking; you get the sense that these are recipes that have really worked for her family while keeping the people who cook from finding it a drag. I’ve made the spinach and halloumi gozleme, the cacio e pepe broccoli with white beans (I mean, talk about all of my favorite food words in one title), I’m eager to try the tofu larb, but this, this is the dish I’ve now made three times since May and don’t expect to stop any time soon. It’s hearty and comforting, so perfect for this first day that really feels like fall.

onion, garlic, cumin, corianderadd the tomatoes and chickpeasadd the kalefinished stewadd the eggs and cookchickpea and kale shakshuka

Previously

Six months ago: Essential French Onion Soup and Cannelini Aglio e Olio
One year ago: Crispy Spinach Pizza
Two years ago: Pizza Beans and Chocolate Tahini Challah Buns
Three years ago: Homemade Merguez with Herby Yogurt and Magic Apple Plum Cobbler
Four years ago: The Perfect Manhattan, Broccoli Cheddar Soup and S’more Cupcakes
Five years ago: Latke Waffles and The Crispy Egg
Six years ago: Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Seven years ago: Crackly Banana Bread and Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto
Eight years ago: Apple Pie Cookies
Nine years ago: Single-Crust Apple and Crumb Pie
Ten years ago: Date Spice Loaf and Lebanese-Style Stuffed Eggplant
Eleven years ago: Summer’s Last Hurrah Panzanella, Sweet and Sour Glazed Cippoline, Majestic and Moist Honey Cake, and Best Challah (Egg Bread)
Twelve years ago: Red Velvet Cake, Noodle Kugel, Spaghetti Fideos with Chorizo and Almonds and Couscous and Feta-Stuffed Peppers
Thirteen years ago: Acorn Squash with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

Chickpea and Kale Shakshuka

Make the stew portion whenever time permits — I would even expect it to freeze well — then rewarm it on the stove and drop in eggs closer to when you’re ready to eat it. I’ve omitted the oven step in this recipe, because I found (mostly by forgetting to read the recipe) that it cooks just fine on the stove.

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable broth or stock
  • 4 ounces kale, stems removed (I use a package from the salad greens section)
  • 1 cup (150 grams) feta, crumbled
  • 4 to 6 large eggs (shown with 6)
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • Handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • Toasted pita wedges, to serve (optional)
  • Dollops of plain Greek yogurt, to serve (optional)

In a large, deep frying pan or low Dutch oven* casserole dish, heat a glug (1 to 2 tablespoons) olive oil over medium heat and, once hot, add the onion, garlic, spices, and jalapeño and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the tomatoes, stock, and chickpeas plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper and stir to combine, bringing the mixture to a simmer, lowering the heat if necessary to keep it from bubbling too hard. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add kale and cover again, cooking until the greens have wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed. Make wells for eggs and break an egg into each. Sprinkle eggs with additional salt and pepper, and the whole dish with feta. Cover and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are runny.**

To serve, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar and mint, and serve with pita wedges and plain yogurt, if you wish.

* I’m using this pot, the pan that’s gotten the most use in my kitchen for the last five years.

** The trickiest part of any baked egg dish is getting the eggs exactly right, neither undercooked or hard-boiled. I vote for checking them as often as needed and rotating the pan as needed to avoid a hot spot ruining a single egg. Most importantly, ask yourself: Am I eating this the second it comes off the stove or 10 or even 20 minutes later? If so, you can take them off ever-so-slightly wiggly in the whites because they’ll continue to set as the pan rests.

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61 comments on chickpea and kale shakshuka

  1. Scott

    Looks delicious – one question, though. From the photos, it looks like the chickpeas go in just before the greens, but the instructions omit them. Definitely adding this to the fall foods list.

      1. I have Tuscan kale in the fridge I would like to use in this recipe- does anyone see any benefit in giving the kale the full deafen, chop, massage, rinse, dry treatment to reduce bitterness? Or should I just go with chop and throw in the mix?

        1. Sara

          Chop & throw in! I regularly sub Tuscan kale In soup recipes – might need a few extra minutes to fully soften but no need to do anything extra.

  2. becky

    My husband’s favorite meal is shakshuka at any time of day, and he’s loathe to change it up, though he *did* love your recent crisped chickpeas and herbs with yogurt. At what point do you add the chickpeas?

  3. Mary

    This sounds delicious. I (sadly) can’t eat eggs. While I know eggs play a starring role in this recipe, I’d still like to try it without them – would you substitute anything or just omit them?

    1. Laura P

      I did a quick skim – there’s recipes out there with lemon tofu, unseasoned tofu, creamed corn dumplings… I personally would just skip the eggs. With chickpeas you already have an amazingly delicious stew that includes greens and proteins!

  4. Robyn

    I’m here to report that the stew portion does in fact freeze beautifully! The Trader Joe’s by me actually sells a frozen “Shakshuka Starter” that is a godsend of “what should I make for dinner tonight” frozen wonder.

    1. DeAnna

      My son and I LOVE that Shakshuka starter! I’m hoping to find a recipe that tastes similar, then I will make a giant pot of it and freeze it in muffin tins so I can have my own starters in the freezer at all times.

      1. Ellen

        I made this for dinner tonight. The adults loved it and surprisingly so did my 1 year old! I never dreamed that one of my kids would touch a chickpea, thanks for the great recipe!

  5. Madison

    Of course, I couldn’t wait another day before making this, which meant I didn’t quite have all the necessary ingredients on hand. I subbed one can of chickpeas for black beans, and the kale for about a pound of cooked broccoli. Even with the modifications, this was outstanding!! Simple, delicious, warming, and SO flavorful. Served with toasted whole-grain pitas and scarfed it down. Thank you for yet another (vegetarian!) great weeknight recipe!

  6. connie

    Perfect timing! Volleyball game, soccer practice, oodles of time in rush hour traffic, this recipe was easy to shop for, easy to prepare and FAST! The best part…wait for it….EVERYONE LOVED IT!!! Thank you ! Hoping to commit it to memory before too long (I know, wishful thinking).

  7. Does anyone know where the pictured single-burner gas cook top is from? I’m currently operating with a plug-in induction cook top that cooks unevenly and is lacking in firepower – would love to make this delicious looking shakshuka with a similar setup!

    1. Friendly Proofer

      Deb! Typo in this sentence between “dish” and what should be “with”:
      “Sprinkle eggs with additional salt and pepper, and whole dishw ith feta”

      PS I just got your cookbook and am super excited!

  8. Isabel

    We made this last night, but subbed thinly slice zucchini for the kale (because our fridge is apparently still growing them) and one full serrano pepper for the jalapeno (because we’re crazy). It was delicious and totally doable on a weeknight! I loved that the chickpeas made it more hearty and filling than typical shakshuka. Definitely adding to our rotation (:

  9. Kate

    I made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious! It came together quickly and was forgiving when our timing was a little delayed. I even accidentally overcooked the eggs but it was no bother — still delicious! Thank you!

  10. Margaret

    Thanks for the recipe. We had a middle eastern restaurant owned by a well known chef in my city that served a delicious red and also green shakshuka for breakfast. I think the green was my fave. Sadly they closed a few months ago.

  11. Dennie Raviv

    Recipe looks good but canned tomatoes? Shakshuka MUST have fresh tomatoes or it is tomatoe sauce in my part of the world. Now canned chickpeas, you can get away with this, but since Americans are so proud of their insta pots, where a pressure cooker would do, why not have fresh cooked. You can cook 4 pounds at once and freeze portions.
    Love your blog, I have been a fan for about 10 years and you are a go to for every recipe I look for.

    1. Victoria

      Fresh ripe tomatoes are wonderful but not always available and Marcella Hazan said if that’s the case it’s better to used good Italian canned tomatoes instead of inferior tomatoes.

  12. Kate

    I would love to make this, but I would be the only one eating it in my family. Kale and chickpeas are not favorites with my kids. And my husband can’t stand “yolky” eggs – whereas, I think a yolky egg on top improves everything.

  13. Nicole D

    This kills me! Your shakshuka post introduced me to the dish, and after making it the first time, my immediate thought was, hmm, let’s add some chickpeas and kale to round it out XD

    I’ve been making it pretty much like this since then! Sometimes with a bit of butternut squash added in fall, too…

    I can confirm that the stew freezes absolutely beautifully.

  14. For anyone looking for a vegan version, thick slices of panfried tofu are great in shakshuka. I ate it this way in Israel. Can skip the feta or use a nice nut-based soft cheese.

  15. This looks SO GOOD!! Have you tried the braised eggs with leeks and za’atar shakshuka-esque thing in Ottolenghi’s Simple? It is UNBELIEVABLY brilliant, and probably one of my very favourite dishes of this ilk. That said- this is going VERY HIGH on my to-be-made list… it looks epic.

  16. Carie Lyn

    This was SO good exactly as written… the perfect way to use our CSA provision of kale, mint, garlic, and jalapeno. Toddler approved with generous dallops of yogurt. This is going into our regular dinner rotation for sure. The only downside is that there weren’t enough leftovers for everybody to have… I’ll make a double-batch of the stew next time and freeze half of it. Thank you so much for a delicious, healthy, and easy recipe!

    1. Katie

      I SO love this comments section. :)

      My two pence:
      1. Re. freezing: I’ve found that keeping blocks of my favorite late-summer veggie mashup (ie. flavorful stew made from the excess of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants and peppers that tend to appear every August or September… what here in Spain we call “pisto,” or something similar) on hand in the freezer is what keeps the eggs-for-dinner option from feeling dull and repetitive. I have no doubt whatsoever that this will have the same effect. :)

      2. Green shakshuka for breakfast at a little hotel in Tel Aviv won me over for life! If anyone knows the recipe from Hotel Nordoy, I would be eternally grateful!

    2. Katie

      So sorry Kate — my previous comment wasn’t supposed to be a reply to yours!

      But I think we might all agree that yes, the slaw is in the cards for you…. :)

      1. Traci

        Made this for friends dinner tonight. Easy and filling. I accidentally used a 28oz can of tomatoes instead of a 15 oz can and it was still delicious.

  17. Cat

    The instructions say “heat a glug (1 to 2 tablespoons) olive oil over medium heat and, once, add the onion…” and I’m not quite following. Once what? Thanks.

  18. Margareta

    Hi,
    I clicked on the amazon link but wasn’t quite sure which pot you have. Is it the Staub 4 quart braiser? Thank you!!!

  19. Katie W

    Just finished making this dish. Absolutely delicious! I have been making your shakshuka recipe for a few years and this variation is so good :)

  20. Rose Miller

    My kids have late start on Wednesdays and weekends have become a crazy merry-go-round of sports. No more Sunday brunches, and I miss them! This was a fantastic slightly-more-involved-than-scrambled-eggs-and-toast Wednesday breakfast, and I would call it brunch-worthy. Doubling the ingredients in two pans simultaneously would feed a crowd. Also feeling smug because I used up the leftovers of another of our favorite SK recipes, Baked Chickpeas, that happens to have the same flavor profile. Win-win-win.

  21. Great posts. We eat chickpeas a lot and I’ve been on the lookout for some new ideas. One question though. At the moment we don’t have a lot of pans as we’ve been travelling and can’t really buy any new ones at the moment. We have a really good non stick large wok that we use for most of our cooking. Could I get away with using that for this, it’s got a large surface area and isn’t too deep as far as woks go.

  22. Anna

    I LOVE Shakshuka. I’m fortunate to live close to the Mediterranean shops in Watertown, just outside Harvard Square, so we have our picks of shakshuka, and my family still LOVED this. The one tweak I’d make is to use only one can of chickpeas, since I thought the two cans took away from the tomato-yness of this dish. I thought I might have been wrong, but then my 15 year old son said the same thing! (I just had to brag that my 15 year old loves shakshuka, haha.)

  23. heartfull

    This looks fabulous – I plan to make this tonight even though I had planned to make the charred cauliflower quesadillas you posted on Instagram. It was a tough decision though :).

    Any chance the recipes could print without the “Previously” list included? It isn’t relative to the print and now that we are going on thirteen years the list is quite long.

  24. susan

    Made this for breakfast Saturday morning. Even my husband who hates kale loved it. Going to re warm the leftover poached in simmering water x 1 minute and reheat the rest in the micro for breakfast again this am. Yum!!

  25. Tundra Morscheck

    I have Hetty McKinnon’s two previous books and they are both fantastic so I knew this would be a winner – and it was, delicious.

  26. Liz

    Made with the biggest bunch of kale I’ve ever seen in my life (and I live in Oregon!), and it made 6 servings using 6 eggs. Delish!

  27. Lesley

    Quick. Easy. Delicious. Used chick stock because I had it and a bird’s eye chili pepper because they were home-grown. As suggested, I made it Monday up to the eggs, finished Wednesday and served over rice. Perfect for a cold, rainy fall evening!

  28. Liz

    I make the old shakshuka regularly and was skeptical of an update. I can gladly say after tonight’s dinner that I was wrong. This version will replace the other one on our rotation, I can tell already. This dish is cozier and more luxurious than it has any right to be. I can’t do dairy right now, so I had to pass on the feta. My compromise was to top with a crispy egg rather than the poached eggs to make it feel special. It was perfect. Thanks Deb!

  29. Leigh Ann

    Made this last night. It was soooo good. I substituted a jar of roasted red peppers (minced) for the tomatoes due to my tomato allergy, and the result was still amazing. I also only used 1 can of chickpeas because the peppers don’t make enough sauce to hold 2 cans.

  30. Kim

    I made this over the weekend and it was fabulous. I added a little extra spice because that’s how we like it. We loved the za’atar.