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Mexican Shakshuka Recipe

This Mexican-inspired shakshuka is a vibrant and flavorful twist on the classic Middle Eastern dish. It combines the rich, savory taste of tomatoes with the bold spices of cumin, paprika, and cayenne, topped with runny poached eggs and garnished with creamy cotija cheese and fresh avocado.

Mexican Shakshuka Recipe

Photos of Mexican Shakshuka Recipe

This recipe features some ingredients that might not be commonly found in every household. For instance, cherry bomb chili peppers are spicier than regular bell peppers and add a unique kick. Cotija cheese is a crumbly Mexican cheese that adds a salty flavor. Ensure to look for these items in the international or specialty foods aisle at your supermarket.

Ingredients For Mexican Shakshuka

Red onion: Adds a sweet and tangy flavor base to the dish.

Garlic cloves: Infuses a rich, aromatic depth to the sauce.

Bell pepper: Provides a sweet and crunchy texture.

Cherry bomb chili peppers: Adds heat and a unique spicy flavor.

Tomatoes: The main base for the sauce, offering a rich and tangy taste.

Cumin: Imparts a warm, earthy flavor.

Paprika: Adds a mild, sweet spiciness.

Garlic powder: Enhances the garlic flavor without added moisture.

Cayenne: Adds a strong, spicy kick.

Salt: Balances and enhances all the flavors.

Eggs: Provides protein and a rich, creamy texture when poached.

Cotija cheese: Adds a salty, crumbly texture as a garnish.

Avocado: Offers a creamy, rich contrast to the spicy flavors.

One reader, Gerta Lovell says:

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This Mexican shakshuka recipe is a delightful twist on a classic! The flavors are rich and vibrant, and the cotija cheese adds a perfect touch. It's easy to make and incredibly satisfying. Highly recommend!

Gerta Lovell

Key Techniques for Mexican Shakshuka


How to sauté onions and garlic: Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and minced garlic, and cook until they are fragrant and translucent. How to sauté peppers: Add chopped peppers to the pan and cook until they are tender. How to cook tomatoes to a jam-like consistency: Add chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until the liquid evaporates and the mixture thickens. How to crack eggs on top of a mixture: Gently crack eggs and place them on top of the cooked tomato mixture without breaking the yolks. How to poach eggs in a sauce: Cover the pan and cook the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks remain runny. How to garnish with cheese and avocado: Sprinkle cheese and place sliced avocado on top of the dish before serving.

How To Make Mexican-Style Shakshuka

This shakshuka recipe yields a flavorful fusion meal of Middle Eastern and Mexican! Enjoy bites of tender tomatoes and peppers, all in one plate.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • ½red onion,diced
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • 1bell pepper,any color, diced
  • 4cherry bomb chili peppers
  • 4medium tomatoes,diced
  • 2tspcumin
  • 2tsppaprika
  • 2tspgarlic powder
  • 1tspcayenne
  • 1salt,to taste
  • 4eggs
  • cotija cheese,to taste
  • avocado,sliced, for garnish


  1. In a small cast-iron pan or Dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant.

  2. Add the peppers and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Add tomatoes and let mixture cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the spices, and salt and pepper to taste, then continue to sauté for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Once the liquid from the tomatoes has cooked out and the tomatoes have a jam-like consistency, crack 3 to 4 eggs on top.

  5. Garnish with cheese of choice and cover. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the eggs are poached and the yolks are still runny.

  6. Garnish with salt and pepper, feta or cotija cheese, sliced avocado, green onions and cilantro and enjoy!


  • Calories: 266.16kcal
  • Fat: 10.23g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.95g
  • Trans Fat: 0.03g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.61g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.45g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.55g
  • Fiber: 7.69g
  • Sugar: 15.87g
  • Protein: 17.09g
  • Cholesterol: 319.92mg
  • Sodium: 1218.90mg
  • Calcium: 131.40mg
  • Potassium: 1320.02mg
  • Iron: 5.60mg
  • Vitamin A: 454.26µg
  • Vitamin C: 243.17mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfect Mexican Shakshuka

To achieve the perfect jam-like consistency for the tomatoes, make sure to cook them on medium heat and stir occasionally to prevent burning. This slow cooking process allows the natural sugars in the tomatoes to caramelize, enhancing the overall flavor of your Mexican shakshuka.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Mexican Shakshuka

Pre-chop vegetables: Chop the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and chili peppers in advance and store them in airtight containers.

Use canned tomatoes: Substitute fresh tomatoes with canned diced tomatoes to save prep time.

Pre-measure spices: Measure out the cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne ahead of time and store them together.

Quick garnish: Have cotija cheese, avocado, and other garnishes ready to go before you start cooking.

Substitute Ingredients For Mexican Shakshuka Recipe

  • ½ red onion - Substitute with yellow onion: Yellow onions have a similar texture and slightly milder flavor, making them a good alternative.

  • 2 garlic cloves - Substitute with 1 tsp garlic powder: Garlic powder can provide a similar garlicky flavor if fresh garlic is unavailable.

  • 1 bell pepper - Substitute with poblano pepper: Poblano peppers offer a mild heat and a slightly smoky flavor, which can add depth to the dish.

  • 4 cherry bomb chili peppers - Substitute with jalapeño peppers: Jalapeños have a similar heat level and are more commonly available.

  • 4 medium tomatoes - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can be used when fresh tomatoes are not in season, providing a similar texture and flavor.

  • 2 tsp cumin - Substitute with ground coriander: Ground coriander has a slightly different but complementary flavor profile that can work well in the dish.

  • 2 tsp paprika - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika adds a smoky depth to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor.

  • 2 tsp garlic powder - Substitute with onion powder: Onion powder can provide a similar savory note if garlic powder is not available.

  • 1 tsp cayenne - Substitute with red pepper flakes: Red pepper flakes can provide a similar level of heat and spice to the dish.

  • 1 salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used in the same quantity to season the dish.

  • 4 eggs - Substitute with tofu: Tofu can be used as a plant-based alternative, providing protein and a similar texture when scrambled.

  • cotija cheese - Substitute with feta cheese: Feta cheese has a similar crumbly texture and salty flavor, making it a good alternative.

  • avocado - Substitute with guacamole: Guacamole can provide a similar creamy texture and rich flavor to the dish.

How to Beautifully Present Mexican Shakshuka

  1. Use a cast-iron skillet: Present the Mexican shakshuka in a small, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet to maintain the rustic and authentic feel of the dish.

  2. Layer the ingredients: Start with a base of the sautéed onions and garlic, followed by the bell peppers and cherry bomb chili peppers. Ensure the tomato mixture is spread evenly.

  3. Create wells for the eggs: Make small wells in the tomato mixture to nestle the eggs in. This will help keep the eggs in place and ensure they cook evenly.

  4. Garnish with precision: After the eggs are poached, carefully sprinkle cotija cheese over the top. Add thin slices of avocado arranged in a fan shape for visual appeal.

  5. Add fresh herbs: Finish with a sprinkle of finely chopped green onions and cilantro to add a burst of color and freshness.

  6. Serve with sides: Accompany the dish with warm corn tortillas or crusty bread on the side, arranged neatly on a separate plate.

  7. Drizzle with oil: Just before serving, drizzle a small amount of high-quality olive oil over the top to add a glossy finish and enhance the flavors.

  8. Use a clean plate: Ensure the edges of the serving plate or skillet are clean and free of any spills or smudges to maintain a professional presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Shakshuka

  • Cast-iron pan: A heavy-duty pan that retains heat well, perfect for sautéing and cooking the shakshuka mixture evenly.

  • Dutch oven: An alternative to the cast-iron pan, this heavy pot is great for slow-cooking and can handle the heat needed for this recipe.

  • Knife: Essential for chopping the red onion, garlic, bell pepper, and chili peppers.

  • Cutting board: Provides a safe and stable surface for cutting all the vegetables.

  • Measuring spoons: Used to measure out the spices accurately.

  • Wooden spoon: Ideal for stirring the ingredients without scratching the surface of your pan.

  • Lid: Needed to cover the pan or Dutch oven to help poach the eggs.

  • Spatula: Useful for gently lifting the eggs and serving the shakshuka.

  • Grater: If you need to grate the cotija cheese for garnishing.

  • Serving plate: To present the finished dish beautifully.

  • Small bowl: Handy for holding prepped ingredients like chopped vegetables or spices.

  • Tongs: Useful for handling hot ingredients or serving the shakshuka.

Storing and Freezing Mexican Shakshuka

  • Allow the shakshuka to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To reheat, simply place the desired portion in a microwave-safe dish and heat until warmed through, or reheat gently in a pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the shakshuka (without the eggs) for up to 2-3 months:
    • Transfer the cooled shakshuka to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top for expansion.
    • Label the container with the date and contents.
    • When ready to eat, thaw the shakshuka in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Reheat the thawed shakshuka in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through.
    • Crack fresh eggs on top of the reheated shakshuka and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
  • It's not recommended to freeze the shakshuka with the eggs already cooked, as the texture of the eggs may change upon thawing and reheating.
  • If you have leftovers with the eggs already cooked, it's best to store them in the refrigerator and consume within 1-2 days for optimal taste and texture.

How To Reheat Leftover Mexican Shakshuka

  • Reheat in a skillet or pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the eggs are cooked to your desired level of doneness. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure that the eggs don't become overcooked or rubbery.

  • If you prefer a hands-off approach, you can reheat the mexican shakshuka in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), cover the dish with foil, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last few minutes of reheating to allow the top to crisp up slightly.

  • For a quick and easy option, you can reheat individual portions of the shakshuka in the microwave. Place a serving in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Be careful not to overcook the eggs in the microwave, as they can quickly become rubbery.

  • If you have a toaster oven, you can use it to reheat smaller portions of the mexican shakshuka. Preheat the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C), place a serving in an oven-safe dish, and heat for 5-10 minutes or until warmed through.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to stir the shakshuka occasionally to ensure even heating and prevent the eggs from overcooking on the bottom of the dish. You can also add a splash of water or broth to the dish before reheating to help keep it moist and prevent it from drying out.

Interesting Fact About Mexican Shakshuka

A unique aspect of this Mexican shakshuka recipe is its fusion of Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines, combining traditional shakshuka elements like poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce with Mexican flavors such as cotija cheese and avocado.

Is Making Mexican Shakshuka at Home Cost-Effective?

This Mexican shakshuka recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients like red onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, eggs, and cotija cheese are relatively inexpensive and readily available. The addition of avocado adds a touch of luxury but remains affordable. Spices such as cumin, paprika, and cayenne are pantry staples, making this dish both economical and flavorful. Overall Verdict: 8/10. Approximate cost for a household of 4 people: $12-$15 USD.

Is Mexican Shakshuka Healthy or Unhealthy?

This Mexican shakshuka recipe is a nutritious and flavorful dish that offers several health benefits. The combination of vegetables, spices, and eggs provides a good balance of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Here are some of the healthy aspects of this recipe:

  • The use of onions, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium
  • Eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body
  • The spices used, such as cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne, have anti-inflammatory properties and can help boost metabolism
  • Avocado is a good source of healthy fats, which can help improve heart health and reduce inflammation

While this recipe is generally healthy, there are a few ways to make it even more nutritious:

  • Use a variety of colorful bell peppers to increase the diversity of nutrients
  • Opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added tomatoes to reduce the overall sodium content
  • Include more leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, to boost the fiber and vitamin content
  • Choose a low-fat or fat-free cheese to reduce the overall calorie and saturated fat content
  • Serve the shakshuka with whole-grain bread or pita to add more fiber and complex carbohydrates to the meal

By incorporating these suggestions, you can elevate the nutritional value of this already healthy and delicious Mexican shakshuka recipe.

Editor's Opinion on This Mexican Shakshuka Recipe

This Mexican shakshuka recipe is a vibrant twist on the classic dish, blending robust spices with fresh ingredients. The combination of cumin, paprika, and cayenne adds depth, while the cherry bomb chili peppers provide a delightful kick. The jam-like consistency of the tomatoes creates a rich base for the perfectly poached eggs. Topping with cotija cheese and avocado adds a creamy texture and a touch of indulgence. This dish is a flavorful, satisfying meal that beautifully marries Mexican flavors with a beloved Middle Eastern staple.

Enhance Your Mexican Shakshuka Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Elote (Mexican Street Corn): Elote is a fantastic companion to your Mexican Shakshuka. The charred corn kernels, slathered in creamy mayo and sprinkled with cotija cheese, offer a smoky, tangy contrast that will elevate your meal to new heights. A squeeze of lime and a dash of chili powder will tie the flavors together beautifully.
Black Bean and Mango Salad: A refreshing Black Bean and Mango Salad brings a burst of color and flavor to your table. The sweetness of mango pairs wonderfully with the earthiness of black beans, while a hint of cilantro and a splash of lime juice add a zesty finish. This vibrant salad will complement the rich, spicy notes of your Mexican Shakshuka perfectly.
Chorizo and Potato Hash: For a heartier side, consider a Chorizo and Potato Hash. The crispy potatoes and spicy chorizo create a savory, satisfying dish that pairs excellently with the eggs and tomato base of your Mexican Shakshuka. A sprinkle of green onions and a dollop of sour cream will add the finishing touches to this comforting side.

Similar Recipes to Mexican Shakshuka

Huevos Rancheros: Dive into the classic Mexican breakfast with huevos rancheros. This dish features fried eggs served on lightly fried corn tortillas topped with a savory tomato-chili sauce. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese for an authentic touch.
Chilaquiles: Transform your leftover tortillas into a delightful breakfast or brunch with chilaquiles. This dish combines crispy tortilla chips simmered in red or green salsa, topped with fried eggs, crema, queso fresco, and a side of refried beans.
Menemen: Experience the Turkish twist on shakshuka with menemen. This dish features scrambled eggs cooked with tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. Seasoned with paprika and oregano, it's a flavorful and hearty meal.
Pisto Manchego: Savor the Spanish version of ratatouille with pisto manchego. This dish is a medley of zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions, all cooked together until tender. Top with a fried egg for a complete meal.
Green Shakshuka: For a vibrant and healthy twist, try green shakshuka. This dish swaps out the traditional tomato base for a mix of spinach, kale, and zucchini. Poach the eggs in this green goodness and finish with a sprinkle of feta cheese and fresh herbs.

Perfect Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Mexican Shakshuka

Stuffed Jalapeños: Kick off your meal with these spicy and savory bites. Fresh jalapeños are hollowed out and filled with a creamy mixture of cream cheese, cheddar, and spices. They are then wrapped in crispy bacon and baked until golden brown. The heat from the jalapeños is perfectly balanced by the richness of the cheese and the smokiness of the bacon, creating a delightful explosion of flavors in every bite.
Mexican Street Corn Dip: Transform the classic elote into a shareable dip that will have your guests coming back for more. This dish combines grilled corn kernels with a creamy base of mayonnaise and sour cream, spiced up with chili powder and lime juice. Topped with crumbled cotija cheese and fresh cilantro, this dip is best served with tortilla chips for a crunchy and satisfying appetizer.
Churros With Chocolate Sauce: Imagine crispy, golden-brown churros dusted with cinnamon sugar, paired with a rich, velvety chocolate sauce. The contrast between the crunchy exterior and the soft, airy interior of the churros creates a delightful texture. The chocolate sauce adds a luxurious touch, making each bite a perfect blend of sweetness and decadence. This dessert is perfect for sharing, or indulging solo, and will transport your taste buds straight to the streets of Mexico.
Tres Leches Cake: Envision a moist, spongy tres leches cake soaked in a trio of milks: evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream. This cake is topped with a light, airy whipped cream and garnished with fresh berries or a sprinkle of cinnamon. The tres leches cake is a celebration of textures and flavors, with its rich, creamy base and refreshing, fruity accents. It's a perfect way to end a meal, offering a sweet and satisfying conclusion that lingers on the palate.

Why trust this Mexican Shakshuka Recipe:

This recipe combines the rich flavors of Mexican cuisine with the comforting elements of shakshuka. The use of fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, and chili peppers ensures a vibrant and authentic taste. The addition of cotija cheese and avocado adds a delightful creaminess that balances the spices perfectly. With clear instructions and easily accessible ingredients, this recipe is both approachable and delicious, making it a trustworthy choice for any home cook.

Share your thoughts on this Mexican Shakshuka Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to suggest!
How spicy is this Mexican shakshuka?
The spice level can vary depending on the type and amount of chili peppers you use. Cherry bomb chili peppers can be quite spicy, so if you're sensitive to heat, you might want to use fewer peppers or substitute with a milder variety.
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
You can prepare the tomato and pepper base ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to two days. When you're ready to eat, just reheat the base, crack the eggs on top, and cook until the eggs are done to your liking.
What can I use instead of cotija cheese?
If you can't find cotija cheese, feta is a great substitute. Both cheeses have a similar crumbly texture and salty flavor that complements the dish well.
How do I know when the eggs are perfectly poached?
The eggs are perfectly poached when the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. This usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes of cooking with the lid on. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't overcook.
Can I add other vegetables to this recipe?
Absolutely! Feel free to add other veggies like zucchini, spinach, or mushrooms. Just sauté them along with the bell peppers to ensure they're tender by the time the dish is done.

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