Quick and Easy Tagine Shakshuka with Lamb

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shakshuka tagine

What’s Up, Hungry People

I freakin’ love shashuka. The traditional dish is made with meatballs in a homemade tomato sauce. It can be eaten for dinner but is also acceptable for breakfast because it has eggs baked right in.

I was seriously craving some shakshuka for breakfast the other morning, but didn’t want to put in all the effort of making my own sauce and meatballs. So, I made an ‘abbreviated’ version, with loose meat lamb and baked eggs.

I just so happen to have a tagine, so I can cook my shakshuka in a traditional manner. A tagine is a clay pot with a vented lid—it holds heat much better than steel, resulting in a much more evenly cooked dish.

breakfast tagine

The tagine, a traditional North African cooking vessel, traces its origins back several centuries and is particularly associated with Moroccan cuisine. Its distinctive conical lid is designed to circulate steam and return the condensed liquid to the pot, which helps to cook food slowly and retain all the flavors and moisture. This method was incredibly practical in the regions of North Africa where water is scarce and the slow-cooking process could unfold over a low heat.

Over time, the tagine has not only become synonymous with Moroccan culture but has also gained international acclaim as a piece of cookware that produces richly flavored dishes, from stews to meats, perfectly suited for communal meals.

egg tagine

Here’s What You Need

  • Ground lamb: Adds richness and texture to the dish.
  • Onion: Provides a sweet, aromatic base.
  • Bell peppers: Offer a mild, sweet flavor and colorful presentation.
  • Olive oil: Used for sautéing, helps in cooking and flavoring.
  • Turmeric: Gives a vibrant color and earthy flavor.
  • Garam masala: Contributes warm, aromatic spice notes.
  • Paprika: Infuses the dish with mild heat and a deep, smoky essence.
  • Ginger: Offers a sharp, peppery punch.
  • Garlic: Delivers a strong, pungent flavor.
  • Lemon juice: Brightens the dish with a tangy note.
  • Saffron threads: Provides a luxurious color and subtle earthy taste.
  • Feta cheese: Brings a creamy, tangy contrast.
  • Eggs: Create a rich, custardy texture.
  • Cilantro: Adds a fresh, herbal finish.
  • Salt & pepper: Enhance all the flavors.
  • Pita bread: Serves as a soft, chewy accompaniment.
tagine for breakfast

Let’s Cook

To start off, I sautéed up some onions and peppers—as if I were going to be making an omelette in the tagine.

peppers and onions in tagine

Once the veggies had softened, the lamb was added and cooked until brown and crumbly. I alternated between leaving the lid on and stirring the lamb so that it cooked evenly.

browning meat in tagine

The spices are what truly make me crave shakshuka. The rich, spicy undertones combined with the sweet twang of ginger and paprika result in a fabulously unique flavor.

adding seasonings to tagine

I used garam masala to account for the vast array of spices used in this recipe—garam masala can be bought in spice mixes and it adds wonderful notes of cinnamon and cumin to any Middle Eastern dish.

tagine with meat and veggies

At this point, my house smelled so good that I could practically taste the air. Another draw to the amazingness that is shakshuka, there is no better smell to wake up to than the wafting aroma produced by a tagine.

squeezing lemon into tagine

Once the meat had cooked down a bit, lemon and saffron were added to bring out some acid and color in the dish.

saffron threads tagine

Shakshuka can be made in a slow cooker or baked in an oven, but the most traditional method is to use a tagine. I let my faux-shakshuka cook on a low setting for an extra thirty minutes to help develop the flavors even more.

steaming tagine

The final stages of my breakfast shakshuka involved adding the eggs.

raw egg in tagine

Just sprinkle on some feta cheese, make some divots for the eggs, and crack them in. Place the top back on the tagine and let it steam the eggs to perfection.

egg tagine for breakfast

I prefer my eggs to be super runny, so I only steamed the eggs for a few minutes.

tagine breakfast dish

I really just wanted to be able to dip my pita bread straight into the tagine, but I resisted long enough to plate it up nicely for the camera.

easy breakfast tagine

But trust me, I was eating spoonfuls of this stuff the entire time I was documenting it—it’s literally so flavorful and delicious, not much can compare.

I served my breakfast tagine along with some soft pita—for makeshift pita burritos—and some fresh, citrusy oranges. All in all, this quick version of shakshuka really does hit the spot!

breakfast tagine recipe

Shakshuka Made Simple: Tips for Your Tagine

  • Prep Your Ingredients: Before you start cooking, chop and measure all your ingredients. This makes the cooking process smoother and ensures you’re not scrambling to find something while your dish is on the stove.
  • Using a Tagine: A tagine is ideal for slow-cooking and infusing flavors deeply. If you don’t have a tagine, a deep, heavy skillet with a lid can work as a substitute. Just be mindful that cooking times may vary.
  • Adjusting Egg Doneness: The cooking time for your eggs can vary depending on how runny or firm you like them. Start checking your eggs about 2 minutes into the steaming process to ensure they are done to your liking.
  • Balancing Flavors: The spices in shakshuka can be quite robust. Taste your dish as you cook, especially after adding the spices and lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning with extra salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed to balance the flavors.
  • Serving Suggestions: While pita bread is traditional, you can also serve this dish with crusty bread or even over cooked grains like quinoa or couscous for a hearty breakfast or dinner.
easy middle eastern tagine

Wrapping up this breakfast adventure, I have to say that whipping up this easy breakfast egg tagine using a handy tagine and some basic pantry staples really hit the spot. It’s the perfect solution for those mornings when you’re looking for something hearty yet don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. The combination of aromatic spices, juicy lamb, and perfectly steamed eggs, not to mention the tangy kick of feta, makes every bite worth it. Plus, it’s just fun to say you made shakshuka in a tagine!

shakshuka tagine

Easy Breakfast Egg Tagine

The Starving Chef
Enjoy a hearty and flavorful start to your day with this easy breakfast egg tagine, featuring spiced lamb and baked eggs.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Breakfast, International
Cuisine African, Breakfast, Middle East
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz ground lamb
  • ½ cup green & yellow bell peppers chopped
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ginger minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup cilantro for topping
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pita bread for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the tagine over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, chopped onion, and bell peppers. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground lamb to the tagine. Use a wooden spoon to break up the lamb as it cooks. Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, paprika, ginger, and garlic. Cook the lamb for 10-15 minutes until it is just no longer pink. Cover with the lid, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and saffron. Cover and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until fragrant. Remove the lid and sprinkle on half of the feta cheese. Use the back of the wooden spoon to create divots in the meat. Crack eggs into each divot. Cover again with the lid and cook until the eggs reach your desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Garnish with the remaining feta and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve hot with a side of pita bread and enjoy!
Keyword eggs, lamb, tagine
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