Red peppers cooked with cumin and paprika in a rich tomato sauce, topped with creamy silken tofu. This vegan shakshuka recipe is simply the best plant-based brunch you could choose to make.
You can’t beat shakshuka for brunch. It’s filling, packed full of veggies and deeply satisfying, not to mention delicious.
Of course it doesn’t have to be just for brunch. It’s equally as good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
But truth be told, shakshuka always says brunch to me. It's perfect on slow, lazy weekend mornings filled with plenty of coffee, the radio on and good company.
Origins of shakshuka
Shakshuka originates from northern Africa and the Middle East. As Wikipedia explains there are several theories about its exact origin.
A traditional shakshuka is usually vegetarian - but not vegan. A base of tomatoes, red peppers, olive oil, peppers and garlic are cooked with spices - such as cumin and paprika - and served with poached eggs on the top.
As with many dishes from the Middle East, shakshuka has evolved and changed over the years. It’s likely that it evolved from a Turkish meat stew, but it's quite different to that now.
I’ve replaced the eggs with silken tofu.
I have also added a little kala namak to give my tofu a slightly eggy taste. Kala namak is an Indian black salt and you can get it online or from an Asian supermarket. If you can't find any you can leave it out.
How difficult is shakshuka to make?
Shakshuka isn’t difficult to make at all but it does take a little time to cook as you want the vegetables to be lovely and soft.
What should you serve with vegan shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a complete meal in itself so it isn’t essential to serve anything alongside it.
However, I love to eat it with some bread to mop up the sauce - pitta bread, flatbreads or toasted sourdough all go perfectly.
It’s also delicious served with some homemade hummus.
What ingredients do you need to make shakshuka?
For full ingredients list, quantities and instructions see recipe card at the end of this post.
I prefer to use silken tofu rather than firm tofu to make my vegan shakshuka because of its soft and silky texture.
Kala namak, or black salt, gives the tofu a slightly eggy taste. Can be left out if you don’t have any.
Adds a nutty, savoury taste to the tofu.
For cooking your vegetables.
A slowly cooked sliced onion will form the base of your vegan shakshuka.
Crushed garlic adds a delicious flavour.
Some dried herbs for flavour.
An essential spice in shakshuka.
Adds a lovely smoky taste.
Sliced red peppers are another essential ingredient.
A tin of chopped tomatoes to make your shakshuka nice and saucy.
To thicken the sauce and add depth of flavour.
Salt and pepper
To season to your taste.
Flat leaf parsley
Adds a splash of green and a delicious, fresh flavour.
Do you need any special equipment to make vegan shakshuka?
You will need a large frying pan or wok with a lid.
How to store shakshuka
If you want to make it in advance cook up to stage 4 - without adding the tofu - then allow to cool completely. Once cool transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to three days.
When you’re ready to eat your shakshuka reheat in your frying pan and add the tofu - continue with the recipe as below from stage 5.
If you have leftovers and you’ve already cooked the tofu you can still store it in the fridge. Once it’s completely cool transfer to an airtight container. Try to keep the tofu on the top so it doesn’t get completely mixed in. This is just for aesthetic reasons - it’ll still taste fine if it’s all mixed up, but it looks better on top.
Reheat in a frying pan or the microwave until piping hot.
Can you freeze this recipe?
Yes but it’s best frozen without the tofu. Cook up to stage 4 then allow to cool completely. Transfer to a freezer box or bag, leaving a little space for it to expand while freezing.
Label with the name and date and then freeze for up to three months.
When ready to eat defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat until piping hot before adding the tofu and proceeding with the recipe.
If you have already cooked the tofu and you have leftovers that you’d like to freeze you can do this but bear in mind that the texture of the tofu might change.
When ready to eat defrost in the fridge and then reheat until piping hot.
- Leave the tofu out and just enjoy the pepper and tomato stew.
- Add a tin of chickpeas or white beans.
- Make small chickpea flour pancakes to top.
- Add roasted cauliflower florets to the top.
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How to make vegan shakshuka
If you have made this recipe and loved it please consider leaving a comment and rating below.
For the topping
- 349 g pack of silken tofu
- 1 teaspoon kala namak black salt*, optional
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional
For the shakshuka
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 red peppers thinly sliced
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- Flatbreads pitta breads or crusty bread
To prepare the tofu
- Drain your silken tofu and roughly chop. It will be very slippery but don’t worry - it’s meant to be like this!
- Place in a small bowl and add a teaspoon of black salt and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Cover and place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
For the pepper filling
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the onion and sauté over a low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until soft, stirring often.
- Add two cloves of crushed garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Stir well and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Add two sliced red peppers, turn the heat to low and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes until soft.
- Once the peppers are cooked add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato purée. Give everything a good stir and simmer for ten minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the silken tofu mixture over the mixture, cover the pan with a lid again and cook over a low heat for fifteen minutes, or until the tofu is piping hot.
- Sprinkle over the chopped flat leaf parsley. Serve with pitta bread and salad.
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