Shakshouka pizza baked and garnished with tahini sauce, silan and cilantro 
(Photo/Faith Kramer)
Shakshouka pizza baked and garnished with tahini sauce, silan and cilantro (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Shakshouka and pizza — two great dishes that go great together

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

Pizza and shakshouka are two of my favorite comfort foods, and I love combining them to add pizzazz to winter meals.

This North African meets Italian American mashup is perfect for brunch, lunch or a light dinner. You can heat the leftovers or eat them at room temperature for a quick, tasty breakfast.

The flavor-packed recipe features purchased dough and pizza sauce to cut prep time. But, of course, it’s fine to substitute homemade. You can customize the pizza by adding cooked chickpeas or greens to the sauce and drizzling the baked pie with amba (fermented Iraqi-Israeli mango sauce) or a hot sauce such as z’hug or harissa. Try adding chopped red or green onions to the garnish.

Shakshouka Pizza

Makes 6 large slices

  • 2 large red (or 1 red, 1 yellow) bell peppers (see notes)
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced jalapeño, optional
  • ½ tsp. crumbled dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup purchased pizza sauce (see notes)
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley, divided
  • 1 lb. purchased pizza dough, room temperature (see notes)
  • 6 medium or large eggs
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Tahini sauce, divided (see below)
  • 2 Tbs. silan (date syrup) or pomegranate molasses, optional

Cut tops off bell peppers. Discard seeds but keep peppers whole. Cut 3 (¾-inch wide) rings from each. Reserve unbroken rings. Chop remaining pepper into ¼-inch pieces. Reserve.

Heat 2 Tbs. oil in 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onion 7-10 minutes until softened. Add garlic. Sauté 1-2 minutes until golden. Add jalapeño, oregano, salt, paprika and cumin and sauté until spices sizzle. Add chopped peppers (not rings). Sauté until peppers are soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in pizza sauce and water. Lower heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick but spreadable. If necessary, add water by tablespoon. Stir in 1 Tbs. chopped cilantro. Taste. Add salt if needed. Set aside.

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Oil 12- to 13-inch round pizza pan or large baking pan with remaining 1 tsp. oil. Roll or use hands to spread pizza out to a level, 12-inch round. Pinch edge all around to make a slight rim.

Spread sauce evenly on pizza crust (but not on rim). Firmly press pepper rings into pizza, distributing them evenly an inch or so from the end of the crust to hold the eggs.

Break one egg inside each ring, keeping yolks intact. Sprinkle feta cheese over top of pizza. Place on middle rack in oven. Reduce heat to 475 degrees. Bake until feta is lightly browned, egg whites are just set, and yolks are cooked but still runny (about 15-20 minutes, timing varies so watch closely and be careful not to burn crust). Periodically prick yolks with toothpick to check consistency since it’s hard to gauge how runny or solid they are by sight when baking. Rotate pizza in oven if not baking evenly.

While the pizza is baking, make tahini sauce (see below).

Remove pizza from oven and sprinkle with remaining 3 Tbs. cilantro and drizzle with 3 Tbs. of tahini sauce and silan. Cut into 6 wedges. Serve on plates with knives and forks. Pass remaining tahini sauce.

Notes: Choose peppers that are at least 3 inches in diameter and height. Do not use pasta sauce in place of pizza sauce. Use refrigerated or frozen pizza dough (or a pre-formed 12-inch crust).

Tahini sauce: Stir together ½ tsp. minced garlic, ⅛ tsp. salt, ½ Tbs. lemon juice and 2 Tbs. cold water. Stir in ¼ cup tahini paste. Mix with fork, adding cold water by the teaspoon until smooth and pourable.

Poached egg variation: Poach eggs separately while rest of pizza bakes. Drain eggs and put them in pepper rings before garnishing.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].