I still remember the first time I had shakshuka. While “fried eggs in a tomato-based sauce” was about a 0 on the “Yum, That Sounds Appealing” scale, my friends assured me that it was delicious. I took a chance, and never looked back.
Shakshuka, also spelled “shakshouka” or “chakchouka,” originated somewhere in North Africa or the Middle East, although there’s debate around exactly where. The name translates to “all mixed up” and it is quite popular in Israel, traditionally served as a breakfast dish. If breakfast isn’t your thing, I can assure you that I’ve eaten it for lunch and dinner too, and it’s always delicious!
In my (very humble) opinion, shakshuka is one of the best camping dishes. Here’s why:
- You can make it as easy or as complicated as you want, and it’ll taste good regardless
- It’s healthy
- The ingredients are affordable
- People are pretty much always impressed
- There are about 3845849393 ways to make it, so it’s never boring (fun fact: at one point in my life, I ate different variations of shakshuka almost every day for 3 months…I’m still not sure whether or not that’s something I should be proud of)
- It keeps well, and tastes great re-heated
- It’s relatively easy to cook and pretty difficult to mess up
And while I’m no chef, I’ve never had anyone tell me they didn’t like it. Most people ask for the recipe or request (beg) that I make it again (and again).
How to Make Shakshuka With Feta
When it comes to shakshuka, you’ve got options. You can either go in the super simple direction, or get a little more complicated with spices and veggies. Totally up to you! I’ve included both recipes so that you can make it anytime, no matter which mood you’re in.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Camp stove or campfire (The Camp Chef stove that I have is no longer available, but I’ve linked a similar one. When it comes to camp stove, Camp Chef is one of the best brands!)
- Stove fuel
- Camping cookset or cast iron pan
- Sharp knife for chopping because butter knives just don’t work as well (not that I know from personal experience…)
- Hopefully your campsite has a table and chairs, but if not you can snag this table and these camping chairs
The Lazy Camper’s Shakshuka Recipe
For when you’re alone and just want food ASAP
- Your favorite pasta sauce
Add the pasta sauce to the pan and let simmer for a few minutes. Make the “wells,” or holes in the sauce, with a spatula, then crack the eggs into them. Adding a cover over the pan will make the eggs fry faster. Let them fry for about 5 minutes with a cover, or until they no longer jiggle when you wiggle the pan (that was fun to type).
That’s it! I admit that when I’ve told other shakshuka lovers that I do this, they get a little…upset. I know this is not the traditional way, but when you just want something quick and easy while camping, I promise that this is where it’s at! If you want to go for the medium-difficulty recipe (that’ll also have a little more substance and flavor), you can also add:
- Olive oil
- Something to make the sauce more ‘fun,’ like mushrooms or eggplant
- Cheese (feta is my favorite)
- A garnish, like cilantro, parsley, or chopped green onions
- Salt/pepper/hot sauce
If you want to add the above items into your shakshuka, follow the traditional recipe below.
The More Fancy + Traditional Shakshuka With Feta Recipe
For when you want to show off to your friends
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 tomatoes, diced (canned tomatoes also work)
- A splash of tomato sauce
- 3 to 6 Eggs (In my experience, each person usually eats 2 eggs, but 6 is about the max I can fit in one pan)
- A garnish, like cilantro or parsley (or both!)
- Whatever spices you have on hand. People traditionally use paprika, cumin, and chili powder, but I guarantee it’ll be delicious regardless! It’s great with just salt and pepper too.
- Add the olive oil to the pan on medium heat. If you’re cooking over a fire, you can add the ingredients once the fire has burned down to about a third in size. While your pan is heating up, chop the onions.
- Toss in onions. Chop the bell peppers (and any other veggies), then throw those in too.
- Let cook for about 5 to 10 minutes before adding the garlic (and spices, if you decide to use them).
- Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer for several minutes. Pro tip: The longer you simmer the sauce, the better it tastes. So feel free to let it sit for a while if you desire!
- Use a spatula to create “wells,” or spaces in the sauce for the eggs to go. Crack the eggs and make sure the heat is on low. Add a cover to the pan (you don’t have to do this, but it really speeds up the process and cooks the yolks to gooey perfection!).
- Cook until the eggs are done. Add garnishes and cheese.
- Serve and devour!
Serve with pita bread (how it’s traditionally served) or a side salad. I also love adding avocado for extra creaminess!
Shakshuka Recipe Variation Ideas
- Mix in fun sauces, like pesto, curry, yogurt, or BBQ sauce (pretty much any creamy sauce that you like will work)
- Toss in creative additions like zucchini, eggplant, chickpeas, or mushrooms–even meat
- Serve it on toast (it pairs great with sourdough)
- Feel free to get creative! I’ve honestly never gone wrong. Just mix any sauce, veggies, and toppings you normally like and there’s a 99.99% chance it’ll taste great.
Shakshuka is one of my favorite recipes to make, and definitely a camping staple. I hope it’ll become one for you too!
Kelsey Frey is a freelance writer and full-time traveler usually found exploring the mountains somewhere in Europe or the USA. She’s always looking for a trail to hike or lake to jump into. If you’re curious about an honest account of life without a permanent address, you can follow her on Instagram @sightsbetterseen or pop over to her travel blog at Sights Better Seen to read more about her (mis)adventures.
Photo credit: Kelsey Frey