First of all, let’s begin with, “what is shakshuka?” Shakshuka is dish made with a combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and poached eggs. It’s a traditional Mediterranean breakfast recipe with roots from Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Our McDaniel Short-Cut uses Trader Joe’s shakshuka”starter.” God Bless Trader Joe’s, you help parents keep the “adventurous” into eating without too much fuss. This starter “kit” provides the spiced stew of tomatoes and peppers, you bring the rest of the ingredients we included in our version: coconut milk, eggs, and chickpeas.

What I Like Matters

Let me just be the first to say…I’m skeptical whether my kids will try this dish. Too many things are touching, the spice aroma might be overwhelming, and heaven forbid, why the green stuff? So, why would I serve it? Well, because meal planning starts with me. What I like to eat matters. The fact that I like to try new dishes that only take 10 minutes to prep should be honored. I’ll serve it beside toast/pasta, raw veggies, fruit and chocolate milk. No worries, there will be food on their plates they’ll look forward to eating. As we offer unfamiliar/new foods on our kids’ plates, it’s important to pair them with something familiar so they don’t completely shun the meal/mealtime. Bread, pasta, or cheese quesadillas are usually one of those familiar foods in our house.

How We Shook Up The Shakshuka 

Instead of using water, we added light coconut milk to complement the spices and make it a bit more creamy. Adding a can of chickpeas increased the fullness factor for me as well as increasing the fiber. Just FYI, rinse your canned beans prior to cooking. This one step will reduce added sodium by 40%. Finally, we added fresh chopped cilantro…because what I like to eat…matters!

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Shakshuka Starter

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  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 2 packages of Trader Joe’s Shakshuka Starter
  • 1.5 c. light coconut milk
  • 1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro (add more if you love it!)


  1. Place 2 packages of Shakshuka starter in a pan with coconut milk. If you’re in a hurry, defrost the shakshuka in the microwave beforehand to save time.
  2. Add rinsed, drained chickpeas.
  3. Simmer for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Crack one egg at a time into a small dish. Create pockets in the sauce and individually add eggs.
  5. Cover and cook eggs to desired temperature. I like mine cooked through which took 8-9 minutes. If you like yours soft, it might only take 4-5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro and serve with toast.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 265
  • Sugar: 10.6 g
  • Sodium: 571.2 mg
  • Fat: 12.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.9 g
  • Fiber: 7.6 g
  • Protein: 13.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 186 mg