Shake it up with shakshuka, a perfect one-pot meal

Daniel J. van Ackere/America's Test Kitchen via APThe flavor of the greens — Swiss chard and baby spinach — shines through in this take on shakshuka.

The classic Tunisian dish shakshuka is a humble yet satisfying one-pot meal, usually consisting of eggs cooked in a long-simmered, spiced tomato and pepper sauce.

We wanted to use this as a template for a version that swapped out the long-cooked red sauce for a fresh, vibrant mix of greens that would be transformed into a quick any-night meal.

For the greens, we settled on savory Swiss chard and easy-to-prep baby spinach. We cooked a cup of the sliced chard stems (any more and their vegetal flavors overwhelmed the dish) with onion to create an aromatic base.

We eschewed the traditional strong flavors of cumin and paprika in favor of coriander and mild Aleppo pepper — their citrusy notes allowed the greens’ flavors to stay center stage.

The roomy Dutch oven allowed us to wilt a large volume of raw greens easily. The Dutch oven will seem crowded when you first add the greens, but they will quickly wilt down.

We blended a cup of the greens mixture with broth to give the sauce a creamy, cohesive texture, then added frozen peas for contrasting pops of sweetness.

To finish, we poached eight eggs directly in the sauce, covering the pot to contain the heat for efficient, even cooking. Avoid removing the lid during the first five minutes of cooking the eggs; it will increase the total cooking time of the eggs.

We served our green shakshuka with a sprinkling of bright herbs and salty, creamy feta cheese. Add toasted pita or crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, you can substitute 1/8 teaspoon paprika and 1/8 teaspoon finely chopped red pepper flakes.


Start to finish: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

2 pounds Swiss chard, stems removed and reserved, leaves chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped fine


4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons ground coriander

11 ounces (11 cups) baby spinach, chopped

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup frozen peas

11/2 tablespoons lemon juice

8 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground dried Aleppo pepper

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Slice the chard stems thin to yield 1 cup; discard remaining stems or reserve for another use.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chard stems, onion and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and coriander, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the chard leaves and spinach. Increase heat to medium-high, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted but still bright green, 3-5 minutes.

Off heat, transfer 1 cup chard mixture to a blender. Add the broth, and process until smooth, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed. Stir the chard mixture, peas and lemon juice into pot.

Make 4 shallow indentations (about 2 inches wide) in the surface of the greens using the back of a spoon. Crack 2 eggs into each indentation, sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and season with salt. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat until edges of egg whites are just set, 5-10 minutes.

Off heat, let sit, covered, until whites are fully set and yolks are still runny, 2-4 minutes. Sprinkle with the feta, dill and mint, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving: 441 calories; 241 calories from fat; 22 g fat (7 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 443 mg cholesterol; 1,047 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrate; 11 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 25 g protein.