South Dakota Chili Shakshuka

South Dakota Chili Shakshuka

One of my most common Road Recipes staples is Shakshuka. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s incredibly forgiving. In its purest form, it’s a middle eastern dish of eggs poached in a mix of tomatoes, onions, and spices. I like to mix it up on the road, teaching people how to make it using their favorite flavors. After all, once you master the very easy technique you can dress this up or down however you like. It’s the perfect recipe to teach a broke vegetarian.

If people have tomatoes that need using then of course I’ll go for those first, but I’ve made a lot of shakshuka from canned diced tomatoes, and people love it. Heck, I made a batch using red enchilada sauce (which is made from red peppers, not tomatoes) for someone who is allergic to tomatoes but intrigued by a cheap and easy new way to eat eggs.

The flavor of the sauce really permeates the poached egg. You can eat a scoop of it stuffed in a warm pita or over some hearty bread, put it on rice for a cheap but filling meal, or even use it as a deliciously sloppy burger topping.

So far, this has been the most popular variation I’ve made out west.

Chicken fried steak and gravy with skillet cornbread and chili shakshuka.
You can see the shakshuka hiding behind the chicken fried steak and cornbread.


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz cans Italian Seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-oz can mild green chilies
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce (optional)
  • 6-7 eggs (depending on the size of your pan)


  • Heat your olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until it barely starts to brown. Add the minced garlic and keep cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Before the garlic can burn, drown everything in your canned tomatoes.
  • Give it a good stir, then dump in your green chilis, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and pepper. (There’s plenty of salt in the canned tomatoes, so I don’t add any extra during cooking.) If you like it hot, toss in a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
  • Bring the whole mess to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn it down to medium and let it cook for around 5 minutes to thicken up a bit.
  • Look at your pan and imagine a clock. Now carefully crack your egg at 12:00. I find it easiest to put my eggs in at 12 and 6. That gives me an idea how much they’re going to spread. Crack the rest of your eggs in around the edge of the pan. If there’s room, you can add one more in the middle.
  • Let the eggs poach until the whites are completely cooked and the middles are thick but not hard, about 4-6 minutes. I usually put a lid on about halfway through – but if you do your yolks will come out cloudy rather than bright yellow. I like the soft, moist egg texture better. It’s up to you whether you’re going for taste or Instagramability.

    Scoop one egg and all the sauce under it directly onto your starch of choice so the flavors can really soak in. It’s insanely versatile! Pita or toast are great, but if you want to keep it gluten-free, try serving this with rice as a dinner dish or alongside roasted potatoes for brunch. I’m also not kidding about the burger – some Paleo friends at a cookout ran off with some as a topping and loved it so much we had to make another batch for the vegetarians!