Breakfast/ Popular/ Quick and Easy

Eggs in Hell (Shakshuka)

Eggs in Hell are a quick and spicy way to enjoy your eggs in the morning. With plenty of spices, Parmesan cheese and eggs simmered in tomato sauce.

So I was going to post a chicken shawarma recipe today then I realized it was Halloween and I had done nothing to even acknowledge its existence on the blog. I don’t bake so I can’t do all those fancy Halloween cookies and cake that really make Halloween food fun. But what is Halloween food really? The non-baked stuff that is. A spooky spaghetti? A scary casserole? I was seriously stumped.

Eggs in Hell are a quick and spicy way to enjoy your eggs in the morning. With plenty of spices, Parmesan cheese and eggs simmered in tomato sauce.

And then it randomly hit me. I remembered a recipe called ‘Eggs in Hell’. Something that Mario Batali coined together. Sure it was simple rebranding of the breakfast dish Shakshuka but hey, it gave me an in. But the question everyone’s probably asking at this point is why are they called eggs in hell? Besides the obvious angry, red tomato sauce akin to fiery lava. Well, it’s because they’re spicy. These eggs are gently poached in a spicy marinara-like sauce. Spicy, cheesy, herby eggs!

So I abandoned my chicken shawarma (which you’ll see in the next post) and set off to make some eggs in hell. Just so you know, I came back intact, although my kitchen is another story.

Eggs in Hell are a quick and spicy way to enjoy your eggs in the morning. With plenty of spices, Parmesan cheese and eggs simmered in tomato sauce.

The fact that I was able to come up this unplanned post at the very last minute just goes to show how easy it is to put together. Eggs, check. Tomato sauce, check. Parmesan cheese, check. Spices, check. Onions and garlic, check. Almost everything you would have already stocked in your pantry. And some leftover French bread from making my pumpkin cream cheese french toast earlier this week.

I modified the recipe a little mainly through the spices because I wanted more flavor. And I really could see smoked paprika going well with something called eggs in hell. Smoke-kay! This is supposed to be a mildly sweetened and tangy spicy breakfast which you eat with bread. Sop up all that sauce while you eat those eggs, you know?

Eggs in Hell are a quick and spicy way to enjoy your eggs in the morning. With plenty of spices, Parmesan cheese and eggs simmered in tomato sauce.

I used a decent amount of cayenne to spice it up a little but not enough to make it super spicy. So add in more if you want it burning your mouth to the point of no return. Since the jalapenos have their seeds removed, they don’t lend much to the heat but again, if you want eggs in super hell, keep those seeds. It can be either more cayenne or pro seeds or both. Or if you’re hardcore, find that ghost pepper.

The Parmesan adds a nice touch to things. I really loved it. I feel it binds all the ingredients together well. Feel free to add more though. I kept it at 1/4 cup so you could still see the eggs and not a mound of Parmesan and nothing else. Because while cheese is great, anyone can come up a plate full of Parmesan.

You’ll notice the eggs will start to sink while it’s cooking. This is good. The more sauce that surrounds the eggs, the better it cooks. But keep the sauce at a gentle simmer while you poach or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. I wanted my yolks runny so the time in the directions are for precisely that, but simmer it a little more for a fully cooked yolk. Finally, there’s enough sauce to go around for maybe two more eggs, so if you’re expecting company, or just like eating eggs, you can cook up to eight in there. The more the merrier!

Eggs in Hell are a quick and spicy way to enjoy your eggs in the morning. With plenty of spices, Parmesan cheese and eggs simmered in tomato sauce.

And lastly, a word of warning: this is messy to cook. Basically anything with a tomato base is. So if you have a backsplash, try to cook it on the back burner so your floor doesn’t end up looking like you started a redecorating job. And wear an apron! I suppose the other reason for why it would be called eggs in hell would be the cleanup!

Happy Halloween, guys!

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Eggs in Hell are a quick and spicy way to enjoy your eggs in the morning. With plenty of spices, Parmesan cheese and eggs simmered in tomato sauce.

Eggs in Hell (Shakshuka)


  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a 10″ skillet over medium high heat, saute onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook until soft about 3-5 minutes
  2. Pour in tomato sauce and add sugar, paprika, cumin, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle simmer
  3. Lower heat to medium and crack the eggs in one at a time and simmer until they are cooked way you want them. For runny yolks, about 5-6 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese and basil
  5. Dish and serve hot with bread for dipping

Notes

Inspired by Mario Batali

Eggs in Hell are a quick and spicy way to enjoy your eggs in the morning. With plenty of spices, Parmesan cheese and eggs simmered in tomato sauce.

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44 Comments

  • Reply
    Matt Robinson
    October 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    This looks scary good, beautiful pics as always!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      October 31, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      I’ll take ‘scary good’ 😉 Thanks, Matt!

  • Reply
    Maggie | Omnivore's Cookbook
    November 1, 2014 at 3:38 AM

    Those look awesome! Colorful and full of flavor. I’d open a bottle of sparkling wine to go with it! Nice share 😉

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 4, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      Thanks, Maggie! Not too bad for an impromptu post! 🙂 I love how easy it is to put together.

  • Reply
    Monika@MY FOOD & HAPPINESS
    November 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Wow I have never thought of preparing eggs in this way, this really looks like a delicious breakfast. Your pictures are beautiful as well!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 4, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      Appreciate the compliments, Monika! These eggs turned out very nicely and if you’ve been following me, you know I love my runny eggs 😉

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    November 1, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    I am a massive shakshuka fan and regularly make it for dinner. I definitely need to make your recipe Farah, it looks delicious and definitely beats any shakshuka I have ever made!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 4, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Thanks, Thalia! I really think the smoked paprika was a good complimentary touch!

  • Reply
    Emily
    November 10, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    This was DELICIOUS! I used a little less sauce than called for, but it still came out amazing and the spice ratio was perfect. I also decided to cover the pan while the eggs were poaching to speed up the process and get them cooked a little more on top. Thank you so much for this recipe it was a real hit with the family!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 12, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      Most welcome, Emily. Thanks for letting me know and covering the pan is a great idea! Saves on cleanup too 😉

  • Reply
    annie@ciaochowbambina.com
    December 12, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    I want to begin by saying how much I love your photography! Really beautiful! And these eggs…forget about it! De-lish!!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      December 13, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      Thank you so much, Annie. It’s a lot of work trying to get food looking as good as it tastes but it’s worth it! 🙂 These were fun to eat, especially for those that love sunny side up eggs!

  • Reply
    splendid market
    March 20, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    This looks amazing, what a great idea for feeding a big group. Love your photography.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 22, 2015 at 3:41 PM

      It works great for groups! Or really big eaters 😉 Thank you!

  • Reply
    Steven
    April 27, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    Wow, this looks delicious. I was curious if I could substitute the onion for another veggie that might compliment this dish well? Would love to make this for the family, but we’re not big onion fans. 🙂

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      April 27, 2015 at 4:12 PM

      Hmmm let me think…you could try zucchini or bell peppers?

  • Reply
    Supriyo
    May 16, 2015 at 1:56 PM

    I see you cooked this on a cast iron skillet – any concerns about losing the seasoning from the acidity of the tomato sauce? I have seen other posts that recommend against cooking tomato sauce based recipes on cast iron skillet.

    Food wise, this looks great and I am tempted to do this, hence the question 🙂 – don’t take it as a criticism.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      May 16, 2015 at 2:42 PM

      No biggie! It’s a valid question. I’ve seen some comments like that myself and I’m still a cast iron newbie. Honestly I didn’t notice anything after but then again I’m not too picky about stuff. If it needs to be re-seasoned, I just do it. Since this is all done over the stove top, if you’re worried about that, using a regular skillet will work just fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Joseph NL
    May 22, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    Shakshuka is one of my favorite things to make…easy and delicious. It’s also very healthy and low cal. With some pita bread it’s great for breakfast or lunch. Add a nice salad and it’s a nice light dinner. The recipe is almost the same as mine except I use a large red bell pepper instead of the jalapeños…it’s easier to control the heat with the cayenne, and individually added hot sauce or harissa at the end. Also, rather than sprinkling it with cheese, we use chopped cilantro as a garnish. Small modifications, but shakshuka is a winner?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      May 28, 2015 at 1:58 PM

      It all sounds delicious, Joseph! Never had harissa before though. This recipe may not be truly authentic but slight tweaks here and there can suit any taste palate. 🙂

  • Reply
    Joseph NL
    May 22, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    Great recipe!

  • Reply
    Katie
    June 16, 2015 at 5:43 AM

    Hi, it appears there is rice in the dish? Or no? Thanks so much! Katie

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 16, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      Heya Katie. There’s no rice in the skillet itself, but you can cook rice on the side to eat with it instead of bread!

  • Reply
    Joseph NL
    June 19, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    Having tried both this version and the NY Times version (see: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014721-shakshuka-with-feta), I find the NYT recipe (sans the feta, which is neither needed nor tradional) somewhat better. The heat from the jalapeños in this recipe IMHO takes over the dish, and the red peppers in the NYT recipe seems to me more balanced. The addition of hot sauce by the diner can easily furnish more heat to those who crave it. I always serve shakshuka with warm pita bread…very traditional! Which ever recipe one prefers, shakshuka is a wonderfully healthy and tasty dish!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 22, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      Awesome! Thanks for trying this one out, Joseph. By the way, I saw some harissa the other day so now I know where to find it if ever needed.

  • Reply
    Spiderman
    June 20, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    The name comes from the italian name for their similar dish called uova in purgatorio. Makes sense since he’s italian!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      June 22, 2015 at 3:09 PM

      That’s some great trivia, I love it! Thanks for chiming in 😉

  • Reply
    Karen
    July 10, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    Wow are these good! I didn’t use quite as much cumin (ran out) or paprika (not a huge fan). I also used some hot peppers that I canned last summer instead of jalapenos. Very, very good.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      July 10, 2015 at 12:53 PM

      That’s great to hear! Thanks for trying it out and I hope they weren’t habeneros, I tried some yesterday and almost died! SPICY!

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