Shakshuka is a spiced dish made of baked eggs in a sauce served in a cast-iron skillet.
The ingredients can vary; however, most recipes contain tomatoes and chili peppers as the main spices.
It has a rich, complex flavor profile that is hard to pinpoint.
Some describe it as a mix of smoky and sweet, while others say it’s just tangy and spicy.
To add more richness and depth of flavor, some recipes call for using whole spices such as black peppercorns, allspice berries, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom pods instead of pre-ground spices.
Shakshuka is typically served with some form of flatbread (pita) for dipping, but do not limit yourself there.
Try it on top of polenta or even rice to add a punch of flavor to the meal.
In this article, we’ll discuss the flavor and taste of shakshuka, as well as some amazing side dishes that you should consider pairing with it.
Let’s get started.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a traditional Tunisian dish usually served for breakfast, although it can be enjoyed any time of the day.
This hearty dish consists of eggs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, usually served with pita or challah bread to sop up all that deliciousness.
The traditional flavor of Shakshuka is also elevated by flavors like parsley and onion, depending on regional recipes.
The flavor of shakshuka is rich and deep, with various spices like cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic used to season the dish.
While most recipes call for peppers or chilis, the spiciness of shakshuka can also be toned down by using a bell pepper instead.
Hence, serving a side dish for shakshuka is very important because the main dish lacks vegetables.
Another reason to serve a side dish for shakshuka is that the flavor of this dish is very rich and filling, which means it can be overwhelming as the main course.
Hence, serving a side dish after shakshuka will enhance the taste of both dishes.
What to Serve with Shakshuka – 8 BEST Side Dishes
It’s important to choose a side dish that is slightly spicy but not overwhelming.
This way, it will enhance the flavor of the shakshuka without overpowering it.
Here are eight best side dishes you can serve with Shakshuka:
1 – Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is one of the many Irish dishes that makes excellent use of potatoes.
The potatoes provide a nice contrast between cold and hot, soft and crunchy.
This dish is made with a mix of ground beef and veggies like carrots, celery, and onion.
These ingredients are mixed before being topped with mashed potatoes and baked in the oven until the potatoes start to brown.
When served together, the flavors of both dishes enhance each other.
The spiciness from the shakshuka perfectly compliments the rich potatoes in shepherd’s pie, as well as the hearty ground beef and veggies.
2 – French Fries
This classic side dish has been enjoyed for generations all over the world.
French fries are made from potatoes cut into thin strips, fried in oil, and salted.
One of the main reasons this side dish is perfect for shakshuka is because it’s crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.
The French fry provides a nice contrast for the soft texture of shakshuka’s creamy eggs while also providing an excellent crunch to cut through the rich tomato sauce.
If you enjoy this side dish but want something more adventurous, look out for sweet potato fries and black bean fries.
These variations are not only healthier, but they offer a new flavor profile for you to try.
3 – Tomato Salad
Tomato salad is an easy, light dish that’s perfect for summer.
It takes advantage of tomato season when tomatoes are fresh and ripe, with bright flavors.
Though typically served as an appetizer, this cool side dish can also be served on the side of shakshuka to provide a nice balance between hot and cold, soft and crunchy.
The juices from the fresh tomatoes and onions add in a spicy and savory flavor that perfectly compliments the rich spiciness of shakshuka.
While most tomato salads use oil and vinegar as dressing, you can also try this dish with balsamic vinaigrette for added sweetness.
Just be sure to go easy on the amount unless you want to overpower the dish with sweetness.
4 – Fresh Bread
Fresh bread is a versatile side that’s perfect for any meal.
Whether you’re serving shakshuka for breakfast or dinner, fresh bread can turn this dish into an epic feast.
Shakshuka is traditionally served with pita or challah bread.
The warm and soft sponginess of fresh bread is perfect for dipping into shakshuka’s rich sauce.
Though the flavor of this side alone isn’t strong enough to overpower shakshuka, it does add a nice texture and compliment the savory spiciness of both dishes.
If you don’t want to serve fresh bread with shakshuka, you can also try serving this dish with a mixed green salad or roasted sweet potatoes.
5 – Grilled Zucchini and Onions
One of the best things about summer is enjoying fresh zucchinis and onions that are grilled to perfection.
The savory taste of these ingredients perfectly compliments the flavors in shakshuka.
Grilling shakshuka with veggies is a healthy alternative that enhances the flavor of both dishes and provides an extra crunch that makes this side irresistible.
Grilled zucchini and onions go great with shakshuka; try serving them together for a complete meal.
You can also pair these veggies with any of the dishes on this list.
6 – Meatballs
Meatballs are among the most popular Italian dishes, but they can also be enjoyed in many other variations worldwide.
Whether you’re serving shakshuka for breakfast or dinner, meatballs go great with it.
Meatballs are typically made with ground beef or lamb and can be either cooked in a sauce or on their own.
While most meatballs are savory by themselves, shakshuka’s rich tomato sauce transforms this side dish into a delectable feast in your mouth.
The spices in both dishes perfectly complement each other and make any bite delicious.
7 – Roasted Potatoes
Another classic side dish, roasted potatoes, is perfect for both breakfast and dinner.
Chopped into small cubes or wedged, these babies can be baked in the oven until they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Though roasted potatoes are typically served with meat like steak or lamb, they’re also delicious when served with shakshuka.
The flavors of both dishes complement each other perfectly; pairing them together is a perfect way to enjoy this dish to its full potential.
Remember to season your potatoes before roasting them – this will further enhance their flavor.
8 – Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled corn is a tasty summer side that offers a nice alternative for those who don’t enjoy eating shakshuka with bread.
Grilling corn not only enhances its sweetness but also provides a pleasant crunch that makes this dish irresistible.
The perfect blend of spices in this side compliments the flavors in shakshuka to provide a delectable feast for your taste buds.
While corn is typically served with butter, you can also pair it with shakshuka instead.
Remember to keep portions small because this side alone can be quite filling.
Conclusion – Flavor & Why Serving Side Dishes
In conclusion, shakshuka has a rich spiciness that can overwhelm the taste buds if not paired with the right side dishes.
These delicious and easy-to-make recipes will not only complement shakshuka but also enhance your overall meal.
Try out these eight side dishes next time you want to enjoy this dish in its full potential.
They are also perfect for any occasion, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even brunch.