Moroccan marinara-poached eggs is the ultimate weeknight dinner or weekend brunch served with crusty bread. Whether you’re using homemade or store-bought marinara, this easy recipe is always a crowd-pleaser. This post is in partnership with the Tomato Products Wellness Council (TPWC). All opinions are my own.
Marinara-poached eggs (also known as shakshuka) is an excellent dish to feed a crowd because, depending on how many you’re serving (and how many eggs your skillet has room for), it can be made as large as you need.
Harissa, shaved fennel, and feta give this version a Moroccan twist, harissa adding a smoky-spicy backbone, fennel lending rich caramelized sweetness, and feta a salty, tangy finish.
You’ll definitely want a hunk of crusty bread for yolk- and sauce-mopping.For this recipe, you can either make homemade marinara or use store-bought.
The homemade marinara recipe posted below has been my go-to for years. It’s based on streamlined techniques that my Italian grandmother taught me growing up and only requires 5 basic ingredients to yield rich, authentic marinara flavor. And unlike most store-bought sauces, this one is free of added sugar.
I always make my sauce at least one day in advance to help coax the natural sweetness and umami out of the tomatoes. I’ve also found that I prefer the consistency of the sauce on day two. Simmer the sauce for an hour, refrigerate it overnight, and watch brunch come together in just 20 minutes the next morning. The key ingredient in homemade marinara sauce is canned whole peeled tomatoes—A staple in my pantry.
There are TONS of benefits to consuming canned tomatoes. The tomatoes used in cans, jars, and sauces are always vine-ripened and picked at peak freshness. And within only 3 to 6 hours of harvest, tomatoes are transported for preservation nearby where they are steam-peeled and immediately canned to help lock in their nutrients and seal in top-notch flavor.
Bonus: the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which is what gives tomatoes their superfood status, has been shown to be almost 6 TIMES more bioavailable in canned tomato products than that of fresh.
When purchasing tomato products, look for “Grown in USA” on the lid or the bottom of the can. The quality of USA canned foods is always superior to that shipped in from overseas.Another reason to get “sauced”? November is the official kickoff of Movember, which is a global charity impacting the face of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer (which is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among men). Research has shown that increasing consumption of the plant chemicals, such as lycopene, found in tomatoes may lower the risk of prostate cancer, as well as reduce tumor growth among men with prostate cancer.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can join the movement, the Movember Foundation Facebook page is a great resource to learn about their mission and get a look at all of the amazing fundraisers being held world-world for this cause. And in the meantime, crack open a can of tomatoes and let’s get SAUCED.
- *Classic Marinara Sauce*
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves
- 2 (28-oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- *Moroccan Marinara-Poached Eggs*
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small fennel bulb, shaved on a mandoline or sliced thin, fronds reserved
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups Classic Marinara Sauce*
- 2 Tbsp. mild harissa paste (such as Mina brand)
- 4 to 6 large eggs
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 4 Tbsp. plain whole-milk yogurt
- *Classic Marinara Sauce: Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions; cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and basil; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomatoes and use clean hands to break apart. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, covered, for 1 hour, until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally and continuing to crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon on the side of the pot. At this point, either remove sauce from heat and let cool completely before refrigerating overnight, or begin making poached eggs.
- *Moroccan Marinara-Poached Eggs: Heat oil in a large skillet fitted with a lid over medium heat. Add fennel, ¼ tsp. of the salt, and pepper; cook 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in Classic Marinara Sauce and harissa; bring mixture to a simmer.
- One at a time, crack eggs into a ramekin, and slip into tomato sauce. Season eggs evenly with remaining ¼ tsp. salt. Cover skillet and cook, simmering gently and reducing heat if necessary, until whites of eggs are set and yolks are still jammy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with feta and add dollops of yogurt. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve with crusty bread.
Freeze for up to 3 months.