Merkén Shakshuka Recipe

Merkên Shakshuka Recipe

Shakshuka originated in North African and today is enjoyed across North Africa and the Middle East dish as a breakfast dish. The traditional version calls for a base of tomatoes, onions, and spices with eggs nestled into the vegetables to poach until softly set.

We’ve taken this traditional dish and given it a Chilean twist. With the addition of chorizo and merkén spice blend, our shakshuka recipe has a bit of kick to it. And bonus– this dish is a quick one pot meal that’s easy to make anytime of day! And double bonus– we’ve included vegetarian and vegan options! 

Shakshuka Ingredients

Shakshuka Spices.


Merkén is a Chilean spice blend that also goes by the name of Merquen. Specifically, this spice blend is from the Araucania region of central Chile where it has been used by the Machupe people in their traditional cuisine for hundreds if not thousands of years. Merkén, like many different traditional spice blends, has many different versions. Our blend is a mix of Goat’s Head Chile Flakes, Smoked Paprika, Coriander, and Pacific Sea Salt. Native to Chile and Peru, the smoked Goat’s Head Chili imparts a unique smoky and dark meaty flavor to Merkén. With just a mild heat, we describe these peppers’ flavor as rich and intense rather than spicy.


Ground Cumin has a warm earthy flavor with just a hint of sweetness which balances the spicy flavors of the chili and the sweetness of the tomatoes.


One clove of chopped fresh garlic or 1 teaspoon of Minced Dried Garlic adds a depth of flavor that can only come from garlic! SpiceTopia’s Minced Dried Garlic is a convenient substitute for fresh garlic. With a package of this in your pantry, you won’t have to worry about dried up or sprouted garlic cloves! 

Pacific Flake Sea Salt. 

Pacific Flake Sea Salt is an all-natural kosher flake salt that is our everyday go-to salt.

Tellicherry Black Pepper.

SpiceTopia’s Tellicherry Peppercorns are the highest grade of black peppercorns available. Their rich, complex pepper flavor is considered the king of pepper! One of the most multipurpose spices we know of, Tellicherry pepper truly does go with just about anything!

Shop these spices and over 100 more at SpiceTopia!

Ground Chorizo.

Just a little bit of Chorizo adds a lot of flavor to this dish. Be sure to use the ground version of chorizo. To make a vegetarian and vegan shakshuka, vegan chorizo is readily available in most grocery stores and makes a delicious substitution for chorizo. 


Onion. Tomatoes. Onions and tomatoes form the base of shakshuka. Cook them down to make the sauce the eggs will cook in. We use roma tomatoes as they cook down into a thicker sauce than regular tomatoes. In a pinch, a can of whole tomatoes also works. 

Cilantro. A sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro as garnish adds a pop of green and a fresh herbal flavor. If cilantro is not your thing, skip it by all means! 

Cilantro. A sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro as garnish adds a pop of green and a fresh herbal flavor. If cilantro is not your thing, skip it by all means! 


We use Jack Cheese in this recipe, but really any cheese you like will work. If you are making a vegan shakshuka, skip the cheese or use a plant based cheese instead.

Technique. How To Make Shakshuka

Hints for creating a rich wonderfully flavored shakshuka: 

  • If you have it, use a cast iron pan to create your shakshuka. 
  • Be sure to bloom (cook briefly in oil) the spices before adding tomatoes. 
  • Cook the tomatoes down until most of the liquid has evaporated. By the time the eggs are added, there should be no more than two tablespoons of watery liquid left in the pan. 
  • Before starting the recipe, take your eggs out of the refrigerator to allow them to warm up.

It is easy to adjust the servings of this shakshuka by adding more or less eggs. Do make sure each egg has its own indentation and an inch or two of sauce around it. 

How To Make Vegan Shakshuka

This dish can be made vegan by using vegan chorizo and vegan cheese. 

Substitute an avocado half for each egg. 

Shakshuka is more than just a breakfast dish; it’s an experience. It’s the comfort of warm spices, the vibrant colors, and the joy of runny yolks begging to have toast dipped into! The next time you’re looking for a delicious and easy meal, give our shakshuka recipe a try. You might just discover your new favorite breakfast (or brunch) obsession.

Let’s Get Cooking!

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Merkén Shakshuka Recipe


A Chilean twist on shakshuka, a vibrant dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce spiced with chorizo and merkén. An easy shakshuka recipe perfect for beginners. Vegetarian and Vegan options included.



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. While the oven preheats, brown chorizo in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat.

  2. Remove chorizo from the skillet. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet. Add onions and cook until they are translucent.

  3. Push onion to the edges of the skillet. Add one more teaspoon of oil. Add garlic, cumin, and merkén. Stir into the oil and cook just until you smell the garlic. Add tomatoes and the cooked chorizo. Cook for 10 - 20 minutes or until the tomatoes break down into a sauce and thicken.

  4. Use a large spoon to make an indentation for each egg. Break each egg into a bowl before carefully sliding into the indentations. Season eggs with salt and pepper.

  5. Nestle the cubes of cheese into the sauce around the eggs.

  6. Transfer skillet to oven and bake uncovered for 12 - 15 minutes or until egg yolks are just set and whites are no longer translucent.

  7. Remove from the oven and serve with toasted bread.

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