Shakshuka on a Budget


This is the second post in our new series; Healthy Eating on a Budget. Your enthusiasm and encouragement in the first one overwhelmed us. It seems like we are not the only ones thinking about how to eat healthy without burning a hole in the wallet. You also shared so many great budget-tips of your own in the comment section. We hadn’t planned it at first, but we have compiled a new list with all our favorites here. You guys are so resourceful. What a list!

Healthy Eating on a Budget – Part 2 (Click here for part 1).

  • Weekly meal-planning and lunchboxes are my best budget tips! –Maria Calpén
  • My best advice for decently priced, healthy food is to join a CSA and then prep and freeze the excess produce. And if you’re a college student, or really on a budget, split the subscription with another friend or house. Heather
  • What I do twice a year is to empty my cupboards. I always have a bit of this a bit of that, products that I bought for a special recipe but didn’t need to use everything. It helps me throw away less products. –Elsa
  • I like to go to the farmer’s market right before it closes. I can usually get some good deals on fruits and vegetables and then bring them home and either freeze them or cook up batches of things to go in the freezer. –Alice
  • Whenever possible, walk or ride your bike to market. Riding your bike forces you to be more mindful about what you are purchasing since you have limited space to carry things and you may make healthier choices. –Nicole
  • Great tips on freezing/storing beans is on Naturally Ella! –Bell
  • I sometimes buy my veggies at this kind of farmers cooperative, where they sell the vegetables that don’t quite fit the required sizes or standards to be sold at a supermarket. They are local, just as good and half price!  –Sil
  • Local farmers’ markets and ethnic stores are worth visiting too. You can often buy fresh and dry produce for less than what you’d pay at the super market. Medha
  • My first tip would be to take time to make a “market inquiry”, because prices change a lot between shops or products. Then we have to make like the bees, take a little of everything in the different places (it is easy in a short area). Nina
  • Health food stores can be really costly, Asian and international food markets can have bigger and cheaper bags of beans, quinoa ect. Natalie
  • My favourite way of saving money is making things on my own eg. plant milks, nut butters and even bread and ordering some things on the Internet like coconut oil. Usually it’s a little cheaper. Aleksandra
  • One advice is to purée leftovers. The other day I had some lentils, not enough for a meal, I pureed them with some cooked potatoes and offered it with a veggie-burger and salad. You can also purée sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, beans and so on.  Gabriele
  • In addition to the ideas already mentioned, we save on storage containers by re-using glass jars to store beans, pastes, snacks and drinks, etc. Erin
  • My tip is that I make jam as I think it tastes better and often is much cheaper that even basic bought jam. I made plum and amontilado jam last weekend (sounds odd adding sherry to plum jam but it is sublime) and I couldn’t get organic plums so I used the supermarket basic ones and it made very good jam and despite not being organic a lot better than all the additives in commercial jam! Lorna
  • When you think you need to go grocery shopping, wait it out a day or two. I usually can make 1-2 pretty darn good pantry meals even after thinking “I’m out of everything”. Tammy
  • My tip would be to try to grow at least some of your veg and fruit wherever possible. Even in an appartment, you can grow some herbs and these are both easy to grow and expensive to buy. If you can’t invest money in eating healthier, maybe you can invest time? In this post I highlighted some vegetables that are especially profitable to grow yourself Vera

We have a few exciting ideas on how we to develop this theme in the future. So stay tuned. Now, let’s get cooking!


This recipe is a real darling of ours. We bet some of you have heard of Shakshuka before, but if you haven’t, you are in for a treat. Eggs are slowly cooked in a cumin flavored tomato sauce and it all becomes a sweet, spicy and protein packed one-pot-dinner that you eat with a piece of rye on the side. It’s a great and simple budget recipe that easily takes care of any leftover vegetables you might have lying around. All you need are a few very basic ingredients; onion, garlic, clove, basil, chili, 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes and eggs. If you got that, you are good to go. Now if you can find some fresh kale, fresh spinach (or frozen), bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, cauliflower or any other type of vegetable, they can be added as well. Be inventive. Try new variations. If you would happen to find a pinch of saffron in your budget pantry (mmm likely), it takes the tomato sauce to another dimension. Sometimes we also do a greener Shakshuka, where we replace canned tomatoes for fresh and use more kale and fresh herbs.

This recipe is also featured on WWF. They asked us to share a week of vegetarian recipes in support of Earth Hour. You can find the rest of the recipes here (in Swedish).


Shakshuka on a Budget
Serves 2 very hungry persons or 4 normal servings

2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin

½ chili, or more to taste
2 cups / 60 g kale (about 2 large leaves without stems) or spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 large handful fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
2 x 400 g (14 oz) cans whole plum tomatoes
4-6 free-range eggs, depending on how many that can fit in your skillet

Finely chop onion, garlic and bell pepper. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat, add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, cumin and paprika and cook for another couple of minutes. Meanwhile place kale and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and process until you reach the consistency of a finely chopped tomato sauce. Pour the tomato sauce mixture in the skillet and let cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Make small divots in the sauce for the eggs and carefully crack the eggs into them. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 5 more minutes, until the egg whites have set. Serve with a few leaves fresh basil and whole grain brown bread or pita.

PS! Our first book is now also available in Dutch. Look for it in book stores all over the Netherlands or order it here!


  • Ebby's mama
    it would be closer to tradition to press the tomatoes with the back of a spoon while cooking to create your sauce. it also decreases any chance if bitterness. and if course we don't use canned tomatoes but I guess if you're in a pinch you could sub.
  • Wow, how I love Shakshuka! This looks easy enough to whip up tomorrow morning. Thanks so much for sharing (and yes it is budget friendly! Now I can finally cook it myself and not go to the lovely bistro in town and pay easily three times as much as it costs me to make at home).
  • Your idea of pureeing the kale and tomatoes together, I am going to borrow every time I make tomato sauce for any dish.Thank you! To add to the list you have to put together, I keep aside a small piece of each vegetable I use each day, and at the end of the week make a dish with all the 'kept aside' vegetables together; saves one day's worth vegetables. In summer we grow as many vegetables as we can(in our tiny backyard & pots) and exchange them with another friend (for no cost) And funny it might sound.... do my groceries just after eating which helps me buy less as I am a kind of saturated with food at that time:) Prefer buying from the bulk section of the grocery store where we don't pay for the additional packaging. Have a membership with which helps me find some of stuff at a much lower price and with the membership, shipping is free! Your blog is such an inspiring place to visit!
  • This looks fantastic. I'll have to try it soon. And I'm loving this budget healthy eating series. I actually became a vegetarian because I'm super uncomfortable with factory farming and I couldn't afford meat that wasn't factory farmed. I have two interrelated budget tips: one, buy beans and lentils and grains in bulk. They're much cheaper that way. Two, save old vegetable scraps, like the ends of carrots and parsley stems, in the freezer, and when you're cooking dried beans add in the scraps. It's super cost efficient and healthy but it tastes like heaven.
  • Nathalie
    HEEEY! After following the blog for months now, cooking your recipes from the two apps, i finally have bought the book here in the bookstore in BELGIUM!!! I love everything you do! I love your recipes, your lifestyle, the way you 2 learn Elsa about healthy cooking and healthy eating, and so much more! Keep up the good work! And I spread the Green Kitchen Love here in BELGIUM! :) Thank you so much David, Luise & Elsa!
  • Sarah
    You guys are great! I make Shakshuka about once a week, using a stripped-down version of the Ottolenghi recipe. While I love Ottolenghi, your take on Shakshuka is easier, cleaner and the picture looks just as awesome. Thank you!
  • I'm totally in love with this new series and can't wait for more posts! ANd thanks for listing up all those great tips. What a community! Shakshuka is a stunner meal especially when styled so beautifully as yours. Now, all I want for weekend is Shakshuka. Hope you three have a great weekend, Sini
  • This is one of my favourite ways to cook and eat eggs, so simple and fulfilling. Lovely to see your tips on making it budget friendly; planning is always the key and i akwAys use tinned tomatoes for this recipe x
  • I love that this dish is great for any meal of the day. although it is a traditional breakfast recipe, with a side salad it works perfectly fine for lunch or dinner too! plus the name "shakshuka" makes it sound oh soooo fancy ;)
  • Wow, I love the idea of cooking eggs directly in the dish. You could probably do this with many soups to add protein instead of using meat... Looks delicious!
  • I am so excited about this series, because not only is it practical and conscientious, it is also a great way to focus on the simplicity of food as a reminder that it doesn't take much to make something delicious when starting with quality whole, fresh, seasonal ingredients. I love Shakshuka and can't wait to try this version!
  • Så bra tips! Och receptet ser supermums ut! Skall definitivt testas! =)
  • I haven't made it before's now looking like tonight's dinner!
  • I LOVE shakshuka and I agree that it's the perfect budget food. Anything with eggs, really. yum!
  • Beautiful! Considering how much I like shakshuka it's crazy that I haven't ever made it for myself. It's just what I need right now to cure the February blues. Thanks for the reminder! What kind of chili do you use?
  • What a fantastic one pot meal, I have made a similar Mexican meal called huevos rancheros with eggs cooked in a tomato and bean sauce. Loving your eating healthy on a budget series !
  • Barbara
    Shakshuka is North African, NOT Israeli.
  • Erin
    I haven't made shakshuka before but I've resolved to after reading this post! My chooks are a bit slow with their eggs at the moment so I'm thinking I could even do a vegan version with chickpeas instead of the eggs.
  • Shakshuka is one of my favourite easy meals! I drizzle a bit of toasted sesame oil over it for an unexpected flavor hit, it's amazing :) My tip would be to K.I.S.S. - keep it simple, stupid (sexy, or whatever you want that last 's' to be). Stir-fried leafy greens such as kale, spinach or lettuce + a stir fried protein is my go-to meal for a cheap, flavorful and super quick dinner on week nights.
  • Thank you for sharing this! I live in a city and just started working and sometimes it's hard to get what I want when it's too expensive. I agree with Vera on growing some of your own things. Though I don't have the space for vegetables and fruit, growing herbs looks good, smells great, and is so incredibly easy! And I'm a big lover of shakshuka :)
  • Christine
    I'm making some version of this recipe now but it was hard to quantities for paprika or water, tells you to add the paprika twice, and never says when to add the pepper. (Sorry to be such a Debbie downer but I thought you'd like to know). Beautiful photographs!
    • Hi Christine! Oh dear, that was a poorly written recipe, sorry for that. It's all fixed know (I hope). Hope you like it and thanks for letting us know! /David
  • Elien
    I love this series already! It's something I feel is kinda odd that you often pay more if you want to eat healthy, it should be the other way around. It is nice to see I am not the only one who uses used jars, grows herbs, makes own nutmilks etc :). Keep it comin' ! And Oh My Gosh in Dutch!! What a wonderful surprise. Is it also available in Belgium (or planning to be)?
    • Hi Elien, I think the Dutch edition is also available in Belgium. If you can't fint it in a bookstore, I know that you can order it to Belgium through
    • Nathalie
      Elien, You can buy the book in Belgium in 'de Standaard Boekhandel'. :) ENJOY!
      • Elien
        Thank you for your responses :) ! Now I can start saving my money for the book ;). Made this shakshuka last weekend. Easy and delicious!
  • What a cool idea to gather all those tips from the healthy eating community! And this variation on the shakshuka looks lovely, it sure is mighty colourful!
  • I've never had shakshuka before, but baked eggs in tomato sauce is always a winner. With some crusty bread, mmm! Thanks for the budget friendly recipe!
  • Mrs G
    2 cans / xxx ml whole peeled tomatoes I guess you mean 400 ml?
    • Oops! Yes, 2 x 400g/400ml/14oz cans whole tomatoes. Thanks for letting us know! /David
  • Emily
    Great tips, again! I have never heard of Shakshuka before but it sure looks delicious! Thank you!
  • This looks absolutely divine! I stumbled upon shakshuka a few years ago and have yet to find a better, heartier brunch food. The fact that it's cheap and the ingredients are ones I usually have lying around are a bonus! Love the blog -- keep up the gorgeous work! (p.s. just a teeeeeny note: I think you meant to replace the 'xxx' ml in the tomato part of the ingredients with a real amount. Happens to me on my blog all the time!)
  • Abby
    I just made shakshuka on spaghetti for dinner yesterday. Delicious!
  • Oh this looks so colourful and absolutely tasty! I love how you have collected all these wonderful tips for all of us health freaks on budgets out here! My and my boyfriend rarely throws anything away since it makes both of us sad to waste food. But one thing I have been struggling with is to use up foods as fresh chilli, fresh ginger and fresh herbs, and since we prefer the fresh versions of these I often end up buying new fresh portions and throwing the sad looking leftovers. But I have discovered that all of these are amazing to freeze. It provides you with new possibilities. Both chilli and ginger can be grated directly from the freezer and into dishes or as garnish on meals or even desserts (imagine chocolate cups with a sprinkle of fresh finely grated chilli) - and since frozen herbs lose their crunch, they will be perfect for pesto fusions or to use in stews to add lots of flavour!
  • Divine!! I love one pan comforting meals :)

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