Sweet potato, butternut squash and kale shakshuka


Shakshuka is one of those dishes that’s been having a bit of a moment, and it’s obvious why. Bar the fact that it’s delicious, it’s easy to make and versatile enough to customise nearly every aspect of its ingredients (bar its arguably two most important ingredients–canned tomatoes and eggs) to boot. Did I mention it’s delicious? Because it is.

It’s not a new dish in the slightest, but as part of my own little shakshuka craze (I’ve even written about them before on studentjournals.co.uk), I’ve shared with you a vegetarian version, complete with yummy cubes of butternut squash, sweet potato and shredded cavolo nero (a dark, leafy type of kale).

So, let’s get cracking, eh?

This is such a perfect meal — for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. I even like to slice avocado to layer on top, particularly if I’ve bucked the rules a bit and added chicken to mine.
Serves 2 as a lunch or light dinner. Serves 1 if you’re seriously hungry.

Note: I am not a fan of bell peppers, or any peppers if they’re not of the chilli variety, so feel free to stay more traditional and add one half of a chopped bell pepper when you add the onion.Β 
1 tsp of olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of 5 spice (not Chinese 5 spice, that is!)
a tiny pinch of turmeric (optional)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
150g of cubed sweet potato
150g of cubed butternut squash (I cheated with this and the above, by buying a pre-packaged variety. Otherwise measure up, and peel, then cube as per the weights)
2 large handfuls of cavolo nero, rinsed, stalk removed and shredded into rough pieces
3-4 eggs, depending on how much room you have!
parsley to garnish (optional)
flatbread to serve with (optional, it’s just nice to mop up the tomato sauce with…)

First of all, boil the cubed the squash and sweet potato for about 10 minutes, or until softer, but not to the point that they fall apart into mush.

As the vegetables are cooking, heatΒ up the olive oil in a large pan (you’ll need quite a large pan to fit all this!) and gently fry the onions until a little paler and softer. Add the garlic, and continue to cook for another few minutes. Add the spices, and give it all a good stir to combine.

Add the can of chopped tomatoes, cover and turn down the pan to a simmer for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on it though so it doesn’t get too dry and burn — add a little water and give it a stir when necessary).

Drain the squash and sweet potatoes, as well as the kale, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or so, covered. Finally, make little divots in the sauce, and crack in your eggs. Cover again, and let them cook for another two minutes or so on medium heat, by which point the whites should have set but the yolks should still be runny. If you prefer them less runny, cook for a little longer.

At the last minute, grill up a flatbread over a toaster, or on a grill, for a minute or so if using, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.


8 thoughts on “Sweet potato, butternut squash and kale shakshuka

  1. Jo Brudenell

    I love shakshuka in all its permutations and will be trying your version with seasonal veg! Shakshuka is such a versatile dish – and it’s easy, cheap and looks impressive.

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  3. Melissa


    We currently have a glut of butternut squash, sweet potatoes, kale and — can you believe it — even eggs! (Co-worker of my husband has chickens and we’ve overstocked!) Anyway…

    I was going to make this for dinner tonight, but cannot figure out what “5 spice” you have used! (I can only find recipes for the Chinese kind.) πŸ˜•


    Many thanks –

    Melissa, from just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

    1. Emma S.

      Hello! That all sounds lovely πŸ™‚ To help answer your question, the five spice I’m referring to is also called mixed spice over here in the UK (and Europe in general I believe) — it’s a mix of ground cinnamon, ground coriander seed, ground nutmeg, ground clove, ground pimento & ground ginger.

      If you don’t have mixed spice in the US (since I’m not entirely sure if that’s a thing over in the States), you could mix some of these spices together by the teaspoon each, and then just take the quantity needed for the recipe. Wikipedia also has some suggestions on what other spices may be in a mixed spice, if you search for that. I will also edit the recipe to add a bit more info, since I didn’t think to consider that plain five spice (or mixed spice) isn’t available worldwide!

      I hope that I managed to get back to you in time, and that your dinner ends up delicious! πŸ˜€

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