This is a healthy, quick and easy dish to make. The recipe serves six so it is great for batch cooking and freezing the extra portions. Unless of course you are a family of six!

Shakshouka (shakshuka, saksuka, chakhchuokha) is a tomato based dish with varying origins ranging from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and even the Yemen. As a result there are a number of different variations including meat-based dishes, vegetarian versions with eggs and in this case vegan.

Did you know that ground chickpeas have been used as an alternative to coffee since the 18th century? Still today it is commonly used as a caffeine free alternative.  

Chickpeas soaking in a bowl

Chickpeas, also well known by their Spanish name garbanzos are a member of the legume family.  They are packed with nutrients, low in saturated fat and very low in cholesterol and sodium (check salt levels in canned chickpeas). They are a good source of dietary fibre, protein and copper and a very good source of folate and manganese. If you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet chickpeas are a great choice as they provide iron, selenium, and B vitamins.

With a low glycemic index value and low glycemic load, the body absorbs and digests chickpeas slowly. These factors are great as they keep blood sugars and insulin levels from increasing too fast so are a good choice for people suffering with diabetes. Being a good source of dietary fibre, especially soluble fibre they can aid digestion and help lower cholesterol.

Chickpeas, as with many other grains contain anti-nutrients which some people can be sensitive to. Anti-nutrients are compounds that block the absorption of nutrients. They benefit the plant by protecting from bacterial infections and being eaten by insects. There are a number of ways in which we can break down these anti-nutrients; soaking being one of the most popular as many of the anti-nutrients are water soluble. If you find you are sensitive to chickpeas you may wish to try using dried chickpeas and soak them for 12-24 hours, changing out the water several times. 

Pairing this dish with cauliflower rice is a great way to keep calories low but nutrition high as cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need. It adds to the beneficial fibre in this dish and is an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your cells from harmful free radicals and inflammation.

At Jungle Goddess we love rich flavours so we tend to add a little extra spice when making this dish. Feel free to add more cumin or paprika for smokiness, cayenne for heat, coconut sugar for sweetness, cardamom and coriander for earthiness or chilli powder for smoke/heat.


Meal Information:

Meal type: Vegan. Vegetarian.

Experience level: Easy

Budget: £

Nutritional benefit: Low in calories; low GI; low glycemic load: high in dietary fibre; high in vitamins and minerals; high in antioxidants. More nutritional information available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280244

Free from: gluten, grains, refined sugar, dairy, eggs

Intolerance risk: peppers, onion, garlic, tomato, pepper, chili powder, paprika, chickpeas


  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion (½ cup), diced
  • ½ medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 x 400g (1 x 28oz) can chopped tomatoes OR diced tomatoes with salt
  • 3tbs tomato paste
  • 2tbs coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2tsp smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1+ pinch cayenne pepper (to spice up this dish, optional)
  • 1 pinch each cardamom and coriander (optional)
  • 190g (1⅛ cup) dried chickpeas, soaked for min 8hrs and rinsed (change out water several times)
    • alt: 1½ x 400g (15oz) can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 4-5 whole kalamata or green olives (optional) 
    • 1 whole cauliflower, cut into small florets and blitzed in a food processor (or finely chopped)

    To garnish:

    • Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro
    • Lemon wedges 


    • Heat a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant.
    • Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut sugar, sea salt, paprika, cumin, chilli powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (optional), cardamom, and coriander (optional). Stir to combine.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. 
    • Add chickpeas and olives (optional). Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes
    • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (see above)
    • Meanwhile, cook cauliflower in a steamer for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, use a sieve over a large saucepan with lid and 1″ of water in the bottom on a medium heat.
    • Garnish with fresh lemon juice, additional olives, and cilantro or parsley for extra flavour (optional).
    • Portion leftovers and freeze for an easy dinner on a busy day.