Vegan Shakshuka with Tofu and White Beans

An alternative to traditional shakshuka, this Vegan Shakshuka is made with protein-packed tofu, white beans, and a variety of spices. It makes an easy, wholesome and comforting weekend brunch or breakfast!

When I went vegan, I assumed I would have trouble giving up eggs. Why? Because I used to eat eggs almost every day for breakfast! And shakshuka—eggs poached in a spiced tomato stew with chili peppers, onion, and garlic—was one of my favorites.

Luckily, the human body is a very adaptable thing, and within a week, I had zero cravings for eggs. But I still had the desire to recreate hearty, savory, and flavorful breakfast dishes like shakshuka. Hence this recipe for a plant-based shakshuka using tofu and white beans. Yes, that means double the protein.

I don’t think there’s an easy way to substitute poached eggs, but crumbled tofu does mimic scrambled eggs pretty well. To achieve an “eggy” flavor and mouthfeel, I rely on kala namak, or Indian black salt. It’s a Himalayan rock salt that’s very pungent in flavor. That initial whiff can be really intense and sulfuric (appetizing, I know), but once you blend it into the tofu, the eggy taste is not overwhelming. Oh, also, it’s not actually black in color, so that’s confusing. You can find kala namak at South Asian grocery stores on Amazon, which is where I make 99% of my purchases. If you can’t find, just substitute kosher salt or sea salt. It’ll still taste very delicious.

Vegan Shakshuka with Tofu and White Beans

One of the most important parts of shakshuka is the slow-simmered tomato sauce. The slow simmering process helps build a deep, rich tomato flavor that’s full of umami. I like using fire-roasted tomatoes and a healthy dose of tomato paste for a little extra flavor and richness.

To bring some freshness to this slow-simmered dish, this shakshuka is finished with fresh cilantro and mint. You can serve as is, but to really sop up that delicious tomato sauce, I highly recommend serving alongside some crusty rustic bread.

Vegan Shakshuka with Tofu and White Beans

Vegan Shakshuka with Tofu and White Beans

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 45-50 minutes; Total time: 55-60 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced (optional, omit for a mild version)

  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, or tomato purée

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar

  • ½ tsp kosher salt or sea salt + more to taste

  • Black pepper to taste

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 14-ounce block of firm tofu

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • ½-1 teaspoon kala namak (Indian black salt)*

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)**

  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and dried

  • 2 handfuls of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

  • 1 small handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped (optional)

  • 1 handful of black or green olives (optional)

  • Garnishes: black or green olives, rustic bread

Recipe Notes

*Kala namak gives the tofu an “eggy” flavor. If you don’t have it or don’t want an eggy flavor, just use kosher salt.

**The turmeric lends a nice yellow color to the tofu, making it feel more like “eggs” but is optional.

Directions 

  1. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, and once it is shimmering, add the diced onion and cook for 4-6 minutes or until translucent.

  2. Add the garlic and jalapeño peppers and cook for another minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Then add the diced bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until it’s starting to soften.

  3. Stir in all of the spices (sweet paprika through cayenne pepper) and stir constantly for 30-60 seconds or until the spices have coated the vegetables and it smells very fragrant.

  4. Add the diced tomatoes (or tomato purée), tomato paste, brown sugar or coconut sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, and bay leaves, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the tomato sauce to thicken for 30 minutes, stirring once in a awhile.

  5. Meanwhile, drain the tofu and pat down any excess water. Add the tofu into a food processor bowl and add the nutritional yeast, kala namak (or kosher salt), and turmeric (if using). Pulse the mixture a few times, but do not blend (or it will turn into a creamy purée). The final texture should resemble ricotta cheese. Taste the tofu mixture, and if you desire a more “eggy” taste, add ½ teaspoon more kala namak.

  6. Once the tomato sauce has thickened up, taste it for seasonings. Add more salt or pepper as desired. If the sauce is too tangy, add more brown sugar or coconut sugar. If you’d like the sauce to be spicier, add some crushed red pepper flakes.

  7. Add the crumbled tofu and drained cannellini beans on top of the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and allow them to heat through and absorb the flavors, for 5-8 minutes.

  8. When ready to serve, add in the cilantro and mint (if using) and lightly stir to combine. Garnish with olives, if desired, and serve with a a rustic bread.

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9 comments on Vegan Shakshuka with Tofu and White Beans

  1. Jessi Doshier

    I loooove shakshuka and this was such a fun, delicious version! I loved the vegan eggs; at first i smelled them and they were a little sulfur-y but the taste blended into the dish really nicely. The fresh mint and cilantro were a must! Thanks for this amazing recipe :)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Jessi, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  2. Sally

    Hi Nisha,

    we are looking for something to feed our non-vegan friends for brunch but don’t have a lot of prep time in the morning. Do you think this would be as good if made the night before and just reheated in the morning? Also, I just wanted to mention we have LOVED all of your recipes that we have tried. I can’t wait to make this one too!

    thanks,
    Sally

  3. Grace Gamble

    This was absolutely delicious (as it goes with your page :) ) and such a simple recipe to follow! We were looking for a tasty recipe to use up some tofu on a busy night, and this was perfect! We actually had it for dinner over rice and then today we are eating it with bread for breakfast. Both ways are delicious! It is so well balanced and flavorful and it definitely reminds me of shakshuka. The tofu works well as an egg substitute and has a rich and yummy flavor. I think next time I may pre-bake the tofu a bit to help it keep its form because I love coming across the bigger chunks of tofu as opposed to the crumbles. Thank you as always and we look forward to making again!

  4. Jessica

    This looks incredible, I’m just wondering how many people this is for?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Thanks, Jessica! It serves 4 people :)

  5. Nicola

    omg I have always loved the idea of shakshuka, but I don’t even like eggs (on the train to a more plant based lifestyle, so I still love your recipes). THIS SOLVES ALL MY PROBLEMS! Thank you SO much for creating a version that I will be able to enjoy! Sounds like I will have to make this very soon!!!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Nicola, thank you for stopping by and for your kind words! So happy you’re moving to a plant-based lifestyle and enjoy my recipes :) If you try it out, let me know!

  6. Noelle / Too Precious For Processed

    What a fabulous and flavorful dish. I have never had shakshuka but it sounds incredible! I’m looking forward to trying something new :)

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