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February 24, 2023

Mini Shakshuka with Braised Lamb, Poached Quail Egg & Zhug


Recipe Provided By
Two Purple Figs
Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes

Total Time

30 minutes



Mini Shakshuka with Braised Lamb, Poached Quail Egg & Zhug in small cast iron pans


3 pounds American Lamb shoulder, braised and shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced  

4 fresno peppers, seeded and diced  

2 shallots, minced  

4 garlic cloves, minced 

1/2 cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon sumac

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon aleppo pepper

64 ounces plum tomatoes, canned

kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

50 quail eggs 

1 quart Zhug (recipe follows)


Zhug (makes 1 quart):

2 bunches cilantro

2 bunches parsley

3 jalapeños, seeded and diced  

6 garlic cloves  

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup olive oil

kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste



Heat large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil; sauté bell peppers, Fresno peppers, shallots and garlic until translucent, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, sumac, paprika and Aleppo pepper; cook until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes; break up the tomatoes using a wooden spoon. Cook mixture for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until tomatoes are broken down; season with salt and pepper. Add lamb to the tomato mixture. 

For the Zhug:  In a food processor, pulse cilantro, parsley, jalapeños, garlic, caraway, cardamom and cumin. Slowly add oil until mixture is fully incorporated; season with salt and pepper.

Store in refrigerator. 

To serve: Spoon tomato mixture into mini cast iron skillets. Form wells in the tomato sauce using the bottom of a ladle. Crack quail eggs into the wells. Arrange skillets on sheet trays and bake at 375°F for 5 to 7 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked. Garnish skillets with Zhug and sprinkle with additional Aleppo pepper if desired. 

Recipe and image provided by The American Lamb Board

Chef Tips:

•When baking the mini shakshukas, cover sheet tray with foil to ensure the eggs cook evenly.

•To simplify, purchase and use American Lamb precooked shoulder meat.

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.


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