Vegan Shakshuka and Personal Cornbread in Cast Iron Skillets

 Recipe & Photos by Kristin Carden, Coffee and Woodsmoke

 The skies have donned the bleak greys of November; the landscape drained of color save for the aspens whose golden leaves flutter and release to the breeze. Otherwise, the world lays quiet, painted in muted shades of taupe, sage, and mauve. Sunrise comes later, near-winter darkness blanketing the early morning hours. The winds have shifted and hold strong a chill; the cottonwoods lining the creek raise fractal fingers to the sky. 

It feels peaceful and calm. This time of year is conducive to slowing down, coming inside, and finding ways to stay cozy. Alongside an endless infusion of hot drinks, I crave foods warming and spicy to nourish body and soul. 


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This shakshuka-and-cornbread combination fits the bill. Think of it as an elevated version of chips and dip, a worthy appetizer before the holiday feasts to come. Shakshuka, a North African dish now popular throughout the Middle East, is traditionally served with eggs as a hearty breakfast. This vegan version omits the eggs and pairs deliciously with cornbread. I hope you enjoy it and wish you a wonderful holiday season!



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How to Make
Vegan Shakshuka

Serving: 4-6 | Prep & Cook Time: 40 min 


Vegan Shakshuka
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small (150 g) yellow onion, peeled & diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, deveined, seeded & diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, deveined, seeded & diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 twenty-eight ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 twenty-nine ounce can (or 2 fifteen ounce cans) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
Optional garnishes: sliced jalapeño, thinly sliced scallions, chopped chives, cilantro
    1. Heat a 10” All-In-One Cast Iron Skillet over medium heat on the stovetop.
    2. Add the olive oil and heat for about 30 seconds.
    3. Add the diced onion to the pan and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
    4. Add the diced red bell pepper and jalapeño pepper and sauté for another 3 minutes.
    5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, then add the chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt and sauté for another minute, until the spices are fragrant.
    6. Add the crushed tomatoes and chickpeas and gently stir to bring everything together.
    7. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
    8. Reduce the heat enough to maintain a strong simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    9. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for another 5 minutes.
    10. Serve alongside cornbread (recipe below).



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    How to Make
    Personal Cornbread

    Serving: 4 | Prep & Cook Time: 45 min 
    Note: as with all gluten-free recipes, it’s best to use weight rather than volume with dry ingredients, as brands measure up differently.


    Personal Cornbread
    • 275 grams gluten-free 1:1 flour (~2 cups)
    • 270 grams gluten-free medium grind cornmeal (~1 2/3 cups)
    • 60 grams brown sugar (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon)
    • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine-grained sea salt
    • 2 1/4 cup buttermilk
    • 4 large eggs
    • Scant 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Softened butter (to grease the pans)
    1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C).
    2. Generously grease the sides and bottoms of four 6” All-In-One Cast Iron Skillets with softened butter. If your pans are not yet well-seasoned or if you want extra protection against sticking, line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free 1:1 flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and olive oil.
    5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.
    6. Divide the batter equally among the four skillets.
    7. Place the skillets onto the middle oven rack and bake for 25-35 minutes, until the tops have just begun to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
    8. Allow the pans to cool until comfortable to the touch.
    9. Serve alongside the shakshuka (recipe above).


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    Kristin Carden currently resides in the indescribably beautiful Big Sky state of Montana. Her blog, coffeeandwoodsmoke, is her creative outlet. It is her inspiration, and allows her to share the things she loves—food, gardening, photography, art, music, yoga, meditation, nature, wildlife, wildflowers (and, of course, coffee and woodsmoke)—with others. Find more of her recipes here.


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