26 Best Ramadan Recipes

Ramadan, which takes place throughout the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time of fasting, charity, and reflection. Rather than beginning on a particular date, the sighting of a crescent moon signals the start of this holy holiday.

The most visible, outward manifestation of Ramadan is fasting from sunrise to sunset. It is a must for all Muslims, but there are some exceptions, like people who might be sick or traveling, the elderly, and women who are pregnant or menstruating.

Because the fast begins at dawn, those who practice Ramadan usually begin their day with suhoor (also spelled suhur), the pre-fast meal. The meal can be made up of proteins like cheese, beans, or eggs, as well as carbs — but the key is to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

To end the daily fast, Muslims consume iftar, which happens at sunset. This usually begins by eating a few dates and then transitions into dinner. And while there are no required meals for iftar and suhoor — they all need to be made with ingredients that are certified Halal, or food that has been slaughtered or processed in accordance with Islamic Shariah Law. 

1. Hearty Black Bean Burger

If you're craving a light, but satisfying burger as you are coming out of your fast, these bean burgers could be just the ticket. They are packed with savory, smoky, and spicy flavors thanks to soy sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, and aromatics like garlic and onion. This satisfying meal is vegetarian but not vegan because an egg binds the patty.

Recipe: Hearty Black Bean Burger

2. Roasted Lemon Chicken

Dark chicken meat might not be everyone's first choice, but we think you'll change your mind when you catch a whiff of this delectable roast chicken dish that has been jazzed up with generous helpings of lemon juice and zest, garlic, and thyme. The chicken can be marinated for up to 12 hours before it cooks, giving you flavorful and tender pieces of meat. 

Recipe: Roasted Lemon Chicken

3. Creamy Hummus

Buying hummus might sound easy and worry-free, but we think once you see how easy it is to make, commercial hummus will become a thing of the past. This fully vegan dish can be served as an appetizer or part of a main meal and can be prepared in five minutes. Recipe developer Catherine Brookes recommends you stick with the recipe and make no substitutions because any swaps will change the flavor of this beloved dish.

Recipe: Creamy Hummus

4. Lentil Soup

Few meals are as satisfying as a hearty bowl of lentil soup. Ours is spiced with a combination of parsley, lemon zest, and tarragon — which has a floral, licorice taste. Because lentils are full of fiber and protein, they are an easy way to get your nutrients after a day of fasting. To make this dish vegan, you can easily swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

Recipe: Lentil Soup

5. Lamb Burger

Lamb and beef might share similar textures, but this burger's flavor is supercharged thanks to the lamb's gaminess, which is offset by fresh mint. Dijon mustard, lemon juice, paprika, and fresh dill amp up the complexity even more, adding spicy, tart, and smoky flavors to the mix. The patties are made with ground lamb shoulder, which is especially welcomed during this season because it's one of the prophet Muhammad's preferred cuts. 

Recipe: Lamb Burger

6. Sweet and Sticky Baklava

Honey is said to be the prophet Muhammad's favorite sweetener, making this dessert a particularly appropriate choice for breaking your Ramadan fast. Sheets of crisp phyllo dough are filled with toasted walnuts and pecans that have been perfumed with pumpkin pie spice. The pastry is then pre-cut before it is baked. The dessert might look difficult to pull off, but it is actually quite easy to put together. 

Recipe: Sweet and Sticky Baklava

7. Instant Pot Fish Stew

A hint of anise from fresh fennel accents the Alaskan cod in this dish, while green olives add a distinctive flavor that is both briny and tart. Using an Instant Pot means you can get a meal from prep to table in less than an hour, which is perfect for when you want dinner on the table quickly after breaking your fast. Serve with a slice of lemon for an extra tangy touch.

Recipe: Instant Pot Fish Stew

8. Herby Tabouli

If you're not in the mood to break your fast with something substantial, we recommend this light herby salad made with bulgur, parsley, tomato, and cucumber. This mix of greens has piquant undertones, thanks to a lemon juice and olive oil dressing spiced with mint, garlic, salt, and pepper. This nutritious salad works well on its own or as a satisfying accompaniment to main dishes.

Recipe: Herby Tabouli

9. Mushroom and Barley Soup

You can always count on soups to be both nourishing and comforting and this mushroom and barley soup is no different. It comes packed with plenty of umami, thanks to the presence of up to five different types of mushrooms, including porcinis, shiitakes, maitakes, oysters, and beech. Take the time to caramelize your mushrooms, because the flavor you get at the end is worth the effort. Barley makes the soup a bit heartier, but overall it's a light, yet satisfying meal.

Recipe: Mushroom and Barley Soup

10. Spiced Lentils

Eating lentils is a great way to begin or end your Ramadan fast because they are rich in fiber and protein. Here, they are cooked in a vegetable broth flavored with a rich selection of spices including cumin, garam masala, smoked paprika, turmeric, black pepper, and ginger, delivering a dish rich with Indian-inspired undertones. It's important to keep an eye on the cooking time because lentils go from almost done to overcooked fairly quickly. 

Recipe: Spiced Lentils

11. Veggie-Packed Japanese Curry

They may have the same name, but there are few similarities between Japanese and Indian curries. Japanese curries use curry powder and no other spices, while Indian curries are loaded with flavorful blends that include cumin, turmeric, garam masala, and coriander seed. This mild Japanese curry is on the sweet side, thanks to the addition of grated apple, and comes packed with potatoes, mushrooms, and edamame for a satisfying post-fasting meal.

Recipe: Veggie-Packed Japanese Curry

12. Mint And Melon Fruit Salad

Coming out of a fast might mean you aren't ready to gorge on a huge meal. As such, this light mint and melon fruit salad could be the perfect way to begin an evening. This sweet, juicy salad is made with three varieties of melon: watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe, as well as blueberries, tossed in a simple dressing of maple syrup and lemon juice. This delightful mix also works well as a topping for any frozen treat.

Recipe: Mint And Melon Fruit Salad

13. Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

These grilled chicken thighs are marinated in lemon juice, oregano, parsley, garlic, and paprika, giving them a summery flavor. They can be served with salad, a side of potatoes, or in a wrap. The chicken is ready for the grill after 30 minutes in the marinade, but if you have extra time, you can let it sit in the fridge to absorb the flavors for up to 24 hours.

Recipe: Mediterranean Grilled Chicken

14. Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Cinnamon, cloves, and cumin form the flavor backbone of this tasty tomato-based chickpea stew. The dish is quick and easy, coming together in just over half an hour. If you want to bring in an additional flavor, you can't go wrong with a drizzle of tahini dressing; and if you're not a fan of chickpeas, they can be replaced with black beans. This satisfying stew can be enjoyed with naan, quinoa, or couscous as a healthier option.

Recipe: Moroccan Chickpea Stew

15. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

One way to add a flavorful protein to your post-fast meal is to incorporate quinoa, which is both nutritious and delicious. The grain is cooked with onion, garlic, cumin, and smoked paprika for a flavor boost. Expect this dish to be quite tangy, thanks to the presence of tomato and lime, but you can round out the flavors with a dollop of guacamole or sour cream.

Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

16. Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks

Of all the cooking methods out there, braising is the fastest way to tenderize meat, ensuring you have a fall-off-the-bone meal to serve post-fast. Here, lamb shank is cooked low and slow for three hours in red wine, which is made richer with a mix of vegetables, herbs, and aromatics. Because this is cooked on a stovetop, you'll need to keep an eye on it and add more liquid to the pot if needed. 

Recipe: Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks

17. Instant Pot Chana Masala

Any time is a good time for a rich, Indian-inspired vegetarian stew. This chana masala is flavored with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, garam masala, turmeric, as well as three different types of peppers. The dish comes together in the Instant Pot, ensuring that you have a hot, healthy, satisfying meal in under twenty minutes. It can be enjoyed with a side of naan, pita, or white rice after you break your fast, or as a substantial pre-fast meal if you prefer.

Recipe: Instant Pot Chana Masala

18. Moroccan Couscous

In this unique Moroccan salad, couscous gets dressed up with a mix of fresh vegetables that includes red bell peppers, red onions, and chickpeas. Generous helpings of fresh mint and dried apricot add a fresh and sweet dimension to the salad's flavor profile. This dish works well as an entree if you're looking for a light meal, or as a side if you are in need of a more substantial protein.

Recipe: Moroccan Couscous

19. Grilled Chicken Recipe With Tahini

This recipe proves that tahini is a versatile ingredient that has plenty of uses outside of hummus. To amp up the flavor, a spice mix that includes cumin and paprika is mixed into a tahini-based mixture before it is slathered onto the chicken to marinate for an hour. The chicken is best cooked on a grill and should be ready to eat in half an hour.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Recipe With Tahini

20. Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

Everyday ingredients like carrots, celery, and pearl barley become extraordinary when they are cooked up in this simple yet mouthwatering soup. Because the vegetables in the soup are diced and not blended, expect a range of textures. The recipe makes use of chuck steak, which has been known to become more tender the longer it cooks.

Recipe: Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

21. Instant Pot Hummus

What would happen if you decided you wanted to make hummus using dried chickpeas? If you have an Instant Pot, here's your chance to find out. Dried chickpeas are given a 40 minute turn in this versatile cooker before they're blitzed with olive oil and spices. And if you ask: Why bother to cook with dried chickpeas when using canned ones is quicker? Dried chickpeas are not only cheaper, they don't sit in a bath of preservatives, waiting to be used.

Recipe: Instant Pot Hummus

22. Quinoa Fruit Salad

You might find it difficult to imagine having quinoa with fruit, but the combination works, particularly if you are looking for a light, yet satisfying nibble. This ancient grain is cooked up with a bit of coconut oil before it is tossed in a salad mix of strawberries, mango, and blueberries, all sweetened up with an extra bit of honey. If you're worried about textures, this is one dish you won't want to make ahead, because you'll lose the crunch.

Recipe: Quinoa Fruit Salad

23. Red Lentil Soup With Lemon

This red lentil soup comes packed with a warm, peppery flavor thanks to the presence of paprika and cumin. The pulses should be firm to the bite, but not gritty, nor should they be too soft. Unlike other types of legumes, red lentils don't need much cooking time, so it's important to keep an eye on them so they don't go mushy. This meal is easy to prep and is ready to eat in under half an hour. 

Recipe: Red Lentil Soup With Lemon

24. Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

In this recipe, mouthwatering chicken thighs are given a good soak in a yogurt marinade flavored with coriander, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and garlic before they are skewered with peppers and onion wedges and cooked on the grill. Serve these delectable sticks on pita or a large flatbread, turning the barbecued chicken nibbles into Middle Eastern-flavored sandwiches.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

25. Vegetarian Moussaka

Creating a layered casserole may be easy, but that doesn't mean making one doesn't require plenty of work. That would be the case with this vegetarian take on a classic Greek dish, which makes use of eggplant and potato layers instead of noodles. Instead of meat, this dish uses lentils, which make for a healthy, filling substitution. Patience is required — this dish takes about three hours to prep and cook, but in this case, your efforts will be richly rewarded.

Recipe: Vegetarian Moussaka

26. Grilled Salmon With Fig Mustard & Lentils

You might be tempted to look at this and consider it as just another salmon recipe, but we'd beg to differ, thanks to the presence of visually arresting beluga lentils and Black Mission figs. The lentils stand out thanks to their remarkable resemblance to the caviar, while Black Mission figs work with savory ingredients to add a smoky dimension to whatever it is they are served with.

Recipe: Grilled Salmon With Fig Mustard & Lentils