15 Best Ramadan Recipes

Algerian Kefta Meatballs
Photo by Rock_Lobster.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and a celebration of the receiving of the first books of the Qu-ran by Muhammed, sometimes referred to as the First Revelation. A month of spiritual reflection is marked by sunrise to sundown fasting, which naturally makes the food of this time deeply meaningful. The pre-dawn meal and the post-fast feasting are celebrations of the myriad cuisines and cultures that are a part of the global celebration of Ramadan. Whether you are yourself observing or just want to explore and learn more, these are some of the Ramadan recipes we really love for this special and important time of year.

01 of 15

Chef John's Pita Bread

Chef John's Pita Bread
Chef John's Pita Bread | Photo by Linda T.

A flatbread is present in almost every culture and being able to make a great homemade version is always a welcome skill. These pita breads are a terrific accompaniment to any Ramadan meal.

02 of 15

Algerian Kefta (Meatballs)

Algerian Kefta Meatballs
Photo by Rock_Lobster.

Ground meat dishes are very common in the cookery of Muslim communities, and these Algerian kefta meatballs are pretty traditional. They can also make for a terrific appetizer to add to your repertoire.

03 of 15

Turkish Red Lentil 'Bride' Soup

Soups and stews, since they can cook with little interference, are very useful to make during the holiday month. This red lentil soup is deeply satisfying, hearty without being heavy, and a good source of protein to boot.

04 of 15

Afghan Beef Raviolis (Mantwo)

Many cultures have their version of a ravioli or stuffed small pasta, and these are always a welcome addition to any fast breaking. This Afghan recipe will both hit your comfort food buttons while bringing in some new exciting flavors!

05 of 15

Green Lentils and Rice Assyrian Style

Any combination of rice with a bean creates a complete protein and can deliver a terrific nutritional one-two punch. This version of a pilaf with green lentils is done in an Assyrian style and makes for a hearty addition to your feast.

06 of 15

Shuk Shuka

The pre-dawn meal during Ramadan is the suhur, and will be the last thing an observant Muslim will eat till after sundown. So these meals are designed to be a balance of protein and carbs to get you through the day. There are all kinds of recipes for shukshuka, but they all involve eggs that are poached in simmering vegetable stews, often heavily spiced, and almost always served with flatbreads for dunking.

07 of 15

Kofta Kebabs

Kofta Kebabs
Photo by moaa.

Kebabs are traditional in many cultures, and often eaten during Ramadan. These spiced ground lamb kebabs might be a new dish for you, but they will quickly become a favorite. If you like gyros, you will love these.

08 of 15

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani
Photo by Lisa Fox.

Biriyanis are very popular all year round, but especially at Ramadan. A long-baked casserole of meat and rice, heady with spices, is a dish that sustains the soul as well as the body. This chicken biriyani is one of our favorites.

09 of 15

Little Lamb Meatballs in a Spicy Eggplant Tomato Sauce

Little lamb meatballs in a spicy eggplant tomato sauce
Photo by Chef John.

Lamb is eaten widely during Ramadan, especially easy to make dishes featuring ground lamb. If you are a meatball fan, we cannot recommend these beauties strongly enough. The spicy eggplant and tomato sauce is the perfect accompaniment.

10 of 15


There is a large Muslim population in Somalia, and one of their traditional dishes is the sambusa, a fried stuffed triangle of pastry with an intensely flavored filling. Cousin to the Indian samosa, it is a wonderful appetizer and a good first bite to break the fast.

11 of 15

Lahmacun Turkish Pizza

Sort of halfway between a pizza and a pita sandwich, the Turkish lahmacun is a dish you might not often get a chance to eat, and is a great way to introduce yourself to some Turkish cookery.

12 of 15

Duck Fesenjan

Duck Fesenjan
Photo by Chef John.

If you are a duck fan, this dish will be a whole new way to enjoy it. And if you are not traditionally a duck fan, this might just be the dish to convert you. Walnuts and pomegranate feature in the rich sauce and provide just the right balance of acid and sweet to enhance the bird.

13 of 15

Easy and Yummiest Kulfi Recipe

There is always room for dessert on the Ramadan feast table, and these ice cream pops are a great meal-ender after the richly spiced dishes that came before.

14 of 15

Kheer (Rice Pudding)

Many of the Muslim communities are from areas with deep rice culture in their foodways. Which means it will appear in both savory and sweet dishes. This rice pudding might just be the dish all grains of rice aspire to.

15 of 15

No Fail Bean Pie

One of the traditional dishes of the American Muslim community is the bean pie. A sweet pie similar to sweet potato or pumpkin, and made of navy beans, it is a dessert that also packs a nutritional punch with loads of protein and fiber in addition to satisfying the sweet tooth. If you have never tried one, it might surprise you.

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