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11 Smart Iftar Prep Tips For Anyone Cooking Solo

Easy and delicious.

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they nailed iftar when they had to cook for just themselves. Here are their tips and tricks!

1. Make a big batch of falafel, then freeze and reheat.

themediterraneandish.com

I don't live alone, but as the only vegetarian in a meat-eating family, I make my own things. This Ramadan, I made a huge batch of falafels and froze them. For iftar, I put a few in the oven to heat up, make a quick tahini and lemon sauce, and fold it all into a falafel wrap using flatbread, tomatoes, onion and cucumber, hummus. Simple, quick, and filling.

badas

Get the recipe and how-to for these homemade falafel on The Mediterranean Dish.

2. Grab pre-cooked chicken from the freezer aisle and add some quick veggies.

instagram.com

Honestly I just heat up some microwaveable brown rice, cook up fully-cooked frozen grilled chicken, maybe fry a little bit of veggies, add salt, paprika, a few soy sauce packets, and then that's it. Bone app the teeth!

dareenae

Get the "recipe" for this pre-cooked chicken dinner from Mama in the Makin's Instagram.

3. If you can find it, buy pre-made kafta and eat it over rice.

thelebaneseplate.com

Honestly, kafta is my go-to. I buy it ready, throw it in the oven with whatever sauce... sometimes tahina, sometimes tomato, sometimes lemon, and I make rice as a side dish. Easy, fast, and yummy.

englishmajor93

Get the recipe for this Baked Kafta and Veg Stew, plus several other kafta recipes, on The Lebanese Plate. If you can't find kafta to buy near you, you can prep and freeze your own kafta in advance using a recipe from The Mediterranean Dish.

4. Subscribe to a meal-delivery service.

instagram.com

Hello Fresh or any other meal service like it. When I realized on the first day of Ramadan that I had one more meal of my Hello Fresh box for that week left, it made cooking iftar so easy. The meals don't take more than 30 minutes to make so literally 30 minutes before iftar I started cooking. By the time iftar rolled around, I had a healthy, full meal ready!

ishabah

We reviewed what it was like to cook 8 meal delivery kits, if you want to weigh your options.

5. Prep all sorts of fridge and freezer meals in advance.

newleafwellness.biz

Prepare fridge meals! I range from soups to casseroles. You prep the meal and everything, stick it in a plastic baggie, then store it in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge the night before, then wait until half an hour before iftar to heat it up.

—Aya Afify, Facebook

Get the recipe for Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki on New Leaf Wellness, check out 8 Freezer-Friendly Meals for Ramadan on With a Spin, and get tips on how to use your freezer during Ramadan on My Halal Kitchen.

Need more ideas? Check out 21 Healthy and Delicious Freezer Meals With No Meat and 24 Dump Dinners You Can Make in a Crock Pot.

6. Or if you prefer, just prep the ingredients ahead of time.

dessertnowdinnerlater.com

Throughout the week before Ramadan, I basically do a large-scale mise-en-place of any meal *component* that can be frozen — chopping kilos of onions, mixing/rolling dozens of meatballs, prepping spice mixes, boiling eggs, etc.

Then, each morning after suhoor, while I'm at top energy level, I simply have to pull out the ingredients I need to thaw while I'm out and do a quick prep of fresh, non-freezable ingredients, like chopping lettuce. That leaves little to no work at iftar time when I'm at my hungriest and tiredest.

—Liz St, Facebook

Learn more about the best way to freeze vegetables for later on Dessert Now Dinner Later, and get several freezer-to-fridge-to-grill chicken recipes on New Leaf Wellness.

7. Make chicken and rice in a slow cooker, so it's ready when you get home at the end of the day.

simplyrecipes.com

I work in the medical field, so when I'm breaking fast not only am I physically tired but my brain has melted. My go-to is always chicken on the bone and basmati rice thrown in a slow cooker before I leave for work. All I have to grab is a bowl and whatever salad is in the fridge.

melonnac

The Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Casserole from Simply Recipes is a little more complicated than that, but you can skip browning the chicken breasts for a simpler but still delicious meal.

9. Go a little lazy with the sides by buying things that don't require prep.

Getty

Fill out meals by adding sides that don't require any prep or cooking, like marinated olives, lots of in-season fruit (dates and bananas are my go-to powerhouses), bread, cheese, etc.

—Liz St, Facebook

10. Bake chicken breasts and veggies with a simple sauce.

damndelicious.net

Chicken with lots of broccoli and carrots! Mix it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and Italian seasoning. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 450 and bam: Delicious food that's filling.

bann

Pro-tip: chop those broccoli and carrots so they're about the same size, so they cook at the same rate. The One-Pan Honey Garlic Chicken from Damn Delicious uses a similar technique with slightly different ingredients.

11. Then, eat leftovers — and if you can't stand leftovers, repurpose them.

afamilyfeast.com

I prep enough of each cooked dish that it lasts three-ish days and generally eat leftovers for suhoor to limit the time I spend in the kitchen.

—Liz St, Facebook

You could use the leftovers from baked chicken in number 6 to make this 30-Minute Chicken Skillet from A Family Feast, and any other rotisserie chicken or baked chicken recipes.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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