Stocking your freezer before Ramadan is like a gift to yourself everyday of the month of fasting. In my mind there are two main reasons to stock up your freezer before Ramadan. It makes life easier, of course, and it also keeps you from falling into bad habits when you are at your weakest.
The way I select my freezer recipes for Ramadan is two-fold. I stock up on our holiday favorites, and I also throw in a few exciting, unexpected things for those nights when we just can’t eat another briouat, samosa, whatever your favorite fried treat is. Here are some great Ramadan freezer recipes perfect to make ahead and keep the family happy all month long.
The flavors of chicken shwarma without the need of a roasting spit. This is a family favorite at our house. You can either toss everything raw into a bag and cook it in your slow cooker when you're ready OR make it in advance and freeze it. Thaw when you want to eat.
Fresh baked bread, dinner rolls, pizza, and the like are heavenly after a day of fasting. Too tired to run out for some, no problem. Knead up some versatile dough that you can use to make any of these things. You have your meat filling to sprinkle on top for pizza or roll up inside the dough and slice into pinwheels for impressive treats.
Not just one, but maybe three or four roasted chickens will serve your family well this month. Let the chickens cool, then clean the meat off. shred, cubed or cut into strips to freeze and make fillings, salads, mini-sandwiches, pizza topping, quickie casseroles - you get the idea. And of course, you can make some great stock with the carcasses.
You’ve got all those chicken bones to make stock with, take it a step further and gravy in your freezer will be a great treat. Use it on hot sandwiches, in a shepherds or pot pie, make faux eggs benedict. Check out these ideas to creatively use gravy, adding richness to your iftar table. And here’s a recipe for make-ahead gravy.
Sweets will be plentiful all month long. So again, keeping with the idea of a healthy gift to my future self, I like to get some whole-grain, protein-rich cookies or bars packed into the back of the freezer. These will be so appreciated towards the end of the month. Here are oatmeal based breakfast cookies made 6 ways. Perfect to breakfast with.
A very basic filling made with ground meat, onions, garlic, and celery can be used throughout the month. Season accordingly and use it in tacos, sandwiches, on top of pizza, in a quickie sauce, in savory pastries, omelets, Frito or Shepard's pie, and so on. You can even omit the cilantro from this recipe in case later on you want to season it in other ways.
Shredded beef is so flavorful, tasting like it took hours to cook because it does! Using a slow cooker makes this an easy dish to cook on the side while doing other recipes. Shredded beef can be used in tacos, sandwiches, on top of pizza or nachos, in rich pasta sauce and dozens of other ways.
Strips of chicken breast, chunks or cut up, whichever you use it’s going to be delicious having soaked up the marinade as it froze and then defrosted. Marinated chicken for baked/fried chicken nuggets is extra yum. Make an extra bit to freeze on it’s own and use for oven-roasted vegetables. Here are 16 different marinades to choose from.
Getting enough vegetables in during Ramadan can be a real challenge with everyone wanting rich, yummy foods at the end of the fasting day. Making a variety of vegetable-based shell fillings, stuffing and freezing them ahead is going to make you feel great when you put a dish that is both delicious and full of veggies on the table. This cremini and shard recipe is especially good, but this trick can work with a variety of veggie fillings, try swapping out the shard for broccoli or zucchini for variety.