8 Delicious Meals You Can Whip Up For Iftar In 30 Minutes Or Less


Atiqah Mokhtar •  May 06, 2020

Do you want to cook your meal for iftar but are pressed for time? Quick recipes are here to save the day!  We've rounded up a list of easy recipes that will have you with a hot meal ready in 30 minutes or less, so you'll be ready for buka puasa without breaking a sweat.

Credit: Giphy

Make sure to have these recipes on rotation for your daily iftar meals!

1. Fried rice

It makes sense to start with a classic quick dish, fried rice! Fried rice really is a dish that can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be, so it's perfect for tailoring it to the amount of time you have. All you need to have on-hand to make it is cooked rice - it's best to have pre-cooked rice that's cooled ahead of time rather than cooking your rice on the spot, in order to save time and have fried rice that's not sticky. A quick tip is to cook extra rice whenever you're making a batch in the rice-cooker, cool and stored it in a container in the fridge (or the freezer for longer!). If you don't have rice already cooked, take some time earlier in the day to cook the rice and cool it in your fridge so you won't have to wait for it to cook.

In terms of flavouring your fried rice, it can be something as easy and quick as using some soy sauce, sesame oil and eggs, or you can go the Nasi Goreng Kampung route with dried anchovies. For some Indonesian flair, use kicap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) and shrimp paste, or go the Korean route with some kimchi. Fried rice is a really forgiving dish and a great way to use up any protein or veggies you have lying around in your fridge to make a meal.

2. One-pan pasta

Have you heard of one-pan pasta? This is a method of cooking where everything you need to make a pasta dish is simply dumped into a pot at the same time (including the dry pasta!). It saves a lot of time as you don't have to boil the pasta separately, while also saving on the number of pots to wash too ? You'll need to stir the pasta as it cooks, but you'll have it ready to eat in no time. Apparently this method of cooking was pioneered by Marta Stewart a few years back, but now you'll find many variations from other people who have further perfected the recipe. Try this one from Feel Good Foodie or watch a video of Donald Skehan making it.

3. Chicken fajitas

Chicken fajitas are a great weeknight dinner to make because technically, you only need to cook one component (the chicken filling), while the rest is just a matter of assembly. Get store-bought tortillas or wraps, salsa, and any other sides you'd like (e.g. chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, etc.). When you're ready to cook, the chicken just needs to be sauteed along with some chopped peppers, seasoned with spices like cumin as well as lime juice. Then you're ready for fajitas!

For an easy recipe on how to make the chicken filling, check out this recipe by Downshiftology. If you can't be bother to dice up chicken, use minced beef instead and make taco filling! You can make taco filling from scratch as it's pretty easy and relatively quick (it needs to simmer for about 20 minutes - you can use that time to prep your other ingredients!), or for a quicker shortcut just get a readymade taco seasoning packet at the supermarket.

4. Maggi goreng

Having Maggi goreng cravings? Make your own at home for iftar! It's actually super quick to whip up, plus the advantage of making it yourself is that you know exactly what ingredients are going in, can adjust to your preferences and add any other protein or veggies that you like! For a basic recipe, check out this one by New Malaysian Kitchen or this one by Maggi! Remember, you can add pretty much any veggie or meat suited for stir-frying  (e.g. cabbage, scallions, mustard greens, fishcake, sausages, prawns, chicken, etc.), so do a quick rummage in your fridge and see what you have!

5. Thai red or green curry

Iftar with a hot steaming bowl of Thai curry and some rice? Sounds pretty good to us! And whether you prefer red curry or green curry, you can get both on the table in 30 minutes, with the help of ready-made curry pastes that are easily available at the supermarket (you can find it in packets or jars in the condiments and seasonings section, or you can also find fresh pastes sold in the refrigerated section). And much like many of the other dishes in this list, curries are a great quick meal as you can really chuck anything you have in your fridge into it in terms of protein and veggies, so it's easy to make a full meal that has all the components you need. It's worth mentioning that fresh kaffir lime leaves are usually an essential ingredient to give the curry that one-of-a-kind fragrance and flavour, so do try and get your hands on some if you can!

For recipes, you can try following this one by Nagi on Recipetineats for red curry and this one from Hot Thai Kitchen for green curry.

6. Quick pizza

Sometimes, you just want pizza. But if you don't want to order in, whip up your own pizza at home instead! There are quick dough recipes that you can use to make your pizza dough from scratch quite easily, but if you're super pressed for time, you can just use ready-made pita or naan bread that you can find at the supermarket (like the kind sold by brands like Mission). Then all you need to do is spread with a bit of tomato sauce from a can or jar (or barbecue sauce works too!), add your toppings of choice, add shredded mozzarella over the top, and bake in a hot oven (about 200 degrees) for around 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Then tuck in!

7. Chinese Noodle soup

Have a comforting bowl of Chinese-style soup and noodles for iftar! Using a few pantry staples, make a quick and flavourful broth that you can then add cooked chicken or beef, fishballs, fishcakes, prawns, any kind of veggie, and your noodles of choice. Check out this recipe by Nagi so you can see how quick it is to pull together - use apple juice + rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar per her suggestion to replace the Chinese cooking wine!

8. Creamy garlic pasta

Creamy. Garlicky. Pasta. You can't go wrong with that ?And it's actually pretty easy to cook this up for iftar in less than half an hour! While this pasta recipe is pretty conventional compared to the one-pot pasta (i.e. the pasta is cooked separately from the sauce), this creamy sauce is super quick to whip up. Ingredients like heavy cream and parmesan cheese make it a deliciously indulgent meal despite the fast cooking process.

To make the pasta, check out this recipe by Natasha on Salt & Lavender. It uses chicken stock and garlic to give it delicious savouriness, in addition to the cream and parmesan. Feel free to add additional ingredients like cooked chicken, sausages or sauteed shrimp to jazz it up!

There are many quick and easy meals that you can whip up for iftar, even if you only have half an hour to spare! So even if you're pressed for time, you'll be able to have home-cooked food for iftar ?Happy cooking!