These Time-Intensive Recipes Take a Whole Day (or Weekend!) to Make

Food clock. Healthy food concept on wooden table


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Food clock. Healthy food concept on wooden table

Sloooooow Cooker

We love a practical 25-minute weekday recipe. But, not all meals (or days) call for practicality. Maybe you’re snowed in. Maybe you have family coming into town. Maybe you just feel like putting some music on and cooking for hours. Whatever the reason, here are time-intensive recipes that take hours, or even days, to make from start to finish.

Related: Meals You Can Make Even When You're Exhausted

Diverse Keto Dishes : Bolognese sauce

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

This Bolognese sauce is famed among home cooks for being the best. And, taking six hours from start to finish, it had better be. The good news is that much of the time is just spent stirring while gazing longingly at it, willing for it to cook down and concentrate into something magnificent.

Recipe: Leite’s Culinaria


Pork Tamales

Homemade tamales can be yours … a mere 12 hours from now! It’s a lot of hands-on work, but the recipe includes suggestions for breaking the steps down over a few days of work. And once you experience the flavor and texture of homemade tamales, it will all feel worth it.

Recipe: Muy Bueno Cookbook

Homemade yogurt in glass jar on wooden table.

Homemade Yogurt

Making your own yogurt might sound like something achievable only by homesteaders with their own flock of sheep. Surprisingly, it’s quite easy to do at home. From start to finish, it takes about 24 hours, which consists mostly of waiting for the yogurt to culture.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Vegetable Samosas

Aloo Samosas

There are few savory snacks as satisfying as an aloo samosa, with its perfectly spiced potato and peas inside. Making your own at home takes a total 2 hours, 40 minutes, and only 1 hour and 40 minutes of active time. The ingredient list may look formidable, but much of that consists of spices or pantry items.

Recipe: Food Network

Korean food, Woman making kimchi cabbage


Seventy-two hours is the least amount of time this kimchi will take. You may want to go an extra day or two. The good news is that 90% of the process is waiting for the cabbage mixture to properly ferment.

Recipe: Feasting at Home

Bread Baked in a Brick Oven

European-Style Hearth Bread

This bread takes at least 17 hours to make, but the process of pre-fermenting the dough means you’ll be rewarded with a professional-looking loaf. Keep one loaf for yourself and give the other one to someone you’d like to impress.

Recipe: King Arthur Flour

French specialty: cassoulet, a meal with white beans, duck leg, sausage and bacon
Martin Silva Cosentino/istockphoto

Traditional Cassoulet

Is cassoulet simply an ancient form of pork and beans? You might say that. But, this elegant, rich stew has been adored for centuries and it’s worth taking the 12 hours to make your own at least once in your life, preferably on a cold day with a glass of Bordeaux in hand.

Recipe: Serious Eats


Anpan (Japanese Red Bean Buns)

If you’re a fan of Japanese pastry, this recipe for red bean buns will be the perfect project for a weekend day. If you’d like, you can simply buy red bean paste, but there are companion recipes for pressure cooker red bean paste or a more traditional stovetop red bean paste to do the whole thing from scratch.

Recipe: Just One Cookbook

Delicious meringue cookies on the table.
WS Studio/istockphoto

Overnight Meringue Cookies

The official time for this crunchy, airy cookie recipe is 2 hours and 50 minutes, but 2 of those hours are spent waiting (and you can extend that to a full 8 hours if you decide to make this before bed). The result is an elegant, unique cookie that is lovely with coffee or an after-dinner cocktail.

Recipe: Food Network

Close-up of rolls of smoked salmon on a gray background


If you’re hosting brunch anytime soon, a sure-fire way to blow your guests away will be serving homemade lox. Active time is minimal — basically, you just apply your curing blend to the salmon, wrap it up, and check on it as it cures. This recipe calls for juniper berries, which may not be the easiest to find at a local grocery store, but feel free to make the curing herb/spice mix your own with easier-to-find ingredients. As long as you use the amount of sugar and salt called for, you’ll be fine.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Serving Homemade Ice-cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

The cons of this recipe: You need an ice cream maker, you need to make your own custard, and the mixture should cool in the fridge overnight. The pros of this recipe: the dreamiest vanilla ice cream you will ever taste.

Recipe: David Lebovitz

Freshly baked croissants, golden brown on paper, ready to serve in the morning.


Some of the recipes on this list entail a lot of waiting. A few entail a lot of hands-on work. Croissants require both. There’s lots of rolling out, then putting back in the fridge, then waiting, not to mention the time it takes to rise. The recipe we chose breaks the steps into three days, though, making the whole process feel almost breezy.

Recipe: Pardon Your French

Taiwan's typical food, soup dumpling or known as

Soup Dumplings

There are few foods more comforting than soup dumplings, but they can be hard to find. If you don’t have a soup dumpling spot near you, try making your own. It takes 24 hours from start to finish (part of the process is making a pork aspic, or super-concentrated pork stock, for the soup part of the dumpling), but the actual cooking time for the dumplings is a mere 30 minutes.

Recipe: The Woks of Life