20 Ridiculously Slow Recipes for When You Have Nothing but Time

Once upon a time, our dinnertime M.O. was to see how little effort we could spend while also putting something delicious on the table. Now that we have all the time in the world (seriously, what day is it again?), we’re taking advantage of it by spending our day in the kitchen, whipping up meals that fill our bellies while also soothing our frazzled minds. Here are 20 ridiculously slow recipes, because you can officially have Sunday dinner any night of the week.

10 ‘Distractibaking’ Projects that Are *Just* Time-Consuming Enough During Your Self-Isolation

1. French Onion Brisket

Not only does this caramelized, rich pot of meat take plenty of time to make (four hours, to be precise), it also requires an overnight slumber in the fridge, which means you have something delicious to look forward to the next day.

2. Butternut Squash Risotto With Crispy Leeks

This is comfort food to the utmost degree. Permission to get lost in the frequent stirring, granted.

3. Polenta With Roasted Mushrooms And Bacon

As far as slow recipes go, this one is pretty fast; it’s ready in under an hour. But it’s basically a warm hug in a bowl, so we couldn’t pass it up.

4. Whole Roasted Chipotle Chicken

You don’t need a ton of ingredients, but you do need four hours of free time. The payoff? Crispy skin, tender meat and leftovers for days.

5. White Beans With Rosemary And Caramelized Onions

Finally, the humble bean has gotten its time to shine. It doesn’t hurt that making a pot of your own legumes requires an overnight soak and plenty of gentle simmering.

6. Balsamic Cranberry Roast Chicken

This saucy chicken dish is pretty low maintenance once you get it into the oven, but it does require some tending to. You said you were free, didn’t you?

7. Mac And Cheese With Crispy Parmesan-phyllo Crust

The more crispy phyllo rosettes on top, the better. Is it weird that we want to marry this dish?

8. Shepherd’s Pie

We would also like to be tucked beneath a blanket of mashed potatoes, in case anyone is wondering.

9. Scallion And Chive Flatbread

Everyone’s baking bread these days, so why not join the party? We guarantee your Instagram followers will swoon over this stunner.

10. The Best Damn Tomato Soup

We know you have canned soup in your pantry, but you also have enough time to make this slow-roasted bowl of tomato heaven. Make grilled cheese, too. We dare you.

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11. Easy Pretzel Buns

Some people like to meditate for stress-relief. We like to make homemade bread.

12. Vegetable Wellington With Mushrooms And Spinach

The store-bought pastry makes this dish surprisingly easy, but feel free to spend extra time on the assembly (unless you’ve got plans).

13. The Ultimate Chicken Potpie

Want our advice? Make your own crust. We’ve heard buttery, flaky pastry is good for the soul.

14. Sweet Potato Gnocchi In Herbed White Wine Sauce

There’s something soothing about making dough from scratch, then methodically forming it into pillows of sweet potato goodness.

15. Pesto Bolognese Lasagna

Think of yourself as a lasagna artiste while you layer on the noodles, sauce and cheese with extreme precision and care.

16. Braised Pork Ragu Over Pappardelle

This probably goes without saying, but you get bonus points if you make your own pasta.

17. Homemade Pork And Garlic Chinese Potsticker Dumplings

Intricate filling and folding? Sign us the heck up. We’ll even make homemade dough (and we never thought we’d say that).

18. Classic Beef Stew

When making a meat stew, time is your best friend for a tender final result. Keep a watchful eye on that gentle simmer while you finish another six reruns of Seinfeld.

ridiculously slow recipes homemade mushroom ricotta ravioli with classic tomato vodka sauce recipe
So Much Food

19. Homemade Mushroom-ricotta Ravioli With Classic Tomato-vodka Sauce

If you always wanted to try your hand at homemade pasta, now is your chance. Ravioli isn’t difficult to assemble, but it will give your hands something to do (and the end result is *chef’s kiss*).

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20. White Wine Braised Short Ribs With Buttered Mushroom Cream Sauce

Sure, much of the six-and-a-half-hour cooking time is hands off, but that won’t stop us from taking a peek every 15 minutes to check on our precious child—er, dinner. It’s not like we’re busy.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...