Foods you love that are just too much trouble to make.

I have two.

Cabbage rolls. Man I love a good cabbage roll with rice and beef and tomato sauce, but it’s just too much trouble to make and I don’t know anyone who makes them as good as mine. I’m craving them so much, but just can’t seem to find the energy to put them together.

Chicken Chilaquiles. I have received absolute rave reviews and I love them so much, but man oh man, they are a lot of work.

So how about you? Got anything you love but hate to make?


I tried making baklava once. Holy crap that was a lot of work.

I love a good tamale. I can’t make them, I have a friend who makes them great. Her Grandma taught her how. I average about once a year talking her into doing it. I always tell her I’ll help and do all the clean up. Alas, she hates it so bad that I rarely get the pleasure. :frowning:


LOL, I was heading in here to say baklava, too. I love it, but I buy it. I don’t make it.

Chicken croquettes. They were a staple in diners when I grew up in New Jersey. Now the only way I can have them is if I make them.

Same here, thankfully we have a baklava shop just a block away. It is very niiiiice.

Sukiyaki. Fried Chicken. Too messy.

Oh, I love baklava, and make it every so often. If we ever have a Kansas Dopefest I’ll bring some.

I get my croquettes in cheap bars (they’re a classic frito*) although in Spain the most common variety is ham (as in the pink stuff, not serrano).
Lasagna. Or, God help me, Christmas canelloni: I think I’ve just gained three pounds from the memory, but to make those you need to begin with “make a Christmas Eve feast including 7-meats chickpea soup and at least one roast meat, preferably two” aaaand… yeah, definitely too much work. Maybe that’s how my family managed to survive those Christmas vacations in Barcelona: we were all too busy either cooking or digesting to murder each other.

  • Frito: in Spain, a tapa that’s fried.

Pierogi, using my grandmother’s recipe. I absolutely love love LOVE 'em, but they take all day to make and my kitchen is a disaster when I’m done. Plus, honestly, they’re not the healthiest thing on the planet. But *OMG *are they good!!!

Stuffed bell peppers. My daughter hates ‘em; my wife doesn’t like them well enough to vote for picking up a tray at Costco. The only restaurant I’ve ever found them in is the Original Pantry in downtown L.A. I don’t get into downtown L.A. hardly at all anymore. So, no stuffed bell peppers for me, I guess.

Seconded and I would include most filled dumplings with it. I used to make my own tortellini but it’s just too much of a hassle for the payback. Gnocchi are a lot simpler.

Yup. Time consuming and costs a lot, too. And then even when I make a fairly large tray, it usually doesn’t last the night.

Pretty close to what I was going to add: chiles rellenos.
Char the chiles.
Peel the chiles.
Deseed/membrane the chiles.
Stuff the chiles.
Pin the chiles closed with toothpicks.
Crack and separate the eggs.
Whisk the eggs.
Prepare the frying pan.
Dredge the chiles.
Batter the chiles.
Fry the chiles.
Drain the chiles.

And that’s if only stuffing with cheese and not a prepared filling. I’ve only made them a few times since it’s so exhausting. The don’t reheat all that well so making a big batch is so-so.

Another vote for lasagna. I love it but it’s such a pain to make. I’ve been known to make what I call “lazy lasagna” using frozen cheese-filled ravioli. Saves a lot of time.

Some of the above-mentioned dishes don’t seem especially daunting to me. I regularly make stuffed peppers, which are neither difficult nor especially time consuming. I make lasagna a couple of times a year. Yes, it’s time-consuming but worth it for a special occasion. There are other recipes I’ve tried that came out good but are really not worth the time and effort. To name a few:

Fried oysters/fried clams
French fries
Potato chips
egg rolls/spring rolls
Peking duck
Danish pastries
Black Forest cake
Apple strudel

Pasta with sardines ( Pasta Con le Sarde ). It’s a Sicilian dish. A taste explosion of different flavors and textures.; my favorite pasta food…but labor-intensive to make. Well, by my standards.

To properly make it requires specific and timely addition of ingredients while cooking…in 2 or 3 different pots/pans. This doesn’t really allow for much opportunity to prepare as you go. It’s best to pre-chop/mince/cut/grate ( as applicable ) and have them all ready in a myriad of bowls/containers. Busy busy busy. It’ll hog your counter space for sure. You’ll still be active.

Sublime as hell eating…it’s so damned good. Lot’s of stuff to clean later. ( thank heavens for dishwashers )

Yet another vote for lasagna.

Baklava I’ll make - it’s not too bad once you get the hang of it. Also, I’ve mostly made in humid places, and it’s much less of a big deal if you don’t have to work frantically to keep the phyllo sheets from drying out.

Stuffed grape leaves are delicious, but I rarely make them because they are so much work. First, you have to find grape leaves, which no one seems to sell in the places I’ve lived. Then make the filling. Then blanch the leaves in small batches. Then, stuff the leaves and place them into a pan. Then, weight the pan. Then cook. I’m tired just thinking about it.