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8 weekend cooking projects when you want a kitchen challenge

Assembling Goon Mandu (Korean Fried Dumplings). (Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post)

Especially on busy weekdays, getting food on the table can feel like just another item on a checklist. You do it because you have to, ideally as quickly, and deliciously, as possible. If you’re lucky, the weekend brings some breathing room and an opportunity to tarry in the kitchen, should that be your idea of a good time.

Whether you want something sweet or savory, or feel like frying or baking, these cooking project recipes from our archives are great options for tackling over a day or two.

Goon Mandu (Korean Fried Dumplings). This is a recipe especially well-suited to a group, where people can play to their strengths among tasks that include making the filling, stuffing the wrappers and frying the dumplings.

Aushak (Afghan Leek Dumplings With Yogurt and Meat Sauce). Here’s a totally different take on dumplings, which are boiled and then topped with a fragrant meat sauce.

Chiles en Nogada. To represent the colors of the Mexican flag, this patriotic dish features green poblano peppers, red pomegranate seeds and a white walnut sauce.

Browse our Recipe Finder for more than 9,900 Post-tested recipes.


Best-of Bagels. Start a batch of these reader-favorite bagels on Saturday and finish them the next day for a satisfying Sunday brunch.

A go-to bagel recipe, plus all the accompaniments, for your next brunch


Rainbow Sprinkle Birthday Cake. The next time a weekend birthday party — or any other celebration — rolls around, consider this festive and nostalgic dessert. For more fabulous layer cakes, check out Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting, Carrot Cake With Brown Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting, Triple Coconut Cake and German Chocolate Cake.

5 weekend baking projects to keep you busy, and well-fed, on a winter’s day


Fresh Egg Pasta for Lasagna. You can use this pasta dough for ravioli, pappardelle and other shapes, but if you really want to commit, make the sheets and then one of these lasagna recipes: Abruzzese-Style Lasagna With Meat Sauce and Mini Meatballs, Lasagna al Pesto and Roasted Mushroom and Swiss Chard Lasagna.


Classic Ragu Bolognese. As cooler weather sneaks up on us, you can’t get much more aromatic and cozy than an Italian Bolognese bubbling away on the stove. Pair with fresh pasta from the recipe above!

6 weeknight pasta recipes that get dinner ready in a snap


Anthony Bourdain’s Boeuf Bourguignon. You’ll need a few hours, preferably on a chilly day to fully appreciate it, to make one of our most popular recipes ever.

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