Though chocolate is known as a key sweet ingredient, essential for rich and decadent desserts, you shouldn’t limit it to the end of the meal—when incorporated in small quantities, chocolate lends silkiness and complexity to a myriad of savory preparations. From a creamy white chocolate-spiked baba ghannouj to a beef and bean chili that calls on three different types of chocolate, these 12 revelatory recipes will make you see chocolate in a whole new light.
It’s a lucky rack of ribs that meets this rub: Warm spices like cinnamon, allspice, and ginger get a depth charge from cocoa powder and bit of heat from fiery mustard powder.
The famously smoky Middle Eastern eggplant puree reaches new heights of smoothness with the inclusion of white chocolate, which compliments the nutty flavor of tahini and the delicate spice of fresh garlic and paprika.
Get the recipe for White Chocolate Baba Ghannouj »
Cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate lend darkness and depth to this hearty chili, rounded out with the complex bitterness of chocolate stout beer.
Get the recipe for Triple Chocolate Beef & Bean Chili »
Picada is a Catalan-style pesto, made here with almonds, parsley, and chocolate—a surprise ingredient that adds a pleasing touch of bitterness to this delicious side dish. Get the recipe for Charred Cauliflower and Shishito Peppers with Picada Sauce »
In this recipe from Rick Bayless, juicy turkey breast is braised in a sauce of 11 chiles and spices, plus a host of aromatics that lend deep authentic flavor.
A smooth, spicy-sweet barbecue sauce gets even richer thanks to the inclusion of a small amount of chocolate. We love it basted onto chicken as it grills, or painted atop a classic meatloaf.
Get the recipe for Ricotta and Coffee Mousse »
A rich beef and root vegetable stew is made with armagnac, chocolate and, traditionally, Madiran wine. We use pinot noir instead for a lighter, more nuanced version.
Get the recipe for Gascon-Style Beef Stew (Daube de Boeuf À la Gasconne) »
Chunks of pork are stewed together with the bold flavors of Mexican chocolate and piquant chiles in this sumptuous stew.
Our enchiladas aren’t baked; they’re simply drenched in a rich sauce made with fruity dried chiles and rich mexican chocolate, rolled, and eaten right away.
Mexico’s most iconic mole, this preparation marries mulato, ancho, and pasilla chiles with warm spices and Mexican chocolate to create a velvety smooth sauce ideal for spooning over chicken.
Inspired by Mexico’s robust
moles, this smooth soup—made with blackened peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and enriched with semisweet chocolate—is served with an array of garnishes.
A classic Italian eggplant dish sweetened with caramelized onions and raisins gets its rich flavor from a surprising ingredient: grated chocolate.