When chocolate cravings strike, sometimes dessert alone isn’t enough to cast them aside. Next time around, reach for these 14 savory ways to go beyond salted chocolate to get your theobromine fix. The unexpected depth and nuance that cacao adds to every dish is positively swoon-worthy — your taste buds will surely thank you.
1. Crispy Cauliflower Nachos (Vegetarian): A quick dusting of cornmeal gives every cauliflower floret a tempting crunch, sans frying. Paired with a chocolate-enhanced bean chili, avocado cubes and a smattering of quick-pickled jalapeños, every bite tastes deceptively sinful. (via From the Land We Live On)
6. Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Wings: Don’t be surprised if the sweet-spicy-smokey flavor combo coating these wings makes you wonder why you haven’t switched things up from buffalo sauce sooner. (via Betty Crocker)
7. Chocolate Baguette: Imagine just how good your kitchen will smell as this loaf bakes in the oven. Up the savory quotient by spreading slices with salted butter, or dipping them in olive oil. (via I Food Blogger)
9. Smokey Butternut Squash and Cacao Soup: Don’t reserve this squash soup for fall alone; this blend featuring a duo of cacao nibs and bittersweet chocolate deserves to make an appearance all year long. (via Earthy Delights)
10. Simple Slow Cooker Pork Mole (Paleo): Mole may require a long list of ingredients, but using a slow cooker helps to simplify the process in a big way. Pop everything in the pot, set it on low for about eight hours, and viola, dinner’s served! (via Foraged Dish)
11. Cocoa-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs: You don’t even need to light the grill to cook up these tender ribs. Even better, they’re prepped the night before, making them a perfect choice for weeknight dining. (via Saveur)
13. Strawberry Fennel Arugula Salad With Cacao Nibs: The peppery arugula, fennel and strawberries in this salad practically scream spring. Tossed with a vanilla bean vinaigrette and sprinkled with cacao nibs in lieu of croutons, it’s certainly a one-of-a-kind selection. (via Cafe Johnsonia)
Are you team sweet or savory, or just team give me the chocolate NOW? Share your favorite ways to use chocolate in an unexpected way below.