10 Meals Made With Coffee That Prove Java Is The Best Secret Ingredient

We all think we know a good coffee recipe when we see one, whether we're drinking it in the form of a pumpkin spice latte, or mixing it into our desserts for an extra sweet boost of caffeine. We certainly never shy away from our love of coffee, because obviously coffee makes everything better (it's pretty much better than people, if we’re being honest here). But what you may not know is that coffee could probably make whatever you’re eating right now better, too.

That’s right. When it comes to adding that final, secret ingredient, coffee is incredibly versatile. It mixes well with many different types of food (did you know that coffee itself comes from fruit?). It obviously pairs deliciously with anything sweet, but don't confine yourself to just using your java in desserts. Whether you're whipping up brunch, lunch, dinner, or a snack, make the most of your coffee beans and get creative — your tastebuds will be in for a wild ride.

These 10 foods become instantly more satisfying when made with coffee or espresso, and we can almost guarantee you never thought of putting java in them in the first place. Whether you're looking to indulge an ever-present sweet tooth, or you want to add a buzz-worthy twist to your main course, these recipes will get you your coffee fix while also giving you an unexpected dose of deliciousness. So pour yourself a cup, and get ready to cook.

Image: Endless Simmer

Coffee Bacon Sandwich

Miraculously, your bacon sandwich just got better with the help of Joy the Baker’s delicious use of ground coffee beans.

Image: Joy the Baker

Texas Corn Dogs

The county fair couldn’t even compete with java-filled corn dogs by Damn Delicious.

Image: Damn Delicious

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

Try out a different kind of brew to make the most of your BBQ with Endless Simmer’s pulled pork sliders.

Image: Endless Simmer

Espresso Chipotle Turkey Nachos

Nachos with coffee. Could The Gouda Life’s recipe be any more perfect?

Image: The Gouda Life

Baby Back Ribs

We’ve got to say it — a little coffee makes Lick My Spoon’s ribs even more finger-licking good. You’re going to need a couple napkins for this one.

Image: Lick My Spoon

Black Bean Chili

No meat is necessary to add a deep, rich flavor to your chili, thanks to The Kitchn’s addition of espresso powder.

Image: The Kitchn

Coffee Caramelized French Toast

And you thought you were supposed to drink your coffee at brunch. Think outside the mug with Half Baked Harvest’s coffee caramelized French toast.

Image: Half Baked Harvest

Roasted Duck

A cup of black coffee brings Wild Greens and Sardines’ roast duck to the next level.

Image: Wild Greens and Sardines

Rum Brisket

It may not be completely traditional, but coffee and rum make The Shiksa’s brisket one unforgettable meal.

Image: The Shiksa


To top things off in the sweetest way possible, A Cozy Kitchen’s java-filled homemade marshmallows will make you wonder why you ever used store-bought in the first place.

Image: A Cozy Kitchen