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25 Chocolate Recipes—That Aren’t Desserts!

If you think that chocolate is only for after dinner—think again! Here are our most delicious savory main courses, sides, stews, snacks—even salads—that call for chocolate.

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Chocolate-Chipotle Sirloin Steak

Looking to do something a little different with grilled sirloin? Add smoky heat and chocolaty rich color with this easy 5-ingredient rub. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chocolate Pear and Cherry Salad

It's fun to come up with new ways to use the ingredients we love. I developed a chocolate vinaigrette, knowing how well it would play with stone fruit, the peppery bite of arugula and the deep acidic sweetness of balsamic. There are tons of other options that can go with this vinaigrette so feel free to play! —Ryan Christie, Pacheco, California
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Candied Bacon-Wrapped Figs

I stuffed figs with cream cheese and wrapped them in bacon and spices for an addictive flavor combo that’s sweet, salty and delicious. You can use dates, too. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Short Rib Tacos

Whenever we go to Houston to visit family, we like to track down cabeza—cow’s head, cooked slowly, resulting in extremely tender meat that's excellent in tacos. Cabeza is hard to find in Seattle, so I use short ribs to replicate the texture. I like corn tortillas for these tacos and a quick pico de gallo to add some freshness to the rich, flavorful meat. —Anai Yost, Bothell, Washington
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Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini

Pomegranate seeds intrigued me, so I sliced French bread, smeared it with cream cheese and added seeds, pistachios and chocolate. That’s how you make crostini for a special occasion! —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Chicken Mole

If you’re not familiar with chicken mole (pronounced mo-LAY), don’t be afraid of this versatile Mexican sauce. I love sharing this chicken mole recipe because it’s a great one to experiment with. —Darlene Morris, Franklinton, Louisiana
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Mocha Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a classic fall snack. Kick them up a notch with instant coffee and cocoa powder for a mix that’s mocha genius at any time of year. —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas
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Lime Chicken Chili

Lime juice gives this chili a zesty twist, while canned tomatoes and beans make preparation a snap. Try serving bowls with toasted tortilla strips. —Diane Randazzo, Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
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Smoky Espresso Steak

This juicy steak rubbed with espresso, cocoa and pumpkin pie spice is one of my husband’s favorites. We grill it when the weather is warm, but broiling works in the chilly months. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Mainly Mushroom Beef Carbonnade

This is the ultimate comfort food, an earth-and-turf combo that smells delicious while cooking and tastes like home. The mushrooms taste so meaty, you can decrease the amount of beef and add more portabellos if you like. —Susan Asanovic, Wilton, Connecticut
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Parisian Chicken Bites

When a friend of mine returned from a trip to Paris, she raved about the food she had and described one of her favorite meals. It inspired me to create a similar hors d’oeuvre. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Chocolate Molasses Pork Roast

This new twist on pork roast has a rich molasses flavor with a tantalizing hint of chocolate. It’s easy to make, yet elegant enough for entertaining. Serve this with mashed potatoes so as not to waste a drop of the delicious gravy. —Avionne Huppert, Adams, New York
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Baked Beans Mole

My son and husband love this hearty side dish that is quick and easy to prepare but yet so flavorful. Chocolate, chili and honey mingle to create a rich, savory flavor that's not too spicy and not too sweet. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Korean Pulled Pork Tacos

I created this surprising pulled pork recipe to replicate our favorite food truck tacos at home. They're a little sweet, a little spicy and totally delicious any time of year. —Julie Orr, Fullerton, California
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Mole Poblano

There are many different kinds of mole in Mexican cuisine; reddish-brown mole poblano is one of the most well-known. The sauce is paired with chicken here, but you can use it for practically anything…as the sauce for pulled pork, spooned over a browned piece of poultry or meat, or to top enchiladas. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mozzarella Strawberry Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette

A chocolate salad dressing? How else would you dress a salad on Valentine's Day? Don't let the unusual name and flavor combination confuse you—the salty prosciutto and mellow mozzarella are beautifully balanced with the sweet-tart chocolate balsamic vinegar dressing. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Steak au Poivre for 2

With the punch of peppercorns and a smooth, beefy sauce, this steak is delicious. You'll love the hint of sweetness the bittersweet chocolate adds to the savory meat. —Crystal Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Sally's West Coast Chili

We often have chili cook-offs at our church, so we trade lots of different recipes. I was always mixing and matching ingredients and experimenting, trying to come up with an original recipe that would be a little different. That's how I developed this one, and I never fail to get compliments on it! —Sally Grisham, Murray, Kentucky
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Orange-Ancho Spiced Nuts

Get ready for a flavor adventure! These nuts offer a tasty combination of orange, ancho chili pepper and chocolate. The pepper gives a smoky taste; increase it to add more warmth. —Leigh Doutt, Pueblo West, Colorado
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Slow-Cooked Caribbean Pot Roast

This dish is definitely a year-round recipe. Sweet potatoes, orange zest and baking cocoa are my surprise ingredients. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Chicken and Olive Mole Casserole

My southwestern chicken casserole makes the perfect party dish when you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary. The mole sauce lends an authentic flavor, and folks are always pleasantly surprised to taste a little sweetness from the chocolate. —Barbara White, Livingston, Texas
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Cocoa Crusted Beef Tenderloin Exps Thca18 113666 C11 03 4b

Cocoa-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

My family and I have cooking competitions with secret ingredients and a 30-minute time limit. This tenderloin recipe earned me a sweet victory. —Gina Myers, Spokane, Washington
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Turkey Mole Tacos

In contrast to traditional tacos, these taste complete as is, without further garnishes or sauces. I’ve also made this using bite-sized pieces of chicken thighs and increasing the cooking time appropriately. —Helen Glazier, Seattle
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Beef Bourguignon

This stovetop stew is loaded with taste, but is easy to do. While the name sounds fancy, even a beginning cook can master it. It’s our traditional holy day meal. —Elodie Rosinovsky, Brighton, Massachusetts
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Chocolate Martini

This sweet chocolate martini is both creative and sophisticated in taste and presentation. It’s a great way to finish (or even start!) a meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.
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