Coffee for Dinner? 6 Recipes for Your Main Course

You know that feeling you get when, after a 3 – 5 cup of coffee day, all you crave is… more coffee?

Well, do we have a treat for you.

Presenting 6 Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Coffee

With these delicious coffee recipes, your main course will boast that flavor you crave and everyone – coffee skeptics included – will be a fan.

Spring time is in full bloom and summer is just around the corner. Now is the time to dust off your grill and pull out those pot-luck-sized crock pots. It’s time to get cookin’.

Black Bean Coffee Chili

Rich and hearty, this black bean chili uses coffee to enhance the smoky flavor and give slow-roasting meat a huge flavor boost.

Makes 6 – 8 medium servings


4 cups strongly brewed coffee (Try a rich, toast brew like Colonel Fitroy’s Blend Coffee)
4 chopped sundried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 New Mexico or California dried chili pepper (with or without seeds)
4 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
dash of salt and pepper


1 1/2 pounds of sirloin tips
1 cup flour
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chopped serrano chili peppers (with or without seeds)
1 medium chopped anaheim chili pepper (with or without seeds)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and lightly rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
chopped cilantro and grated cheese for garnish

Marinate the sirloin tips in the coffee marinade in the refrigerator for two hours, stirring occasionally.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the floured meat. Let the meat brown. While the meat is browning, add the onions, garlic and the anaheim chili pepper. Saute the onions until they wilt.

After the onions have wilted, add the marinade and all the other ingredients to the pot. Adjust the amount of chilis you put into the mixture. If you like spicy chili, keep the seeds. If not, ditch ’em.

Let the chili simmer on low for about 3 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and the chili is thick. If the sauce is a little too thin, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken.

Serve with a generous helping of grated cheese and chopped cilantro.


Coffee Crusted Grilled Lamb Chops

This tasty, succulent coffee recipe is a favorite of Zoka-fan Tom who emailed with this recipe (you can too!). Thanks, Tom!


Lamb chops, or rack of lamb
1/2 cup coarsely ground coffee
1/2 cup green herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, whatever you like)
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Heat the grill so one side is hot and the other is cooler.

Mix ingredients and rub on the lamb.

Sear the lamb on all sides on the hot part of the grill.
Finish cooking to desired doneness on the cooler side of the grill. Note: this technique will give you lamb chops on the rare side.


Pepper Coffee Steak (and Tuna and Salmon)

A great summer recipe that combines the art of the grill with the art of great coffee. Try it on both meat and fish, especially steaks, tuna, and salmon.


Coarse ground dark roast coffee beans (We recommend delicious Espresso Paladino)
Coarse ground black pepper

Note: The rub is best when the ratio of coffee grounds to pepper is 1 to 2.

Other ingredients

Olive oil
Worcestershire sauce (for steaks)
Lemon juice (for fish)
Garlic powder (for steaks)
Dill (for fish)

Note: these ingredients are all to taste — get creative and make it your own!

Coat steaks with olive oil and Worcestershire sauce, or coat fish with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with garlic powder or dill.

Coat meat or fish with heavy layer of coffee/pepper rub.

Let sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours.

Sear on a very hot grill and cook to your favorite doneness.


Java Rub for Your BBQ Ribs

Nothing goes with pork better than a subtle coffee overtone. Don’t believe us? Try it.


1/3 cup of your favorite roasted coffee, medium grind (Ethiopian Yergacheffe. Trust us.)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients well and apply generously to pork. Pat into meat well before grilling or smoking.

Feel free to experiment with other flavors like rosemary, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg!
Recommended pork cuts: baby back ribs, spare ribs, grilled pork loin, grilled pork chops.


Oink-tastic BBQ & Coffee Sauce

BBQ sauce with a Zoka twist. Just make sure you remember the napkins!

1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
4 oz. of your favorite triple-strength brewed coffee or espresso (Your favorite is Rwanda Abakundakawa — admit it.)
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of your favorite bourbon whiskey

Note: If brewing coffee, put three times the amount of coffee grounds as normal, and only brew through about 4-6 oz. For espresso, pull 2-3 doubles. We’re talking strong coffee taste here people!

Mix all ingredients well. Don’t worry, the BBQ sauce will thin. If sauce thins too much, have another bottle of sauce ready. BBQ sauce is not an exact science.

Apply during last 15 minutes of your BBQ. Go a little crazy, and experiment with other ingredients like like apple juice, cilantro, fresh garlic, and molasses.


Coffee Chicken

Chicken can get a bad rap for being boring, flavorless and not a “real meat.” Give it a kick in the pants with coffee.


1 large roasting chicken, skinned & and visible fat removed, cut-up
3 teaspoons brown sugar or molasses
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup filtered water
Preheat oven to 350°

Mix all the ingredients (minus the chicken) in small pot. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes to reduce.

Pour over chicken in shallow baking dish and bake at 350°, uncovered, for 1 hour. Baste frequently.


What Are Your Favorites?

We know that there are tons of delicious coffee recipes out there - they are just a little tricky to find. Does anyone have ideas for a fantastic tasting tofu coffee recipe for our veggie coffee-lovers?

Comment below with your favorite coffee main-course menus and keep the flavor profiles rolling!