I’ve been drinking coffee every day for a long time now, but it only occurred to me recently that I could also cook with my ground coffee. As I started to experiment with it, I realized that coffee grounds are totally a secret weapon—one that a lot of people probably have in their pantry right this minute, and that can add a world of flavor to a wide variety of foods.
Whether you’re making breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, there is definitely a way to work ground coffee into the equation. (If you’re sensitive to caffeine, stick to decaffeinated coffee for lunch and dinner dishes.) Slow roast grounds with vegetables and meat to highlight their earthiness, and pair them with chocolate in brownies and overnight oats to tame their bitterness. And of course, that coffee flavor always fits perfectly with breakfast favorites, like scones and granola.
These 16 recipes will show you to sneak a bit of java into all of your food. With dishes like coffee-rubbed steak and salads with balsamic-coffee vinaigrette, you’ll wonder why you weren’t cooking with coffee sooner.