How to Use Cacao to Spice Up Your Diet

How to Use Cacao to Spice Up Your Diet

Cacao might have a reputation for sweeter, indulgent snacks–but there are many countries and cultures around the world that are using cacao for unique and even savory dishes. Here are some ways that cacao’s decadent flavor can be used to spice up your home cooking.

Cacao Dishes to Spice Up Your Diet

Mole. Mole comes from Mexico and might vary in recipes depending on the region. However, it is typically a cacao infused sauce served most often with chicken.

You can eat mole at any time but it is usually a staple at special occasions and festivals. Recipes tend to use a combination of cacao, anise, cinnamon, chiles, and peanuts to create this thick, flavorful sauce.


Picada. A Catalan inspired dish, picada is a type of pesto sauce that pairs well with a variety of meats and vegetables. Because of its nutty flavor (usually almond), it blends well with cacao to enhance the rich flavors and herbs.

Combine almonds, cacao, garlic, peppers, and parsley for an added kick to any meal.


BBQ rubs and sauces. Taking it to the U.S south where BBQ is king, some of the best rubs and sauces contain a bit of cacao to marry that sweet and savory delight we know as BBQ.

Dry rubs enhance meats like ribs and a recipe that features cacao, brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon will make for a flavorful rub that you can use to impress your friends and family at your next dinner party.


Drinking chocolate. This may not be a savory dish, but it’s a sweet one you may not be familiar with unless you’ve spent some time in Spain.

Spanish drinking chocolate differs from your typical hot cocoa in that it is thicker, richer, and much more indulgent. To top it off, sometimes it comes with churros for dipping.

A true sweet treat of cacao, sugar, milk, cornstarch, and vanilla. You will never go back to regular hot chocolate again.

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