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5 Delicious Recipes Using Coffee Grounds

If you’ve read any of my other caffeine induced ramblings, you would have noticed that I am a bit of a coffee fanatic.  

With my coffee consumption (addiction!) averaging about 7 cups of coffee a day I have noticed that my coffee machine produces a considerable amount of used up coffee grounds! Instead of throwing them all away I have been working the grounds into my herb garden which has been working quite well for about a year now. With my plants and herbs having the coffee jitters almost as much as I do, I’ve decided to put my spent grounds to other uses around the house. 

After a quick google search, I decided to take a stab at coffee art painting, after reading the introduction to the second article on the topic which read “all you need is a bit of talent and some watercolour paper to create your own aromatic works of art” I gave up on my dream of recreating the Sistine chapel ceiling with coffee grounds in my living room. After dealing with this painstaking realisation for a whole 5 minutes I decided to align my use of coffee grounds with my actual talents, cooking! 

5 Delicious Recipes Using Coffee Grounds 

First off I want to share with you my second favourite use of fresh coffee grounds (first obviously being Bulletproof Coffee), my home-made coffee steak rub adds an incredible depth to any steak dish. I usually make a large batch of this rub and keep it in a jar to ensure that I never run out. 

1. Ground Coffee Rubbed Steak

PREP TIME: 2 minutes
CHILL TIME: 2 hours
COOK TIME: 10 minutes
COURSE: Dinner


For the spice rub:

  • 5 g Dried Chilli Flakes
  • 10 g Ground Coffee Beans
  • 10 g Muscovado sugar
  • 10 g Smoked Paprika
  • 5 g Dried Oregano
  • 5 g Dried Thyme
  • 5 g Coriander seeds
  • 5 g Black Peppercorns
  • 5 g Fennel seeds
  • 10 g Sea salt flakes
  • 5 g Mustard seeds

For the steak:

  • 800 g Sirloin (cut into 200g steaks)


For the spice rub:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a spice grinder
  2. grind to a powder

For the Steak:

  1. Pat steaks dry with paper towel
  2. Evenly rub the spice over all the steaks
  3. Let chill uncovered in the fridge for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours
  4. Preheat your oven to 180°C
  5. Heat an oven-safe griddle pan till piping hot, sear steaks, about 2 minutes on each side
  6. Place pan with steaks in oven until steak is cooked to your liking
  7. Let steaks rest for at least 5 minutes before devouring

2. Coco-Caffeinated Cauliflower

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
CHILL TIME: 15 minutes 
: 10 minutes
COURSE: Dinner


  • 1 kg Cauliflower florets
  • 20 g Ground coffee 
  • 65 ml Olive oil
  • Salt   
  • Pepper
  • 30 ml Balsamic reduction
  • 5 g Cocoa Powder


  1. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil slightly (about 50°C) then remove from heat
  2. Add ground coffee to the slightly heated oil, stir and let steep for 15min
  3. Drain oil through a sieve to get rid of the ground coffee
  4. Toss cauliflower in the coffee infused oil, season with salt and pepper
  5. Roast in oven at 180°C turning as needed until tender (about 10 minutes)
  6. Dust with cocoa powder drizzle with your favourite balsamic reduction sauce

3. Butternut-Coffee Squash

recipes with coffee grounds: butternut coffee squash

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
: 1 hour
COURSE: Dinner


  • 1 kg Butternut squash
  • 200 g Spent Ground Coffee 
  • 50 ml Olive oil
  • 3 g Cinnamon
  • 20 g Brown sugar
  • Salt 
  • Pepper


  1. Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds, drizzle with olive oil and season with Salt & Pepper
  2. Cover the bottom of a roasting tray with coffee grounds and place butternut skin side down onto the grounds
  3. Roast in oven @ 180°C for 30 minutes, turn squash over and roast for another 30minutes
  4. Remove from oven, let the squash cool down enough to handle, brush off any coffee grounds, cut into cubes
  5. Lightly dust with cinnamon and brown sugar, place in oven for 5minutes to warm up
  6. Enjoy!

4. Coffee Hot Wings

recipes with coffee grounds: coffee hot wings

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
CHILL TIME: 1 hour
: 40 minutes
COURSE: Dinner


  • 1 kg Chicken Wings

For the spice rub:

  • 5 g Chilli Powder
  • 10 g Finely Ground Coffee
  • 10 g Muscovado sugar
  • 10 g Smoked Paprika
  • 5 g Onion Powder
  • 5 g Garlic Powder
  • 5 g Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 5 g Ground Black Pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 30 ml Honey
  • 15 ml Lime juice
  • 3 g Fresh Ginger, chopped
  • 30 ml Sriracha
  • 80 ml Rice vinegar
  • 100 g Muscovado sugar
  • 15 g Spring onion, chopped
  • 10 ml Olive oil


For the wings:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the rub in a mixing bowl
  2. Add chicken wings to bowl, stir around ensuring to coat all the wings evenly in the rub
  3. Cover and place in fridge for at least 1 hour
  4. Bake wings in oven at 200°C for 20 minutes
  5. Flip wings over and bake for another 20 minutes

For the sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté spring onion for 2 minutes
  2. Add ginger and sauté for another 30 seconds
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stir until well combined then turn heat to low
  4. Let reduce until thickened 
  • Add a bit of water to dilute if necessary


Toss Chicken Wings in sauce until evenly coated

5. Coffee Veggie Soup 

recipes with coffee grounds: coffee vegie soup

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
: 2 hours


  • 80 g Onion, white
  • 10 g Garlic, chopped
  • 15 ml Olive Oil
  • 160 g Carrot, Diced
  • 100 g Tomato paste
  • 150 g Pearl Barley
  • 5 g Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • 3 g Dried Oregano
  • 80 g Green beans
  • 120 g Potato
  • 60 g Corn Kernels
  • 60 g Peas
  • 20 ml Lemon juice
  • 10 g Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt 
  • 1 L Chicken Stock *


  1. Heat oil in a large pot, add onion & garlic. Saute for a few minutes over medium heat
  2. Once the onions are soft, add barley, carrots, tomato paste rosemary, oregano, pepper & chicken stock
  3. Leave to simmer covered until the barley is almost cooked through
  4. Once the barley is almost cooked, add potatoes & green beans. Leave to simmer until soft
  5. Add corn & peas, stir through
  6. Season with lemon juice & fresh chopped parsley

*You can use vegetable stock for a vegan alternative

Recipes With Coffee Grounds: Summing Up 

Remember that coffee is a gift from the gods and should be cherished, don’t think that once you’ve had your cuppa joe you’re done with the grounds, put it to better use. Try these recipes or if you’re in the mood for something sweet have a look at our Coffee Bean Truffle recipe.  If you're having difficulty sourcing ingredients check out this post for ideas.


Braam Botha