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Cocoa Rub

Cocoa Rub

  • Prep

  • Ready In


This spicy cocoa rub is excellent for chicken, steaks, thick chops, and spare ribs. You can also add it to chili and hearty, thick soups.

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 16 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 26 kcal
  • 1%
  • Fat:
  • 0.5 g
  • < 1%
  • Carbs:
  • 5.6g
  • 2%
  • Protein:
  • 0.8 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Sodium:
  • 1333 mg
  • 53%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Stir the salt, cocoa powder, white sugar, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper in a small bowl until combined. Store in an airtight container.
  2. To use, rub 2 to 3 teaspoons of the spice mixture onto a serving of meat, and let stand at least 10 minutes before cooking.
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I've heard a lot of good things about cocoa rubs and was eager to try this. The taste of cumin was so bold it dominated everything else.


I made it this way: 1 tsp. each of salt, cocoa powder & instant espresso powder, 2 TBsps. brown sugar (omitted the regular sugar) and 1 TBsp. of everything else. I felt this kept the flavours in balance, without any of the components being over-powering. We rubbed it on chicken legs and baked on 350F for 45 mins. to 1 hour. I might increase the cocoa and espresso powder a bit next time.

Christine M

Nice blend of flavors! And it still leaves room to add more heat if you want to. I used about 3 tbsps. to season a batch of vegetarian chili, as I always add cocoa to my chili anyway so it made sense, and worked great! Later I used some as a rub for boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts. I browned those and made a chicken, sweet potato, tomato and black bean stew. Oh, I did also use the rub on slices of tofu, but it basically just tasted like dry rub on tofu - won't be repeating that one. Much better suited for meats, stews, chilis, and maybe even some fish. Thanks for sharing!