Clockwise from left: Southern Bite, Appetite for China, It's Not Rocket Salad,
| December 13, 2013

Most of us recognize Coca-Cola as a beverage, or failing that, a liquid. But very few of us see Coca-Cola for what it could be — the secret ingredient in tonight's dinner.

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The sweet and subtle flavors of Coca-Cola have always complemented our food, and they also work well inside our favorite dishes. From entrees to sides to desserts, there's almost no dish that Coke can't enhance (or shoe-horn itself into), making for a delicious, unique, and memorable meal.

Here's 10 refreshing recipes which prove things really do go better with Coke.

Appetite for China
Coca-Cola Chicken Wings

Diana at Appetite for China says Cantonese-style chicken wings are often braised in soy sauce, but switching things up with a bit of Coca-Cola is always a welcome change. Click here to try her wing recipe at your next get-together.

READ: 18 Great Buffalo Recipes (That Aren't Wings)

Fuss Free Cooking
'Teriyaki' Chicken

'Teriyaki' is in quotes up there because, as you've probably already guessed, there is no teriyaki sauce in this dish. Emily at Fuss Free Cooking instead simmers the chicken in a mixture of Coke, soy sauce and garlic. Get the full recipe here.

RECIPE: Parmesan Wings

Pass the Sushi
Braised Cola Onions and Sausage

A pile of sweet onions caramelized in cola makes the perfect bed for chicken and apple sausages in this flavorful recipe from Kita at Pass the Sushi.

RECIPE: Spinach And Sausage Stuffed Shells

My Colombian Recipes
Arroz Con Coca-Cola

On special occasions, Erica from My Colombian Recipes makes a pot of Arroz con Coca-Cola to pair with roasted chicken or pork. Get the complete recipe here if you're looking for a sweet, sticky side to go with dinner.

RECIPE: Shrimp Fried Rice (And It's Under 400 Calories)

It's Not Rocket Salad
Monster-Infused Pulled Pork with Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce

Serving a meal infused with only one carbonated beverage isn't good enough for Oliver at It's Not Rocket Salad, because his pulled pork recipe calls for BBQ sauce made with Coke and pork slow-cooked with a can of Monster Energy Drink.

RECIPE: Jack Daniels Barbequed Pulled Pork

South Your Mouth
Coca-Cola Glazed Ham With Brown Sugar and Dijon

When maple syrup just won't do, glaze your holiday hams in Coca-Cola. Mandy at South Your Mouth throws a can of Coke into her sweet and savory recipe, along with a rub made from brown sugar and Dijon mustard.

Tastes of Lizzy t
Cola Burgers

This time-honored recipe is a favorite of Maddie and Julie's at Tastes of Lizzy T. Not only is there Coke mixed in with the ground beef, but the patties are basted in a cola/dressing sauce while grilling.

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Virginia Willis
Coca-Cola Glazed Baby Back Ribs

If you love Coca-Cola, you'll love this this Coke- and chili-glazed rib recipe from Chef Virginia Willis, the author of "Bon Appetit, Y'all." "The combination of sweet and heat is soooooooo positively off-the-charts good," she claims.

RECIPE: Over Grilled Baby Back Ribs

The Food Charlatan
Coca-Cola Jello Salad with Cherries

Jazz up a Jell-O mold like Karen at The Food Charlatan, who loads her fruity recipe with cherries, pineapple chunks and a healthy dose of Coca-Cola.

Southern Bite
Coca-Cola Cake

In some parts of the country, Coca-Cola cake is a pretty well-known dessert. But if you're unfamiliar, this chocolaty recipe from Stacy at Southern Bite is a great place to start, featuring Coca-Cola-flavored cake, Coca-Cola-flavored frosting, and a topping of chopped pecans.