Unbelievable mole sauce

If you like rich dark, flavors with smokey, earthy aromas then you will love this mole sauce. This homemade sauce is not quick but it makes up for it ten times over with really incredible, dense layered flavor. It is not hard to make it just requires a little extra time.

Now, I imagine you are thinking: “What exactly is mole sauce?” Pronounced “mole-aye”, it is a flavorful savory Mexican sauce made with chili peppers, tomatoes, other herbs and spices and famously, chocolate. Yes, chocolate. Trust me on this one, it is so delicious. 

Ingredients for Mole Sauce
Ingredients for Mole Sauce

Don’t worry, the mole sauce itself doesn’t taste like chocolate. It would be strange to chicken or vegetables covered in chocolate sauce. The chocolate actually blends with the peppers and other spices to create a unique flavor that is all its own. 

Because this incredible sauce takes a little bit of extra time it is great to make on a rainy day or sometime when you are cooped up in the house. It smells so heavenly while you are cooking it you will probably make all your neighbors jealous.

Remove seeds from chili peppers
Remove seeds from chili peppers

I have included two recipes below to use this sauce, Chicken en Mole and a quicker vegan stove top recipe, Skillet Vegetables en Mole. You could also use the mole sauceas an enchilada sauce or even use it to smother your favorite burrito. It is best with chicken or vegetables rather than pork or beef.

I have never tried mole in a restaurant or from a store. I can only imagine that it pales in comparison to this homemade version. After I started making this homemade version there was no going back. This sauce is the real deal.

Toast the chili peppers
Toast the chili peppers

It will taste a little bit warm and smokey on your tongue but shouldn’t be too spicy. If it is too spicy for your taste you can diffuse it with a few additional tomatoes or even a can of tomato sauce, if you have exhausted your tomato supply.

You should be able to find all the ingredients in a large supermarket. If you don’t see everything at your supermarket you might need to go to a latino grocery store. The peppers are very common and you should be able to find them at a supermarket or speciality Latino store. The longer reddish peppers are New Mexico Chili Peppers. The shorter blackish ones are ancho or poblano chili peppers.  

If you cannot find some of these less common items in your local store they are available here. The tomatillos are sold by the pound while the New Mexico peppers and Pasilla peppers come in packages.

FYI whole allspice can also be a great buy here as well, since it is most often found already ground in the supermarkets.

The above contains affiliate links to some of my favorite products. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Toast sesame seeds, garlic, bread and tortillas
Toast sesame seeds, garlic, bread and tortillas

Tomatillos are the little green tomato like things that are covered in their own brownish green natural wrapper. To use them just pull off the outer husk. Wash in some water and they are ready for mole. 

Unbelievable mole sauce

To make the mole sauce cut the chilies in half and remove seeds. Be careful not to touch your face or eyes while removing the seeds. Your fingers can spread the spice to sensitive areas. Make sure to wash your hands well with soap and warm water when you are done handling the peppers. 

Fry the onions, raisins, herbs and spices
Fry the onions, raisins, herbs and spices

Toast the chilies in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant and blackened in a few spots. Place in a separate bowl, pour warm water over the peppers and let them soak for about 20 minutes.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until they start to become golden brown and begin to pop. Remove from heat and set aside.

Toast the tomatoes and tomatillos
Toast the tomatoes and tomatillos

Separate the garlic cloves from the head but don’t peel them. Toast in the dry skillet until fragrant and starting to turn golden brown or blacken in some spots.

Toast the bread and tortillas in the dry skillet and then set them aside as well.

Blend in 2 batches
Blend in 2 batches

Next, chop the onion and fry it in the olive oil along with the almonds, raisins, cinnamon, allspice thyme, and oregano in the oil until the onions begin to soften. Set aside and wipe out the skillet with a kitchen rag or paper towel. Your kitchen will smell really good now.

Cut the tomatoes and tomatillos in half then roast in the dry skillet until they start to cook and blacken a little on both sides.

Pour mole sauce into pan
Pour mole sauce into pan

Now you will blend all of these ingredients together. It is usually best to do this in two separate batches. 

Place half of the chilies along with the soaking water, tomatoes, tomatillos, sesame seeds, garlic, bread, tortillas and onion mixture int the blender. Blend on high speed until everything is pureed. You can add a little more water if needed to allow the blades to move freely. 

Pour over chicken or other food
Pour over chicken or other food

Pour blended sauce into a large cooking pot. Repeat, blending the remaining toasted and fried ingredients together. Pour into the pot. 

Add cocoa powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Then simmer over low heat for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally. Your sauce is now ready to use for Chicken en Mole or Skillet Vegetables en Mole or for your favorite burritos or enchiladas.

Mole Sauce over Chicken
Mole Sauce over Chicken
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Mole Sauce

If you like rich dark, flavors with smokey, earthy aromas then you will love this mole sauce. This homemade sauce is not quick but it makes up for it ten times over with really incredible, dense layered flavor. It is not hard to make it just requires a little extra time.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chili peppers, chocolate, garlic, mexican, sauce
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 10 Cups

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Dried New Mexico Chilies
  • 2-3 Dried Pasilla Chilies
  • 2 1/2 Cups Warm Water
  • 1 Whole Head Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Slices Bread
  • 2 Corn Tortillas
  • 3 Tb. Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion medium
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • 6 Whole Allspice Berries
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 lb Tomatoes medium about 5-6
  • 1/4 lb. Green Tomatillos about 5-6
  • 1/3 Cup Coco Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  • Cut chilies in half and remove seeds. Toast the chilies in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant and blackened in a few spots. Place in a separate bowl, pour water over the peppers and let soak for about 20 minutes.
  • Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until they start to become golden brown and begin to pop. Remove from heat.
  • Separate the garlic cloves from the head but don’t peel. Toast in the dry skillet until fragrant and starting to turn golden brown or blacken in some spots.
  • Toast the bread and tortillas in the dry skillet and then set aside.
  • Chop the onion and fry it in the olive oil along with the almonds, raisins, cinnamon, allspice thyme, and oregano in the oil until the onions begin to soften. Set aside and wipe out the skillet.
  • Cut the tomatoes and tomatillos in half then roast in the dry skillet until they start to cook and blacken a little on both sides.
  • Now you will blend all of these ingredients together in two separate batches.
  • Place half of the chilies along with the soaking water, tomatoes, tomatillos, sesame seeds, garlic, bread, tortillas and onion mixture int the blender. Blend on high speed until everything is pureed. You can add a little more water if needed to allow the blades to move freely.
  • Pour blended sauce into a large cooking pot. Repeat, blending the remaining toasted and fried ingredients together. Pour into the pot.
  • Add cocoa powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Then simmer over low heat for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Notes

Your sauce is now ready to use for Chicken en Mole or Skillet Vegetables en Mole or for your favorite burritos or enchiladas.
Tip: Freeze extra sauce in small portions that will be easy to pull out of the freezer and use.
Mole Sauce over Chicken
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Chicken en Mole

Chicken smothered in a Mexican style mole sauce. Delicious with rich dark, flavors and smokey, earthy aromas. The mole sauce adds incredible, dense layered flavor to the chicken.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken, chocolate, garlic, mole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 8 Chicken thighs skinned
  • 2 Cups Mole sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and place in a baking dish. Cover with the mole sauce.
  • Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes. The sauce will become even more flavorful as you bake it.
  • Serve with your favorite rice or quinoa.
Veggies en Mole
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Skillet Vegetables en Mole

A delicious vegan recipe for garbanzo beans and vegetables smothered in a Mexican style mole sauce. Delicious with rich dark, flavors and smokey, earthy aromas. The mole sauce adds incredible, dense layered flavor to the meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chocolate, garlic, mole, vegan, vegetables en mole, vegetarian
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Cup Cauliflower floretts
  • 1 Can Garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 Cups Mole Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat then add oil. Peel sweet potato, chop into large chunks and add to pan. Cook for 3-4 minuted stirring frequently. Add cauliflower and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Cut red pepper in half, remove seeds and slice into pieces. Remove ends of zucchini and chop into pieces. Incorporate both into the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Drain and rinse garbanzo beans then add to the pan.
  • Cover with the mole sauce. Reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Serve with your favorite rice or quinoa.

You also might like my Easy Dill Salmon here!

2 thoughts on “Unbelievable mole sauce

  • May 9, 2020 at 4:18 am
    Permalink

    Your recipe for Skillet Vegetables en Mole looks really good!
    I’ll try it after getting to the store for chilies and tomatillos.
    Freezing small portions of the mole for future meals is a great idea.

    Reply
    • May 19, 2020 at 1:13 am
      Permalink

      Hello. If you are still having trouble finding the Chile peppers and tomatillos you might try on Amazon Whole Foods Market. I have included a link above the recipe to help you the right peppers.

      Reply

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