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Best Mole Recipes

Best Mole Recipes

Top Rated Mole Recipes

This recipe showcases all the delicious flavors of traditional Mexican mole sauce, but is quick enough to whip up on a weeknight.Recipe courtesy of Nestlé


Mole Coloradito Recipe

Mole Coloradito in the house! This is a great recipe to get familiar with Mo-lay sauces, so maybe it’s time to give it a go?!

The hearty nature of this sauce will give you loads of insta-meal options, so don’t worry too much about serving style the first time you make it.

It has such a unique and satisfying flavor, so even warm tortillas dipped in the Coloradito sauce will make for some happy faces in the kitchen…

The 7 Moles Of Oaxaca

As you can see from the photo above, a lot more goes into mole than ground chiles, chocolate and sesame seeds. This is especially true when you venture outside the confines of your “typical” mole, mole poblano, to the other kinds of the thick, slow-cooked sauce drizzled over food all over the Mexico. In fact, during my recent 36-hour stay in Oaxaca, I sampled 5 out of the 7 and inquired heavily about the other 2. Yes, Oaxaca boasts an impressive 7 kinds of mole, each one more necessary than the last.

1. Negro
The “typical” savory-sweet mole mentioned above, and the one most frequently found on American menus. An intricate recipe with a lot of ingredients and steps, you’ll be grinding and stewing the following together: onion, garlic, whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and cumin, dried chiles, pumpkin and sesame seeds, herbs like hoja santo (which contributes to the dark color) and cilantro, bread for thickening and sometimes dried fruit for extra sweeteness. Oh, and plenty of dark, bitter chocolate.

2. Rojo
Red mole, also known as mole poblano, is similar to black mole, using many of the same spices and base ingredients and also contains chocolate, but less. Instead, this sweeter, spicier and more versatile version is amped up with several kinds of dried red chile like pasilla, guajillo and ancho as well as pulverized raisins and almonds or peanuts. When the sauce is done, browned chicken, pork or beef is typically added and stewed until tender, although I did seriously enjoy thick slices of queso oaxaca, a stretchy, soft mozzarella-like cheese, floating in mole rojo with fresh tortillas for breakfast.

3. Coloradito
This brew translates to “a shade of red,” or “on the naughty side,” depending on what you’re doing in the kitchen. Somewhere between rojo and negro in color, this brown mole shares the base ingredients of whole spices, onions, garlic, seeds and chocolate and features an awesome secret ingredient for thickening and sweetening: mashed ripe plantain.

4. Amarillo
Leave the chocolate at the door, this mole will have none of that. Picture all the goodness of the first three moles without the sweet stuff and you have a delicious basic sauce to pour over or use as a cooking base for myriad Mexican purposes. It’s not unlike a simple Indian curry sauce, the sky’s the limit.

5. Verde
White on the outside, green on the inside — that’s a pumpkin seed. Extra pepitas or pipian, along with fresh tomatillos, jalapenos and cilantro are the key ingredients in bright green mole verde. It can be diluted with chicken stock when it’s finished and poured over cooked chicken to make a soupy sauce mopped up with tortillas or bread.

6. Chichilo
This one’s a little more intense. Round up all the beef bones you can find, you’re going to need them. This dark, spicy sauce starts with rich, homemade beef stock. The stock rehydrates dried chiles de arbol, anchos and guajillos which you then blend with the usual slow-cooked garlic and onions. Mole chichilo is thickened with either masa harina, lime-cured corn flour, or crushed fresh tortillas. No chocolate here, either. Excellent for braises.

7. Manchamantel
This “tablecloth-staining” mole lives up to its reputation: between the bright red chorizo grease, tomatoes and ancho chiles, you do not want to get this stuff on anything white. Featuring fresh pineapple in addition to plantain, manchamantel is a sweet, spicy, fruity sauce any protein would be lucky to cook in.

Sound like enough moles for one region of Mexico? Just imagine how many variations there are — if every family in Oaxaca has their own version of each of the 7, how many moles are there really? Time to break out the calculadora graficadora.

Serving Mole

You can serve mole on whatever you like, but a classic—and delicious—strategy is to make enchiladas. Just roll fresh corn tortillas around any number of fillings (roasted turkey, pulled rotisserie chicken, cooked sweet potatoes, shredded cheese, pretty much anything that sounds good to you), and then cover them generously with the mole sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds, raw slices of onion, cilantro, and, if you can get them, squash blossoms.

A little rice on the side and you’ll want for nothing more. Well, maybe a margarita after all…but try some lesser known Mexican spirits too, or a Mexican craft beer. Just be sure to raise a toast—to Puebla, and to yourself for all your hard work.


Step 1

Wipe chiles with a damp cloth. Using kitchen scissors, cut a slit lengthwise along 1 side. Open chiles up and remove seeds, veins, and stems discard stems. Toast seeds and veins in a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, tossing occasionally, until completely blackened, 7–9 minutes set aside.

Step 2

Working in batches, toast chiles, turning occasionally, until slightly darkened and blistered but not burnt, about 1 minute per side. Transfer chiles to a medium bowl and add boiling water to cover (at least 2 ½ cups). Let soak until chiles are softened, about 20 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, cook tomato, onion, tomatillos, and garlic in same skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until almost completely blackened, 10–15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove skin from tomato discard. Transfer tomato, onion, tomatillos, and garlic to a blender. Add ½ cup broth and purée until smooth set tomato purée aside.

Step 4

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add plantain and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set half of plantain aside for serving place remaining plantain in a medium bowl.

Step 5

Wipe out skillet and toast almonds, pecans, and peanuts in skillet, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with plantain.

Step 6

Toast breadcrumbs in skillet, tossing often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes transfer to bowl.

Step 7

Toast cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried herbs, aniseed, and cumin seeds until spices are fragrant, about 4 minutes transfer to bowl.

Step 8

Working in 2 batches, purée plantain mixture, adding 1 cup broth to each batch, until very smooth. Transfer plantain purée back to bowl set aside.

Step 9

Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chiles and 1 ½ cups soaking liquid in clean blender, adding more soaking liquid as needed, until smooth. Add toasted seeds and ribs and blend until smooth. Strain chile purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.

Step 10

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Cook chile purée, stirring constantly, until reduced by about one-third, 15–20 minutes. Add reserved tomato purée and cook, stirring often, until thickened, 8–10 minutes (reduce heat if needed to keep mixture from splattering). Add reserved plantain purée and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 8–10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Step 11

Add chocolate and stir until melted. Return mole to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally and adding broth by the cupful, until mole is just thick enough to coat spoon, about 30 minutes. Add sugar to taste and season with salt. Serve with meat or fish of choice.

Step 12

DO AHEAD: Mole can be made 1 week ahead. Let cool cover and chill. Reheat, adding broth as needed to loosen.

How would you rate Mole Negro?

I made this with several substitutions: ancho chilies instead of mulato chilies, 4 tomatoes, a whole head of garlic, 10 oz of dark chocolate, 1/4 cup almond butter instead of the nuts/seeds, 1/4 cup dried currants instead of plantains, and two tortillas blitzed into crumb instead of bread. I broiled the produce and chilies until charred, toasted the spices and currants, puréed everything thing sieved, then simmered for 90 minutes with chicken (to poach chicken), then finished with the chocolate, sugar, and salt to taste. Made enchiladas with this. Will 100% make this again, husband said this is better than our favorite restaurant’s mole. I’ll admit that I watched a few different preparations and read a few other recipes which helped with gaps in this recipe. It’s worth tinkering with!

Great traditional ingredients. Terrible recipe! Poorly written. Bon appetite, Don’t you have people to proof read your recipes?

Truly one of the worst written recipe I have ever encountered. It says to toast all of these things and place in bowls but give no indication what to do with them afterwards. Cool the plantains then set aside half for “serving”Meaning what exactly. I think the ingredients are probably spot on but the how to might as well not be there

Hi! What is the amount of chile’s needed in grams?

So I have tracked down all of the ingredients, but from the photo I can't tell what the sauce is covering. If I had to guess I would say chicken, but what part and how is it prepared?

Beginner’s Mole

Fry the chiles, onion and garlic. Into a heavy, 6-quart (or larger) pot or Dutch oven, measure about 3 tablespoons of the oil or lard and set over medium heat there should be enough fat to coat the bottom generously. When hot, add the dried chiles, onion and garlic. Stir nearly constantly until the onion and garlic are soft and the chiles fill the kitchen with a toasty aroma and have changed noticeably in color (they will be lighter on the inside), 4 or 5 minutes. Scrape all the chiles, onions and garlic into a blender jar and add 1 ½ cups of the broth.

Toast the sesame, almonds and raisins. Return the unwashed pot to the medium heat and add more oil or lard to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Add the almonds and stir for a minute or two, until you see the first signs of browning. Add the sesame and raisins and stir nearly constantly until the sesame turns golden and the raisins have puffed, about 3 minutes more. Scrape into a bowl and rinse out the pot.

Blend and cook the chile base. Blend the chile mixture until as smooth as possible—a minute or so in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, 2 or 3 minutes in most blenders. Set the pot over medium to medium-high heat and add enough oil or lard to coat the bottom of the pan generously. When hot, set a medium-mesh strainer over the pot and press the mixture through it and into the hot fat (with a high speed blender, straining is not really necessary). Stir nearly constantly until the chile puree darkens noticeably and thickens to the consistency of tomato paste, usually 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Blend the nut mixture. Scrape the almond mixture into the unwashed blender jar and add the tomatoes and bread. If using whole spices, pulverize them in a mortar and add the ground spices to the blender along with 1 ½ cups of the broth. Blend until as smooth as possible. (This may take longer than blending the chiles because of the sesame’s hardness. Rub some between your fingers to test for smoothness.)

Final frying and simmering . Return the pan with the chile paste to between medium and medium-high heat, and, when steaming-hot, strain in the nut mixture. (Again, straining is not really necessary with a high-speed blender). Stir for several minutes until the mixture again looks the consistency of tomato paste. Stir in the chocolate and the remaining 3 cups broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time to ensure nothing is sticking, for an hour or longer (the longer the simmer, the more integrated the flavors).

Finishing. If the mole has thickened beyond the consistency of, say, potato soup, thin it out with a little more broth or with water. Taste and season first with salt (usually about 2 teaspoons if you’ve used salted broth) and then with sugar (usually about 2 tablespoons) to bring forward the chile flavor and give the finished sauce a slightly noticeably sweet edge. Mole , like many stews and braises, will always taste a little better the second day, so don’t hesitate to make it ahead, cool it to room temperature and refrigerate it for up to a week. It may be frozen for several months.

Authentic Mexican Mole Chicken Recipe

If you like Mexican food and enjoy spicyness, you will love this authentic dish. The unique chocolate adobo sauce goes well with the chicken and makes the meat juicy and succulant.

  • mexican
  • mole
  • chicken
  • spicy
  • zesty
  • chili
  • chocolaty
  • slow-cook
  • mexican
  • mexican
  • mole
  • chicken
  • spicy
  • zesty
  • chili
  • chocolaty
  • slow-cook
  • mexican

Schedule your weekly meals and get auto-generated shopping lists.

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken thighs (or use chicken pieces like legs)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 can(14 oz.) fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (these are sold in small cans in every grocery store in a Mexican area)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup dark Mexican beer, or any dark beer would be fine
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 squares (1oz. each) unsweetend chocolate (for baking), chopped
  • Cooked white rice
  • warm tortillas
  • sour cream and fresh cilantro, chopped


  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oilshopping list
  • 8 chicken thighs (or use chicken pieces like legs) shopping list
  • 1 onion, chopped shopping list
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced shopping list
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced shopping list
  • 3 clovesgarlic, chopped shopping list
  • 2 tbsp. chili powdershopping list
  • 2 tsp. ground cuminshopping list
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamonshopping list
  • 1 can(14 oz.) fire roasted tomatoes, undrained shopping list
  • 1/4 cup raisinsshopping list
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (these are sold in small cans in every grocery store in a Mexican area) shopping list
  • 1 cup chicken brothshopping list
  • 1 cup dark Mexican beer, or any dark beer would be fine shopping list
  • 2 tbsp. peanut buttershopping list
  • 2 tbsp. sugarshopping list
  • 1 tsp. saltshopping list
  • 2 squares (1oz. each) unsweetend chocolate (for baking), chopped shopping list
  • FOR SERVING: shopping listshopping list
  • warm tortillasshopping list and fresh cilantro, chopped shopping list

How to make it

  • Heat oil in a lg. skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides, set aside.
  • In the same skillet, sautee onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until veggies are soft and slightly caramelized. Stir in chili powder, cumin and cinnamon and cook 3 minutes longer.
  • Add tomatoes, raisins, chipotle peppers, chicken broth, beer, peanut butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and add chocolate. Cover and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer the chicken into the dutch oven, or a deep heavy cooking pot, or skillet. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Serve warm over cooked white rice with warm tortillas. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with fresh cilantro, if desired.
  • You will have lots of sauce left-over. Drizzle extra sauce over rice and chicken. The sauce can be frozen and served with chicken later on.
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I am making this as I type this and I will post a picture as soon as I am done. Having only been picking at the sauce, it is already smelling and tasting delicious. I did use 1 cup of Young's Double Chocolate Stout in place of the mexican beer and added about 1/2tbsp of red pepper flakes as I love my food extra spicy. I also used 6tbsp of unsweetened hershey's cocoa powder with 2 tbsp of butter instead because the only unsweet baker's chocolate I found at Central Market was $10 a bar! One small difference but i did use chopped red onion because i prefer it over the white onion.

I already know this will be a 5 star recipe, this is better than my mother's mole!!

juels this is absolutely perfect . love the flavors and i love this dish thank you
great post
five plus

The Cook

The Rating


Incredible! Being such a huge fan of great, authentic Mexican food, this dish is a can't miss!

Fire roasted tomatoes, cinnamon, chipotles, chocolate, beer. Talk about calling my name!

DIY: Mole Repellent

You’ll Need:
1/4 cup castor oil
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons liquid detergent (We use Dawn)

Combine all ingredients in blender until consistency of whipped cream.

To Use: Add 2 Tablespoons of repellent to a regular garden watering can and then fill with warm water. Thoroughly water over areas of greatest damage.

For best results apply after a rain or a thorough watering.

How to Prevent Moles from Coming Back

To prevent moles from coming back, you’ll need to remove their major food source which is usually grub worms.

To permanently remove grub worms, apply milky spore to the affected areas each spring, summer and fall for at least 2 years in a row.

Milky Spore is a naturally occurring microscopic bacteria (Bacillus popilliae) that kills Japanese beetle grubs before they can grow into ravenous adults. It’s a long-term solution because it survives winter temperatures.

The Milky Spore population increases each year, reaching peak effectiveness about three years after application, and lasts ten years or more.

Benefits of milky spore

    can treat up to 2,500 square feet.
  • Targets Japanese Beetle grubs feeding on roots.
  • Naturally occurring bacteria Bacillus popillae.
  • Kills grubs within 7-21 days while releasing even more spores.
  • Developed by the USDA and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Lasts several years and repopulates itself, lasting 10 years or more

In short, apply the castor oil treatment to your lawn today for an instant DIY mole repellent, then apply some Milky spore to remove their food source for an effective permanent, affordable solution.

Mole Poblano

Although the roots of mole can be traced back to pre-Columbian times, the modern-day version is apparently based on a dish created in a convent in Puebla, Mexico back in the 17th century. Various stories have been offered to explain how Mole Poblano actually came into existence, but one thing is for sure – Mole Poblano has a starring role in Mexican Cuisine. A source of pride to many Mexicans, Mole Poblano continues to be a basic dish for special occasions and parties.

While the original recipe included more than 100 different ingredients, the modern-day version is simplified a bit. Of course, it still involves a wide variety of ingredients, including dried ancho, mulato and pasilla chilis, chipotle , tomatoes, rasins, unsweetened chocolate, almonds, sesame seeds, clove, cinnamon, pepper, parsley, onion, garlic, and tortillas. However, it’s really up to the cook as to what proportions to use or whether to change certain ingredients. We’ve given you an authentic recipe which should get you started. But be creative and add your own culinarytouch!

  • 2 Dried Pasilla Chilis
  • 15 Dried Mulato Chilis
  • 8 Dried Ancho Chilis
  • 1 Turkey, cut into parts heart, gizzard and neck saved to made a stock
  • 2 Sprigs Parsley
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 Cups)
  • 3/4 Cup Blanched Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Seedless Raisings
  • 4 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 Bolillo (French bread or Baguette), lightly toasted
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Anise Seeds
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Corn Tortilla, fried crispy and broken in small pieces
  • 1 Chipotle Chilli
  • 3 Large Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar or to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 Squares Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 1 Cup Lard

Mole Poblano Ingredients (CC photo by katiejocannon courtesy of Flickr)

Toast the dried chilis. Remove the veins and seeds, and soak the chilis in salted water overnight.

Place the turkey heart, gizzard, and neck in a small saucepan and cover with 6 cups water. Add parsley, 1/2 cup onion, and clove garlic. Cover and simmer about 1 hour. Strain stock and set aside.

Drain the chilis. Using a molcajete (mortar and pestle) or blender, combine the chilis, almonds, rasins, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, bolillo ( bread ), cloves, cinnamon, anise seeds, pepper, tortilla, and the remaining onion and garlic. Blend into a smooth puree and set aside.

Grind or blend tomatoes with chipotle until smooth.

Heat lard in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add turkey and brown on all sides. Add the tomato- chipotle mixture, and then add about 2 cups of the prepared stock. Simmer until most of the stock has evaporated. Add the chili puree and cook for a few more minutes. Add another 2 cups of stock and salt. Simmer until turkey is tender. Add more stock as needed. Add the sugar and chocolate. Cook until chocolate has melted.

Serve hot, accompanied with Red Rice and tortillas. If desired, the remaining 2 tablespoons of seame seeds are for sprinkling on the mole when served.


The sky’s the limit on how to customize these enchiladas, so have fun experimenting! For example…

  • Want to make them gluten-free? Be sure to use certified GF corn tortillas, and use the gluten-free option to thicken your mole.
  • Want to make them vegan? Nix the meat and cheese, and fill your enchiladas with lots of veggies and beans.
  • Want to make them spicy? I love adding a few jalapeños to the filling!
  • Want to make a casserole? Just combine all of your ingredients in a baking dish between layers of tortillas, instead of rolling them up into enchiladas. (This is also a great way to use corn tortillas, which have a tendency to crack more when they are rolled up.)