Easy Mexican Mole Sauce

Easy Homemade Mole Sauce

The Spruce

  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
525 Calories
21g Fat
74g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 525
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 1425mg 62%
Total Carbohydrate 74g 27%
Dietary Fiber 10g 37%
Protein 16g
Calcium 260mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Mole (pronounced in two syllables, MOE-lay), is a quintessential Mexican chile sauce with origins in pre-Hispanic times. It exists in countless versions throughout the country, varying in color, consistency, ingredients, and use according to regional preference and family tradition. But most begin with some common denominators: a blend of chile peppers, tomatoes or tomatillos, some kind of fruit or other sweet element, nuts or seeds, often but not always chocolate, and a blend (usually secret!) of spices.

Traditional cooking methods call for grinding each ingredient by itself in a molcajete (mortar and pestle), but a blender will do the job just fine. Mole most often accompanies chicken or turkey, but you can also ladle it over roasted or pulled pork. Leftover mole sauce makes excellent enchiladas or a condiment for rice, eggs, and other dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pork lard
  • 1 onion (peeled and sliced)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 3 tomatoes (roasted and peeled)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (unsalted, or sub unsweetened peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (dried and crushed)
  • 1 stick cinnamon (broken into small pieces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 3 peppercorns (whole)
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 clove (whole)
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 12 guajillo chiles (soaked in hot water, skinned, stemmed, and seeded)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (soaked in water to soften)
  • 1/4 cup prepared masa (raw corn tortilla dough)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Garnish: toasted sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Mexican mole Sauce ingredients
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  2. Heat the lard in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat.

    Heat lard in saucepan for mole
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  3. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions turn translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. You do not want the onions to turn brown; adjust the temperature as necessary. When the onions soften enough to drape over your spatula, set the skillet aside.

    Add onions and garlic to lard
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  4. In a blender, purée the roasted tomatoes with the peanuts or peanut butter.

    Puree tomatoes and peanuts
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  5. Add the oregano, cinnamon, anise, peppercorns, thyme, clove, and cocoa powder, and blend to make a smooth paste.

    Add dry ingredients to make a paste
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  6. Add the sautéed onions and garlic to the blender container and purée again.

    Add onions and garlic to blender
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  7. Add the chiles and raisins and blend into a smooth paste.

    Add chiles and raisins to blender
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  8. Pour all of the chicken broth except for 1/4 cup into a large saucepan.

    Pour chicken broth in cooking pot
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  9. In a separate small bowl, make a roux by whisking the masa with the reserved 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

    Make roux with masa and chicken broth
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  10. Stir the roux into the broth and whisk until smooth.

    Stir roux in broth
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  11. Add the puréed ingredients to the pan. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

    Add pureed ingredients and simmer
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  12. Uncover and continue cooking until the mole turns thick and aromatic.

    Uncover and cook mole until thickened
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  13. Use your homemade mole as a sauce for chicken or turkey or chunks of pork, sprinkling toasted sesame seeds over each portion as you serve.

    Use your homemade mole sauce for dinner
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  14. Any leftover mole tastes delicious spooned over rice or fried eggs or used as an enchilada sauce.

Traditional Mole

Traditional moles often contain 40 or more different ingredients and take multiple days to prepare.

You can find prepared mole paste—ready to eat after diluting and heating—in supermarkets both within and outside of Mexico.