Flavorful Mexican Mole Sauce

Flavorful Mexican Mole Sauce

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 2 mins
Soak Time: 20 mins
Total: 3 hrs 7 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yields: 6 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
221 Calories
13g Fat
24g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 221
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 667mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 138mg 689%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 582mg 12%
*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 sauce originating in pre-Hispanic times. It exists in countless versions, varying in color, consistency, ingredients, and use. For each type of mole, there are countless variations that depend on regional preference and family tradition.

At their core, most moles contain a blend of chile peppers, tomatoes or tomatillos, fruit or other sweet element, nuts or seeds, often but not always cocoa, and a blend of spices. Each home cook has a favorite mix of spices and a preferred ratio of ingredients, so although there is no one true mole recipe, there is something that remains true for all moles: they represent history on a plate—from the simpler sauces of indigenous times made with local ingredients to a mix of components introduced to the Americas from other parts of the world.

Traditional cooking methods call for grinding each ingredient by itself in a molcajete, a mortar and pestle, but for our less labor-intensive product, we used a high-speed blender. Although our easier version of mole doesn't have 40-plus ingredients or take many days to prepare, it is a fairly delicious sauce that can add a traditional Mexican touch to roasted or pulled pork, enchiladas, tacos, nachos, rice, eggs, and of course, the traditional chicken with mole. Be mindful this recipe contains peanuts, so skip if there are any legume allergies in the household.

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Click Play to See This Homemade Mole Sauce Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

For the Onions

  • 1/4 cup lard

  • 1 medium onion, sliced

  • 8 cloves garlic

For the Mole Base

  • 3 small peeled tomatoes, roasted in a 450 F oven for 30 minutes

  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, or unsalted peanut butter

  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seed

  • 3 peppercorns, whole

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 clove, whole

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup raisins

  • 12 large guajillo chiles, toasted and rehydrated

  • 4 1/4 cups chicken broth, divided

  • 1/4 cup corn masa harina

  • Salt, to taste, optional

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this mole dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Onions

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Mexican mole sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Heat the lard in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat.

    Heat lard in saucepan for mole

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions become translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. When the onion softens enough to drape over your spatula, set the skillet aside. Reserve.

    Add onions and garlic to lard

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Make the Mole Base

  1. In a high-speed blender, puree the roasted tomatoes with the peanuts or peanut butter.

    Puree tomatoes and peanuts

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Add the Mexican oregano, cinnamon, anise seeds, peppercorns, thyme, clove, and cocoa powder and blend at high speed to make a smooth paste.

    Add dry ingredients to the blender to make a paste

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Add the reserved sautéed onions to the blender and puree again until the mixture becomes very smooth.

    Add the sautéed onions and garlic to the blender

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Add the raisins and soaked chiles and blend into a smooth paste.

    Add chiles and raisins to blender

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Mix and Cook the Mole

  1. Pour 4 cups of chicken broth in a medium pot, and reserve 1/4 for later use.

    chicken broth in a pot and a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Whisk the masa with the reserved 1/4 cup of chicken broth to create a roux.

    Make roux with masa and chicken broth

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Stir the roux into the pot and whisk until smooth.

    Stir roux in broth

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Add the pureed ingredients to the pan. Cover and simmer for 1 hour until the mole turns thick and aromatic.

    Add pureed ingredients to the pot and simmer

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Uncover, taste, and add salt, if needed.

    Uncover and cook mole until thickened

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Use your homemade mole as a sauce over your preferred dishes. Enjoy!

    Flavorful Mexican Mole Sauce

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

How Do I Prepare the Guajillos?

To prepare the guajillo chiles for the mole:

  • Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, toast the chiles for 20 to 30 seconds per side, or until they start to become fragrant.
  • Transfer the toasted chiles to a large bowl and cover with hot water.
  • Let soak for 20 minutes in order to rehydrate.
  • Transfer the rehydrated chiles to a cutting board and, using a pairing knife, remove the seeds and stems.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

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