Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (2024)

HomeRecipesDinner

jump to recipe

pin

Author:

Isabel

Published:

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure policy.

Learn how to make authentic mole sauce (mole poblano) from scratch! This unique and beloved traditional Mexican dish is made from a combination of various ingredients, including dried chiles, nuts and seeds, spices, chocolate, and dried fruit. Serve it over chicken or turkey, as a sauce for enchiladas, or in tamales for a showstopping meal.

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (1)

Making your own mole sauce at home can be a little intimidating, but once you see just how easy it is, you’ll be a pro in no time!

I’m not going to lie – making mole sauce (specifically mole poblano) from scratch takes a little bit of time, but it’s not difficult or complicated. As long as you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go, you can totally do it. And the end result is so worth it!

If you want to make a quick and easy mole sauce made from a jar of store-bought mole paste, take a look at my recipe for enmoladas. The mole sauce I use there is a shortcut version.

What Is Mole?

Mole is a traditional Mexican dish known for its rich and complex flavors that have been around for decades. The word mole comes from the Nahuatl word mōlli, which means “milled” or “pounded”, and is the term often used to refer to a variety of sauces that are typically chile-based.

There are many different types of mole across Mexico, and one of the most popular versions is mole poblano. The birthplace of this iconic, world-renowned dish is traced back to Puebla and Oaxaca.

Mole poblano is made from a unique combination of over 10 ingredients, including dried chiles, spices, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and even chocolate.

Each ingredient fits into one of these four categories – sweet, sour, chile, or thickener.

After being toasted and fried, they’re all blended together to create a deep, rich, and flavorful reddish-brown sauce that’s absolutely delicious!

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email and we’ll send it straight to your inbox. Plus new recipes each week!

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (2)

Mole Sauce Ingredients

  • Dried chiles: A combination of ancho and pasilla chiles. You can find them in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store or in a specialty Mexican grocer. If you can’t find them in your area, buying them online is always a great option.
  • Nuts and seeds: Raw almonds, unroasted and unsalted peanuts, raw pumpkin seeds, coriander seeds, and sesame seeds. Make sure to get the raw and unsalted variety if possible.
  • Black peppercorns: Adds a surprising touch of heat to the dish.
  • Corn tortilla: 1 plain store-bought corn tortilla is perfect.
  • White bread: 1 slice of white bread or French bread. This, along with the tortilla, acts as a thickener.
  • Raisins: Adds a nice fruity element to the sauce without making it overly sweet.
  • Mexican chocolate: 1 round disc of Mexican chocolate adds a beautiful depth of flavor to the mole sauce and some sweetness that pairs perfectly with the chiles. You can find Mexican chocolate in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store or in a specialty Mexican grocer. If you can’t find it in your area, you can buy it online.
  • Mexican cinnamon stick: If you can’t findMexican cinnamon sticks(also known as Ceylon cinnamon sticks), you can use 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

Did You Know?

There are actually over 7 types of common mole recipes – manchamantel, chichillo, verde, negro, coloradito, amarillo, and mole poblano! Even within these familiar recipes, there are infinite variations to them.

How to Make Mole

Cook the chicken: Add the chicken to a large pot and cover it with water. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (3)

Toast ingredients: In a large Dutch oven, add oil and dried chiles, separate into two batches, cook for 1 minute until fragrant, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Do this with the second batch of dried chiles, all nuts, seeds, tortilla, bread, cinnamon stick, and onions.

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (4)

Soak: Once all ingredients are toasted and in a large mixing bowl, add 7 cups of chicken broth. Allow it to soak for 15 minutes.

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (5)

Blend: Working in two batches, place half of the soaked ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into the same large Dutch oven used for frying. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and liquid.

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (6)
Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (7)

Heating: Add Mexican chocolate, chicken bouillon, and salt in the large Dutch oven, mixing it with the mole sauce. Heat over medium heat and cook for 8 minutes.

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (8)

Serve: Add in cooked chicken and heat for 2 minutes. Place a piece of chicken with sauce on a plate and enjoy!

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (9)
  • Watch the chiles closely when frying, and try not to burn them. This can happen quickly and taste bitter if burned.
  • If you just want to make the sauce and not the chicken that goes along with it, you’ll need 7 cups of chicken broth.
  • Strain the sauce for a silky smooth consistency.
  • Dutch oven: This is one of my most-used kitchen tools and is oven safe!
  • Slotted spoon: I use this often when transferring rehydrated chiles to a blender for all my Mexican sauces.
  • Blender: A powerful blender is a must when blending chiles to make Mexican sauces.
  • Strainer: If you don’t have a powerful blender, a strainer is a great tool to help remove any solids in the mole sauce to make it silky smooth.

Serving Suggestions

Mole is often served with some traditional Mexican sides that complement its rich and complex flavor. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Mexican rice
  • Corn tortillas
  • Flour tortillas
  • Pinto beans (cooked on the stove or in a crock pot)

Storing and Reheating

Mole poblano can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

To reheat, rewarm it on the stove and add additional chicken broth to reach desired consistency.

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (10)

More Mexican Recipes

  • Tamales
  • Chiles en Nogada
  • Tacos al Pastor
  • Birria
  • Pozole
  • Chilaquiles
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Caldo de Pollo

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (11)

4.90 from 19 votes

Authentic Mole Sauce (Mole Poblano)

servings: 8 servings

Print Pin Review Save

Prep: 40 minutes minutes

Cook: 1 hour hour 45 minutes minutes

Total: 2 hours hours 25 minutes minutes

How to make authentic mole sauce! This traditional Mexican dish is made from chiles, nuts, seeds, spices, chocolate, dried fruit, and more!

Ingredients

  • 1 4-6 pound whole chicken*, cut into pieces
  • Water, as needed
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 ancho chiles, (about 4 ounces), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and torn into pieces
  • 8 pasilla chiles, (about 2 ½ ounces), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and torn into pieces
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 slice white bread
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 4-inch Mexican cinnamon stick
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • ½ cup sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 3.1 ounces Mexican chocolate (about 1 round disc)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes

Instructions

  • Add the chicken to a large pot and cover with enough water to fully submerge it plus 1 inch. Bring it to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Carefully transfer the chicken pieces to a large plate and set aside to cool. Cover the pot to keep the chicken broth hot and set aside for later use.

  • Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add ½ of the ancho chiles, ½ of the pasilla chiles, and fry for 1 minute until fragrant, stirring frequently to avoid burning them. Shake off any excess oil from the chiles and transfer them to a large heat-safe bowl. Add in the remaining batch of ancho and pasilla chiles, and repeat.

  • To the same pot, add the almonds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. Pan fry for 1 minute until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer them to the same large heat-safe bowl.

  • In the same pot, heat 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add the corn tortilla and lightly fry for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer it to the bowl.

  • In the same pot, add the white bread and lightly toast for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer it to the bowl.

  • Heat another ½ tablespoon of oil in the same pot and add the cinnamon stick. Fry for 30 seconds, stirring often, then add in the raisins and continue frying for 2 minutes. Transfer everything to the large bowl.

  • Heat another ½ tablespoon of oil in the same pot. Add the black peppercorns, coriander seeds, garlic, and cloves, and lightly fry for 1 minute, stirring often. Transfer it to the bowl.

  • Heat another ½ tablespoon of oil in the same pot and add the onions. Fry for 3 minutes until softened, then transfer them to the large bowl.

  • Heat another ½ tablespoon of oil in the same pot and add the sesame seeds. Fry for 1 minute until lightly toasted, stirring often, then transfer them to the bowl. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside.

  • Add 7 cups of the reserved hot chicken broth to the large bowl of fried ingredients. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and let everything soak for 15 minutes.

  • Transfer half of the softened ingredients along with half of the liquid to a large blender and blend for 3 to 5 minutes on high until it’s as smooth as possible. Pour the blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into the same large Dutch oven or pot used for frying. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and liquid.

  • Add the Mexican chocolate, chicken bouillon, and salt in the large Dutch oven or pot filled with the strained mole sauce. Heat over medium heat and cook for 8 minutes, until the chocolate has completely melted and the chicken bouillon has fully incorporated into the sauce. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary.

  • Add in the cooked chicken pieces and cook for 2 more minutes to heat everything through. Serve chicken with a generous helping of mole sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

Notes

  • Chicken: If you just want to make the sauce and not the chicken that goes along with it, you’ll need 7 cups of chicken broth.
  • Mexican cinnamon: If you don’t have a Mexican cinnamon stick (also known as Ceylon cinnamon), you can use 2 teaspoons of ground Ceylon cinnamon instead. If using ground cinnamon, add it in step 12 along with the Mexican chocolate, chicken bouillon, and salt.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 506kcal (25%), Carbohydrates: 78g (26%), Protein: 20g (40%), Fat: 40g (62%), Saturated Fat: 5g (25%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g, Monounsaturated Fat: 19g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 0.2mg, Sodium: 2075mg (86%), Potassium: 1843mg (53%), Fiber: 27g (108%), Sugar: 31g (34%), Vitamin A: 18545IU (371%), Vitamin C: 24mg (29%), Calcium: 217mg (22%), Iron: 8mg (44%)

Author: Isabel Orozco-Moore

Category: Mexican

4.90 from 19 votes (14 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

  1. Maddie

    Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (12)
    This recipe turned out incredible! Only had 4 pasillas so had to swap half out for the guajillos we had on hand but otherwise went exactly by the recipe. We ended up with a ton of leftover sauce, so very happy to have that on hand. My partner said it was the best mole they’d ever had, which is mind-boggling to me given that they grew up in a Mexican community in SoCal. Thank you for crafting this recipe and publishing it for others!

    Reply

  2. Amy

    PS: Never mind! I just clicked on the links and noticed it was referring to dry peppers. I thought at first you meant fresh. Sorry about that! Please ignore my previous comment.

    Reply

  3. Amy

    Hello!
    What if you only have dried peppers? I have never seen these fresh peppers anywhere in Kentucky unless I grow them. Thanks so much!

    Reply

  4. Maxx

    Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (13)
    I forgot to use the stars.

    Reply

  5. Maxx

    It looked complicated, but the process was simple. Cook each item individually and then together in the pot. Low and slow to develop flavor. I did make substitutions for the stock because I’m a vegetarian. Great flavor! I will make this again.

    Reply

  6. Ana

    Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (14)
    Made this last weekend for my family, including my Mexican mom, and it was a huge hit! I need to jar some of it to use later because it’s so good!

    Reply

  7. Carol

    Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (15)
    I love this mole recipe! It is easier than some I have tried, less fussy, straight forward instruction with great results! I don’t use chicken bouillon re: sodium content. Just really good stock. I served over chicken pieces per the recipe and also on ground chicken, peppers and onion for taco/fajitas. Froze some too! I wonder if the mole would be good on potatoes? Hmmm. Thank you for sharing another great recipe!

    Reply

  8. Nannette

    Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (16)
    Love the chicken enchilada! So delicious and so easy
    My entire family craves for it. They say it’s the best! Thank you!

    Reply

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (17)

Free ebook!

Download My Tried and Tested Mexican Recipes Ebook

Subscribe and receive a free e-cookbook of the Top 10 Reader Favorites of 2024!

Authentic Mole Sauce - Isabel Eats (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated:

Views: 6551

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.