How to Make Mole Sauce

If you're a fan of Central and South American cuisine, you've likely had mole sauce before. A rich, sweet, fragrant, and spicy combination of chilies, herbs, spices, and chocolate, it's got a multitude of uses in the kitchen from eating on its own with some tortilla chips to cooking with enchiladas. For the uninitiated, this can seem like a bit of an odd combination, but anyone who's tasted it will swear by the end result.

There are a ton of different takes on mole sauce out there with plenty of great results. As a result, it can be a little tough to know where to start if you're interested in making some of this delicious concoction at home. You're in luck, however, as we've got a great, easy recipe tutorial for how to make mole sauce from scratch using red chilies and dark chocolate ready and waiting just for you.

Mole sauce in a bowl with cilantro and black sesame seed toppings, wooden background, dried peppers in the background.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Prep Time: 10 mins.

Soak Time: 30 mins.

Cook Time: 10 mins. +

What is Mole Sauce?

Mole (meaning ‘sauce’) is a type of sauce used in many types of Mexican cuisine. While contemporary use of the word can refer to a lot of different varieties (such as mole negro and mole poblano), the version we're making today keeps things simple and flavorful for a first time cook. In general, it is said that five classes of ingredients are used in creating this sauce, those being chilies, sour things, sweet things, spices, and thickeners with many options for what to use in each category.

Traditionally, the ingredients are roasted and ground down into a paste by hand, which is a very lengthy process. This method isn’t as commonplace these days with the introduction of mills. The paste is then combined with water or broth and simmered until very thick. Mole can be found in paste and powder form. Versatile and delicious, it goes great with anything ranging from poultry to lamb to pork and more.

Mole Chili Pepper Options

You can use whatever combination of chili peppers you desire in your mole, even if it's just one type. Here are a few chili pepper options:

Chipotle

chipotle peppers

Chipotles are simply smoked, dried jalapenos. They are medium-hot.

Guajillo

Guajillo peppers

Guajillo chilies are dried mirasol peppers. They are highly popular in Mexico and are mild to moderately hot.

Ancho

Dried ancho peppers

Ancho chilies, which are dried poblanos, are very commonly used in moles. They are mild in heat and fruity in flavor.

Pasilla (Negro)

Negro chili pepper.

The pasilla is a dried chilaca chili pepper. It is rich, woodsy and mild to hot.

Step #1. Prepare Ingredients

Mole ingredients laid out on a wooden background including chocolate, broth, garlic, onion and peppers.
  • 4-5 dried peppers (try to find different varieties of red peppers - chipotle, guajillo, ancho, ñora, etc.)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, melted
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground anise (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toppings: cilantro and sesame seeds
  • Tools: Food processor

Step #2. Soak the Dried Peppers

Peppers sitting in a bowl of warm water on wooden background.

Place the peppers in warm water and let them soak for about 30 minutes. Remove seeds and hard parts (stems).

Step #3. Combine the Ingredients in a Food Processor

Broth being added to processor with peppers and onion.

Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Chocolate being added to processor with peppers, onion, broth and garlic.
Mole sauce blended in a processor, wooden spoon with mole sauce on it, wooden background.

Step #4. Simmer the Mole Sauce

Mole sauce simmering in a pot.

Place the mole in a saucepan and simmer it at medium-low temp. until desired thickness (the more you simmer it, the thicker it will be).

Step #5. Serve the Mole Sauce

Mole sauce in a bowl with cilantro and black sesame seed toppings, wooden background, dried peppers in the background.

Sprinkle toppings over the mole sauce and enjoy.

Mole sauce in a bowl with cilantro and black sesame seed toppings, wooden background, dried peppers in the background.
Mole sauce in a bowl with cilantro and black sesame seed toppings, wooden background, dried peppers in the background.
Mole sauce in a bowl with cilantro and black sesame seed toppings, wooden background, dried peppers in the background.

Now you've got all you need to make some delicious homemade mole sauce whenever you like. The mole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or you can even freeze it. This rich, thick, and spicy part of Mexican cooking has been enchanting taste buds across the world, so it's about time yours got the same treatment.

The anise is optional, but I personally love what it brings to the mole sauce.

There are many ways to mix up your mole sauce to your particular tastes, the easiest being to change the type of chilies you use. Peppers that are fruitier, hotter, or anything in between can make a world of difference in the end result. Additionally, a neat way to add some extra body and thickness to your sauce that many traditional chefs use is to blend in a lightly toasted tortilla or some stale white bread, emulsifying it into the sauce as it cooks.

So much mole and so little time. Do you have any favorite dishes to serve alongside this wonderful sauce? If not, you will soon, as there are tons of great pairings for this side both traditional and experimental. Get out there and get cooking to see what you might enjoy.

How to Make Mole Sauce

We've got a great, easy recipe tutorial for how to make mole sauce from scratch using red chilies and dark chocolate ready and waiting just for you.
Course Condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Soak Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 1/4 cup servings
Calories 103kcal
Author Joss D

Ingredients

  • 4-5 dried peppers Try to find different varieties of red peppers: chipotle, guajillo, ancho, ñora, negro, etc.
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate melted
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground anise optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:

  • Cilantro chopped
  • Black sesame seeds

Tools

  • Food processor

Instructions

  • Place the peppers in warm water and let them soak for about 30 minutes. Remove seeds and hard parts.
    Peppers sitting in a bowl of warm water on wooden background.
  • Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
    Broth being added to processor with peppers and onion.
  • Place the mole in a saucepan and simmer it at medium-low temp. until desired thickness (the more you simmer it, the thicker it will be).
    Mole sauce simmering in a pot.
  • Sprinkle toppings over the mole sauce and enjoy.
    Mole sauce in a bowl with cilantro and black sesame seed toppings, wooden background, dried peppers in the background.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Mole Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 103 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 148mg6%
Potassium 172mg5%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 99IU2%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or dipping sauce.

Tried this recipe?Mention @inthekitchdotnet or tag #inthekitchgrams!

Leave a Comment:

shares