Learn how to make this super easy and fast, no-cook, wonderfully flavorful mole sauce from scratch to use for the best chicken mole or enchiladas.
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Mexican food. From carnitas and tacos to fajitas and burritos, I’ve got an abundance of beloved Mexican recipes on my blog. One of my favorites is easy chicken mole enchiladas. So what’s the thing that makes them top-notch and truly sets them apart? A rich, complex, sultry homemade mole sauce—one that’s deceptively easy to make.
This version is in the style of a poblano mole, and is made with dried ancho chiles, tomatoes, cinnamon, and chocolate. It starts with a no-cook enchilada sauce from this chilaquiles recipe from The Minimalist Kitchen: 100 Wholesome Recipes, Essential Tools, and Efficient Techniques, authored by my friend Melissa of The Faux Martha. Her enchiladas sauce recipe was so easy-to-make, and had such depth of flavor I knew it would be just the right base for a killer mole sauce.
What Is Mole Sauce Made Of?
Mole (meaning “sauce” in the Nahuatl language), dates back to Mexico’s Aztec empire. There are so many different varieties of mole sauce, and you can read about them here, if you’re curious. There are several different styles of mole, with varying degrees of heat, but most mole sauce recipes consist of a blend of dried chiles, dried fruit, seeds, nuts, spices, and dark chocolate.
This recipe takes an easier route, without sacrificing flavor. This mole sauce adds chocolate, peanut butter, and cinnamon to the heat of dried chiles. Yes, peanut butter sounds like a super weird ingredient addition, but the sweetness mellows the earthy spices of the enchilada sauce, creating a complex, well-rounded flavor from simple ingredients.
What’s in This Mole Sauce
Most mole sauce recipes have a laundry list of ingredients (some have upwards of 20!). Fret not, this recipe keeps it nice and easy.
- Hot water—hot water is necessary for moistening the dried chiles, making it easier to blend into a creamy sauce
- Ancho chiles—these dried poblano peppers are slightly fruity and smoky, with a mild to medium heat level
- Sweet onion
- Fire-roasted tomatoes—these deliver a subtly smoky and savory flavor
- Kosher salt
- Chocolate chips—I use semisweet but you can use bittersweet if you prefer (either way, don’t skip this crucial ingredient!)
- Creamy peanut butter—this may seem like an unusual addition to mole sauce, but I promise you it’s an important one! The peanut butter lends a mellow sweetness that balances out the sauce.
- Ground cinnamon
What Does a Mole Sauce Taste Like?
Mole sauce has a sweet and spicy earthiness to it, as well as a smokiness and heat from the chiles. The addition of peanut butter helps cut any bitterness and also imparts a mellow sweetness to the sauce that rounds everything out.
How to Make Mole Sauce
With a shorter ingredient list and quick, two-step method, this mole sauce could not be simpler to make. It’s ready in just 12 minutes (and that includes 10 minutes time to soak the chiles)!
Soak those chiles. Let the chiles soak in hot water for 10 minutes (this will help moisten them up and allow them to be blended into a creamy sauce).
Blend, baby, blend. Add the moistened chiles, onion, tomatoes, garlic, honey, and kosher salt to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Then, add the chocolate chips and peanut butter and blend.
*Note that the mole sauce freezes incredibly well, so you may want to make a double batch just to have it on hand whenever an enchilada craving strikes.
More Easy Mexican Recipes to Make
- Beyond Easy Chicken Mole Enchiladas
- Just Like Taco Bell Tacos
- Chicken Taquitos
- Blackened Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce
- Beef and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos
See more of Melissa’s recipes at The Faux Martha and purchase The Minimalist Kitchen cookbook here.
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