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My grandma made this EASY mole recipe each time there was a birthday or celebration. It’s rich, tasty, and full of flavor.
Years later, I found this exact same recipe published in an 1980s newspaper clippings from Durango, Mexico where my family is from.
It was entitled “Mole Rojo estilo Norteno” with an annotation, “como en Durango.” Translation: “like in Durango.”
I had to publish it in English for my fellow Duranguenses and for those who think making this sauce is too complicated. Not at all … Think again!!
More Mole Recipes:
Pipian Verde (Green Mole)
Chicken Mole Tamales
Chicken Mole Enchiladas
- Olive Oil (or lard)
- Dried Chile Ancho
- piece of bolillo
- Salt and pepper
- Mexican chocolate
- tablespoon sugar (if necessary)
This is NOT mole poblano. It’s NOT Dona Maria either.
Unlike many mole recipes, this recipe does not require many ingredients or hours to make.
Please note that I changed the original recipe slightly.
In the traditional recipe, the ingredients are fried in lard. Instead, we are going to roast and toast on a skillet.
How to Make It
- Start by roasting the tomatoes and toasting the anchos.
- The ancho chile only take 1 minute on each side.
- Remove the ancho chile and set aside.
Don’t go far. If the anchos burn, it will make the sauce bitter.
Make sure all the sides are charred on the tomatoes before removing.
You can also roast the tomatoes in the oven. Roast for 7 minutes under the broiler. Turn and roast for 5 more minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, and bread.
- Roast until charred.
Roast garlic with the skin on. The skin will separate faster from the garlic clove.
Spread out the onion so to get all the onion roasted.
FYI: You only need a small piece of bread. Any bread will do. You can even use day old bread.
- Cut off the stem.
- Cut lengthwise.
- Remove as many of the seeds as possible.
- Set aside. Repeat with all the dried chiles.
You might not be able to get all the seeds out. That’s ok!
We’re going to strain the sauce later, and that’s when we’ll remove any larger bits that the blender didn’t get.
How long does it take to make a mole?
It really depends on the type of mole you’re making. The most well-known type is mole poblano, and that can take up to 6 hours to make. This EASY mole recipe from my grandmother is made in under 30 minutes.
- Place the chiles in boiling water.
- Turn off the stove and let them sit for 5-7 minutes.
As long as they are pliable. That’s what you’re looking for.
What does mole taste like?
Mole tastes spicy but without the heat. It’s thick and rich. The sauce is loaded with BIG flavors.
- Add the chiles and the roasted ingredients into a blender.
- Add water and blend until smooth.
Is Mole healthy to eat?
Mole has a lot of calories, but it’s packed with good stuff like Vitamin B, riboflavin, phosphorus, iron, calcium, niacin, and zinc.
- Heat oil in a stock pot.
- Add a strainer over the pot.
- Strain the sauce into the pot.
Stand back! It will splatter on you. Do this little by little until the entire sauce is added.
Using a cooking spoon push the sauce into the pot.
Note: If you are using a stored sauce that is cold, add a splash of water and mix with a spoon to get it going.
- Add chicken broth and Mexican chocolate tablet.
- Stir until the chocolate melts.
From here, either store the sauce into jars or use.
How to Use:
Add the mole paste and 2 cups of chicken broth to a stock pot. Mix and bring to a simmer. Add cooked chicken or turkey. It’s ready when the chicken is fully heated.
Does all Mole have chocolate?
No. This recipe includes chocolate, but not all moles use chocolate such as green mole (pipian verde), mole blanco (also called mole de novia), mole rosa (a traditional dish from Taxco, Guerrero), and several others.
How Long Does It Last?
Prepared mole with chicken lasts only 5 days. The sauce itself that is stored in jars can last up to 6 months in the fridge.
This Easy Mole Recipe is what every Mexican food lover needs. A RICH, delicious, and chocolatey sauce that’s ready in under 30 minutes!! Serve with chicken and rice.
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Easy Mole Recipe
- 2 tomatoes
- 3-4 chile ancho
- 5 cups water (divided)
- 1/4 bread (such as bolillo or telera)
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- pinch cumin
- 1 tspn salt
- 1/2 tspn pepper
- 1 tablet Mexican chocolate (such as Abuelita or Ibarra)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
How To Make The Sauce:
- In a large skillet, roast the tomatoes.
- Add the dried ancho chile.
- Toast for 1 minute on each side.
- Remove immediately.
- If the chile burns, the sauce will be bitter.
- Continue roasting the tomatoes while you boil 4 cups of water.
- Remove the stems and open up the anchos to remove the seeds.
- Discard the stems and the seeds.
- Place the anchos inside the boiling water.
- Turn the heat off and let them sit in the hot water for 5 minutes, or until pliable.
- Roast the tomatoes on all sides.
- Add the onion, garlic, and bread to the skillet.
- Char all the sides of the onions as well.
- Remove the garlic and bread once toasted.
- Remove the onions and tomatoes once they are ready.
- Discard the water from the dried chiles.
- Place the rehydrated dried chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and bread into a blender.
- Add 1 cup of water.
- Blend until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a stock pot.
- Place a strainer over the top of the stock pot.
- Carefully and slowly strain the mole sauce into the stock pot.
- Remove strainer.
- Add the chicken broth and Mexican chocolate tablet.
- Stir until the chocolate has melted.
- Taste it. If you want it sweeter, add 1 tbsp sugar.
How to Cook with the Sauce:
- Add the sauce, 2 cups chicken broth, and cooked chicken to a stock pot.
- Once the chicken is fully heated, it's ready!
- Serve with rice and tortillas. Enjoy!
- Roast garlic with the skin on. The skin will separate faster from the garlic clove.
- Spread out the onion so to get all the onion roasted.
I have never tasted mole before but it seems like a delicacy. I love spicy food so I would love to try this recipe with the ancho chiles.
This recipe it’s so delicious. Hope you try it!
I have never heard of Mole before and had to look it up to learn more. This recipe does sound very easy and good. I must give it a try.
Hope you try it! It’s delicious.
I’ve had chicken mole a few times at a Mexican restaurant and thought it was really tasty! I’ll have to see if I can find all the ingredients and try making this.
Hope you try this recipe I think you will love it!
This mole was so delicious! It reminds me of one that I had on vacation. Can’t wait to make again.
So good right? We love this one too
Jennifer Van Haitsma
I’ve never heard of this! Definitely sounds like an interesting flavor combination. Thanks for teaching me something!
It’s delicious. Hope you try it!
I may have to give MOLE a try again – I had it a LONG time ago and I can’t remember if I liked it or not! haha!
Honestly when I read the title I thought you were cooking with moles and I was like please no, they are too cute! So glad when I realised you weren’t! This actually sounds really interesting :).
Hope you try this recipe!
Jenn @ EngineerMommy
I’ve never made my own mole recipe but this looks easy enough. I totally want to try your recipe.
Hope you try it! you will love it
Thank you for this simple mole recipe. I love mole, but was always under the impression that it is difficult to make requiring many hours of preparation. I’m excited now, I can make it at home. 🙂
Glad you liked it. Hope you try it
Thanks for this awesome recipe. I am sure that my husband will love it! Yummy!
Glad you liked it. Hope you try it
This is the first time I’ve seen this. I am so curious of the taste now. I’ve got to try this!
It’s delicious. Hope you try it!
I’ve never tried mole before but it combines both chocolate and chilli which are my fav ingredients!
It’s delicious! Hope you try this recipe
Hi Maggie, I love your recipes and love following you on Instagram. Question: I don’t really use Ancho chiles very much, are they spicy? I usually use California Chiles and since I want to feed my 2 year old to get him loving mole I am afraid of using something that might be too spicy he doesn’t want to try.
I describe Anchos to be like spicy raisins. For a 2 year old, though, they might be too spicy. The chocolate will bring down the heat. I’d make a small batch. like cut it in half. Then have him taste it.
Mole estilo Duranguenses?! Heck yes I’m making this! Gracias paisana! Arriba Durango!!
I call it Duranguense, but some people call it Mole Norteno. Arriba Durango!
1/4 bread? 1/4 cup? Slice? Please be more specific.
As mentioned in the recipe card, 1/4 bread refers to 1/4 of a standard loaf of bread, in this case, I used 1/4 bolillo and for extra help, you can see it in the step-by-step photos of the recipe. So you would cut 1/4 of a loaf of bread. Hope this clarifies things for you.