Quick and Easy Mexican Molé Sauce

Circle B Kitchen

This is about as close as you’re going to come to an authentic molé sauce without spending 3 days getting it done. I used Marcela Valladolid’s easy recipe as a jumping off point and made it a bit more involved by incorporating a few things from Rick Bayless’ recipe. Molé sauce is traditionally served over pieces of roasted bone-in chicken, which I highly recommend. It’s also great over boneless chicken breasts or chicken enchiladas (recipe here).

5 dried pasilla or ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (here's a quick tutorial)

1/3 cup raisins

Two 6-inch corn tortillas, or handful regular tortilla chips

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 medium onions, chopped

Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 chipotle in adobo sauce

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups chicken stock

One 3.1-ounce disk Mexican chocolate, chopped, such as Ibarra


Place the dried chiles in a bowl and pour hot water over them until they’re submerged. Cover the bowl and let them sit for 20 to 25 minutes, then drain them and set aside.

Place the raisins in a small bowl, cover with 2/3 cup hot water and let sit for 20 minutes. Do not drain.

Toast the corn tortillas in a dry skillet until dry, crisp and golden ( do this in a hot oven). Tear into pieces and set aside. In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, season with a little salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add the crushed red pepper and garlic, cinnamon, oregano, black pepper and cloves. Sauté for a couple more minutes or until the spices are fragrant.

Transfer the onion and garlic mixture to a blender with the chiles, raisins (and soaking liquid), chocolate, chipotles in adobo, tortillas, and peanut butter. Pour the chicken stock over and blend until very smooth.

Transfer the sauce to a medium sauté pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, and add a bit of cayenne if more spice is needed. Simmer another 5-10 minutes, covered, before using.