How to Create a Flavorful Mole Sauce: A Step-by-Step Guide

Unlock the secrets of Mexican cuisine with this step-by-step guide to making a rich and flavorful mole sauce. Toast nuts, blend chiles, and add chocolate to create a sauce that will elevate any dish. Your culinary journey begins here!

How to Create a Flavorful Mole Sauce: A Step-by-Step Guide
Toasting nuts and chiles - the aromatic beginnings of a homemade mole sauce.

Mole sauce, with its rich and complex flavors, is a cherished gem in Mexican cuisine. It's a blend of various ingredients that come together to create a sauce that's both sweet and savory, with a hint of spiciness. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of preparing a delicious mole sauce using a traditional recipe that's been passed down through generations.

Mole Sauce Ingredients

Before we dive into the cooking process, let's take a look at the ingredients you'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 50 grams of almonds
  • 50 grams of peanuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 slab of table chocolate
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 3 pasilla chiles
  • 3 chiles mulatos
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • ½ liter of water
  • ½ bolillo (a type of Mexican bread)

Mole Sauce Instructions

Step 1: Toast the Ingredients

The first step in making this delectable mole sauce is to toast several key ingredients. This toasting process enhances the flavors and aroma of the sauce.

Begin by heating 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 50 grams of almonds and 50 grams of peanuts to the pot, and toast them until they become golden brown and fragrant. This should take about 3–4 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.

Step 2: Incorporate Aromatics

Once the nuts are toasted to perfection, add 2 cloves of minced garlic and half of a finely chopped onion to the pot. Continue to sauté until the onion becomes translucent, which usually takes about 2–3 minutes. The mingling scents of garlic and onion will fill your kitchen, creating a mouthwatering anticipation for your mole sauce.

Step 3: Introduce the Chiles and Tomatoes

Now, it's time to introduce the star of the show – the chiles and tomatoes. In this recipe, we use 3 ancho chiles, 3 pasilla chiles, and 3 chiles mulatos, which impart a deep, smoky flavor to the sauce.

Before adding them to the pot, remove the stems and seeds from the chiles, then tear them into smaller pieces. Next, add the chiles to the pot and sauté for a few minutes until they become aromatic.

Afterward, add 3 ripe tomatoes that have been roughly chopped. Continue to cook everything together until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices. This process should take around 5–7 minutes.

Step 4: Chocolate Magic

Once the chiles and tomatoes have melded together, it's time to add an essential ingredient that gives mole sauce its distinctive flavor – a slab of table chocolate. The chocolate adds a rich, velvety sweetness to the sauce.

Break the chocolate into pieces and stir it into the pot. Let it melt and combine with the other ingredients, creating a delightful chocolatey aroma that fills the kitchen.

Step 5: Simmer and Blend

Now that all the ingredients are well incorporated, add 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and ½ liter of water to the pot. Stir everything together and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

While the mole is simmering, take half a bolillo and toast it until it's golden brown. Once it's toasted, blend it with the contents of the pot. This step helps thicken the sauce and gives it a slightly nutty flavor.

Step 6: Serve and Savor

Your homemade mole sauce is now ready to be used to flavor your favorite dishes. Whether you're planning to serve it over chicken, turkey, or enchiladas, this rich and velvety sauce is sure to elevate your meal to new heights.

Creamy and indulgent mole sauce, the heart of authentic Mexican cuisine.
Creamy and indulgent mole sauce, the heart of authentic Mexican cuisine.


  • For a smoother mole, you can strain it through a fine-mesh sieve before adding the chocolate.
  • If you want a spicier mole, you can add more chiles or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • You can also add other ingredients to your mole, such as raisins, prunes, or plantains.
  • Mole sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Preparing mole sauce from scratch may seem like a labor-intensive process, but the result is well worth the effort. With its combination of nuts, chiles, chocolate, and spices, mole sauce is a true masterpiece of Mexican cuisine. So, roll up your sleeves and gather your ingredients. Your homemade mole sauce will leave your family and friends begging for seconds, and you'll have a newfound appreciation for the art of Mexican cooking. Enjoy!