Mole Sauce Recipe

This mole sauce is absolutely wonderful. The amazing combination of spices, nuts and chilies makes this a deep and bold sauce. It takes a lot of work but it is well worth it! You can freeze this sauce so go ahead and make a double batch it you like eating Mexican mole sauces.

Here is what you need to do for this:

Makes 6 cups

6 ancho chili pods
6 guajillo chili pods
6 arbol chili pods
½ cup raisins
8 garlic cloves
1 medium white onion – peeled and quartered
3 medium plum tomato
3 to 4 medium tomatillo
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
1/8th tsp. anise seeds
1/8th tsp. coriander seeds
1 TBS sesame seeds
4 cloves
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
1 TBS vegetable shortening or lard
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup raw peanuts
1 corn tortilla
½ cup soaking liquid
2 cups chicken stock
5.5 oz. Mexican drinking chocolate (1 round tablet) or 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate

Remove the seeds and stem from the dry chili pods. Place them in a dry skillet and toast them until starting to blister. Place in a bowl. Add the raisins to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until puffed. Add to the chilies. Cover with boiling water and weigh down with a plate. Allow soaking for about 30 minutes.

While the pods are soaking, add the garlic and onion to the skillet. Cook until charred on all sides. Set aside. When garlic is cool enough, peel it. Add the tomatoes to the skillet. Repeat the process.

Add the sesame seeds, anise, coriander and cinnamon to the pan. Toast for a couple of minutes – until fragrant – stirring constantly. Place in a mortar or coffee-grinder with the cloves and turn into a powder.

Add shortening to the skillet and melt. Add the nuts and brown. Set aside. Add the tortilla to the shortening and brown well.
Place the hydrated chilies and raisins in a blender with ½ a cup of soaking liquid. Blend well. Transfer to a sieve and strain into a bowl. Rinse the blender and add all of the other ingredients – except the chocolate – and blend. Pass through a sieve into the same bowl where the chilies are. Mix sauce well.

Place the sauce in a large pot – it will spatter so be careful – and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

You can keep this sauce for up to 6 months in the freezer.

Print the Mole Sauce Recipe Here

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  • Hey, just wanted to say thank you for the mole sauce and chicken mole recipes. I made this the other day for a dinner for my sister’s boyfriend’s family who are Mexican and they loved it. I have to admit it is very good even though it is a lot of work. It is worth the effort. Would definitely make this again. Once again, thank you :).

  • Hi Gabby!
    I am so happy this worked for you! Thank you for letting me know and for giving it a try! Have a great weekend!
    Mary Ann

  • i watched your youtube video. if you cant blend the spices and have to use ground then what would be the measurements?

  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
    1/8th tsp. anise seeds
    1/8th tsp. coriander seeds
    1 TBS sesame seeds
    4 cloves

  • Okay, I was not sure if you were talking about the chilies. Go ahead and use 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/8th tsp. ground anise, 1/8th ground coriander, and 1/2 tsp. ground cloves. I have never seen ground sesame seeds but I would use 1 tsp. if that is the case. Thanks and good luck!
    Mary Ann

  • I would love to give this recipie a try, however, I live in Europe and do not have access to those types of chilis or tomatillos. What would be a good substitute?

  • Hello,

    I have tried this recipe once before and it had an overall bitter taste. Since I have never cooked with tomatillos, I thought maybe it could be that I used ones that weren’t ripe. Or that possibly I over browned the chilis. I thought maybe I didn’t toast the nuts long enough… I just don’t know

    What might be the reason for this sauce being bitter? I was hoping you could offer some insight.

    Thank you 🙂

  • Hi Amber!
    Sorry for the delay! I think you probably over-browned the chilis. The tomatillos would not make this sauce bitter. I am sorry that this did not come out perfect for you. I hope next time, if there is a next time, this works out better. Take care and thanks!
    Mary Ann

  • Thank you for this recipe! I made it two times for a mexican family since I’ve found this recipe and they love it! They think that I went to Oaxaca and bought it there, it is so delicious! I’m glad I tried it out.

  • Hi Charles!
    I am very happy this worked for you! Thank you so much for giving it a try and for letting me know. I appreciate you stopping by.
    Mary Ann

  • hello from South Texas! thank you for your great mole sauce recipe, i am studying culinary arts at TSTC harlingen and i am going to use your recipe for our mole challenge this Wednesday! im so excited! i already practiced making your recipe and i loved the outcome! with so many different styles of making mole you really have to know your ingredients and im so happy with your version! just wanted to tell you thank you for doing what you do. you are very inspirational. i am new to your website but definitely be coming by more often!

    -norma mendiola

  • Hola Mary Ann, Tomorrow I will attempt to make this mole . I have all the ingredients, watched the video and read the comments of others and your most helpful replies . I’ll try not to burn the chiles to avoid a bitter taste! My first time making such a complex Mexican dish and I am serving it for company. Wish me luck! Lucia, New Rochelle NY

  • Mary Ann, just wanted to say the mole was so good that I ate it three nights in a row until it was gone.


  • Hi Bob!
    I am so happy that the Mole sauce worked for you. I love it as well. It takes some work but it is definitely worth it! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. I appreciate it! Take care!
    Mary Ann

  • Hi I wanted to make this mole for about 40 people, how much more of the ingredients do I need? Thank You

  • Hi Carlos!
    You should be fine with two recipes as this will render you about 6 cups of sauce which I assume you will be mixing with chicken. Thanks!
    Mary Ann

  • Hi Mary Ann,
    I saw your YouTube video for the Mole Sauce. I printed the recipe and I will give it a try.

    I saw a different video about the dry chiles. They said if the water had a bitter taste after the chiles soaked, you should throw out the water and try again. It should be better then.

    Thanks for your recipe.

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