Mole de Olla

Mole de Olla

6 to 8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: ancho chiles, beef, chayote, cilantro, Corn, green beans, mint, Mole, onion, pasilla, pati's mexican table, tomatillos, Tomatoes, Zucchini
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Mole de Olla recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 10 “Modern Mexico"


  • 3 pounds beef stew meat cut or beef shank meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch chunks and bones added to the pot
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 large sprig of fresh mint, or between 10 and 12 leaves
  • 3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 pound (about 4) ripe tomatoes, preferably roma
  • 1/4 pound tomatillos, (about 1 or 2 depending on size)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 chayote squashes, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into about 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 3 ears of fresh corn, husked and cut into thirds
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped white onion, for garnish
  • 3/4 cup Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 3 to 4 limes, quartered, for garnish

To Prepare

  • In a large heavy-bottomed casserole or pot, place the meat, half onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, mint and a tablespoon of salt. Cover with 10 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface, and reduce the heat to low or medium-low heat, cover and simmer for an hour.
  • Meanwhile, place the ancho and pasilla chiles in a medium bowl, cover with boiling water and let them rehydrate for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the tomatoes and tomatillos in baking dish under the broiler, until they are completely charred and mushy, about 10 minutes. In a small skillet set over medium heat, place the sesame seeds and toast, stirring constantly, anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes until they start to become golden brown, but not completely dark brown.
  • In the jar of a blender, place the soaked chiles, along with 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid, the broiled tomatoes and tomatillos, and the toasted sesame seeds, and puree until completely smooth.
  • Remove the lid from the large casserole, remove the cooked onion, mint and garlic cloves (if some remains, it is totally fine) and pour the chile mixture in with the meat. Stir, cover again and cook for another half hour.
  • Remove the lid, raise heat to medium heat, add the cubed chayote squash and the corn, and cook partially covered for 15 minutes. Add the green beans and zucchini, and cook partially covered for another 10 minutes. Taste for salt and add more if need be.
  • Serve in bowls, making sure that each bowl has a serving of meat, corn, chayote, green beans and zucchini. Place white onion, cilantro and halved limes at the table, for people to add as last seasonings and garnishes.
  • Note: Traditionally, this recipe uses xoconostles, which are hard to find in the US. Instead, I use tomatillos, which have a similar tart flavor.

45 comments on “Mole de Olla

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  1. Pati, this recipe literally brought tears to my eyes. Not only was it delicious, but it tasted exactly like the Mole de Olla my mom would make. She passed a few years ago and I miss her. Your recipe brought back wonderful memories. What a gift! Thank you so much for sharing. BTW, she would make it with chicken as well.

  2. Thank you for generously sharing your recipe, Ms. Jinich. The only beef stew I knew to cook before this was kaldereta. Now, I have something else to eat. 😅 I can’t wait to make it again!

  3. Pati, our family so enjoys watching your show. Your love of food and the origins of every dish and ingredient is intoxicating. My son and I are making this particular dish this weekend. I haven’t like traditional (chocolate-based) mole before but that was because I had no idea there were so many types. Thanks to you, I’m enjoying so many more dishes to their fullest. Well wishes for you and your family!

  4. Thank you so much for all your wonderful and uplifting episodes. I’m originally from El Paso and live in Florida so your show and recipes take me home along with your beautiful Spanish and your accent. I look forward to making this dish. In our home when you are on tv my five year old shouts Pati!! Gracias again for the comforting recipes!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Ivy, hope you give the Mole de Olla a chance, you guys are going to love it 😉

  5. HOLAloha Pati🌺,
    My husband & I have spent much of our “cuarentena” time watching you cook & have loved every episode! Tonight, for our first family dinner together with our kids & nietos in many months, we cooked up a pot of your Mole de Olla & your Salpicòn recipe topped with carne asada. What a treat! We loved the soup & salad almost as much as our sweet reunion! We are so thankful for your amazing gift of cooking & simplified teaching. Although we’re at home in Hawaii, we’ve visited so many beautiful towns & cocinas in Mexico with you as our guide & can’t wait to travel safely again! God bless and keep you and your family. May His face shine upon you!

    1. Thank you so much Roxie for such sweet words. So glad to know that the show has kept you guys entertained during these trying times. Stay safe and healthy and keep cooking 😉

    1. Oh I’ve collected my dishes throughout my travels…a lot of my Mexican dishware is from a town called Tlaquepaque in the state of Jalisco. The company that makes them is called El Palomar.

  6. Hola


    Soy una admiradora, me gusta como cocinas, y sobre todo compartiendo tus recetas con mucho amor para las Familias de México y USA.

    Que Dios te siga bendiciendo, con esos dones para trasmitir el amor por medio de la cocina.


  7. Hi Patti . I love your show and have made a lot of your dishes and have learned a lot . My question is where can I buy you cook books. You are an inspiration.

  8. Hello Pati, I live in California and so far the markets I have been to sell a bag of chiles called “Pasilla-Ancho Chiles.” However, based on your video it looks like they are ancho chiles that are mislabeled. Could there be another name for Pasilla chiles? If I use Guajillo chiles, would that also work?

    1. I have the same problem. I cannot find Pasilla Chiles or ancho chiles. The bag I am able to find is called “pasilla-ancho chiles”. Since I could not find the chiles listed by name, I used 6 of the pasilla-ancho chiles and it tastes great.

  9. Hi Pati,

    I’m wondering if you think it would be possible to make this recipe without meat? I’ve made other, similar soups (like pozole) with a parmesan rind and other additions for flavor & fat in the broth, but I’m not sure if it would work here.

  10. Hello Pati. I am gathering the ingredients to make this and wondering what would be a good substitute for the chayote squash…? Because it is actually a fruit it is hard to imagine anything that would be close…?

  11. Hi Pati! I”m so excited to make this, I”m actually making it for Thanksgiving 🙂 I’ve seen the episode twice on TV and am inspired to finally do it. One question, can I substitute fish for the meat, and if so, what kinds of fish would you recommend? Thanks for your amazing show and cooking over the years. I bought the first cookbook….

    1. ​Absolutely! I would try to add some meaty fish, of your choice, and make sure you don’t over cook it. So you may want to make the broth with the head, tail and bones (ask your fishmonger for that). Then at the end add the chunks of fish!​

  12. Pati: I made this today in my crockpot, it is rich and delicious. I saw the episode where you made this recipe and I was hooked – I’ve now purchased both of your books and am looking forward to trying many more of your recipes. Thank you!

  13. Pati, I want to thank you so much for bringing this wonderful recipe into my life! My mother and I made it again last night for the second time and we are completely addicted and in love with this soup. I will without a doubt be making it for the rest of my life. It reminds me so much of the tortilla soup my aunt makes (which I adore as well), so we added some tortilla strips last night, a nice and crunchy addition. Thank you! Thank you! I will be trying out those dreamboat hotdogs soon. They sound delicious. Have a lovely summer 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie! Wow, your note is so special. I am so happy that you and your mother like the mole de olla and can share it together. And adding the tortillas–brilliant!

  14. Any suggestions on cutting this down. I live alone. I am running the proportions in my head and some of the amounts are getting to be small enough that I have found it problematic in the past.

  15. Thank you for stressing that ancho and pasilla chiles are not the same. In the SW Poblanos are often mistakenly labelled as pasillas, saying they are interchangeable. Apparently the error started in CA and they don’t seem to want to correct it. It looks like a wonderful recipe that I want to try.

  16. I made the Mole de Oila yesterday. It turned out magnificent. So flavorful and healthful. I used beef shanks adding the bone too, seems to add great flavor. The only slight ad-libs were that I used some very nice heirloom tomatoes and I added a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seed oil to sesame seeds after toasting (love that flavor). I am betting it will be wonderful for several days of enjoyment as the flavors meld.