Mole Poblano: Yes You Can!


Mole Poblano: Yes You Can!

The showcase of last week’s class was one of Mexico’s most famous and delicious moles, the Poblano, which originated in the kitchen of the Convent of Santa Rosa, in Puebla. After seeing how much guests enjoyed it, I can’t wait to share it with you.

I know, the word Mole sounds exciting to eat yet intimidating to prepare. As the root of the word describes, from the náhuatl mulli, Mole is a thick sauce or paste made by grinding ingredients together in a molcajete or communal mill. A food processor works as well. This sauce can be thinned out with broth or water when ready to use.

The Poblano with its long ingredients list and its laborious process, is not the best way to introduce Moles. There are some simple Moles with no more than 4 or 5 ingredients that are easier to prepare and just as tasty.

But here I am! I adore the Poblano and I know you will too…

I tested many ways to find the easiest route to make it without compromising its authenticity and flavor. As long as you prep your ingredients and have them in place before you start throwing them in the pot -what the French call Mise en Place and Mexicans Estate Listo!-, it’s a manageable task that takes about an hour. Trust me. Here we go.

As I list the ingredients, we’ll go through some Mole basics…

Four chiles are typically used: The reddish Ancho (6 o’clock) with bittersweet and fruity flavors; the black Mulato (12 o’clock) with much sweeter, chocolaty and fuller tones; the raisin colored Pasilla (3 o’clock) with a deep, strong and bitter bite; and the tobacco looking Chipotle (9 o’clock) smoky, rich and spicy.

Mole Poblano 1

To be worthy of the name Mole, its not enough to be a sauce. You need chiles in there, but adding a Jalapeño doesn’t make it a Mole. Some chiles work together and some don’t. Some work for certain kinds of moles and some don’t. This group of four, is like the Fantastic Four.

The Mole Poblano has the deep clean flavors from the white onion, a judicious use of the pungent garlic, the refreshing punch from the tomato and the tartness of the tomatillo.

Mole Poblano 2

Moles show a deep intermarriage between the native Mexican cuisine and that brought from Spain. Three centuries of Colonial life deeply influenced our food. That’s the case of the onion, garlic and many of the nuts, fruits and spices added below.

Native peanuts and pumpkin seeds which are present as a thickener and flavoring element in many Mexican dishes, add some Mediterranean almonds, a bunch of sweet raisins…

Mole Poblano 3

Chile seeds tend to be discarded in many Mexican dishes, but not in this Baroque concoction from the late 1600s. Seeds do store most of the heat from chiles but also a ton of their flavor.

They are beautiful too, especially in my grandmother’s bowl which photographs so nicely…

Mole Poblano 4

Other seeds and spices included take a ride through Mexico’s history: Sesame seeds brought by African slaves; anise seeds, cloves, cinnamon and black peppercorns from the Orient routes; allspice from the Caribbean; coriander, thyme and marjoram from the Mediterranean…

Mole Poblano 5

To thicken the Mole and to add an earthy base with a small town flavor, corn tortillas are used. As well as Mexican style bread -bolillos or teleras which are the Mexican adaptation of the French baguette from the times of Maximilian.

Mole Poblano 6

To top the balancing act of this dish, and also because it was created by Sor Andrea de la Asunción, a nun with an incredible sweet tooth, Mexican chocolate is added. Made with toasted cacao, cinnamon, sugar and typically ground almonds, it is sweeter and grainier than regular bittersweet chocolate.

Not that much chocolate is added though, so the idea that the Mole Poblano is a chocolate sauce is a bit exaggerated…

Mole Pobalno 7

Now that we ran through the ingredients, let’s cook it. As we do, you will see that another Mole quality is that ingredients are transformed, and their qualities brought out, before they are pureed together. That helps achieve such a smooth layering of complex flavors.

First add lard, vegetable shortening or oil in your pot. Once hot, saute the chiles until crunchy and browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. They will look something like this…

Mole Poblano 8

In that same pot add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, for about 2 to 3 minutes. 

Mole Poblano 9

Make some room and toss in the almonds, peanuts, raisins and pumpkin seeds, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes more…

Some versions of this mole ask that ingredients be charred, broiled, toasted, sauteed, ground one by one, even with different pots and pans. But you can use the same pot as long as it is heavy, large and extended and as long as you give the ingredients enough time before adding the next batch…

So, make some room again to throw in those beautiful reserved chile seeds… AND…

Mole Poblano 10
…sesame seeds,stemmed cloves, anise seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, ground allspice, thyme and marjoram. Let it all cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Make some room again, and add the already charred or broiled tomatoes and tomatillos, the sliced tortillas and bread…

Mole Poblano 11

As you add each additional batch of ingredients, give them time to season and brown together. Don’t let any of them burn though…

Go ahead and add the chiles that you already browned, and mix it all up.

Mole Poblano 12

Pour in some rich tasting chicken broth. 

Mole Poblano 13

Once it starts to simmer, drop in the chocolate pieces and stir until they dissolve.

Look at the gorgeous looking mess that we have here below!!!

Mole Poblano 14

Let it all simmer for about 15 minutes. You have quite a diverse group of ingredients in there, so they need a bit of time to get acquainted with each other…

Mole Poblano 15

Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand, so it can make sense of what it will become.

Then, puree in a food processor or blender. Or why not, if you feel like it, take out that molcajete.

Finally, thank Sor Andrea for what you are about to see!!! The tastiest, yummiest…

Mole Poblano 16

Let’s just say: one of my favorite Moles.

Of the many things you can make with this mole such as enchiladas, enmoladas, empanadas, eggs, nopales or potatoes.. there’s of course the traditional: poured over simply boiled chicken or turkey and covered with lightly toasted sesame seeds.

Mole Poblano 17

You can see why I took longer to post this time: I was too busy adding ingredients to the basics section of my blog, just for this recipe!

Mole Poblano

Adapted from Sor Andrea de la Asunción from the Santa Rosa Convent
24 to 25 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: almonds, ancho chiles, bread, ceylon, Chipotle, cinnamon, corn tortillas, mexican chocolate, Mole, mulato chiles, pasilla, Peanuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, tomatillos
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
The showcase of last week’s class was one of Mexico’s most famous and delicious moles, the Poblano, which originated in the kitchen of the Convent of Santa Rosa, in Puebla. After seeing how much guests enjoyed it, I can’t wait to share it with you. I know, the word Mole sounds exciting to eat yet intimidating to prepare.


  • 1/2 cup lard, vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces chiles anchos, about 6 or 7, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 ounces chiles pasillas, about 12 or 13, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 ounces chiles mulatos, about 6, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/3 ounces dried chipotle chiles, about 4, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 white onion, about 1/2 pound, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raw almonds with skin
  • 3 tablespoons raw shelled peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup reserved chile seeds
  • 5 whole cloves, stemmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 stick true or ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 pound roma tomatoes, about 2 , charred or roaste
  • 1/3 pound tomatillos, about 2, husked, rinsed, charred/roasted
  • 2 corn tortillas, sliced into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 bolillo, telera or baguette, about 2 ounces, thickly sliced (if it is a couple days old, better)
  • 6 ounces Mexican style chocolate or bittersweet chocolate
  • 5 cups chicken broth, plus 4 more to dilute later on
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted, to sprinkle at the end

To Prepare

  • In a large extended casserole dish set over medium high heat, add 1/2 cup lard, oil, or vegetable shortening. Once hot, about 2 minutes later, add the chiles in 2 or 3 batches and saute, stirring often, and being careful not to let them completely burn. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a mixing bowl as you move along.
  • In the same oil, add chopped onion and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until they soften and release their aroma. Stir in the almonds, peanuts, raisins and pumpkin seeds, and let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the sesame seeds, reserved chile seeds, stemmed cloves, anise seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, ground allspice, thyme and marjoram. Stir frequently and let it all cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, stirring often. Make room again, and add the tortilla and bread pieces along with the tomatoes and tomatillos. Let it all cook for a couple minutes.
  • Incorporate the already sauteed chiles and pour in the chicken broth. Stir and once it comes to a simmer, add the chocolate pieces and the salt. Mix well, and let it simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let the mix rest for 1/2 hour, so the chiles can completely soften.
  • In batches, puree the mixture in the blender or food processor until smooth. You can store this mole, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a month, or freeze it for up to a year.
  • When ready to eat, dilute a cup of mole with 1/2 cup chicken broth in a saucepan and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over cooked chicken or turkey and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds on top.

230 comments on “Mole Poblano: Yes You Can!

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  1. I didn’t haveevery single ingredient but I used what I had and it was absolutely divine! Well worth the work. I’ve never madefood with so much depth of flavor. Thank you Pati!

  2. Hi Pati! My daughter (7 yo) and I are HUGE fans! We are going to attempt this recipe con mucho amor. We are stumped though, what are reserved chile seeds?? Un gran abrazo and feliz Thanksgiving!

    1. Hola Marie! When you prepare the chiles (ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle), the recipe says to stem and seed them. You are not going to toss those seeds away because since they pack so much flavor and some heat, you will be using them when reserved chile seeds are called for. Hope you ladies enjoy preparing the Mole 🙂

  3. I learned to make mole poblano from a restauranteur in Puebla. This is pretty close to the recipe I have except instead of bread we used animal crackers. Cooked it up one evening and the next morning took the huge batch To the local molinero to have it ground to a paste – along with other local restaurant owners waiting for their mole and freshly milled masa. A great experience.

  4. Is 6 oz of chocolate correct? It seems like a lot. 4 discs weighed 5.4 oz. I made the mole as written so I’ll find out tomorrow.

    1. Hey Devin, according to my calculations 6 oz of chocolate is a bit less than two tablets, I guess it all depends on the brand you are using, but yes, 6 oz is correct. Enjoy!

  5. Pati .. my mom, which was originally from Puebla, once everything was fried/charred/broiled/toasted/sautéed we placed them in big pots and took the ingredients to a grinder place (Molino) where they produce a paste.
    What would be an alternate solution for all these ingredients if we want to grind them and if we cannot find a grinder place in Los Angeles California.

    1. Well Sergio, don’t we all have the same problem? You are going to have to puree the mixture in batches in the blender or food processor until smooth. I so wish they have those “grinder stores” here i the US. Have fun!

    1. No Ellie, you are not supposed to have to strain it, maybe yours needed more time on the blender or the food processor. The mole is supposed to be thick (you will be diluting it with chicken stock when you are ready to eat it) but not grainy. Good luck!

  6. Hello Pati,

    I just did your recipe and it tastes really really good! Mole was the first meal I had been served by a sweet family from Mexico and it had remained in my mind ever since. Did just on change because I could not have all the necessary items. My dried peppers where anshos, poblanos, chipotles and gardillos. Turn out wonderfully good! the smell was great! Its a keeper ! thanks a whole bunch for sharing the culinary wealth!

    1. Wondeful job Lorraine! Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have on hand, and if it works out well, then there you go, Lorraine’s Mole recipe to share with us all! 😉

  7. Pati: Made this mole the day before Thanksgiving– it is fab! I have done lots of moles over the years- but love this one because you can cook all in one good size pot like a Dutch oven. Also that the chili seeds are used as part of the mole. I used chocolate tablets that have chipotle- which added a nice dimension. At the end I did press the mole through a medium sieve and it still has texture but a smooth-ish surface. This is a great recipe: mil gracias y espero que tú y tu familia lo pasen superbién durante estos días de Thanksgiving!

  8. YAY! I did it! It was really pretty easy! Yes, there are a lot of spices and ingredients but Pati you are correct that doing mise en place’ is the way to go. The prep took about 20 minutes or so. The actual cooking (saute’ing, adding, stirring) another 20 and then the simmer and set (1 1/2 hours). So about 2 1/2 hours all told. My batch made about 8 cups and came out a pretty dark reddish brown (just like yours).

    It is, as a young hispanic woman at the mercado said, the sweet mole. I think I’d rather have less sweet so next time I’ll use dark chocolate instead of Abuellita (sp?). I LOVED someone’s suggestion about coffee beans. I am so doing that!
    Thank once again for sharing your heritage and recipes! I had so much fun today! (sharing on your Facebook page too)

  9. I’m so incredibly excited to finally try making this on my own. I have two questions: 1) can I double the recipe with good results and 2) when you say 1/4 t of anise seed, does that mean I should grind star anise and use a 1/4 t of the powder? Thank you so much Patti!

    1. You can for sure double the recipe, Amber. For the anise seeds, I mean 1/4 t of whole anise seeds, which is different than star anise. Enjoy the mole!

  10. Loved this recipe–really enjoyed getting the mise en place together, instagramming it of course because it looks so cool =P, and then putting it all together. It made enough to make dozens of duck mole tamales for Christmas, chicken taquitos for New Years, and the odd chicken mole poblano now and then for the next couple months, and I still think I have some in the freezer to make something else, and/or just eat off a spoon. Can’t wait to make it again.

  11. Pati:
    I love the way you ‘intermingle’ the recipe’s story with the history/source of ingredients and how it becomes a regional or cultural favorite. This is why “I. Love. Your. Show.!!!”

  12. Thanks for the recipe, Pati. I live in Australia and the chillies are very scarce, so I had to grow my own chilaca chillies to make the pasillas and buy the others from a specialty market. (very expensive- about $1.50 per chilli) So the sauce was a long time coming and it was amazing. I will freeze it in small batches and bring it out on special occasions. Now I have to work out what to do with another 5 kilograms of chilaca/pasilla that are still drying out. Next summer I will try to grow some of my own pablanos so I have all the ingredients without the expense of imported chillies.

    1. Oh there are so many yum things to do with the pasillas….lots of recipes on my site. And I’m so glad you enjoyed the mole poblano, Allison!

  13. Hola, Pati. What restaurants would you suggest for Oaxaca and for the Condesa neighborhood in CDMX? Looking for good food, not too pricey! Loved El Mural de Poblanos in Puebla. Gracias, Pati.

  14. Hola, Pati. Happy Anniversary. While in Pueblo we did go to El Mural de los Poblanas. Wonderful restaurant – thank you for recommending. We tried three moles: pipian verde, pipian rojo, and adobo. Do you have recipes for these moles? Thank you.

  15. Hola, Pati.

    We will be visiting Puebla next month and would love to have some restaurant recommendations from you. We’ve eaten at Contramar in Mexico City and at Lu’s restaurant in the hotel in Morelia – both are superb restaurants. Muchas gracias, Pati.

  16. Hola, Pati.

    I am going to make your mole poblano recipe exactly as you’ve written. After the mole is done, I would like to braise chicken thighs in the sauce. Is this the right kind of sauce for braising? (I usually braise chicken thighs in the oven for 3 hours at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.) Gracias, Pati.

  17. Hi Pati,
    I don’t know if you are still reading the comments here, but what would you suggest as a thickener if there is a grain allergy? I’ve a friend who can’t eat bread or corn, but this recipe looks so easy to follow I’d like to try it and serve for a dinner party. Would a ripe plantain work?


  18. My husband and I enjoy watching your show on Create! I was born in Mexico and just love introducing the true Mexican food recipes to my Pittsburgh native husband. I have enrolled in the newsletter website and reviewed the mole Poblano recipe and am willing to give it a try! We really hope to come visit Mexico during one of your show recordings. Thank you for sharing the delicious traditional Mexican recipes with us.

    1. Thank you so much for tuning in and signing up for the newsletter, Elizabeth! And good luck with the mole poblano…you can do it!

  19. Hi Pati,

    I made your Mole Poblano today, and then simmered two pounds of saute’d pork loin cubes in your mole sauce for 6 hours in a crock pot in order to make Mole Poblano with pork. Oh my! What wonderfully delicious results!

    Your recipe is heavenly! The Mole Poblano turned out so dark, rich and bursting with flavor! I wanted to say special thanks to you for passing such recipes along to the rest of us. I have a nearly three decades long experience with sampling and cooking great Mexican food, including close association with native Mexicans, and I definitely know good food – your recipe is so wonderful!!!

    The only change I made was to add just a bit of dark brown sugar to the ingredients, because the particular peppers I used were very savory and needed a just bit more balance from the sweet side, and my secret ingredient – 1.5 tablespoons of Solerno blood orange liqueur. I used a total of only 7 cups of good chicken broth (to ensure a thicker mole sauce), and I used a little more ancho peppers than called for in the recipe. That’s it! Very minor adjustments just to suit my particular taste.

    Please, please bring us more recipes like this from the old country, handed down through the generations of wonderful people who know what truly delicious food is!

  20. I notice your recipe doesn’t use bananas or plantains like so many recipes for mole. What are the pros or cos for that ingredient in mole…

    1. There are just so many hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of moles! If you are referring to Mole Poblano specifically, this is the version I like best. What does plantain do to moles when used? It adds its own kind of sweetness as well as some texture.

  21. I have made this recipe twice now and my family loves it. The aromas of all the ingredients filled the house this last time as we were stuck indoors because of a rainy cold day and was just perfect. My wife loves this recipe and looks forward to it each time I get ready to prepare. She makes a rice that she loves to pair it with. So thankful for this recipe!

  22. Hi Pati,
    Looking forward to trying your mole recipe today!
    It’s a little different from the recipe I have used to make mole the last several years from the Santa Fe cooking school. Looking forward to the addition of chipotle chili’s and tomatillos in your recipe.
    I was thinking of serving the mole for Friendsgiving with a tea maple turkey which has a Smokey flavor using lapsang suchong tea. Do you think it would work or flavors would clash.

  23. Hi Pati,
    We have established a new tradition in our home over the past several years of making mole poblano for Friendsgiving the day before thanksgiving. I have been using a recipe from the Santa Fe school of cooking cookbook all these years but am excited to use yours for the first time today! It’s got a few difference in ingredients that I am excited to see the effects of – the addition of chipotle chili’s and tomatillos.
    Having spent my energy on making the mole all day I sometimes just buy Peruvian rotisserie chicken as the meat instead of making my own turkey for Friendsgiving. However, this time I was tempted to try me
    w recipe from Christopher kimballs milk street magazine where he describes a tea rubbed maple turkey made with a Smokey rub that uses lapsing souchong tea to achieve the Smokey flavor. I was wondering if you thought that is a good idea or if you thought the flavors would clash? Look forward to hearing from you.
    Missed your cooking shows this year because they were already sold out by the time I tried. Will try again next year!

    1. Hola Ajay!!!! Hope to see you at one of my classes soon! I think that turkey would be awesome with the Mole. Looking forward to hearing how you like my Mole version ; )

  24. Hi Pati!
    I saw you were inviting feedback about a new cookbook. Because of this mole poblano recipe I bought both your cookbooks and love them so much I have cooked almost every recipe in them.
    One thing I’m really grateful for is how you include a lot of classics, not assuming that everyone already knows them and is bored of making them. I had never made tinga, chilorio, guacamole, chilaquiles, or pozole before and was so grateful to have your classic recipes without feeling like they had to be a modern “fusion” spin on them. I also love how you don’t cut corners on recipes, but make us do it correctly. I only started cooking two years ago and picked this recipe to be my first attempt at Mexican cooking because it seemed like the “real,” authentic recipe for this mole, like this was a recipe with history.
    My suggestion for the new book would be to not be scared to at least consider including some recipes that are a little involved and time consuming, like this mole or your superb chiles en nogada which my family loved so much. Your fans are always going to have that one rainy Sunday where they plan to just spend the whole day cooking. You did this before with the Thanksgiving turkey and the complex Tex-Mex chili and they are so superb that I just hope you know we won’t be scared off by a longer recipe!
    Thank you so much for everything and I can’t wait to buy the new cookbook!

  25. i love mole with braised pork, or carne adovada en mole, especially using ribs [costillas], not to mention frijoles en mole. did i mention mole pork or chicken tamales? mole all over everything. fried eggs too.

    i am sworn to try making mole pork sausages, when it cools down again.

  26. We have a wonderful Mexican restaurant in Appleton, WI. My brother loves their mole, which is sweet but spicy. I am sure they wouldn’t share the recipe but could you lead me in the right direction. Love your show and am spending a humid reading your first cookbook.

  27. Hi, I am planning on giving this a shot this weekend. I have a couple of questions about toasting the chiles. I’ve seem many recipes that require the chiles to be deseeded then torn in half, toasted on each side. What affect does toasting the chilis inside & out vs toasting whole? And what affect does removing the seeds have to the flavor of the mole?

    Thanks, love your site.

    1. I prefer to seed and then toast, so that both the seeds AND the chiles toast. Adding the seeds simply adds another rich layer of flavor.

  28. Hi Pati, I have your book (love it!) and wanted to make a mole poblano, so I looked online to see if you had a recipe- so glad I found this! It was my first time making this dish (or any mole, for that matter) and with your instructions it was sooo much easier than I ever imagined, and tastes fantastic. I made a vegan version using vegetable stock and plan to drench some jackfruit ‘carnitas’ in it and stuff them inside tamalitos! Thank you!

  29. Hi Pati, I’m on a mole kick lately and I’m going to give this one a try this weekend. I’m thinking about making the mole one day and putting it with some chicken in the slow cooker the next. Will it be OK in a slow cooker on low for several hours?

  30. Hi, this completely off subject, but this is the page that I’ve been keeping open till I make this. I am looking for heavy cream to make another of your recipes. Where can I find it in Mexico City? The only kind I see has stabilizers added. I understand why that is, but shouldn’t I be looking for the real thing? Also, I wonder if the mini pound cake recipe will successfully make one big one here, in CDMX. BTW the Conchas recipe cooled my pan dulce cravings when I was away in the states. Thanks.

  31. So all I can find is dry chiles. Do I soak them before cooking with oil or I just out them in the pan with oil (first step)?

  32. So all I can find is dry chiles. Do I soak them before cooking with oil or I just out them in the pan with oil (first step)?

  33. Hi Pati, the tomatoes ant tomatillos must be with or without skin when added into the pan? same for the chillies?

  34. Hi Pati! I love your show and when I was looking around for a mole recipe I was really excited when I found yours. I made it this afternoon and am cooking a cut up goat leg in some of the mole now. The flavor of the sauce has lots of layers. We are in San Antonio and too many of the mole sauces in the many wonderful restaurants here are just not very good. Too sweet and too chocolatey for our tastes. I can’t wait for the goat to be ready for dinner! Your recipe will likely be my go to from now on. Thank you so much!


  35. Our families LOVE this mole recipe! I am asked to make it at all our events. You can hear guests at our parties talking and asking about it…”who made it?…that mole was amazing…what do you put in it?…will you send us the recipe?”

    1. If you don’t like avocado, you can either skip it or add cherry tomatoes, asparagus or corn…. I think those would be lovely in there too.

  36. This recipe was the inspiration for a mole cookie for a pregnant friend of mine. By adding the chilies before the tomatoes and tomatillos, taking it off the heat, and then running it through a food processor, I ended up with a course ground mixture that I used to spice a chocolate cookie. It takes only a small aamount.The rest made mole sauce. Yum!

  37. Hello Pati,

    Love your cooking show, and you have a beautiful family.

    I’m going to make your fabulous poblano mole. However, I would like to know how the flavor would change by adding a ripe plantain? Would love to hear your response.

    Best wishes for you and your family in 2016


  38. How are the hard Mole pastes that are sold in markets around mexico made? What is done to the Mole’s to turn them into those hard type pastes?

  39. Hi Pati!!

    I am finally going to take the plunge and make mole from scratch following your inspiring, and dare I say, easy looking recipe! All other recipes left me scared! This is a bucket list item I’ll hopefully get to check off this weekend! What a beautiful website–mil besos!!


  40. Hi Pati,

    I can truly say that I adore mole. Time momentarily stops with every bit and everything is made secondary to this amazing sauce. One time I made mole poblano when I was deployed to Germany to take care of my fellow army brothers and sisters arriving from the middle east. I smuggled in all the ingredients from the States during a brief visit from my deploymen and for my first white Christmas made mole poblano. What a incredible experience. This year I hope to make yours.

  41. Hola Pati,

    Muchas gracias por la receta. Desfortunadamente no se ven las imágenes, ojalá y esto se pueda arreglar, me encantaría ver la narración en imágenes.


  42. I made this recipe quite a long time ago and I am going to try it again, however, is it just me that can’t see the photos on this page? I can only see the first one 🙁

  43. Just to clarify: the chiles used in this recipe are all dried, correct?

    Thank you sincerely for posting this glorious recipe!

  44. I read the comments from many of excited chefs on this recipe and noted that the most frustrating responses related to the bitterness of the sauce. It should be noted that Pasilla Chili’s are known to be very bitter, especially in the skins. When using these particular chili’s it is very important after softening them to press the pulp through a sieve and remove any skins. This can be a tedious process, however a good cook will enjoy the hands on experience, and the end results make it so worth it. I made this recipe and the results were absolutely fabulous!!!! My friends said it was better than our noted Mexican restaurants in town!!!!

  45. After successfully making mole negro and rojo, I decided it was time to tackle mole poblano. I did a couple of things different here:

    *Dry roasted the chilies, deseeded, then pureed them in a blender.
    *Dry roasted the onions, garlic, nuts, bread, and tortillas.
    *Instead of lard (I don’t eat pork/beef), I added some butter in the end because I found it was missing the richness.

    One part that made me nervous was all adding the reserved seeds. Even after soaking them in hot water and pureeing, I found them to still be hard and the mixture to be very spicy.

    The mole came out great and tomorrow I”m going to make mole enciladas con pavo. Thanks for posting!

    1. Very happy to hear this worked for you with your adjustments! For the chile seeds to not be hard, toast them separately.

      1. Pati – Any suggestions for a side dish/vegetable to serve with this terrific sauce? Probably serving it over chicken breasts. Thanks for any help.

  46. I love dark moles and am so sad my favorite mexican restaurant doesn’t make it this way. Today, my mail ordered peppers came in with the mexican chocolate. I made the mole today and it is wonderful! Rich, dark, lovely mole! Thank you! My husband will be so surprised! Plenty for freezing! Thank you, thank you!

    Love your show!


  47. Hi Pati. I’ve never made mole from scratch but am going to give your recipe a go. Looks wonderful! My mother, who was from Monterrey, used to put orange peel in hers but I’ve not found any recipes that include orange. Is that just a norteño variation?

    Also, do you have a favorite recipe for mole verde?

    Thanks for sharing your passion!

    1. Hola Arturo, There are as many variations of mole as there are cooks! I bet your mother’s was amazing. Will try to post mole verde soon!!

  48. Should I remove the skins of the dried peppers after roasting or keep them in the final dish and puree them??

    Looking forward to making this dish!

    Help appreciated!

  49. Hi Pati! So glad I found your beautiful recipe online. Being not from Mexican heritage, but definitely a molé lover, I was a bit intimidated at thought of making molé myself, but the way you laid this out it just made perfect sense. Thank you for sharing this! I thank you and my husband thanks you! It is delicious!!

  50. Hi, you list Mexican style chocolate or bittersweet chocolate.
    Responding to a comment below you said to use a sweet chocolate and also referred to the success of it along with your photos. Should bittersweet chocolate be removed from your recipe here?
    As to nuts, Like coffee beans, some seeds and nuts can be ground in a coffee grinder before cooking. I would scald off the brown skin off the almonds first to add to smoothness. For canning, use pressure cooker not water bath. Water bath okay for most fruits and not eggs, dairy, meats, fish, broths, veggies. Love the details of your recipe. Yum!

    1. Hola Helen, Thank you for your comments! The Mexican-style chocolate I usually use is sweeter than regular bittersweet chocolate, but bittersweet is still the best substitution if you don’t have the Mexican chocolate.

  51. I have seen a few recipes for mole that use either plantains or bananas. Are they not moles poblanos? Beautiful photography.

    Estoy decidido a hacer esto para mi cena y una noche de cine con mi clase de español.

  52. Made this yesterday for my husband, for Father’s Day. He and I LOVED it! He had been complaining about never getting good mole at the local restaurants, but even though his dad is from Aguascalientes, their family didn’t have a recipe. This was *so* yummy, I wanted to keep eating even though my stomach was almost painfully full!

    As to substitutions, I wasn’t sure what chiles I was getting from the grocer, as Kroger had them all in a non-labled display. What I was able to recognize were chipotle chiles in adobo, some jalapenos and two Anaheim.

    Pumpkin seeds, peanuts and almonds were available in small quantities at Kroger’s bulk foods section, and no place in town had Mexican chocolate so I used 8 ounces of Abuelita drink mix like another commenter suggested. It ended up not sweet enough for my hubby so I added a few squirts of chocolate syrup for him. Also since I didn’t have extra chicken broth to dilute with I used whole milk.

    I’m sure I bastardized the recipe to the point it can’t be called a ‘proper’ mole, but cooked for an hour with pan-fried chicken and served with warm corn tortillas and basmati rice (all we had in the house) it was the best thing this gringa has ever made.

  53. Hi Pati,

    I would really like to try this recipe, but not in such a large quantity. What would be the best way to go about changing the measurements if I only wanted to make, say, 2-3 servings?


    1. Hola Maxwell, The easiest way to make less is to halve all the ingredients. If you have leftovers, you can always freeze in a tightly sealed container or zip lock. I hope you try it!

  54. I just made this mole and it turned out awesome. I substituted mild California red chilies for mulato (I couldn’t find any locally) and had to use regular baking chocolate. I put the mole on chicken and it was great!

  55. Made this yesterday and it is INCREDIBLE.

    One minor suggestion — maybe the instruction for the chilis in the lard could be to “crisp” or “lightly fry” them? This was my first time ever putting dried chilis in hot fat and when I read “saute” I was thinking they would soften, so I left the first batch in too long and they burned. I threw them out, seeded and stemmed some more (fortunately I had extra!), discarded the oil (it had a burnt smell to it), washed the pan and started over.

    That was all the result of my inexperience, though. I followed the recipe exactly as written, and it is hands-down the best mole my husband and I have ever had. Thank you!!

  56. Wow! This is great! My first attempt at what I think is a complex sauce. It took me most of this afternoon, but it was WELL worth the effort. Thank you for the recipe.

  57. Hello Pati,

    I am French and married to a Mexican man from Chihuahua. I love Mexican cuisine! I cook a lot but mole has always been a bit intimidating… Now that I have your recipe I’ll give it a try this weekend 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful cooking with us.


    1. Salma, you will love this recipe! Plus, it makes such a big batch, you will be able to refrigerate or freeze and keep on using it for many variations…

  58. Hola Paty, tengo la oportunidad de mirar su programa en PBS ME GUSTA y eh aprendido como hacer mas facil y eficientes recetas mexicanas, yo soy de QUERETARO Y TENEMOS MUCHAS RECETAS SIMILARES AGRADESCO ESTA DE MOLE PORQUE ME FALTABAN ALGUNS INGREDIENTES Y YA LOS TENGO Dios te bendiga

  59. Made this dish last night. I had similar frustrations with others regarding finding the “right” chiles. I just went with whatever the store had.
    It turned out much more mild than I had anticipated but the biggest surprise was the grittiness. I blended & blended. Any ideas Pati on the culprit?
    Thanks so much for a challenging recipe!

    1. Hola Toniya, Thank you for trying the mole! It can take a ton of blending to get it completely smooth. You can also try pushing it through a fine sieve if you desire an even smoother sauce.

  60. Thank you! I just made this tonight for my boyfriend who has studied abroad in Mexico, and he says this is close to what he had there. You’re right, it’s very doable.

    I could only find ancho and pasilla chiles, and it came out fine with those. I also left out the chile seeds, resulting in a subtle spiciness that didn’t burn my mouth.

  61. Did I read this correctly? I am supposed to completely blend the cinnamon stick into the sauce?
    Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Yes! But make sure that you use Canela/Ceylon Cinnamon which easily crumbles. If you can only get Cassia, it is better to use ground ; )

  62. Hi Patti,

    Yes, I made the mistake of using bitter baking chocolate. The three sisters at my favorite Mexican restaurant (where I almost always get the mole) told me I probably burned my chiles and suggested Ibarra chocolate (drinking chocolate, like abuelta). Gonna give it another try!

  63. Of the Mole recipe I’ve found online, this is BY FAR the easiest and the most tasty! I had all the spices, but they were in powdered form so I used 1/8 teaspoon when in doubt (this worked out great). Also, I didn’t have any dried Chipotle chiles so I used Guajillo instead (great sub again). One thing I’ve come to find…when frying the chiles – it’s really important to remove ALL the seeds because they tend to burn (which turns the oil bitter) and it’s extra important not to burn the chiles themselves (again doing so seems to make the oil really bitter). When in doubt, I usually start with fresh oil because the post-fry oil ALWAYS tastes bitter to me. One more thing….I only used 3 ounces of Mexican chocolate…I don’t like my Mole too Chocolatey. Thanks for a great recipe…I will def make this again!

    1. Hola RR, Thank you so much for trying my recipe! Your insights on substitutions are great, and I appreciate you sharing. I, agree, it’s very important not to burn the chiles!!

  64. Patti,

    I just made this recipe and something went very, very wrong. I followed the instructions as written, but what I ended up with was a bitter, inedible sauce, that tastes more like an unsweetened frosting (about the same consistency too). Up top you say it does not use that much chocolate, but then it calls for 6 oz. I used Lurker brand that I got from a Mexican grocery in San Francisco Mission’s district. Did I use the wrong kind of chocolate or is 1/3 pound too much?

    1. Hola Ken,
      So sorry to hear that! I use Mexican style chocolate which is fully sweetened, like Chocolate Abuelita or Mayordomo. I am afraid, I am not familiar with Lurker and have no idea if it is sweet or not. I am hoping the chiles you used weren’t too old or bitter… that may have been the case…

  65. Hi Pati – gracias for your recipe – just to confirm, even if I see them fresh, your chilis in this recipe are dried?
    Thanks for your help – dinner for NAvidades is on the way with your great recipe!

  66. Your mole is beautiful! I also make mole at home but was wondering what you thought of canning it in jars. I’d like to make large batches and have them preserved in the pantry for later. What’s your advice on this? If it’s safe to can mole sauce, how long do you think I should process it in a boiling water bath? Thanks so much for the lovely photos and recipe.

    1. Hola Elizabeth, Of course, you can can this mole in jars. Follow standard canning procedures or the manufacturer’s instructions on your canner (if you are using one).

  67. Hi Pati,
    Question…I have having a hard time finding the Anchos & Pasillas separately. Believe it or not, the local Latino market has a dried Pasilla-Ancho chile (thats what label says) ??????
    What do I do if I can only find the Pasilla, Mulato & Chipotle chiles & no Ancho?

    1. I believe you, some brands do that… No worries if you can´t find the Ancho, the Mulato is similar, so sub for the Mulato. I hope you enjoy the Mole!

  68. Which came first–mole poblano or mole negro de Oaxaca? Most of the recipes for mole negro de Oaxaca I have seen include burnt tortilla. Are there other differences, in your opinion?

  69. This mole is delicious!! I am going to send a couple of jars to my daughter in Madison, AL. She will enjoy the mole with chicken and rice. Thank you for posting the recipe.

  70. Patti,

    I’m a man who has really enjoyed watching your cooking show over the last couple of years. (From that I know you love lime and spicy food!) Your enthusiasm is very contagious!

    Up to now I have only tried commercial mole sauces such as La Costena and Dona Maria. My 6 children really like mole sauce but I have been to every store in the area and have been unable to find any at all — none!

    I got so desperate I looked up the recipe and found your wonderful instructions here. Finding the ancho and pasilla chiles was tricky but I eventually succeeded with the help of a great Mexicana woman. At first, I thought “I am totally doing this wrong” and my wife complained about an unpleasant smell. But I stuck with the recipe and it all magically came together at the end.

    Wow! This mole poblano tastes fantastic. The stuff in the jars pales in comparison to this rich and beautifully textured mole.
    Muchas gracias!

    1. My pleasure! So happy to hear it all came together in the end… And thanks for watching my show!!! Tune in for Season 3 coming super soon.

  71. Hola Pati!

    MIs amigas me llaman Pat(t)i tambien 🙂

    I was curious about the type of mulato chile. I couldn’t find it at my local latino market. What is this chile called when it is fresh? I found a dried pasilla negra but wasn’t sure if that was it.

    Me puedes ayudar?



    1. Of course Patti! The Chile Mulato is a variety of Chile Poblano when fresh. With a bit more concentrated and intense flavor. If you don’t find it, just double up on the Ancho… they are from the same family… I hope you enjoy el Mole!

  72. Hi Pati,
    I want to make my dad’s favorite Lengua en Mole for his upcoming birthday. Ever since my grandmother passed away there’s no one to cook it for him! My question is this – if I can’t use peanuts (allergy) is there something else I can substitute? Or should I just increase the amount of the other nuts and seeds? What would you recommend?
    Thanks for your help!

  73. Pati,

    Muchísimas gracias por esta receta. La acabo de descubrir. Mi hermana hace mole varias veces al año y cuando la vi, la llamé por teléfono a México y le leí la receta. Me dijo que es muy similar a la que ella hace en México y que sería bueno que yo la intentara pues ella hace el mole de memoria y nunca me ha podido dar la receta con medidas exactas. Recibe las gracias de un Distritense mexicano que ahora vive en Texas. Ya imprimí la receta y mañana comienzo a conseguir los ingredientes aquí en San Antonio, TX. Saludos!!!

    1. Hola Richard,
      Que bueno que la vas a hacer!!! Te va a durar mucho tiempo, lo que no uses guardalo en el refri y luego as diluyendo con caldo de pollo cada vez que lo quieras usar….

  74. I am so excited to try this beautifully written recipe! The history of Mexican spices is such a great bonus. I feel more in touch with my Mother’s Mexican heritage already.

    Con mucho gratitue!

    1. There are many ways Lori. In some cases masa can be used, diluted into the sauce. Other thickeners can be used as bread, tortillas or nuts and seeds… Sometimes cooking a bit longer also thickens the sauces a bit more.

  75. I have a “quick mole” recipe a friend gave me that she saw on a cooking show. We’ve repeatedly adapted and altered it to make it our own but I’ve been looking for something more traditional. So I’m happy to find this one! And I’m incredibly excited to make it. I do have a question is it possible to streamline the mole making process without losing flavor? Or as my sister says “ruining a beautiful tradition.” Thanks in advance Pati! I love your show and your recipes!!!

    1. My pleasure! I have streamlined a traditional mole here the most that I could. But you can take a next step by using already ground spices…

  76. Confused here.
    Your chili pictures show 4 different dried chilis. Your recipe calls for 3 fresh/1 dried. Or at least 1 dried. Please clarify. It looks absolutely amazing. I’m feeling ambitious and want to shop for the ingredients soon. Thanks.

  77. You are right. Time consuming it is. But the results are spectacular. I have to try your version of frying the chiles first. We dry toast the chiles and then everything is pretty much the same.

  78. I’m trying this recipe tomorrow…. The mulato (dried chilie pods) are sold at Superior Markets in so. California

  79. Hi Pati,
    I used this recipe to make mole for the first time a couple days ago and it’s incredible! Thanks for your great photos and description, it made me excited and confident enough to try it. It is so rich and complex, I can understand why it has such a distinguished reputation. It’s worth the effort, however, and I will be making it again.
    I used lard for cooking the chiles, and left out the chipotle and allspice, and used Mexican oregano instead of the thyme and marjoram. I also toasted and ground the spices separately to ensure a smoother texture. The grit someone mentioned may have been bits of cinnamon or peppercorns that didn’t get blended enough?
    Another commenter noted that it tasted bitter, and I had the same experience. I was expecting something sweeter, and I was worried that I had overcooked the chiles, they looked a bit black in places. It doesn’t take long to fry a dried chile, and you warned me! I was afraid this might have led to the bitterness.
    However, after diluting the sauce with stock and adding some boneless skinless chicken thighs, we cooked the whole thing for an hour or so, and it came to life! All the flavors intensified and the color deepened and it turned into one of the yummiest things I’ve ever tasted. I think restaurants must use sugar to boost their mole’s impact. This one is subtly sweet and just slightly bitter. What a sauce!
    Thanks, and best of luck with your new show!

  80. Thank you for such a great Mole recipe. What a fabulous concoction of deliciousness. I may actually try to tackle this intimidating dish only because you have put it together so nicely. Good job!!!

  81. Love your Tv show and website Pati! Would love to meet you up here in Canada! I love to cook Mexican and was happy to stumble on your tv show and website what wonderful recipes. I would love to make some of your recipes but dried chiles are mostly only available up here in Canada. Was wondering for example to make mole if i could use dried chiles and just reconstitute them to make your recipes. Or do you use dried chilies? Let me know. Can’t wait until you finish your book; i will be in line to buy it!

  82. Hola Pati! I just love your show but discovered it while in a cast for a broken thumb. This is going to be the first thing I make when my cast comes off, I can’t wait! In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the next episode.
    Cheers, Mark

  83. Hey Pati! I just recently saw one of your shows for the first time and I loved it. I’m from El Salvador and my husband is from Mexico, and I really don’t know much about how to make any Mexican dishes. After I saw your show, I tried out the poached eggs in salsa. He loved it! He said it reminded him of “home.” Thanks for making the recipes easy(and delicious)so now I can make him dinner and my husband can enjoy some of his food!

  84. Hello! I made this mole recipe today and was having a little bit of trouble with the final taste.
    I feel like I taste too much of the dried peppers and the bittersweet chocolate I used is way too…well bitter. Any suggestions?

  85. Hello Pati,
    I just found your program this last weekend on PBS, and was I happy! So glad you are there. I have a question concerning the chiles. I live in Northern California, (really) North of Sacramento, and in my area I can find the Ancho, & the Pasillas dried chiles, but I am sure I have never run across a Mulatos Chiles. Is there another similar or a different name for that particular chile?
    Thank you, Shawn

  86. Hi Pati,
    I looked all over for a mole poblano recipe that didn’t look too difficult for a beginner and here it is!
    I made it this evening and I think it tasted and smelled wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time to perfect and post this recipe.
    I enjoy your blog. All the best.

  87. I made this last night! It went straight to the freezer (I had to cancel the event I planned to serve it at, but had the ingredients so figured I might as well). It tasted and smelled so good, I could not believe I actually made it myself. Thank you for such a clear and encouraging recipe! Can’t wait to really eat it and share it with friends.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      I am so glad! You can use it as a sauce with chicken or meat or even veggies… And you can also use it to make Enchiladas! Just shred and heat some chicken, heat some corn tortillas, dip them in the mole, stuff the tortillas with the chicken, fold them and then cover the whole thing with fresh cream and crumbled cheese…

  88. Hi Pati,
    I made this wonderful Mole’ for Thanksgiving. It turned out wonderful and it was enjoyed by my company. But, in your instructions you missed the step from the Roma tomatoes to the bread. It wasn’t until I added the broth and chocolate that I noticed them sitting on my counter. I ended up just through them into the pot after looking at the helpful pictures above. Can you please explain how this process was suppose to go.

  89. Just a clarification. You mention “ancho” chile, but you show a picture of the dried version of the ancho called “poblano” chile. Also, you say not to add “jalapeno” but the dried version of a jalapeno is the “chipotle”. My grandmother taught me how to make this recipe over 40 years ago and I must admit yours is very close and so very authentic. She was from “Aguascalientes” Mexico and only used dried versions of all her chiles. The dried versions often have slightly different flavors than the fresh version. Thank you for sharing your beautiful recipe. This is one of my comfort foods and never fails to bring me back to my childhood. Thank you!

    1. Hi there Diana!
      The Poblano chile is the name that chile gets when it is Fresh. Once it is dried it goes by the name Ancho. Same with the Jalapeño, that’s the name that chile gets when it is fresh; once it is dried it is called Chipotle. The Jalapeño, when fresh, tastes completely different then when its dried and turned into a Chipotle. I also only use the dried chiles for the Mole!
      Hope you enjoy the recipe!!

  90. I’ve had spicy mole sauce from 2 different places, my latin american studies professor in college, and a taqueria off my muni line that closed years ago. Both were very spicy, which is what I’m looking for. Does this recipe have the kick, and if not, what can I do to turn up the heat?
    Thank you,.

    1. This recipe definitely has a great kick to it. However, it is not terribly spicy. If you want it very, very spicy, add more of the seeds from the dried chiles. That will do it!

  91. Pati,
    I have a question regarding the use of the dried peppers – I have used them before in a fabulous enchilada sauce – but I noticed a bit of grit in the final sauce – like very fine sand. I can only conclude that it came from the dried peppers. Since then, I rinse the dried peppers (inside and out) under water before using them – no more grit.
    Have you had this experience?
    PS – love your site!

    1. Hi Jane,
      Dried chiles can be used in so many ways. For some recipes they are first toasted and then simmered, in others they are rinsed and then simmered… I haven’t had that experience with the grit in the final sauce… Many thanks for your lovely comments!

  92. Every year, since I left L.A., beloved by me in large part for all the amazing comida mexicana, I swear I am going to roll up my sleeves and make a pot of mole for a big party. I even found chihuacle (sp?) chiles in Montreal this spring, which Rick Bayless calls for in his mole negro recipe. But now, thanks to you, I swear I am going to make this a reality. I get amazing chickens, lovingly raised by my neighbor, with incredible flavor: the next ones, I swear, will be wearing this sauce. I promise to send a full report.

  93. Hola Pati!!!
    Me encanta tu blog, las fotos, los comentarios, las entrevistas y sobre todo las recetas!!
    A ver si me animo algún día a preparar mole poblano, es mi plato favorito…
    Un beso muy fuerte,

  94. Pati!!
    Se me hace la boca agua… me ha encantado tu blog, la presentación, las recetas, las entrevistas, las fotos y lo que escribes.
    Algún día intentaré hacer mole Poblano, es mi plato favorito!
    Un beso

  95. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Mole always seemed like that one impossible dish…my friends will just LOVE this.

    1. So glad!!! Do give it a try… recipe makes for a huge batch, that you can then refrigerate or freeze for future occasions. Enjoy!

  96. WOW. I LOVE mole, but have always been to afraid to try making it. Now, despite the staggering number of ingredients, I think I am brave enough to try! You make it seem (dare I say it?) EASY! Thank you for taking the time to write this post Pati!

    1. My pleasure!! So glad it was worth the number of photos…..(have to take some classes on photography). As long as you gather all your ingredients beforehand and have them ready before you turn the fire on, it is really manageable… give it a try!

    1. Hi Debra,
      It is a great question! It is called Poblano because it originated in the state of Puebla, people from Puebla and anything that relates to having an origin from Puebla is called Poblano or Poblana…. Aside from the Poblano chiles!

  97. I love the photos. They are so beautiful . . . I feel like I just ate all the mole and crusty bread and pepitas and . . .
    Love the entry, beautifully written–the fabulous four–I only have three, got to get the fourth!!!

    1. Thank you Tamara! Give it a shot! This recipe will make enough for many, many meals…. Sauce keeps beautifully in refrigerator and freezer too…

      1. Hello Pati
        What great presentation with pictures and clear recipie w/explanation!

        One question I have: I heard there are three main chilies in Mole. I’ve not heard of using the chipolte before. Is it in the nun’s original recipie?

        Thank you!