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Homemade Chile Chocolate Mole Sauce

Homemade chile chocolate mole is a lively balance of sweet and savory elements–dark earthy chiles and roasted nuts, aromatic spice, and the famous pinch of chocolate–a traditional mole (mo-lay), made simpler. This is a rich, totally approachable mole recipe made with healthy ingredients that you can put together in a little over an hour!

Homemade Chile Chocolate Mole

Homemade chile chocolate mole is:

  • Dried whole chiles
  • Creamy roasted almond butter and peanut butter
  • Ground cinnamon, coriander, and cloves
  • Avocado oil
  • Vegetable broth
  • Maple syrup
  • Apple juice
  • Good-quality chocolate
  • Vegan and gluten free
  • Delicious on tacos and enchiladas, tempeh and tofu, and grilled vegetables, especially potatoes

When we gringos talk of mole, we most often have in mind a spicy red brick colored mole with chocolate. There are many other Mexican cooked sauces known as mole, with diverse colors and ingredients. This homemade chile chocolate mole is a mole poblano.

soaking chiles for Homemade Chile Chocolate Mole

Basic ingredients for mole poblano don’t vary all that much, but they differ in ratios and technique, from household to household, each cook having her own secret ingredients. I researched 4 cookbooks before coming up with this healthier, less labor-intensive mole poblano.

Like in authentic Mexican red enchilada sauce, dried whole chiles are essential to this homemade chile chocolate mole. Dried chiles are easy to prep–you warm the chiles in a skillet, cut off the top stems (I use scissors), dump out the seeds, and then soak the chiles in boiling water. They soften while you prepare everything else.

Use a mix of dried chiles, both raisin-y ancho chiles and the easy to come by guajillo chiles, sometimes called pasillas. If you can find dried mulato chiles, include them for their mild, faintly chocolate taste. Look for whole dried chiles in the Latino ingredient aisle in grocery stores or Latino markets. Read more about dried chiles here.

ingredients for Homemade Chile Chocolate Mole

Truth out: In days gone by, my mole came from purchased mole paste that you thin with broth. The trouble came when I read the label on the jar, and saw that prepared mole contains wheat, sugar, funky oil or lard, and preservatives. Nix that.

Homemade mole tastes better, and it’s healthier to boot. I hope this homemade chile chocolate mole nudges you into the kitchen to play
chiles and chocolate. Once you have your mole, make a hot dish–stacked mole enchiladas with arugula, potatoes, and carrots.

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Cookbooks with mole recipes: Diana Kennedy’s From My Mexican Kitchen, Ruth Reichl’s Gourmet Today, Anna Thomas’ The New Vegetarian Epicure, and a slim paperback I’ve had forever, Ortho Books Adventures in Mexican Cooking. The idea to add apple juice comes from the mole poblano in The New Vegetarian Epicure.


  • Susy

    Love the chilies Reply · 11 June, 2017

  • Em Zee

    This recipe looks pretty good. I don’t have all the ingredients listed, but I’m emboldened to take a chance at improvising. Thanks for sharing! Reply · 13 July, 2018

    • Thank you Em! I’d love to hear how your changeups worked. Reply · 15 July, 2018

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