Red Molé

6 cups

Prep Time
30 minutes
    Cook Time
10 minutes
Print Recipe      
3 fork recipe Red Oaxaca Mole

Recipes are rated from 1 to 5 forks, with 1 fork being the easiest and 5 forks the most challenging.

Rich and luxurious, yet fairly simple molé sauce that is great for serving over enchiladas, burritos, or used as a sauce for vegetables. The key to a sauce that has deep and complex flavors is the toasting of the ingredients. Oaxacan Molé sauce can be very intimidating because a true mole contains many different ingredients. This recipe is relatively simple yet it has a velvety, luxurious feel in your mouth and the flavor brings back memories of the many times I was fortunate enough to be a guest in the home of some fantastic cooks in central and southern Mexico. The final flavor and amount of heat will depend on the types of peppers used. You can use the dried peppers in the Mexican section of your favorite grocery store, or you can go to a Hispanic grocery store and pick up some dried Chile Negro, Chile Mulato, Guajillo, or other specialty varieties.

Instructional images follow the recipe.


  • 6 cups Vegetable broth or water
  • 7 Dried Chile peppers (mix of pasilla, guajillo, ancho, negro, mulato, chipotle, etc - stemmed and seeded)
  • 2 Corn tortillas heated in a pan and torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts toasted
  • 1/4 cup Pepitas (shelled/toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup Sunflower seed kernels toasted
  • 1/4 cup Almonds chopped, toasted
  • 2 Tbs Canola Oil (substitute ¼ cup water)
  • 1/2 cup dice yellow onion
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 2 Tbs Tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs ground cinnamon (substitute 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 ounces Dark chocolate chips (vegan)

Special Equipment:

  • Blender      

    Preparation Method:

    Tear the chiles into small pieces and remove the seeds. Toast chiles in a dry pan over medium heat, tossing or stirring constantly, until warm and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large heat proof bowl.

    Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until they become aromatic. Remove from the pan and set aside. Toast the pepitas, sunflower seed kernels, peanuts, almonds, and raisins in a dry pan until they begin to brown and pop. Add the to the bowl with the chiles. Toast the tortilla pieces in a dry pan until they begin to brown. Add the to the bowl with the chiles.

    Bring 6 cups vegetable broth or water to a boil. Pour broth into the bowl with the chiles, tortilla, raisins, and nuts. Let the mixture soak for about 20 minutes to hydrate the ingredients. Meanwhile, heat the canola oil or water in a large skillet. Add the diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the garlic, tomato paste and tomatoes and all of the spices and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.

    Add the tomato and onion mixture to the soaking chiles and stir to combine. Add half of the mixture to a blender and blend on high until the sauce is very smooth. Use a strainer to strain the sauce into a large pot. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

    Heat the sauce over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Add the chocolate and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Serve over roasted vegetables, tofu, or your favorite Mexican dishes.

    Toast the ingredients:

    Tear apart the Chile peppers, remove the seeds and toast in a hot pan.

    {image: Toast peppers}

    Toast the ingredients:

    Toast the cumin seeds until fragrant

    {image: Toast cumin seeds}

    Toast the ingredients:

    Toast the nuts, seeds, and raisins

    {image: Toast nuts and seeds}

    Toast the ingredients:

    Tear apart and toast the corn tortillas

    {image: Toast tortillas}

    Sauté onions and tomatoes:

    Sauté the onions until soft and lightly brown, add the tomatoes and other ingredients as instructed and sauté until soft.

    {image: Saute onions}

    Soak the ingredients:

    Add the ingredients to a pot or bowl with the hot water and let soak for at least 20 minutes

    {image: Soak toasted ingredients}

    Blend and heat:

    Blend the mixture until smooth

    {image: blend ingredients}

    Blend and heat:

    Strain the blended mixture to remove any large pieces that may have not fully blended.

    {image: strain the blended mixture}

    Blend and heat:

    Return the mixture to a pot, bring to a simmer and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and fully combined.

    {image: heat and add chocolate}