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3 fork recipe Red Molé
6 cups

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

Red Oaxaca Mole  

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.

Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes


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.