Made with smokey chili peppers, dark chocolate, and Mexican spices, this quick Chocolate Mole Sauce Recipe is a gluten-free, dairy-free take on a classic Mexican sauce. Pair it with pulled pork, chili, enchiladas, and more! Vegan Option.
Holy Mole! You’re Going to Love this Sauce
Did you know that Mole is the national dish of Mexico? With its rich flavors and a wide variety of uses, it’s not a mystery why. However, while delicious, mole sauce is widely known for being somewhat a labor of love taking hours to make and containing a fairly large list of ingredients. While there are a few different variations of mole sauces including yellow, red, black, and green versions, they typically all contain a combination of nuts, fruit, and chilis.
As a result of the major time commitment, I’ve shied away from tackling this recipe for quite a few years instead opting to create slightly more simple recipes like Vegan Dulce de Leche Sauce, Easy Vegan Salsa Con Queso, and Sweet and Spicy Fresh Salsa. However, that’s about to change today! With a few tips from my sister-in-law, who grew up making and enjoying mole, we updated one of our favorite Mexican sauce recipes. A quick homemade version of chocolate mole sauce, which also just happens to be dairy free! YAY!
It contains all the flavor of a traditional recipe with half of the ingredients and a lot less time. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? I promise you it’s not, though! Keep reading to learn how it all comes together.
Note: An oldie but a goodie, we created this easy mole sauce years ago for Mole Sweet Potato Turkey Chili but felt like it needed an upgrade. So, we added a bit more authentic flavor and retested it for an even better recipe we know you’ll love!
What is Chocolate Mole Sauce?
A classic variation of traditional homemade mole sauces, chocolate mole sauce is a sweet and savory recipe containing chocolate, chilis, and most commonly peanut butter. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate mole sauce is not meant to be served as a dessert but is instead paired with savory dishes and meats.
The History of Mole: The use of mole sauce originates from the Oaxaca and Puebla regions of Mexico and stems from the word “molli,” meaning sauce or concoction. While the flavors may vary, all traditional mole sauces simmer for hours or even days and are characterized by a blend of spices, dried chilis, and fruit. However, we decided to make things a bit easier by giving you the “quick” version for an approachable mole sauce that’s full of the same flavor as the original! (Source)
Simple Ingredients for Easy Mole Sauce
To make this quick mole sauce a little more approachable, we took the original ingredient list and simplified it down to include just the basics. Then, we made just a few allergy-friendly swaps and were left with a super simple chocolate mole sauce! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Peppers – Peppers are the key ingredient to create authentic flavor and add a bit of spice. Traditionally, pasilla peppers are used, but chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be used in their place for a similar smokey taste.
- Garlic Cloves – Use 2 whole cloves or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic to help add depth to the flavors.
- Onion – Not only are they packed with nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B, and potassium, onions add a sweet umami flavor to this sauce.
- Seasonings – The secret to creating authentic flavor, we used seasonings including Mexican chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and ground cloves.
Swap: Traditional recipes use chiles instead of chili powder. However, we’ve included it to enhance the flavor, especially if you can’t find real chiles. Just make sure you use a powder and not a chili mix!
- Broth – A great source of essential amino vitamins and minerals and good for gut health, broth creates a more liquidy sauce. Feel free to use either chicken or bone broth to fit your needs!
- Nut Butter – Traditional recipes use peanut butter or ground pepitas. However, in order to make this easy mole sauce a bit more allergy-friendly we swapped it out for almond butter which has less saturated fat and about 25% more monounsaturated fats than peanut butter! (Source)
Nutrition Tip: For extra chocolatey flavor and added nutrients such as iron, copper, and manganese, we included a small amount of dark chocolate.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – To help control the sugar content, we also included a Tablespoon of cocoa powder in our sauce.
How to Make a Quick Mole Sauce
You’re not going to believe how easy this mole sauce recipe comes together! Plus, it tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff. I promise, it’s so quick, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been making it your whole life.
Cooking Tip: For an even more authentic flavor, be sure to soak the dried pasilla chipotle peppers before adding them to the pot.
- Sauté. To start, heat your olive oil in a medium saucepan, and add the garlic and onion, sauteing the ingredients on medium heat until they are fragrant. This will take about 2 minutes.
- Add Spices. Next, add the spices, and mix them together for another minute or 2, making sure they are well blended.
- Blend. Then, remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the broth making sure to stir it to combine before adding the mixture to a high speed or immersion blender. Pulse the blender until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Return to Heat. Once blended, return the sauce back to the saucepot, and add the almond butter, chocolate, cocoa powder, and sea salt.
- Boil. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat before reducing it to medium-low, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Pro-Tip: If the sauce is too thin for your liking, add 1 teaspoon of arrowroot slurry to thicken it up!
What Does this Mole Sauce Recipe Taste Like?
As you might be able to guess by the ingredient list, this mole sauce recipe has a combination of sweet, savory, and smoky notes combined in a smooth velvety texture.
Tasty Flavor Variations
Of course, there are endless takes and variations on how to make chocolate mole sauce. So, feel free to experiment with seasonings and spices to create your own! However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, I’ve got a few tips to get you started.
Looking for something sweeter? Try adding a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.
Prefer a little more spice? Add a dash of hot sauce or a jalapeño pepper.
Looking to add a little more smoke? Add chipotle powder or a bit more adobo sauce.
Want to use a few extra seasonings? For an even more authentic flavor, try including a bay leaf, coriander, or allspice.
How to Store Homemade Mole Sauce
This quick mole sauce yields 1 cup, but I highly recommend doubling the batch to use for leftovers or save for later! Take a look below to see how to store it.
Refrigerator: Place your homemade mole sauce in an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for up to 6 days.
Freezer: When stored in the freezer, mole sauce will stay fresh for up to 6 months.
Note: To use frozen mole sauce, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm it in a saucepan, adding additional broth as needed.
Serving Suggestions & Uses
When it comes to how to use mole sauce, the options are pretty much endless! However, some classic uses to get you started include:
- Tacos, Burritos, & Enchiladas – Drizzle it on top or bake it into classic dishes for even more added flavor!
- Stuffed Peppers – Create a classic mole poblano dish using this sauce to create irresistible stuffed peppers!
- Protein Sources – Use mole to create a marinade or finishing sauce for a wide variety of protein sources including pork, chicken, beef, and fish.
- Dips – Add a bit of mole sauce into your favorite sauces for a bit of heat and added flavor! It’s great stirred into queso, guacamole, or even salsa.
- Chili & Stews – Add a spoonful of sauce to your favorite chili and stews for an unbelievably delicious rich flavor.
- Or even just tortillas! – Boost your Taco Tuesdays by soaking tortilla shells in mole sauce and cooking them on a skillet.
We share more Mexican-inspired recipes on Instagram, but here are a few to get you started!
That’s it, ya’ll! I told you this mole sauce recipe was easy. How will you use it? Let us know in the comments below!