How to Make Mole Negro

Mole negro is a rich, dark sauce that is a staple of Mexican cuisine. It is a complex sauce that is made with over 20 ingredients, including a variety of chilies, spices, nuts, and chocolate. Mole negro is traditionally served over chicken, turkey, or pork, and it is a popular dish during celebrations and holidays.

The name “mole” comes from the Nahuatl word “mōlli,” which means “sauce.” Mole negro originated in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, and it is considered one of the seven moles of Oaxaca. The sauce is so important to the culture and cuisine of Oaxaca that there is a saying that goes, “sin mole, no hay fiesta,” which means “without mole, there is no party.”

To make mole negro, you will need a variety of dried chilies, including ancho, mulato, and pasilla chilies. These chilies are rehydrated in water and then blended with a variety of other ingredients, including tomatoes, onions, garlic, peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and cumin. The sauce is then simmered for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

One of the key ingredients in mole negro is chocolate, which gives the sauce its rich, complex flavor. Traditional mole negro recipes call for Mexican chocolate, which is a type of chocolate that is flavored with cinnamon and other spices. However, if you can’t find Mexican chocolate, you can use regular dark chocolate instead.

Here is a recipe for mole negro that serves 6-8 people:


  • 3 ancho chilies
  • 3 mulato chilies
  • 3 pasilla chilies
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup Mexican chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to between 340 and 350°F.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho, mulato, and pasilla chilies. Toast the chilies in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Soak the toasted chilies in hot water for about 30 minutes, until they become soft and pliable.
  4. While the chilies are soaking, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until they become soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cumin, oregano, peppercorns, salt, sesame seeds, almonds, peanuts, and torn tortillas to the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the nuts and tortillas become lightly toasted.
  6. Drain the soaked chilies and place them in a blender or food processor along with the onion and nut mixture. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and blend until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
  7. Return the saucepan to medium heat and pour in the chili paste. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the paste becomes thick and fragrant.
  8. Pour in the remaining chicken broth, raisins, chopped chocolate, and sugar. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the ingredients are well combined.
  9. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about one-third.
  10. Serve the mole negro over chicken, turkey, or pork. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with rice and warm tortillas.

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1 Comment

  1. Really enjoyed the dish but I want to reduce the amount of chili because it is too hot. Too much heat and it ruins the overall flavor and we do like things hot anyway in Orange County but not that hot.

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