Spicy Mole

Mole is not normally something you whip up in a flash.  Traditionally, the complex flavors are developed over a looooong period of time.  Lucky for you, this recipe uses a few shortcuts (hooray for peanut butter!) to get all of those delicious flavors in a much shorter period of time.  I have to stop myself from eating all the sauce with a spoon.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6-8 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded*
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ large white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (seeded depending on spice preference)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp AP flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

*Dried ancho chiles vary in size.  Use 6-8 depending on how large/long each chile is (use 8 if they’re shorter and/or smaller).  To seed the chiles, cut off the stems and then shake them upside down. 


  1. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the ancho chiles and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chiles are toasted and fragrant.
  2. Add the chiles and chicken broth to a blender, allowing the chiles to soak and rehydrate.  Return the pan to the stove. 
  3. Add remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil to pan over medium heat.  Add onion and jalapeno and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Add the minced garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, and flour. Saute, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes until spices are fragrant. Remove pan from heat and add contents to the blender (with the chiles and chicken broth).
  4. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Return the mixture to the saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the tomato paste, peanut butter, cocoa powder, salt, and sugar. Whisk until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until the sauce is thickened (this also allows all of the flavors to meld together). Taste and season with more salt if needed.
  6. Serve warm. 
  7. Sauce can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

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