Spice Up Your Kitchen with this Red Mole Recipe

Mexican cuisine is famous all around the world for its vibrant and exotic flavors. And in my opinion, one of the most delicious Mexican dishes is the rich and flavorful chicken mole, also known as “Mole de Pollo”. This dish originated in Puebla, Mexico, but its fame soon spread throughout the country and beyond.

Mole is a complex sauce that combines a large number of ingredients, such as spices, chiles, and chocolate, resulting in a bittersweet and smoky flavor profile. It might sound intimidating to make, but once you try it, you’ll understand why it’s worth the effort.

In this recipe article, I will guide you through the process of making a classic Mexican Chicken Red Mole (Mole Colorado de Pollo) recipe at home. I have included detailed instructions on how to make this delicious sauce, using simple and easy-to-find ingredients. Trust me; once you master this recipe, it will become your go-to for all your Mexican-themed parties and celebrations.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and let’s dive into this flavorful adventure!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mexican Chicken Red Mole (Mole Colorado de Pollo)
Mexican Chicken Red Mole (Mole Colorado de Pollo)

This Mexican Chicken Red Mole recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves bold and complex flavors that excite the taste buds! Here’s why you’ll absolutely love this recipe:

Firstly, it’s authentically Mexican and celebrates the rich culinary heritage of the country. The mole sauce, made with a combination of ancho and guajillo chiles, bittersweet chocolate, and toasted sesame seeds, is a staple in Mexican cuisine. By making this dish, you’re sure to impress your guests with an authentic taste of Mexico.

Secondly, this recipe is incredibly versatile and can be adjusted to suit your preferences. Don’t like chicken thighs? No problem! You can substitute them with boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. Want a spicier kick? Just increase the amount of dried chiles in the sauce. Want a sweeter flavor profile? Add more sugar or use milk chocolate instead of bittersweet.

Thirdly, this recipe is perfect for any occasion, from weeknight dinners to special occasions. Whether you’re hosting a casual dinner party or looking to wow your family at Sunday lunch, this dish will not disappoint. The flavorful mole sauce compliments the tender chicken perfectly, making it a crowd-pleaser every time.

Finally, this dish is super easy to prepare despite its complex flavors! Once you’ve toasted up and blended the ingredients for the sauce paste, all you need to do is sear the chicken and simmer everything together until the chicken is cooked through and smothered in delicious mole sauce.

So what are you waiting for? Give this Mexican Chicken Red Mole recipe a try today and experience all these amazing reasons why you’ll absolutely love it!

Ingredient List

 The aroma of this Mexican Chicken Red Mole will have your taste buds dancing!
The aroma of this Mexican Chicken Red Mole will have your taste buds dancing!

Here are the ingredients needed for this Mexican Chicken Red Mole (Mole Colorado de Pollo) recipe:
– 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
– 4-6 dried ancho chiles, seeds removed
– 2 dried guajillo chiles, seeds removed
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, peeled
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 1 tsp. whole peppercorns
– 3 whole cloves
– a pinch of dried thyme and Mexican oregano
– 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, roasted and chopped
– 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds, divided
– Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
– 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
– 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
– 3 cups chicken broth

Pro tip: For an alternative to chicken thighs, you can use chicken breasts instead. For this recipe, it is important to use high-quality Mexican chocolate to achieve the best flavor results.

The Recipe How-To

 Celebrate your next fiesta with a dish that is as delicious as it is colorful.
Celebrate your next fiesta with a dish that is as delicious as it is colorful.

Now comes the exciting part – diving into the details of preparing this delicious Mexican Chicken Red Mole, step-by-step. But before we take the plunge, let’s get all our ingredients ready and nearby on the counter so that we can get started right away.


  • 4 dried ancho chiles, seeds removed
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles, seeds removed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Pinch of sugar


  1. Start by heating a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles to the dry skillet and toast them on each side for approximately one minute until they become fragrant.

  2. Transfer the toasted chiles to a saucepan or a Dutch oven and pour in chicken broth. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat level and simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the chiles become soft.

  3. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

  4. Pour everything in a blender jar up to 3/4 level (you may need to blend twice). Blend until it becomes smooth and set aside.

  5. Now, heat oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat.

  6. Season chicken pieces with salt and black pepper on both sides.

  7. Add seasoned chicken to the hot oil in single layer batches (don’t overcrowd), and cook each side until golden brown. This should take around 5 minutes per batch.

  8. Once all chicken batches are done, put them in another plate and set aside.

  9. Using the same skillet where you cooked chicken, add chopped onions and minced garlic to hot oil until they become soft for about five minutes.

  10. Now stir in dried thyme, Mexican oregano, cinnamon stick, whole cloves until combined then add canned tomatoes with their juice.

  11. Pour in blended chile mixture that we had prepared earlier over tomato mixture in skillet; bring it to boil while stirring occasionally.

  12. Reduce heat level then stir in toasted sesame seeds; add chocolate with pinch of sugar while whisking occasionally.

  13. Add your cooked chicken pieces back into skillet with mole sauce; mix everything well until every piece is coated with sauce.

  14. Simmer for another fifteen minutes before serving Mexican Chicken Red Mole as hot as possible!

This recipe creates an amazing party food that’ll

Substitutions and Variations

 This recipe makes enough for a crowd, so invite all your amigos over for a feast!
This recipe makes enough for a crowd, so invite all your amigos over for a feast!

When it comes to cooking, there is always room for experimentation and personalization. If you don’t have all the ingredients listed above or if you want to add a little twist to this traditional Mexican chicken red mole recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations that you can try.

Firstly, if you prefer beef or pork, you can easily substitute the boneless skinless chicken thighs with beef or pork cubes. For vegetarians, you can use firm tofu cubes instead of meat.

If you can’t find ancho chiles in your local grocery store, guajillo chiles are a good substitute. They have a similar sweet and mild flavor but are slightly spicier than ancho chiles. Keep in mind that if you use a different type of chili, it will alter the taste of the mole sauce.

If you don’t have Mexican chocolate on hand, try substituting bittersweet chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder. It will give the mole sauce a slightly sweeter and richer taste.

For a smokier flavor, you can add chipotle chiles in adobo sauce to the mole sauce recipe. Just add one or two chipotle chiles in adobo sauce with the dried ancho chiles.

If you want to make enchiladas de pollo (chicken enchiladas) using this chicken mole recipe, simply shred cooked chicken and mix it into the finished mole sauce. Then pour some of the sauce over corn tortillas filled with shredded cheese and roll them up. Top with more mole sauce and bake until bubbly.

Finally, for those who prefer spicy food, add some extra heat by leaving some of the seeds of the dried ancho chiles or adding a pinch of cayenne pepper. Don’t forget to adjust seasoning accordingly.

Remember that these substitutions and variations are just ideas to help you personalize your Mexican chicken red mole recipe. Get creative and let your taste buds be your guide!

Serving and Pairing

 The rich, complex flavor of this mole will transport you straight to Mexico.
The rich, complex flavor of this mole will transport you straight to Mexico.

Once your Mexican chicken red mole is done, you’ll want to serve it immediately while it’s still hot. This flavorful dish is hearty enough to be enjoyed on its own, but it also pairs well with a variety of complementary sides.

One classic pairing for mole sauce is rice; its mild flavor and fluffy texture nicely balances the richness of the sauce. Consider serving your chicken mole over a bed of rice or alongside a side of rice pilaf or coconut rice for an exotic twist.

Another great way to enjoy your Mexican chicken red mole is with tortillas, whether you use them to wrap pieces of chicken or dip them in the sauce. For a lighter option, try serving your mole with whole wheat tortillas or lettuce leaves.

If you’re looking for something green, a fresh and crunchy green salad can balance out the richness of the mole perfectly. Try whipping up a simple cucumber salad, seasoned with cilantro or lime juice for a refreshing contrast.

Finally, don’t forget about drinks! To complement this spicy and complex dish, try pairing your chicken red mole with your favorite malty beer or a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. Alternatively, you could opt for a Margarita on the rocks with salt if you want to stick with something more classic.

No matter what you pair with it, this Mexican chicken red mole will no doubt impress your guests and leave them wanting more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Serve with traditional accoutrements like rice, beans, and warm tortillas.
Serve with traditional accoutrements like rice, beans, and warm tortillas.

As a home cook, I know it can be challenging to prepare a meal while also worrying about other party details. That’s why I’m delighted to tell you that this Mexican Chicken Red Mole recipe can easily be made ahead of time and reheated later.

To make-ahead, follow the same instructions to cook the mole sauce and chicken and let them cool completely before storing them separately. Once cooled, cover and store the mole sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. Store the cooked chicken in a separate container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to reheat, take out the mole sauce and chicken from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, reheat the sauce in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to simmer. Add the cooked chicken thighs into the pot with the mole sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

You can also reheat individual portions of this dish by microwaving them for 1-2 minutes or heating them up in a small pot over low heat on the stove.

Leftovers can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Be sure to store them in an airtight container and reheat as mentioned above.

Enjoy perfectly reheated Mexican Chicken Red Mole over rice or with tortillas and share this delicious dish with your loved ones!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Pour this velvety mole generously over the chicken for an unforgettable meal.
Pour this velvety mole generously over the chicken for an unforgettable meal.

If you want your Mexican Chicken Red Mole recipe to turn out just right, here are a few tips to help you achieve perfect results.

First things first: make sure to use high-quality ingredients. This is especially important when it comes to the bittersweet chocolate and dried spices, as they can greatly affect the flavor of your mole sauce.

Toasting your spices before adding them to the sauce can also help enhance their flavor. Simply place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir until fragrant, being careful not to burn them.

Another important tip is to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. The thighs are more flavorful and moist, and they hold up better in the thick mole sauce. If you do use breasts, be sure to cook them for less time as they tend to dry out faster.

When preparing the dried chiles for the sauce, make sure to remove all of the seeds and stems. The seeds can add unwanted bitterness and heat, while the stems can make it harder for the chiles to blend smoothly.

Additionally, blending the sauce until it is completely smooth is essential for achieving a silky texture. You may need to do this in batches if your blender isn’t large enough.

Finally, don’t be afraid to adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. Mole sauce should be slightly sweet and savory with just a hint of heat. If it’s too sweet, add a pinch more salt or chili powder. If it’s too spicy, increase the amount of sugar or chocolate.

By following these tips and taking your time with each step, you’ll be able to create a mouthwatering Mexican Chicken Red Mole that will impress all of your guests.


Before we wrap up this article, let’s take a moment to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about our Mexican Chicken Red Mole recipe. So, let’s dive straight in!

What is mole de pollo made of?

Mole de pollo is a dish deeply rooted in Mexican culinary culture that consists of tender chicken coated in an irresistible sauce. The sauce is created from a harmonious blend of chilies, nuts, tomatoes, spices, and on occasions chocolate, resulting in a multi-layered and intriguing taste. Jan 5, 2023

What does pollo con mole mean?

There is a Mexican restaurant that my friends and I absolutely adore. Their Pollo con Mole, featuring a delectable chocolate mole sauce, is a must-try for anyone visiting the restaurant. This inspired me to create my own version of this delicious dish that I would love to share with you.

How can I thicken my mole sauce?

One important aspect of making mole sauce is its consistency, which should resemble that of gravy but can be adjusted to personal preference. While it’s possible to make it thicker or thinner, the ideal consistency is medium. For a thinner consistency, you can add more chicken broth, while for a thicker consistency, you may need to simmer it for a little longer until the sauce reduces.

What meat goes best with mole?

Mole is a delicious sauce that pairs perfectly with chicken in the traditional Mexican dish known as pollo en mole. It can also be used as an alternative to salsa in enmoladas, a mole-based version of the popular dish, enchiladas.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Mexican chicken red mole recipe is a sure-fire hit! If you’re looking for that perfect dish to prepare for your next gathering, look no further. With its deliciously spicy and savory flavors, it’s a meal that everyone will love. Whether served with rice, tortillas, or just on its own, this dish is versatile and can be adjusted to suit anyone’s tastes.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients or try out substitutions – the possibilities are endless! I urge you to give this recipe a try and experience the mouth-watering taste of authentic Mexican food. With its blend of spices, deep flavors, and tender chicken, it’s sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

So the next time you’re searching for a show-stopping main course for your guests or family members, remember this recipe. It hits all the marks and is a true testament to the complexity and depth of traditional Mexican cuisine. Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Red Mole (Mole Colorado de Pollo)

Mexican Chicken Red Mole (Mole Colorado de Pollo) Recipe

Chicken Mole with ancho chilies. They give a mild, not spicy flavor. If you want to spice it up, add guajillo chilies to the soaking, or sprinkle with cayenne. Yummy too! Sop up the gravy with those tortillas, get every drop. 🙂
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 396.6 kcal


  • 2 ounces dried ancho chiles (about 4)
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 large onion
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1 (1/2-1 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 medium tomatoes, peeled,halved
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt
  • 1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate


  • Place chilies in large saucepan; add water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand 1 hour.
  • Cover chilies with a plate to submerge them.
  • Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat; add olive oil to coat bottom of pan.
  • Add chicken, and lightly brown on all sides; then add 4 cups water and 1/4 onion.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Grind sesame seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, oregano, and thyme until pulverized.
  • Set aside.
  • Drain soaked ancho chilies and remove stems and seeds.
  • Puree chilies in blender, adding a little water if needed.
  • Pass through a sieve to strain out the peels.
  • Without washing blender, puree onion and tomato.
  • Remove chicken and strain broth into a bowl or pot.
  • Add pureed chilies and tomato-onion mixture to pan; cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add ground spice mixture, 1 1/2 cups of reserved broth, chocolate.
  • sugar, and salt to taste.
  • Add the meat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add more broth as desired for consistency.
  • Serve with soft tortillas and steamed rice, if you desire.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 216gCalories: 396.6kcalCarbohydrates: 16.4gProtein: 48.3gFat: 15.3gSaturated Fat: 3.1gCholesterol: 188.9mgSodium: 205.4mgFiber: 5.1gSugar: 4.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Chicken Thigh & Leg, Meat, Mexican, Potluck, Poultry, Small Appliance, Spicy, Spring, Stew, Stove Top, Weeknight, Winter
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