Discover a 20 min Mexican mole recipe

Holy-Mexican-mole! in 20 mins is a great go-to if you’re in a bit of a rush for Mexican flavours.

YEILD: 3 cups
PREP TIME: 5 mins
IDEAL FOR: sauce for enchiladas, tacos, nachos etc

What is mole sauce

Let’s get the basics out of the way.

Mole is pronounced: MO-lay.

And this Mexican favourite comes from pre-Hispanic times.

When the Aztec king Moctezuma served mole to the conquistadors, thinking they were gods.

Traditionally, it’s made of these core ingredients – a blend of chilli peppers, tomatoes or tomatillos, fruit or other sweet element, nuts or seeds, often but not always cocoa, and a blend of spices. 

The quality of the dried chillies is one of the keys to success for a traditional mole sauce.

Holy-mole, is that the time?!

In order to make an authentic mole sauce.

You need time.

Lots of it.

A true mole can take 3 – 4 hrs to even days to make.

I’ve made my own authentic mole.

And it has an incredible depth of flavour.

But, boy it took a long time.

And I felt a little exhausted by the end of it.

And I hadn’t even started on the enchiladas.

So, as much as I love mole, I’ll be honest.

Finding this ‘cheats 20 min mole’ from GimmieSomeOven… was a great find.

It still has a rich, nutty, chocolate-y, savoury, and slightly sweet flavour, that a mole should have.

But I just didn’t have to labour over it.

And that makes me want to make it more often now.

So, I recommend giving it a go.

And when you have time, then make an authentic sauce.

It really can’t be flavour-beaten.

But it can be beaten on time.

20 min Holy-Mexican-mole sauce


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • (optional) 1 jalapeño, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp smooth almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add onion and sauté for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. 
  3. Then add garlic and jalapeño and sauté for 1-2 more mins, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. 
  4. Add chilli powder, flour, cinnamon, cumin, and oregano, and stir until everything is evenly mixed.  Continue sautéing for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove pan from heat and add vegetable stock, and stir until combined.
  6. Use a blender to puree the mixture until smooth. 
  7. Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and add almond butter (or peanut butter), tomato paste, cocoa powder and sea salt, and whisk until combined. 
  8. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer and the sauce has thickened.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Taste, and season the sauce with more salt if needed.
  10. Serve.

Want to tweak your Holy-Mexican-mole?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Sweet mole: Drizzle a little maple syrup or honey to sweeten.
  • Spicy mole: Throw in an extra jalapeño pepper (with seeds to make hotter).
  • Mild mole: Take out the jalapeño altogether.
  • Smokey mole: Sub in chipotle powder for half of the chilli powder.
  • Chocolate-y mole: Double the cocoa powder.
  • TIP: If you want your mole to taste even more complex and authentic, add in a bay leaf, a pinch of ground cloves, a pinch of ground coriander, and/or a pinch of ground anise.

How to use Holey-Mexican-mole sauce

You can use it how you feel.

But traditionally it’s used liberally poured over or baked into, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, burritos etc

For something different, use it as a sauce over baked potatoes, drizzled over a steak or pork.

And of course, stir a few spoonsful into your rice and beans.

To add some extra flavours to your carbs.

Storing Holy-Mexican-mole

You can make double the amount when you make your own.

So, you can have it as a go-to sauce whenever you need to add some extra flavour to a dish.

Store it in a sealed container then:

  • Refrigerate: For up to 3-4 days
  • Freeze: For up to 3 months. (*NB: The texture will change a little of the sauce but it will still be delicious.)