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Mole Negro Sauce


How to make Mole Negro Sauce- a deep, smoky, slightly spicy sauce that hails from Mexico made with dried black chilies, warming spices and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Trust me, you’ll want to put this on everything. Vegan! Make this in 35 minutes!


Mole Negro Sauce:

  • 6 dried chilies (2 varieties, medium heat-dark in color-see post body)
  • 4 cups broth or stock (chicken or veggie)
  • 1 cup seedless prunes (or dark raisins)
  • 1 large onion- diced
  • 610 garlic cloves- smashed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin (ground or seeds)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander (ground or seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • optional: 1-2 canned chipotle peppers, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce ( the “juice” from chipotle can)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (or sub tahini paste, almond butter, cashew butter)
  • 1 1/22 ounces dark chocolate (bittersweet or semi-sweet) about 1/3 cup

other additions: agave syrup or maple


  1. Tear the dried chilies apart (or cut with scissors) discard seeds and stems and place them in a dry skillet. Toast over medium heat until they begin to release their oils (they will take on a slight sheen), 3-4 minutes.
  2. Place them in medium pot, add 4 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat down to low and simmer covered, 10 minutes.
  3. Add the prunes, stir, cover, simmer on low 10 more minutes, turn the heat off, let cool, saving the liquid.
  4. At the same time, saute the onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil, over medium heat, stirring often until deeply golden brown, about 10 minutes. Take your time here and let them get dark. Add all the spices and stir 1-2 more minutes, toasting the spices.
  5. Place the cooked onion-spice mixture in a blender along with the chilies and prunes and all the liquid, and chipotles and the adobo sauce ( if using).  Feel free to add a little more broth to get the blender going. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides. If it feels very thick, loosen with more broth. It should be like the consistency of a thick smoothie. Once silky smooth, pour this back into the pan and heat over low heat, covering.
  6. When warm, stir in the salt, peanut butter and chocolate. Once the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated, give a taste.
  7. Adjust seasonings. Add more heat if you like (chipotle sauce or chipotle powder). Add more chocolate if you like. It should taste deep and smokey, slightly salty and slightly sweet. If it lacks depth, more salt may help bring out the other flavors or a tiny splash of soy sauce.  To add more sweetness, a tiny splash of agave or maple syrup will help here.  If you want it smokier, stir in smoked paprika or adobo sauce from the canned chipotles. If it is too spicy, add more peanut butter and broth and reseason with salt.
  8. To loosen the sauce, feel free to add more broth or stock.



This will make 4 cups of Mole Negro Sauce.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen.

The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Keywords: mole negro, mole negro recipe, black mole, black mole recipe

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