How to Use Mole Paste

Mexico’s Most Famous Sauce

If you are lucky enough to live near a market where you can buy mole paste in bulk, you are in luck. You can take a culinary tour of Mexico without leaving home. Mole, a generic term for smooth sauces made from dried chiles, comes in countless regional variations.

The most famous is mole poblano from the city of Puebla which most people know as the “chocolate sauce.” A common misconception is that mole must contain chocolate. Most don’t.

There are red moles, yellow and black moles from the state of Oaxaca, green moles from Veracruz, and Querétaro. There are state moles like mole Michoacana from the state of Michoacán and mole Guanajuato from the state of Guanajuato. Try as many as you can.

Oaxacan Red Mole Paste

Store-bought mole will save you a tremendous amount of time, although preparing mole from scratch is well worth the effort. Many mole pastes are imported from Mexico and have an authentic taste. If you are unable to find mole paste in bulk, you can also buy mole paste in a jar. Check the Hispanic section of your supermarket.

How Much Paste to Buy?

1 cup of mole paste will make about 4 cups of sauce once you have added liquid which is enough for 4 to 6 servings.

How to Prepare

Preparation is very simple. Start by adding the mole paste to your pot to reconstitute.

Mole Paste in Pan

Pour in triple the amount of liquid, chicken broth, or water. If you have 1 cup of mole paste, you will add 3 cups of liquid. You will be adding the remaining liquid during the cooking process.

Adding Water to Mole Paste

Break up the paste.

Breaking Up Mole Paste

Stir continually. The paste will start absorbing the liquid.

Stirring Mole Sauce in Pan

Simmer for 20 minutes. Keep stirring. The mole will continue to absorb water. Add 1/4 cup liquid as needed if the mole is becoming too thick. Mole should be on the thick side. It shouldn’t be runny.

How to Use Mole

Mole is commonly served with chicken in a dish called pollo en mole. It is also served with enmoladas which are enchiladas prepared with mole instead of salsa. It may sound strange, but you should try scrambled eggs with mole. You will be surprised by how good it is.

In the picture, we are preparing cheese enchiladas with mole poblano. Try making them with our red enchilada sauce.


Prepared mole will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. You can prepare it in advance to keep on hand.

Do you have a favorite mole? Let us know!

More Mexican Cooking Techniques

16 comments… add one
  • Seve

    Can bulk mole be frozen

  • Thank you, Douglas, for a very informative post on Mole which I have never tasted before and yes I did think it was chocolate I now know different… I will definitely be giving it a try :)

  • The other day I made cauliflower fritters (because of Lent) which my husband hates, but I decided to bathe them in mole sauce and even my husband loved them! Mole definitely makes everything better.

  • Susan

    I live right on the Mexican border, and most of our population is Mexican, but I have never seen bulk mole. I will have to check out the one market where I think I might find it. You have given me a great idea for using mole poblano: a dipping sauce of the quesadillas I make with Oaxaca cheese… Yum!

    • The dipping sauce sounds great. Mole makes everything better. Glad we gave you some inspiration! Cheers!


    for making pico degiao. how do i remove the excess water from the tomatoes

    • Bruno

      Pico de Gallo. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze them cut side down over the sink.

      • Karla Forgaard-Pullen

        YOu can also cut them lengthwise and push out the juice and seeds with a spoon.

  • Gayle Rollins bennett

    My husband used to say he would eat a tennis shoe if it had mile on it.

  • Diana Araiza

    Why does the mole get too thick the next day

    • J Sharp

      Just thin it out with some water or broth. Follow the instruction that says it should remain thick but not too thick. Some of the ingredients continue to absorb moisture as it sits, plus fat congeals when it gets cold. So the mole will thin somewhat just with heat, but probably requires a little liquid to reconstitute properly.

  • Crevel Europe

    I love your site. My thanks for sharing such a good post. I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Thursday. I will come back to read more and inform my coworkers about your site.

  • Jackie

    I bought bulk mole in Guadalajara and they told me it would last unrefrigerated for six months. One of your posts says three days so I’m confused. I’ve already had this mole 3 weeks and it’s just fine. Could it be a different process or am I endangering my family by keeping this?

    • Kris

      He said “prepared mole” sauce which is after you have added liquid and cooked it. He wasn’t speaking of the paste which lasts longer.

  • Sylvia

    Mole as a cauliflower sounds delicious.
    I found bulk mole in DTLA at the old central market on broadway. But not sure if they are closed with the Covid 19

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