Perfect Mole with Veggies

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A thick and delicious mole with deep, rich flavor and no meat in sight. Lots of added vegetables for texture and nutrition, it’s wonderful in tacos, over enchiladas, or my favorite, as a topping for sopes. And just the right about of spice: mild.

  • Author: Kristine
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 75 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican



1/21 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces with scissors

2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces with scissors

12 dried ancho chiles stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces with scissors

3 cups vegetable broth, divided

1 fluffy dinner roll, torn into pieces (about 1 1/2 ounces)

2 10-inch or 4 5-inch corn tortillas, cut or torn into 1-inch strips

5 tomatillos, cut in half crosswise

2 Roma tomatoes, cut in half crosswise

1 tablespoon vegan butter

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

6 cloves garlic, peeled and diced (about 12 tablespoons)

1/3 cup roasted or raw peanuts, chopped

¼ cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon dried thyme

3 cinnamon sticks

6 whole allspice berries

5 whole cloves

1 individual tea bag, any flavor

5 ounces dark chocolate (shy 1 cup of chips or chopped chocolate bar)

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 yam, peeled and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)

4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and finely diced (about 3 cups)


Prep all ingredients so they’re at the ready.

Heat medium-sized skillet over medium heat, dry. No oil is needed. Add chiles, keep them moving often, and cook until you can smell their aroma, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender.

Heat 2 cups vegetable broth over medium-high heat in a small saucepan until it just begins to bubble. Pour broth into the blender.

Return skillet to heat, add dinner roll pieces and tortilla strips over medium heat, cooking until lightly browned and aromatic, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to the blender with vegetable broth and chiles. Make sure to submerge chiles, toasted bread, and tortillas and let soak in the broth until softened, about 10 minutes. This is about how long the next step of cooking the tomatoes and tomatillos will take.

Return skillet to the stove increase heat to medium high, add tomatillos and tomatoes, and cook until softened and with a few good charred spots, about 3 to 4 minutes per side or 10 minutes total. Remove from heat.

Now that the ingredients in the blender have had time to soak, blend the mixture until smooth. Add the tomatoes and tomatillos to the blender with the chile puree.

Now you’ll need a large skillet. Melt vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic, peanuts, dried cranberries, cumin seeds, thyme, and cinnamon sticks. Cut the corner off the tea bag, empty out the tea and discard, and add allspice and cloves. Tie the tea bag with kitchen twine. Use something hard to give the tea bag a few good whacks, to crack the whole spices into some smaller pieces. Add tea bag to skillet.

Make sure the tea bag gets some moisture on it to extract the flavors. I like to pile onions on top of it and let some of the steam and liquid permeate the bag. Cook and stir until onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and tea bag of whole spices; add the onion mixture to the blender and blend until smooth.

Pour chile puree into a very large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the remaining 1 cup vegetable broth, chocolate, sugar, salt, yam, carrot, and potato. Bring mixture to a simmer and stir until the chocolate is melted. Cover and cook until sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, and vegetables are soft, about 15 to 25 minutes. You might need to stir occasionally so the veggies don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Serve over sopes or in tacos or burritos, topped with your favorite toppings like shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomato, sour cream, and guacamole.


Inspired by Authentic Mole Sauce and La Taquisa in Victoria, BC. Freezes well.

Notes on equipment:

To save on dirty dishes, you can just use one large skillet throughout, for each step of the recipe instead of 1 medium skillet and 1 large skillet. It just might feel odd when you put such a small volume of food into the big skillet in the earlier steps.

I used a Vitamix blender but think a regular blender could handle this recipe as well.


Keywords: veggie mole, vegetarian mole, mole sauce recipe, vegetarian mole recipe