Easy Vegan Chipotle Mole Sauce

I love a good challenge in the kitchen, but nothing has intimidated me like homemade mole sauce—the epitome of Mexican cuisine with layers of flavor from sweet peppers to spicy chocolate.  Mole is so popular that Wikipedia mentions three times in one article that ninety-nine percent of Mexicans have tasted it, so how hard could a homemade version be?

Well, every recipe starts off explaining how it takes three generations of women to grind the spices, weeks to order the zillions of specialty dried peppers from Mexico, and to be truly delicioso, hours and hours simmering on the stove.

Finally, I had enough.  Must I be the only gringa who doesn’t get to eat chocolate for dinner? I was already taking the chicken out of the dish, so I decided to take out the fuss too.

Easy Mole Sauce Fit for the Atleta sin Carne (That’s You, No Meat Athletes!)

With sweetness from raisins and thickness from nuts, mole sauce has “athlete” written all over it.  Plus, whether you prepare it with some browned seitan or a can of beans, this meal also packs a nice protein punch, especially when served over its amigo rice.

Instead of taking the time to rehydrate dried peppers, I used a can of chipotles in adobo.  You should be able to find this at your regular grocery store now.  A whole can is pretty spicy, but I keep it in a tupperware in the fridge for up to a month, adding a teaspoon here and there to all sorts of dishes.

To seal the no-fuss deal, I whittled the spice list down to the four essentials, and cut the simmer time down to only about twenty minutes—just enough to give the sauce some depth.  If you don’t feel like pureeing the sauce, make sure to chop or grind the almonds and raisins very fine and you should be good to go.

Enjoy, my no-carne amigos!

Vegan Chicken Mole


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo (1 teaspoon sauce, 1 teaspoons chopped, deseeded pepper)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 oz unsweetened vegan baking chocolate

Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat.  Fry the onion for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, almonds, and raisins, and fry for another 5 minutes.  Add the salt, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and oregano; fry for 2 more minutes or until fragrant.

Add the chipotle in adobo, tomatoes with their juices, and vegetable broth.  Heat to boil, then add chocolate and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Remove from heat and puree mixture with immersion blender.  Heat the pureed sauce for 5 minutes more.

To serve, add 1 package of browned seitan or can of beans and heat through.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve over rice.



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  1. I LOOOVE mole sauce. Mole seitan sounds awesome right now…

  2. This looks wonderful! I always wondered how to make it… it always seemed to difficult. I’m going to make it TONIGHT!

  3. Wow! I’ve seen my uncle make traditional mole sauce and it took all day! plus, it wasn’t veggie friendly, or very healthy. I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks!

  4. Totally making this! We’re obsessed with mexican and I love a good vegan mexican recipe! Fantastic-o

  5. Ok! With a small amount of assistance from the author, herself, i.e. “how do I work this immersion blender?”… “where is the coriander?”, I made this mole sauce. IT WAS SUPER EASY and absolutely fabulous! I couldn’t stop eating it right out of the pot. I hope there’s enough left now to serve for dinner. SO GOOD!

  6. Yum! I’ve never had mole, but I’d sure love to try it. Never realized it had such clean ingredients.

    I also think it’s cute your mom comments 🙂

  7. Chipotle is definitely one of my favorite flavors. This gets a big thumbs up!! I haven’t had seitan more than once though. I may have to give it another try. I’m thinking this might even be a good “sauce” for quinoa.

  8. Another winner! Thanks!

  9. Made my a version of this with some eggplant and loved it. Cheers for the recipe.

  10. Ninamary says:

    Made your vegan mole sauce tonight so that I can use it for dinner tomorrow. I did not have vegetable broth on hand, so I used water. I used powdered chipolte — and I will use less next time. Medium hot mole. Very delicious. We will wrap whole wheat tortillas with corn, pinto beans, roasted sweet potato and freshly chopped cilantro that is seasoned with sea salt, white pepper, cumin, ancho chili powder, coriander and oregano. We will spread sauce on baking pan, arrange burritos, cover in mole sauce and sprinkle with vegan monterey jack cheese. We will bake it until heated through. Healthy and delicious!

  11. Is that the 14.5 oz. can of tomatoes? Looks good n easy, thanks!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    For more authenticity, instead of using canned chipotle peppers, I toasted a few dry red peppers (papilla, I think), took out the stems and seeds,ripped them up, and let them simmer with everything else. I would probably also add a chipotle or other hot red pepper next time, as this was tasty, but mild. It was delicious, however.

  13. Love it! Last one I tried tasted dead. Adding this to a mix of quinoa, lentils, walnuts and onions on corn tortillas with lime rubbed cabbage and a little avacado. Even non-veg family loved it. Oh a pinch of cilantro finished it nicely. Thanks for the recipe!

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