Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce

Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce

15 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2011

Rich, dark and delicious, mole is a signature sauce in Mexican cooking. There are many variations, but the basic ingredients include plenty of chiles and nuts along with a touch of chocolate to tame the heat of the chiles. Traditional recipes can take several hours to prepare—this quick version takes a few shortcuts by using chili powder, nut butter and chocolate chips. Serve with rice and a medley of sautéed zucchini, pepper and onion.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter or natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (see Note)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Season chicken with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, chile powder, cumin, cinnamon and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce, broth, chocolate chips and almond (or peanut) butter; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, return the chicken (and any accumulated juice) to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
  • Note: Look for toasted sesame seeds at the supermarket near other Asian ingredients. Or toast regular sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 382 calories; 24 g fat(6 g sat); 3 g fiber; 14 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 20 mcg folate; 94 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 6 g added sugars; 915 IU vitamin A; 5 mg vitamin C; 75 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 631 mg sodium; 518 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 4 lean meat, 3 fat

Reviews 15

September 16, 2019
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By: Tracey Birri
What a great recipe. This was my first attempt at mole and I added some hydrated guajillos, but this is likely a new addition to the family rotation.
August 11, 2019
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By: Melissa Anderson DiNoto
I've never made mole sauce before because the recipes are intensive and time consuming. This was super easy and is so good. Will definitely satisfy my craving! I'm slow-cooking chicken breast to shred and have with it. The only thing I subbed was peanut butter powder for the real thing as I don't keep it on hand.
January 09, 2019
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By: Nina Bradley
This was quick and tasty. Like Kitty, I had to sub some ingredients for what I had on hand: used cocoa, a bit of sugar, tomato paste to make the tomato sauce, african pepper and peri peri pepper seasoning (for the cumin and cinnamon) peanut butter and water instead of broth. still used the chile powder, garlic and the method. it was very close to the red moles I’ve had in Arizona. It was really good! As written I am sure it is tasty as well!! So glad I stumbled upon this to do a mole “inspired” sauce.
July 30, 2018
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By: Kitty
I just have to say THANK YOU!!! This is the first time I have ever taken the time to write a comment on a recipe board. Mole sauce is one of my absolute favourite things in the world. And even thou I am a chef by trade, I very seldom ever make it due to the long, long labour of love the true authentic recipe takes. So when I stumbled upon this recipe I thought what the heck, I’ll give it a try! OMG... so very very happy I did! Absolutely divine!!! I tried really hard to not stray from your direct recipe as I really wanted to see if it would taste close to authentic. However I did substitute a couple things, as I didn’t have everything on hand. Instead of cinnamon I used all spice, and instead of chocolate chips I used 4 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp coconut sugar. I also added 1/2 cup of coffee. I made the sauce an hour before adding the chicken cause the hubby wasn’t going to be home for dinner for a bit. The results were spectacular! With my training I have such a hard time keeping things simple as I want all the complexity of gourmet flavour profiles, yet time simply doesn’t always permit for that, so a deep gratitude I send your way for helping me find all the wonders of authentic flavour in an easy, simple and time efficient fashion. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who loves mole sauce. It really is beyond yummy good! ??
December 12, 2017
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By: MacGregor Smith
Simple as can be and delicious! I goofed and put in 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips (didn't read the measuring cup). For as simple as this recipe is, it will become a staple alongside an avocado/tomato salad.. Thank you!
May 23, 2017
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By: Tamiko
I never had mole but my fiance loves it. So i found this recipe and made it to surprise him. To my surprise he loved it and said it tasted just like how his mom made it. I followed the recipe but added about 1 tbsp of brown sugar. I guess he'll be expecting me to make it more often.
January 30, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Very convincing! This is an excellent cheaters mole. Made minor adjustments - more or less of the listed ingredients to my taste and threw in some salsa tatemada for depth of flavor and additional heat. Let it go low and slow for a half hour. Home run! Well done E.W.! Pros: Easy, quick, full of flavor
August 09, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Wonderful and easy! My first time making mole sauce. I usually just order it at restaurants. I love the idea of adding peanut butter. It gives it a wonderful taste. I used cocoa powder and a little brown sugar. I like that you can make this to your liking (some like it a little sweet, some like it bitter). I like a nice balance. I also used less chili powder, but just keep sampling as you add ingredients, and you'll find your preferred taste. I also added a bit more cinnamon. I don't need to look for another mole sauce recipe. This one is quick and easy. Thank you! Pros: Easy, quick, tastes like you spent hours preparing Cons: None
January 25, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
I have made this dish for my friends and family many times and it is a huge hit!! Even some that think they are Mole experts love it. It's a little embarrassing to share how easy it is. The only thing that I did differently was double the sauce because everyone loves the sauce and it's good for leftovers. I tried it with chicken breast and it is very good, but found that using skinless boneless thighs are much better. It is absolutely a keeper! Thanks to whoever shared it.
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