Spice in the Kitchen: Easy Vegetarian/Vegan Mole Sauce Recipe

Looking at recipes for mole sauce, I realized they can get pretty complicated. I came up with this cheater one on a whim. It's pretty easy to make and tastes just like the mole sauces I have had at Mexican restaurants.

Easy Vegetarian/Vegan Mole Sauce Recipe*
makes about 2 cups; prep time: 10-15 minutes

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely minced pablano peppers (or in a pinch, use green bell peppers)
  • 1.5 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB cumin powder
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 TB cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 TB brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (fire roasted if you can find it)
  • 2 TB finely minced, mild pickled jalapenos

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute peppers in olive oil for a few minutes, add spices and saute for a minute.
  2. Add cocoa powder and cinnamon. Stir. When mixtures starts to clump, add water and stir.
  3. Add  salt, pepper and brown sugar and then add tomato sauce and pickled MILD jalapenos. Don't use fresh jalapenos here or the sauce will be too hot.
  4. Continue cooking sauce until it thickens. If it becomes too thick, add more water. Adjust salt to taste.
  5. This sauce works well as a topping to fried or baked plantains (just add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to the sauce). Use it as a dipping sauce or to marinate seitan for tacos. Yum! 
*This recipe is a component to the Scissors and Spice baked poblanos recipe.


  1. Haha! I love that Mr. Scissors' challenge is really a Ms. Scissors challenge. :-) That pepper looks amazing!!

  2. Yeah, I think I deserve some more free design work from him after that one. ;)

  3. I made this with some mods and looooved it. Spoon-licking good! I'm going to blog about it, if that's ok with you!

  4. Yes! Of course. Would love to see what you did. I really did come up with this on the fly.

  5. Made some enchiladas. Yum yum!


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