How To Make 30-Minute Mole Sauce At Home

Mole is a notoriously time-consuming sauce. Iterations of the legendary Mexican staple are endless, and even those recipes closely associated with a particular region — such as Puebla, birthplace of the chocolate-laced mole poblano — vary from household to household.

Luckily for us, our friends at ChefSteps condensed the process down to 30 minutes by using a pressure cooker, an appliance that has the ability to develop deep flavors quickly. After some tweaking of ingredients (and yes, there are a lot of ingredients used here), they landed on just the right combination. The result is a lip-smacking, sweet-and-spicy sauce that's perfect as an accompaniment for carnitas tacos, leftover chicken thighs or pulled pork, or mixed with black beans and rice. Check out the instructional video and full recipe here below.

Note: The weights of the chili peppers in the list below are the amounts that should go into the recipe after the chilies have been trimmed and cleaned. To make sure you have enough, buy a few extra grams at the store. You can always use other kinds of peppers if you can't find the ones listed here, or use ground chilies instead of whole dried ones.


4¼ cups water

2 sticks butter

2/3 cup sweet onion, diced

1/3 cup peanuts, shelled

3½ tablespoons dark chocolate 70%

3½ tablespoons tomato paste

9 cinnamon sticks

1½ tablespoons pumpkin seeds

1½ tablespoons garlic

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon ancho chili, dried, seeds removed

1 tablespoon pasilla chili, dried, seeds removed

1 tablespoon mulato chili, dried, seeds removed

1 tablespoon guajillo chili, dried, seeds removed

1 tablespoon chipotle meco chili, dried, seeds removed

1 tablespoon chipotle morita chili, dried, seeds removed

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano, fresh

3/4 teaspoon MSG, optional

½ teaspoon caraway seed

½ teaspoon thyme, fresh

Pinch of mace

Pinch of clove


  • Combine all ingredients in a pressure cooker. Lock lid into place and allow to come to full pressure (two bars). Cook for 30 minutes and allow pressure to vent naturally.
  • Remove cinnamon sticks and discard. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender. Blend on high and keep blending until your mole is free of large chunks (about two minutes). Repeat with the remaining sauce and combine.
  • Store or serve — although you can make mole just before serving, we suggest preparing it a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to settle in together. Separate what you're going to use and store that in the fridge; you can freeze leftovers and break 'em out for mole emergencies.
  • ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps' Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a one-time fee — currently specially priced at $24 (regularly $39). Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the BasicsFluid GelsFrench Macarons and more!