We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Sauce Called Mole?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Feb 22, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Mexican sauce called mole (pronounced moh-lay), actually refers to a number of different sauces. These are often casually defined as any Mexican sauce that contains chocolate, but such individual sauces or dishes made with it can utilize many different ingredients. The name is a derivative of the Aztec word molli which translates to stew or sauce, or is thought of as a blend of ingredients.

There are many origin stories for mole, most agreeing the sauce was first invented in the late 17th century and was an attempt to blend New World ingredients like chocolate with Old World spices. Many believe it may have been an invention of Sister Superior Andrea of the Santa Rosa convent, as a way of thanking the Archbishop for building the convent at Puebla de Los Angeles, in Mexico.

Mole Poblano may be a dish that many are familiar with. It is made usually with poultry, chicken or turkey, cooked together with sauce. The sauce often comes in a paste form, which when heated becomes smooth. You can actually buy mole paste, though chefs naturally recommend making your own. Spices in it can include pepper, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, coriander and cloves. The spice blend features the mix of sweet and savory that exemplifies any good sauce.

This sauce can come in different colors. Green mole, for example, focuses on adding tomatillos to achieve the green color. This may be called mole verde, and frequently includes pumpkin seeds. Black mole, or mole negro, includes chilhuacle negro chili, which makes the sauce a deep dark brown. Yellow mole often utilizes Guajillo or New Mexican chilies to achieve a yellow to tan colored sauce.

Mole sauce of all types can be added to any soups or stews, and tops many traditional Mexican dishes. Enchiladas slathered with the sauce are quite common in Mexico. Many experts in Mexican cuisine believe that residents of the state of Oaxaca produce the finest varieties in Mexico, offering seven different types. In Veracruz, the verde type differs from other forms because it does not include pumpkin seeds.

Making mole at home can be fun, but the ingredients, especially cocoa beans, may be hard to find. Most chefs suggest the alternative of melting Ibarra chocolate, also called Mexican chocolate. If you’re having trouble finding ingredients, such as specific chilies to make the various types, Mexican or Latino grocery stores are the best places to look.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By SushiChamp — On Jun 30, 2011

@Animalz – Sweet dark chocolate mole sauce doesn’t sound bad. I make a white chocolate mole and I use white chocolate chips, which are very sweet. It’s really delicious! I use a lot of onion and garlic in my recipe, too. I also use animal crackers and lots of nuts.

Do you sauté the onions and garlic, and just toss them into the sauce? That might be the problem. I sauté the onions, garlic, and peppers. Then I toast the nuts in the oven and grind everything up in a food processor.

I strain all that into a blender with some butter and melted white chocolate chips, and blend it up.

Try grinding and straining your ingredients with the sweet dark chocolate and you might like what you end up with.

By Animalz — On Jun 30, 2011

Mole looks really nasty, but it tastes great! I make a great chocolate mole sauce. I love it slathered on a nicely seared piece of chicken. I also put it over fish, but that’s not a traditional application.

If you’ve never made chocolate mole before, and can’t find Ibarra chocolate, any unsweetened chocolate will do nicely. Just make sure it’s unsweetened! The first time I made mole, I used sweetened dark chocolate, and it was a disaster! I use a lot of onions and garlic in my mole, so you can imagine how gross it was.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.