This super easy, no-cook, homemade mole sauce is made from scratch, and gives regular chicken enchiladas a delicious twist for a super fast Mexican dinner to meal prep or even throw together for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Easiest Chicken Mole Enchiladas
I recently heard about a study that reported that no matter how many recipes they have on their Pinterest wish list or they’ve dog eared in their favorite cookbooks, the home cook generally makes the same 15-20 recipes over and over and over again.
Now, on one hand, this limited recipe strategy can be a bonus, because:
- They’re recipes you know you and your family will eat.
- They’re proven recipes that work.
- Since you’re familiar with them, there’s no time wasted leaning into a recipe learning curve.
But on the other hand, those recipes can get you totally get stuck in a rut. And who wants to be the boring cook in the kitchen anyway??!!
Today’s chicken mole recipe is a hybrid of one of my go-to recipes to cook (enchiladas) with a twist (mole sauce!), because:
- It’s totally familiar = enchiladas. Approachable = chicken. But with the addition of just two ingredients to regular enchilada sauce, this recipe gets serious brownie points for uniqueness.
- When they’re as easy to make as these, chicken mole enchiladas are pretty much impossible to screw up.
- All you need to know about these babies is how to use a blender, an oven, and how to roll with the best of them.
What is Mole Sauce?
Mole (meaning “sauce” in the Nahuatl language), dates back to Mexico’s Aztec empire, originating from what is now the country’s largest indigenous group—the Nahua people. There are so many different varieties of mole sauce, and you can read about them here, if you’re curious. There are several different styles and of mole, with varying degrees of heat, but most mole sauce recipes consist of a blend of dried chiles, dried fruit, seeds, nuts, spices, and dark chocolate.
But we’re taking the easier route, without sacrificing flavor. This mole sauce has the addition of chocolate, peanut butter, and cinnamon. Yes, peanut butter sounds like a super weird ingredient addition, but the sweetness mellows the earthy spices of the enchilada sauce, creating a complex, well-rounded flavor from simple ingredients and is ready in 12 minutes. And that includes 10 minutes time to soak the chiles.
What’s in These Chicken Mole Enchiladas?
These mole enchiladas have two main components: the chicken enchiladas and the homemade mole sauce. To make the Mexican chicken enchiladas, you’ll need:
- Flour tortillas
- Shredded chicken
- Yellow onion
- Shredded cheese
- Toppings of choice
And the mole ingredients you’ll need include:
- Hot water—hot water is necessary for moistening the dried chiles, making it easier to blend into a creamy sauce
- Ancho chiles—these dried poblano peppers are slightly fruity and smoky, with a mild to medium heat level
- Sweet onion
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- Chocolate chipsI use semisweet but you can use bittersweet if you prefer (either way, don’t skip this crucial ingredient!)
- Creamy peanut butter—this may seem like an unusual addition to mole sauce, but I promise you it’s an important one! The peanut butter lends a mellow sweetness that balances out the sauce.
- Ground cinnamon
How to Make Chicken Mole Enchiladas
First, you’ll make the homemade mole sauce. Let the chiles soak in hot water for 10 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients to a blender and whiz until smooth.
Then, assemble and roll the chicken enchiladas. I add a little bit of onion as well as shredded cheese and a bit of sauce to the middle of each enchilada. So technically, yes, these are chicken and cheese enchiladas, and my family loves ’em that way!
Add a generous amount of sauce to the bottom of the dish and to the top and layer it up with cheese. Then, bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
I topped my chicken mole enchiladas with cotija cheese, sliced green onion, cilantro, and avocados. Because at our house, just like these mole enchiladas, avocados will pull any dish out of a rut.
Can I Use Corn Tortillas Instead of Flour?
For all the purist enchilada lovers out there, I do indeed realize that enchiladas use corn tortillas instead of flour. And that they usually dunk those tortillas in oil before rolling. But because my family prefers flour tortillas over corn, I made the executive decision to share our favorite version here.
If you prefer corn tortillas, both yellow and white corn work equally well, but you will want to give them a quick fry first. This makes the tortillas more pliable and less likely to tear. Prepare a skillet with about 1 cup of canola oil over medium high heat and quickly fry the tortillas one at a time for about 10 seconds, then drain on a paper towel. Don’t let them get too crisped or they’ll be too stiff to roll.
Can I Meal Prep Enchiladas?
You can totally make this Mexican chicken enchiladas recipe ahead, or at least meal prep the ingredients so you’re ready to go. The mole enchiladas can be prepped ahead and refrigerated for 3 days before baking.
Or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap then foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To cook from frozen, bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, then another 10 minutes uncovered.
Tips for Making Chicken Mole Enchiladas
I made my chicken in the Instant Pot multi-cooker, but rotisserie chicken , baked chicken breast, or meal prepped chicken is the way to go here.
To cook the chicken in the Instant Pot, add 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts to the insert of a 6 quart Instant Pot with 1 cup water, ½ onion cut into quarters, and 2 cloves garlic with a healthy dose of kosher salt. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, then natural release for 10 minutes, and Bob’s your uncle.
Note that the mole sauce freezes incredibly well, so you may want to make a double batch just to have it on hand whenever an enchilada craving strikes.
What to Serve With Enchiladas to Make a Meal
- Easy Mexican Coleslaw Recipe
- Pico de Gallo
- Creamy Avocado Salsa Verde
- Pickled Jalapeños
- Chopped Mexican Kale Salad
- Mango Margarita with Chile Salt and Lime
- Chunky Citrus Guacamole
- Tomato Avocado Cucumber and Maui Onion Salad
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Beyond Easy Chicken Mole Enchiladas
For the Mole Sauce:
- 2 cups hot water
- 4 dried Ancho chiles , stemmed and deseeded
- ¾ sweet onion , roughly chopped
- 1 15- ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic , smashed
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips , melted
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
To Assemble the Enchiladas:
- 8 to 10 6- inch flour tortillas
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- ½ yellow onion , diced
- 2-3 cups shredded cheese
- 3 cups mole sauce
For Garnish (Optional):
- Chopped green onion
- Cotija cheese
For the Mole Sauce:
- In a high-powered blender, add the hot water and submerge the chiles in the water. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften.
- Add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, honey and kosher salt and blend on high until smooth.
- Then, add the chocolate chips, peanut butter and cinnamon and blend for 30 seconds to one minute.
To Make the Enchiladas:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a 9x12-inch baking dish, add 1 cup of the mole sauce, tilting the dish to evenly coat the bottom of the dish.
- Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup shredded cheese and ⅓ cup of the chicken. Drizzle with more mole sauce and sprinkle with the chopped onion. Roll the enchilada and place seam side down in the pan.
- Repeat and place the enchiladas snugly against one another.
- Pour 1 ½ cups of the sauce over the center of the enchiladas and top with more shredded cheese.
- Tent with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through and the cheese is melted.
- Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Garnish with the chopped avocado, onion, cilantro and cotija cheese if desired.
- These mole sauce chicken enchiladas can be prepped ahead and refrigerated for 3 days before baking, or wrap tightly with plastic wrap then foil and freeze for up to 2 months.
- To cook from frozen, bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, then another 10 minutes uncovered.
More Easy Mexican Recipes to Make
- Beef and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Chicken Taquitos
- Blackened Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce
- Slow Cooker Smoky Pulled Pork Tacos
- Just Like Taco Bell Tacos
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Hi Heidi, I usually use some refried beans in the stuffing with the chicken for the Enchiladas. Have I been making them wrong for all these years? I will be making this recipe soon since it does sound wonderful. And, as you say, easy pantry ingredients that most people have in the kitchen.
One more thing….thanks for sending this directly to my e-mail. :-)
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Thanks so much!!
Flour tortillas in enchiladas??? sounds like a sacrilege.
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
I love them this way!
This was amazing! While the ingredients are commonplace the flavor is extraordinary! I did thicken mine a little with a roux of avocado oil and flour but otherwise followed the recipe as written. To soften corn tortillas I wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave them at 50% for 30 seconds or so. Thanks for a great recipe!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Sounds so great! Thanks for sharing your tips Lina!
I just made this exactly as written and it was good! Definitely worth a try if you don’t need 100% authenticity and want something a bit different. Thanks for posting this recipe!
wow….this recipe is mouth watering.
This looks and sounds amazing, Heidi! I love the softness of flour tortillas, so I definitely want to try making this. And hello blender sauce –> I’m sold! XOXO!
thank you for putting together such a wonderful mole, okay yes not truly authentic, and without 50 ingredients, I appreciate that it’s a quick version, most of us don’t have 2 days to sit in front of a pot, so thank you
Been looking for a good mole recipe that has a relatively short list of ingredients. it’s my favorite sauce, and you’re right; very rare to see in a restaurant. going to try this, as it looks great! – Amy
Mole is wonderful, and I love it with enchiladas. I wanted to make a couple of plugs for using corn tortillas–1st, I never saw flour tortillas in enchilada recipes until recently, ie the past decade or so; 2nd, the corn flavor is spectacularly compatible with other enchilada ingredients; 3rd, about 1/3-1/2 the calories of a flour tortilla of the same size. I use corn tortillas for enchiladas because I love them. Your mole sauce which uses honey, tomato, and peanut butter (Although peanuts are often included) isn’t traditional, but is very good and certainly fast! I didn’t have a problem with the chocolate chips vs Mexican drinking chocolate (which also has sugar)–using easy to find ingredients is always a good thing, IMO, as is a recipe with 8 ingredients vs 20-25.
Thanks for the plug for corn tortillas Janet! Agreed. Corn tortillas offer plenty of benefits including being gluten free. Like I said, my husband and daughter prefers the flour when I make these at home so that’s what I went with :) And thanks for the vote for keeping things fast in the kitchen. I’m not typically the Sandra Lee half homemade type of cook, but as I mentioned in the comment to Chantal, introducing the mole flavors to the home cook by using easy ingredients was the goal here. Thanks so much for your input and I hope you’ll give it a try :) !
I usually love your blog but this wrongly named MOLE is an insult to Mexican cuisine.
Please go to Oaxaca and taste and learn about the many authentics MOLE and their
complex layered flavors.
Peanut butter, chocolate chips … you are kidding !
HI Chantal! I knew I could count on readers like you to point out that there are some absolutely outstanding, and totally authentic moles in the real world and especially in Oaxaca. I am the first to say this is NOT an authentic mole, but man, it sure does taste delicious and I’m sharing it because mole isn’t that popular in the U.S., but this version is an easy introduction to the delicious earthy sauce, but made with handy pantry ingredients to hopefully inspire home cooks to try something a little different. But believe me, I have Oaxaca on my bucket travel list and when I go, I’ll be learning all the secrets of how to make it authentically. Thanks for your comment and clarification :)
Go asap to Oaxaca ! You will fall in love with the city, its people and its food and traditions . I have been 5 times and I took cooking classes every time. The BEST and most authentic
teacher is Nora Valencia from Alma de mi Tierra. She is in the National Geographic magazine « 100 places that will change
your life » and also is an a credited tour guide!!!
Guy A Desmond
Chantal: Shut up. It is fantastic.
You mentioned adding cinnamon to the mole sauce, but I don’t see it in the recipe? Did I just overlook it?
Hi Kathy, I accidentally left it out, but have added it back in. It’s 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Thanks for the catch!