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Is there a dish more Mexican than mole poblano? For hundreds of years it has been the pride of Mexican gastronomy, but what is mole poblano?? Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce with over 18 different ingredients. It is a not a chocolate sauce!! Though chocolate is one of the ingredients. The combination of flavors is unlike anything you have ever eaten, and the richness and depth of the sauce is remarkable.

Ingredients for mole poblano recipe displayed on a dark wooden board

There are several varieties of mole, but today we will be making mole poblano, which as the name states is from the Mexican state of Puebla. This version is of course vegan! It’s really important to mention this because not all of the mole pastes you can buy at the grocery store or markets are vegan. Some are made with lard and chicken stock, so it’s always best to check the ingredients.

Large stainless steel bowl filled with dry chiles soaking in water

Onions, tomatoes, and garlic simmering in water in a pot for mole poblano recipe

History of Mole Poblano

Mole is a dish with pre-Hispanic roots, mentioned in Bernardino de Sahagún’s General History of Things of New Spain (1569). In the manuscript it is mentioned that a stew was served to Monctezuma made with chilies, tomatoes, and ground pumpkin seeds. Also, the name “mulli” was given to several types of sauces, and it is thought that moles were prepared as an offering to the gods.

nuts, bread, tortillas, sesame seed and spices in a cast iron pan

During colonial times two myths arise about the origin of mole poblano. My favorite is the story of the convent of Santa Rosa de Lima. It is said that mole poblano originated in the convent around 1685 by Sor. Andrea de la Asunción. Sor. Andrea was very famous for her skills in the kitchens of the convent and was asked to make a special dinner for the bishop Don Manuel Fernandez de Santa Cruz and the viceroy Conde de Paredes and Marques de la Laguna.

Soaked chiles in blender for mole poblano recipe

She selected a variety of ingredients for her special dish, chiles, bitter chocolate, sesame, anise, cloves, almonds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. Everything was ground in the metate and mole poblano was born. However, it is unlikely that this story is true, since there is proof of mole’s prehispanic origins, but perhaps this nun added her own special touch to this dish.Pureed chiles in blender

 

Our Vegan Mexico

This recipe is part of an amazing project called Our Vegan Mexico, where 32 talented cooks will be showcasing, right here on Dora’s Table, 32 vegan Mexican recipes. Each recipe will be representing one state of the Mexican union.

Nut sauce in blender

With this project, I am hoping to encourage the Mexican community in the U.S., and the people of my country to take a chance and make the change to a plant-based diet. This recipe, which is representing the state of Puebla, is the creation of Chantall Vigueras of @mamavegetal here she tells you a bit of her story.

Piloncillo, chocolate, and bouillon cubes in a large pot

 

Chantall’s Story

In 2010 vegetarianism came to my life, because I believed that it wasn’t necessary to eat animals in order to live at their expense, but I still consumed fish and cheese without knowing everything that was behind their production. At that time I didn’t know much, but I began learning along the way.  In 2015 Chantall Vegetal was born promoting the philosophy of veganism. I’ve been veganizing and creating dishes for almost five years! My love for cooking, the planet, and life without violence were what prompted me to want to share this lifestyle. I want to encourage and help others include more plant-based foods in their day to day life with my content, which I create with love.

 

Clay pot filled with mole poblano

 Mole Poblano Recipe

  • This recipe is time-consuming but not complicated at all!!
  • The recipe makes mole paste, which you can freeze or save in the fridge for later use. To use the paste all you need to do is add enough vegetable stock to get it to the right consistency and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, then serve.
  • You can make enmoladas with this or serve it over potatoes, chayote, and zucchini with rice.
  • If you want to make this without oil you can toast the ingredients, that were meant to be fried, in the oven until a dark golden Brown.
  • There were some chiles I couldn’t find easily and I purchased these on Amazon: Chile Mulato and chile chipotle.

 

Enmoladas in a clay plate surrounded by mole ingredients

Clay pot filled with mole poblano
5 from 2 votes
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Vegan Mole Poblano Recipe and Enmoladas

Is there a dish more Mexican this mole poblano recipe? Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce with over 18 different ingredients!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mole poblano, vegan mexican
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
394 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

Mole Poblano Paste

  • 7 Ancho chiles
  • 6 Mulato Chiles
  • 6 Pasilla Chiles
  • 3 Chipotle chiles dried
  • 1 Onion, small
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2/3 cup Raisins
  • ¾ cup Raw peanuts, unsalted
  • 2/3 cup Almonds
  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/3 cup Sesame seeds
  • 2 Corn tortillas, cut into fourths
  • 1 Bolillo, a couple of days old, sliced
  • 1 Ripe plantain, peeled sliced
  • 1 stick Ceylon cinnamon broken into pieces
  • 3 Whole cloves
  • ½ tsp. Anise seed
  • ½ cone Piloncillo
  • 1 tablet Mexican chocolate (Ibarra)
  • 1 L Water or vegetable stock
  • 2 Vegetable bouillon cubes (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Black peppercorns
  • Olive oil or avocado oil

ENMOLADAS

  • Corn Tortillas
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ Onion, thinly sliced

Garnish for Enmoladas

  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Crumbled tofu
  • Thin onion slices
  • Avocado

Preparation

MOLE POBLANO PASTE

  1. Clean, and remove the seeds and stems from the dried chiles. Using a comal or cast iron pan set to médium heat toast the chiles. Be careful not to burn them or the sauce will be bitter. Once they are lightly toasted submerge them in a pot full of boiling wáter and let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, bring a médium pot of water to a simmer and add the tomato, onion, and garlic. Simmer for about 6-7 minutes or until the tomates begin to lose their skins and the onion is tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Once the chiles are soft and pliable, place them in the blender with 1 cup of water or some of the soaking liquid. Blend until smooth. Strain and set aside.
  4. Heat a large saute pan to médium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Fry the raisins, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, tortilla, bolillo, and plantain one at a time until deep golden brown, almost burnt!
  5. Place all of the fried ingredients in the blender with the cinnamon stick, clove, anise seed, black peppercorns, and sesame seeds. Add 1 cup of water and blend. Add as much water as necessary to get your blender to process all of the ingredients into a smooth thick sauce. Strain and set aside.
  6. In a large pot (preferably clay), set to médium heat, add ½ cup of water, piloncillo, vegetable bouillon and Mexican chocolate. Stir constantly until it dissolves.
  7. Add the chile mixture and the nut-bread mixture, and mix well to incorpórate. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Continue mixing constantly with a wooden spoon and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes and recheck seasoning. Let cool in pot. Now it is ready to use or store.

MOLE POBLANO ENMOLADAS

  1. Place 1 cup of the mole paste in a médium sauce pot. Add ½ cup of water or vegetable stock and bring to a low simmer. Stir to incorpórate. Add more liquid if necesary to get the right consistency.
  2. In a large saute pan, saute the onions and mushrooms until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Soften your corn tortillas by heating them briefly in the oven or microwave until the roll easily.
  4. Fill the tortillas with the mushroom mixture and roll. Place on a plate and pour mole sauce on top of them.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with sliced onions, avocado and crumbled tofu.

Chef's Notes

This recipe is time consuming but not complicated at all!!

• The recipe makes mole paste, which you can freeze or sabe in the fridge for later use. To use the paste all you need to do is add enough vegetable stock to get it to the right consistency and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, then serve.

• You can make enmoladas with this or serve it over potatoes, chayote and zucchini with rice. • If you want to make this without oil you can toast the ingredients, that were meant to be fried, in the oven until a dark golden brown.

• There were some chiles I couldn’t find easily and I purchased those on Amazon: chile mulato and chile chipotle.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Mole Poblano Recipe and Enmoladas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 394 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 168mg7%
Potassium 795mg23%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 6590IU132%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 92mg9%
Iron 4.1mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimer: The post is in partnership with Hernán & may include affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and may collect a share from the links on this page.

Mexican empanadas have to be the most versatile portable food ever. They are easy to transport and can have savory and sweet fillings. These vegan empanadas are filled with mushrooms sauteed until golden brown and simmered in a mole poblano.

Mushroom in mole sauce in a large saute pan for vegan empanadas

I love mole, so it was only natural to want to fill these baked empanadas with this smoky and sweet Hernan mole poblano. Hernan is a local company that sources sauces and cookware crafted in Mexico, in partnership with artisan groups and producers. Their mole paste is made of 28 natural and vegan ingredients, the combination of 4 kinds of chilies tempered with raisins, nuts, sesame seeds,  cacao, plantains, piloncillo, and other herbs & spices.

Vegan mole chilaquiles are tortilla chips covered in mole sauce and mixed with sautéed greens and black beans, then drizzled with an almond crema, and vegan queso cotija. The combination is seriously good.

Glass bowl filled with flour and oil and water.

Mole empanadas are traditionally filled with chicken or turkey, but mushrooms make an excellent substitute. You can use any kind of mushrooms, but I think maitake or hen of the woods mushrooms give the best texture. I adapted the empanada dough recipe from the Vegan Yack Attack On the Go cookbook, which I highly recommend. It is made with a mixture of whole wheat and white flour, and uses olive oil as the fat. They are definitely on the healthy side and make an exceptionally delicious appetizer.

Glass bowl with vegan empanada dough

A Brief History of Empanadas

Empanada comes from the word empanar, which means to wrap in bread. Empanadas are thought to have originated in Europe, particularly Spain, around the time of the Moorish invasion. The dish was carried to Latin America by the Spanish colonizers, and evolved over time depending on the country. You can find empanadas in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Belize, Cuba, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines.

vegan empanada dough rolled out and filled with mushrooms in mole

How to make Empanadas

If you don’t know how to make empanadas or have never made them before, you don’t have to worry. The recipe is pretty easy and straightforward, and the dough is easy to work with. First, you make the filling, and let it cool down slightly. While the filling is cooking, you make your dough by combining the dry and wet ingredients and kneading briefly. You don’t want to knead it too much, otherwise, they can come out tough. Once the dough is ready divide into equal balls and roll out into circles. Place the filling on one side of the empanada disc and fold over the other side, seal with a fork, and bake. See?? Super easy!!

vegan empanadas ready to bake on a sheet tray

The Recipe: Vegan Empanadas filled with Mushrooms in Mole

  • If healthy food isn’t your thing or you are looking for a quick version of this, you can buy empanada disks or use puff pastry as the empanada dough.
  • You will have mole leftover, save it to use later, or use it as a dipping sauce for your empanadas.
  • I made this with Hernan mole paste, but you can make your own, or use your favorite mole paste.
  • I do not recommend you fry this dough.
  • You can use any mushroom you like, but I recommend maitake or oyster mushrooms.

vegan empanadas on a white plate with hernan mole

vegan empanadas on a white plate with mole sauce
5 from 2 votes
Print

Vegan Empanadas filled with Mushrooms in Mole

These vegan empanadas are filled with mushrooms sauteed until golden brown and simmered in a mole poblano.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mole and mushrooms, vegan empanadas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 Small Empanadas
112 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

Sauce:

Filling:

  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil optional
  • ¾ lb. Mushrooms sliced
  • ½ White onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Garlic clove minced

Empanada Dough:

  • ¾ cup AP flour
  • ½ cup Whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup Masa harina
  • 2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • ½ cup Water
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Aquafaba liquid from a can of chickpeas

Preparation

Preparation:

  1. Heat 1 cup of vegetable stock in a medium sauce pot. Add the jar of Hernan mole paste. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the paste. Once the paste dissolves and starts to thicken, add 1 more cup of vegetable stock. Set aside
  2. The sauce thickens as it cools, so if it gets too thick add a little more vegetable stock to thin it out.

Filling:

  1. Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil (or ¼ cup of water) and sauté mushrooms until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add onions to the pan and continue to cook until onions are tender and translucent, about 4-5 min. If the onions and mushrooms begin to stick, add a little bit of vegetable stock to the pan.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of mole sauce, and stir to combine. Set aside.

Dough:

  1. Sift whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center. Add water and olive oil.
  3. Knead for 1 minute. Set aside.

Fill:

  1. Sprinkle flour on your work surface, divide dough into 12 equal balls. Roll out one ball to 3-inch wide circle.
  2. Add 1 tbsp. of filling to the empanada disk and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. Repeat with the rest of the 11 balls. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.
  3. Brush empanadas with aquafaba.
  4. Bake 20 min. at 375F or until golden brown.

Chef's Notes

You can buy empanada disks or use puff pastry as the empanada dough for an easier recipe. • You will have mole leftover, save it to use later, or use it as a dipping sauce for your empanadas. • You can use any mushroom you like, but I recommend maitake or oyster mushrooms.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Empanadas filled with Mushrooms in Mole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 239mg10%
Potassium 212mg6%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

You can also use Hernan Mole to make mole chilaquiles, and enmoladas!!!