This Mexican sauce is truly a labor of love with layers of flavors. Hobnob is happy to share this mole recipe from a chef who has researched authentic and traditional recipes from the land south of the USA.

We couldn’t think of a better person to get a recipe for Mole. Chef Barbara Sibley, of La Palapa, has been researching regional home cooking styles of Mexico, where she was born. The restaurant serves their Mole recipe with shrimp. Order this and become addicted.

hobnobmag mole recipe La Palapa

hobnobmag mole recipe La Palapa

See more about La Palapa‘s legendary Day of the Dead annual celebration and their spectacular, traditional Mexican fare. This recipe is just one of the party plan of orange and black foods to display at a Day of the Dead or Halloween party. See the entire plan here.

hobnobmag mole recipe La Palapa



Mole has one of the most extensive ingredients list of any dish: about 26 different ingredients. It is said that mole was first made by the Sister Superior of the Santa Rosa Convent in Puebla. Apparently, the Sister was trying to create the perfect dish, blending old ingredients and new, as a surprise for the Bishop (who had built a convent for her order).

hobnobmag mole recipe w shrimp

The word mole translates literally to “sauce”. For example: “guacamole“ literally means “avocado-sauce”. Mole is considered “the queen of all sauces” and is one of Mexico’s most famous dishes. Oaxaca is known for it’s moles such as the Amarillo, Coloradito, Chichilo Negro, Manchamanteles, Verde and the most famous of these, the Mole Negro.

A common misconception is that all mole has chocolate in it. The most commonly known mole, Mole Negro, contains chocolate. Many others, however, do not contain chocolate. Mole Negro gets its name and color from the chocolate colored dried chiles that are used, Mole Rojo from the red chiles, and so on and so forth. In Mexico, Mole is considered the food for celebration. Every family has a different way of cooking it, and it is a staple at weddings and other family events.

Serves 10


6 – 7 mulato chiles
5 guajillo chiles
4 pasilla chiles
4 ancho chiles
3 – 4 chipotles (you may used canned chipotles)

Stem, seed and devein the chiles, reserving the seeds. Toast chiles in cast-iron pan until plump then soak them in hot water for 30 min. Puree them in blender with a little of the soaking water. Strain the puree.


1 yellow onion, quartered
1/2 head of garlic, peeled, cloves separated

Grill onion and garlic in same pan until darkened but not burned. Set aside.


4 TB whole almonds
2 TB peanuts, raw
1 stick of cinnamon (1/2 stick if Mexican chocolate is used)*
5 black peppercorns
5 cloves

reserved seeds from chiles

Toast almonds, peanuts, cinnamon, peppercorns & cloves in same pan. Grind in spice grinder. Toast the seeds from the chiles until blackened in same pan, then soak them in enough cold water to cover for about 10 min. Grind them and add to the chile paste.


3 TB lard or vegetable shortening
3 TB raisins
1 thick slice of egg bread
1 sweet plantain, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch slices
1/2 CUP sesame seeds
5 pecan halves

Heat lard or vegetable shortening in cast iron pan. Add raisins and fry until plump; remove raisins and add bread until golden-brown. Remove bread and add plantain until well browned; drain oil from pan, remove and toast sesame seeds and pecans in the dry pan until brown. Let everything cool and grind in small batches in spice grinder.


6 plum tomatoes, quartered
6 tomatillos, quartered
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano

nut mixture
raisin-sesame-bread mixture
grilled onions and garlic
chicken or turkey stock

Wipe pan and fry tomatoes, tomatillos, thyme and oregano until juices render and reduce to almost nothing. Make a paste in blender. Put nut mixture, raisin-sesame-bread mixture and grilled onions and garlic in blender until consistency of smooth peanut butter, using a little bit of stock (up to 1 C).


2 TB lard or vegetable shortening
chile paste

tomato mixture
ground ingredients
2 QTS chicken or turkey stock

4.5 oz Mexican chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (*see note on cinnamon)
2 dry avocado leaves, toasted and ground (or a pinch of ground fennel seeds)

Heat 2 T lard or vegetable shortening in non reactive 4 quart stock pot until smoking and fry chile paste over medium heat until dry, stirring constantly (about 15-20 min). Add tomato mixture and fry until dry, stirring constantly. Add 1 C stock, stir and simmer until almost dry, stirring occasionally. Add another cup of stock and the chocolate, stirring until it melts. Add toasted avocado leaves and salt to taste. Let simmer and cook for another hour, adding more stock as needed (up to 4-5 more C). Note: Mole scorches very easily and must be stirred often with a wooden spoon.

hobnobmag mole recipe la palapa

See more recipes and ideas for a Halloween or DD celebration in our party theme 19 Spooky Harvest