Mole Ranchero

While my favorite Mole will always be Mole Dulce, Hubby's favorite is Mole Ranchero.  Mole Ranchero is probably one of the easiest Mole sauces to prepare with very few ingredients.  This is the perfect recipe, if you've never made Mole from scratch.  Traditionally, Mole Ranchero is thickened with masa (corn tortilla dough), but corn tortillas can be used instead. 

Mole Ranchero can be made with either pork or chicken.  Tamales in Jalisco are filled with shredded pork and Mole Ranchero.  We prefer our Mole with chicken breasts, but drumsticks and/or thighs work well with this recipe.

Mole Ranchero

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken, cut up
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • 3 ancho chilies
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 2 tomatillos
  • 2 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut in wedges
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Place the chicken, 1/2 medium onion, garlic and cilantro in a 2 quart stockpot.  Add enough water to cover chicken. (About 4-6 cups.)  Season with salt and black pepper.  Cover and cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked.

After the chicken has cooked, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Toast the black peppercorns for 15 seconds; remove and place in a heatproof bowl.  Toast the chilies, tomatoes and tomatillos for 5 minutes; remove to heatproof bowl.

Toast tortillas in skillet until slightly crispy; remove to heatproof bowl.

Pour 3 cups of the broth from the cooked chicken over the chilies, tomatoes, tortillas and peppercorns.  Let sit 10 minutes.

Pour contents of bowl into a blender cup or food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Strain into skillet where the chilies were toasted.  Stir to blend the ingredients.

Arrange chicken slices in Mole sauce.  Let simmer over low heat until sauce thickens slightly.  (If the sauce is too thick, stir in no more than 1 cup of chicken broth.)

Serve with Mexican rice and plenty of warm corn tortillas.  Enjoy!!!

With Love,
Leslie Limon


  1. I've never had this kind of mole before but it looks tasty and less heavy that the traditional.

    In response to your question about the cinnamon chips in the bread. Yes the bread would be good but it would be like chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips! I would either substitute something else or get them online from Hershey's or King Arthur Flour.

  2. Oh my gosh,I made this last night, instead of the Don Maria bottled mole. It was sooo good. Everyone loved it. The flavor was fantastic.

  3. Monica, thank you for answering my question. I'm going to see if either of those companies delivers to Mexico.

    Anonymous, I'm glad you and your family enjoyed the Mole Ranchero! :D

  4. This mole looks good but i was wondering if u would do an original mole containing ALL the spices even the galletas y chocolate. Its tedious i know but my grandmother refuses to tell me how until I give her a great grand child. My husband has opted to give in but school comes first in my life. also shes in mexico and i can only see her once a year. Thank you.

  5. Leslie, I just made this for my family today, and it was a hit! Thank you for sharing your fantastic recipes!

  6. Leslie! This was amazing!!! I just recently discovered your page and this was the first recipe I tried. I followed it to the letter, but it would not thicken. It's probably due to the terrible corn tortillas available here. I added about a tablespoon of dissolved corn starch and that fixed the problem. I'm making this sauce again to use on enchiladas! Loving your blog!
    Feliz Ano,
    Albert S.

  7. I just made this today for my husband. I thought it tasted very good. But it was a fail my husband hated it. Either way I think this is a very good Mole but I guess I wont be making it agian. :(