These Chicken Mole Enchiladas might be the most flavorful enchiladas around made with dizzyingly delicious homemade Chicken Mole!
These Chicken Mole Enchiladas are restaurant delicious, exploding with authentic Mexican flavor and destined to become a new family favorite! Warm, pan-fried corn tortillas are stuffed with juicy Chicken Mole, tangy sour cream and buttery Monterrey Jack cheese, rolled and tucked into a pan, then blanketed with a rich, sweet, spicy, smoky, fruity, velvety mole sauce, sprinkled with more cheese, then baked to crispy-gooey cheesy perfection. This chicken enchilada recipe is always a crowd-pleaser, can be prepped in the morning and baked at night, made in mass quantities, and/or frozen for later for the ultimate make-ahead dinner. It also makes terrific leftovers – even with eggs for breakfast!
Chicken Enchiladas are Mexican comfort food at its most crave worthy. Along with these Chicken Mole Enchiladas, don’t miss Classic Chicken Enchiladas, Creamy Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas, Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, Enchiladas Verdes, Ground Beef Enchiladas and Breakfast Enchiladas.
How to Make Chicken Mole Video
Mole Sauce FAQS
The word “Mole” comes from the Nahuatl world “molli,” meaning “sauce.” The pronunciation of the word is ‘MOH-lay’, instead of ‘mole’. The term Mole is mostly used in the U.S for describing a certain sauce that has been spiced with rich, and earthy flavors.
Mole Poblano is the best-known variety of Mole Sauce in the U.S. It is a complex sauce layered with sweet, spicy, smoky, fruity and bitter flavors from a blend of dried chiles, spices, fruits, and seasonings. Its smooth and velvety in texture by blending in a blender until smooth and deep brown color. It is typically on the thick side, but can vary depending on the amount of nuts and seeds used.
Each region of Mexico has its own unique type of mole sauce, and therefore different ingredients are used. However, each are made with a combination of pureed dried chili peppers, namely, ancho, guajillo pasilla, mulato and/or chipotle peppers. For this Poblano Mole recipe, we will be using ancho, guajillo and pasilla peppers. These chiles do NOT make the sauce spicy, they just add layers upon layers of FLAVOR. Spices like peppercorns, cumin seeds, and cinnamon add depth to the sauce, nuts or seeds add earthiness and are used as a thickener, fruit (fresh or dried) add sweetness and tomatillos add sour notes. Mole Poblano gets its signature brown color from the addition of bitter Mexican chocolate or cocoa powder.
The spices and chiles are first toasted to enhance their smoky flavor, then combined with sautéed onions and garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, raisins and broth, then simmered together for about 20 minutes. Once the chilies are softened, Mexican chocolate is added before everything gets transferred to a blender and pureed until smooth.
Mole sauce can be spooned over just about anything. Tacos, eggs, grilled chicken, beef, pork, enchiladas, burritos, you name it. This particular recipe explains how to make Chicken Mole using homemade Mole Sauce and shredded chicken.
What is in These Chicken Mole Enchiladas?
These enchiladas are comprised of two main components: the Chicken Mole and the enchilada fixings such as cheese, tortillas, etc. Here’s what you’ll need for each:
For the Chicken Mole
For the Enchiladas
How to Make Chicken Mole Enchiladas
STEP 1: MAKE the chicken mole
I suggest making the Chicken Mole the day before making the enchiladas because it is a time-consuming process. The next day, all you’ll have to do is stuff and bake! I have a post dedicated to the process, so I won’t go into super detail here, but in summary:
- Poach the chicken in water, bouillon and orange juice, then shred.
- To make the Mole Sauce, sauté onions and garlic then add toasted whole spices, sunflower seeds and almonds, dried chilies, tomatoes, tomatillos, raisins, and some of the reserved broth from making the chicken. Simmer for about 25 minutes until the chilies are tender.
- Puree everything in a blender until smooth.
- Pour about half of the sauce over the shredded chicken and stir to coat and reserve the rest for topping the enchiladas (you won’t use quite all of it).
STEP 2 – FLASH FRY TORTILLAS:
- Flash frying the tortillas is optional – you can use the microwave method instead – but flash frying enhances the corn flavor which is sublime.
- Add enough canola or vegetable oil to a cast iron/medium skillet so it covers the bottom and heat over medium-high heat.
- Working with one tortilla at a time, add tortilla and lightly fry for about 10 seconds on each side, just until soft with a few bubbles but not brown or crisp. Repeat with all tortillas.
STEP 3 – Combine FILLING:
- Add shredded Chicken Mole to a large bowl and combine with cheese. This makes assembly extra quick!
STEP 4 – ASSEMBLE:
- Spread ½ cup Mole Sauce on the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish (layer will be very thin).
- Slater each tortilla with a generous amount of sour cream (optional), then top with a generous amount of shredded chicken/cheese (about ⅓ cup).
- Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Top enchiladas evenly with sauce followed by remaining cheeses.
STEP 4 – BAKE:
Bake enchiladas until cheese is melted and enchiladas are warm throughout.
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt: the bright tangy creaminess cuts through and compliments the earthy flavor profile.
- Fruit Salsa: I love a sweet and spicy fruit salsa with the rich, robust earthiness of the Chicken Mole Enchiladas. Try pineapple salsa, mango salsa or pineapple mango salsa.
- Tomatoes: quartered cherry tomatoes or seeded, chopped Roma tomatoes or skip the plain tomatoes and use pico de gallo.
- Pico de gallo: is fresh tomato salsa that adds a vibrant, punchy freshness. You can use my homemade pico de de gallo recipe or store bought. You can make the pico de gallo ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Cilantro: if you skip the pico de gallo, load on fresh cilantro and tomatoes for a fresh, zesty flair.
- Avocados: chopped or sliced avocados.
- Guacamole: use my homemade guacamole recipe (amazing!), your favorite recipe or even use store bought.
- Hot Sauce: pass around the hot sauce so individuals can customize the heat.
This Chicken Mole Enchilada recipe is extremely versatile and a great springboard for all sorts of add-ins. Just keep in mind that you will need to reduce the amount of chicken by the amount of add-ins so you don’t end up with lots of extra filling.
This Chicken Mole Enchilada recipe is fabulous with cilantro lime rice or just plain rice along with sour cream, avocados or guacamole, and/or a fruit salsa like mango salsa or pineapple salsa. If you’re looking for more side dishes, it’s delicious with:
Tools Used in This Recipe
Chicken Mole Enchiladas
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Pineapple Pico de Gallo (optional)
- 2 cups chopped pineapple
- 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, minced
- 1-2 jalapenos, seeded, deveined, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- PINEAPPLE PICO DE GALLO: Add all of the ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, taste and add additional lime juice, salt and pepper if desired.
- FLASH FRY TORTILLAS (optional, but highly recommended – see microwave option in notes): Preheat oven to 350°F. Add enough canola or vegetable oil to a cast iron/medium skillet so it covers the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Working with one tortilla at a time, lightly fry for about 10 seconds on each side, just until soft with a few bubbles but not brown or crisp. Repeat with all tortillas, stacking fried tortillas in between damp paper towels so they stay super pliable.
- COMBINE: Add 3 ½ cups Chicken Mole to a large bowl and stir in 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese.
- ASSEMBLE: Spread ½ cup Mole Sauce on the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish (layer will be very thin). Spread about ½ tablespoon sour cream in the middle of each tortilla (or more if you like!) then top with a generous amount of filling (about ⅓ cup). Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. **If you don't use thick tortillas, you may need to dip tortillas in Mole Sauce before filling so they don't tear.** Top enchiladas evenly with about 2 cups Mole Sauce followed by remaining 1 cup cheese.
- BAKE: Cover tightly with foil and bake enchiladas at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with Pineapple Pico or sprinkle with chopped cilantro and other desired toppings.
- How to Microwave Tortillas: Flash frying the tortillas gives them texture, prevents them from tearing and enhances the flavor. You can microwave the tortillas instead but it’s not as foolproof. To microwave corn tortillas, work in 2 batches. Place 6 tortillas on a microwave safe plate, cover with a moist paper towel and microwave 40 to 60 seconds so they are warm and pliable. Fill and roll tortillas while they’re still warm then repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Storage: Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: Assemble, wrap tightly in a couple layers of plastic wrap followed by foil; freeze for up to three months. Let enchiladas thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or completely heated through. Alternatively, bake enchiladas from frozen at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until heated through.
Meal PrepYou can prep the recipe completely ahead of time, or in stages:
- Completely assembled: Assemble, cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, add an additional 15 minutes to the baking time.
- Chicken Mole: can be made and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Filling: mix the cheese and Chicken Mole together and refrigerate.
- Flash fry tortillas. flash fry the tortillas then store them in an airtight container. When ready to use, wrap a stack in damp paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Fill and roll tortillas while they’re still warm then repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Salsa and toppings: make the salsa or prepare other toppings and refrigerate until ready to use.
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