Spice Up Leftover Turkey With Mole Poblano Sauce

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Join Extension Agent Margie Mansure and Caldwell County Information Technician for this 4 1/2 minute video demonstrating Mole Poblano Sauce.

Mole sauce is a staple in traditional Mexican cooking, with some families having recipes passed down through generations. Mole means “concoction”, characterized by a complex flavor made from blends of chiles, spices, fruits, and seasonings. This sauce dates back to the Aztecs, who lived in Mexico thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

In the United States, the best known is Mole Poblano, which has a rich, bittersweet flavor and deep, dark brown coloring that comes chocolate.

This recipe is a simple version tossed with most any type of protein for a special meal. It’s so tasty, that you might want to double or triple the amount and freeze some for later.

Tacos with Mole Poblano Sauce

Serves 6


  • 2 ounces olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, drained
  • 8 prunes or 4 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts
  • 3 ounces reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 cups shredded cooked protein (may use chicken, turkey, pork, beef, or shrimp)
  • 12 taco shells, or soft corn or flour tortillas


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion, stirring often, until it starts to brown.
  2. Stir in the cocoa, spices, and garlic. Stir constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, prunes, water, peanut butter, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and then cook until the vegetables are very soft, around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Let cool slightly, carefully transfer to a blender, and blend until smooth.
  5. Stir the protein into the sauce and heat through, 1–2 minutes.
  6. Stuff into taco shells, soft corn or flour tortillas, or serve over tortilla chips or rice.

Permission to reprint from the Healthy Cook Chef Kate Sherwood at Nutrition Action.