Manchamantel mole sauce is fruity Oaxacan mole sauce made from dried ancho chiles, charred pineapple and kick of heat from chipotle chiles in adobo. It is so irresistible you’re destined to dribble it everywhere. Vegan! Ready in an hour.
Recipe first posted December 7, 2016. Last updated June 8, 2022.
Are you familiar with the seven moles of Oaxaca? Similar to the French “Mother Sauces“, these authentic mole sauces represent the foundation of Oaxaca cooking….and also prove my point that Mexican food is every bit as complex and sophisticated as any in Europe, but that’s a post for another time.
Let’s just start with one for now: Manchamantel Mole Sauce.
I wanted to make it to stuff in this year’s Christmas tamales with chicken and roasted pieces of pumpkin for our tamalada. This recipe makes a ton so I figured (or had high hopes) that there would be plenty leftover after making the tamales to have around for the week to come.
I’m not sure what I was thinking. After everyone had packed up and gone home, there wasn’t a single drop of mole to be had! Make some more I must, but there are worse fates in life.
What is Manchamantel Mole Sauce?
There is the traditional Mexican mole sauce, Mole Poblano made with lots of dried chiles and bittersweet chocolate. There are also types of mole sauces categorized by color in white, green, and yellow.
Then there is this beauty called Manchamantel. Literally translating to tablecloth-stainer.
Manchamantel mole sauce is a sweet and spicy mole made from chipotle chiles, pineapple, peanuts, and plaintain. It is commonly made more like a stew where thick pieces of pork or chicken or chorizo are cooked as part of the sauce then the served together with tortillas or rice.
What Does Mole Sauce Taste Like?
Like I mentioned, there is a wide variety of mole sauces and they each have a unique flavor. The word mole comes from the Nahuatl word molli which literally translates as sauce. Hence guacamole is avocado-sauce.
That being said, Mole Sauce, has come to represent a traditional Mexican sauce, like mole negro and others made from lots of ingredients with very complex flavors. It is a rich sauce with notes of toasted chiles, bitterness from charred vegetables and sometimes chocolate. Sweetness from dried fruit, sometimes slightly spicy if spicy chiles are used and tangy from tomatoes.
No matter which one you try, an authentic mole sauce is a mosaic of flavors, does not simply taste like chocolate and gets better the longer it sits.
Ingredients To Make The Mole Sauce
- Ancho chiles. These are fruity dried chiles that aren’t spicy. They are the dried version of poblano peppers.
- White onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- Fresh pineapple
- Raw peanuts. Try to find peanuts that have not been roasted or salted but also don’t have skins.
- Raw almonds
- Whole cloves
- Whole peppercorns
- Canela are the large, soft cinnamon sticks found in the bulk section of most Latin markets. They are also called Ceylon Cinnamon. If you can’t find them use 1 small Cassia cinnamon stick, the kind found in any grocery store.
- Vegetable oil or lard
- Chipotles in adobo sauce
- Chicken broth
How To Make Manchamantel Mole Sauce
Toast the chilies. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Remove the stem and seeds from each dried chili and place in the hot pan. Toast until the skins have darkened and the chiles become fragrant.
Soak the chiles. Bring a small saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and add the toasted chiles. Push down so they are submerged in the water and set aside until they are soft, about 15 minutes.
Char the veggies. Place pineapple, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet and broil until charred on all sides.
Toast and grind the nuts. Toast the almonds and peanuts in a dry frying pan until they are fragrant. Stir frequently so they don’t burn. Let cool then grind in a clean coffee grinder or food processor until they are very fine, but not a paste.
Grind spices. Grind the cloves, peppercorns, and stick of canela in a spice or coffee grinder until they are a fine powder.
Fry plantains. Heat oil in a large pot (one big enough to cook the mole in) and fry the plantain slices until they are golden on both sides. Remove to a plate.
Blend the mole mixture. In a blender combine chiles, ground nuts, a third of the charred vegetables, and about a cup of chicken stock. Puree until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl and repeat with remaining ingredients. You may have to do this in two more batches depending on the size of your blender.
Simmer the sauce. Return the pot with the oil to medium heat. Once shimmering, add pureed sauce (careful it will spatter). Stir continuously to cook the sauce in the oil. Add salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Serve. At this point you can cook chicken in the sauce or serve alongside roasted chicken, pork, or drizzle over tamales.
Tips For Making The Sauce
I made it in conjunction with the chicken that I cooked for the tamales. If you are not making the tamales and want to make the mole anyway, substitute store-bought chicken stock where it calls for the cooking liquid from the chicken.
You could also make it vegetarian and use the water the chiles are soaked in instead of the chicken broth. If you are going that route however you are going to need more liquid than that, so I would also buy a container of vegetable broth as well.
Mole Sauce Is Good On….
- Chiles Rellenos
- Cooked chicken, turkey, grilled pork chops, tofu
- Drizzled over rice and beans
- Stirred into soups
More Recipes From Mexico You May Enjoy!
- Easy Chamoy Sauce Recipe
- Cheese Enchiladas with Chili-Spiced Golden Raisins
- Peach Mole with Sesame Seed and Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans, Jalapeño Pesto, and Pumpkin Seeds
- 17 Recipes For Canned Chipotle Chile Peppers
- Roasted Mexican Street Carrots with Toasted Cumin Seeds
- Quick and Easy Chorizo Tacos
When You Are Ready To Move Beyond Tacos
And dive deeper into Mexican flavors give this sensational mole dish a try! Let me know when you make it by snapping a pic and tagging me on Instagram @holajalapeno and #holajalapeno so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) ! Also, sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!
- 3 dried ancho chiles
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
- 1/4 cup blanched raw peanuts
- 1/4 cup [blanched raw almonds]
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 whole black peppercorns
- 1 inch piece Mexican cinnamon stick (canela) or regular cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or lard
- 1 small ripe plantain (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut in thick slices
- 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo
- 3 cups broth from chicken cooking liquid (if making tamales or serving with poached chicken) or store-bought chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Toast. Remove stems from ancho chiles and shake out the seeds. Tear into thick strips so they can lay flat. Heat a dry comal, cast iron skillet, or frying pan over medium heat and lay chile strips in pan. Toast on both sides until darkened and fragrant, but not burnt. Remove as they are toasted.
- Soak. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add toasted chiles and remove from heat. Use a plate to submerge completely under water. Let sit 30 minutes.
- Char. Heat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil and place onion, garlic, and pineapple on prepared sheet. Broil until charred on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove garlic as it gets toasted, it will cook much quicker than onion or pineapple.
- Toast nuts. Toast peanuts and almonds separately in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently so they don't burn. Let both cool slightly, then grind in a spice or clean coffee grinder until finely ground, but not a paste. Set aside.
- Grind. Grind cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon in a coffee grinder until finely ground. Set aside.
- Fry. Heat oil or lard in a large pot (large enough to cook mole in--I used a 4-quart Dutch oven) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add plantain slices and fry on both sides until golden. Use tongs or slotted spoon to remove to a plate, leaving oil in pot.
- Puree. In a blender combine drained, soaked chiles, ground nuts, a third of the charred vegetables, and about a cup of the cooking liquid from the chicken. Blend until very smooth. Pour into a large bowl and repeat with remaining charred vegetables, ground spices, fried plantains, and chipotles adding enough chicken broth to get things moving but not too much to make it runny (you'll use about 3 cups total). You may have to do this in two more batches depending on the size of your blender.
- Simmer. Return pot with oil to medium heat. Once shimmering, add pureed sauce (careful it will spatter). Stir continuously to cook the sauce in the oil. Add salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Serve. Serve with roasted chicken or pork or in tamales.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 398mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g
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A BIG thank you to Salt + Wind for these beautiful photos!