Make a batch of these quick and simple Chicken Mole Enchiladas at home, and it’ll taste as good as your favorite Mexican restaurants’! Corn tortillas are lightly fried in oil, filled with shredded chicken and cheese, and then covered in a homemade mole sauce that is secretly easy to make. Meal prep them for the week or entertain guests with this impressive dish at your next Cinco de Mayo party!

A pan of chicken enchiladas is served on the counter.

Best Chicken Mole Enchiladas

If you’re familiar with the Julio’s brand of tortilla chips, then you’ll be delighted to know they have an actual restaurant!

And sometimes, but not always, it happens to be my lucky day… the day they have Chicken Mole Enchiladas as the daily special.

With their rich, dark chocolate-y, and kinda spicy sauce, lightly fried corn tortillas, juicy and tender chicken. These authentic Mexican enchiladas rival just about any other kind out there.

But the last few trips I’ve ended up disappointed when those mouthwatering enchiladas were not on the menu.

This last time was one time too many.

That week I set out to learn how to make my own homemade chicken mole enchiladas. Little did I know how much of a feat it was going to be!

Because the mole sauce can be super tricky. And if you don’t want to work all day over a hot stove or purchase a few dozen ingredients, then you have to get a little creative.

And that’s when this easy mole sauce recipe was born!!

From then on it was game over. I took the basic components from these Easy Chicken Enchiladas and these Salsa Verde Enchiladas but coated them in that rich and flavor-packed sauce.

And voilà!! Now chicken mole enchiladas can be the daily special at my house any day of the week. And it can in yours, too, because these are secretly SO simple to make!

Coconut oil, chicken, corn tortillas, mole sauce, cheese, and cilantro are the ingredients for this recipe.

Ingredients

The ingredients for these chicken mole enchiladas recipe include:

  • Tortillas. Corn tortillas, not flour, are by far the best type of tortilla to use for enchiladas. They soften up nicely, soak in the sauce, and do not get gummy or gooey after baking. Feel free to use white or yellow corn tortillas. Make sure you get at least a 5-inch tortilla, and no bigger than 7-inches in diameter.
  • Chicken. Buying a cooked rotisserie chicken is the quickest and easiest way to make this recipe. If you don’t have a rotisserie chicken, you can also make this Instant Pot Shredded Chicken using chicken breasts or even chicken thighs instead.
  • Cheese. Sharp cheddar, Monterrey Jack cheese, Mozzarella cheese, or a Mexican Blend are recommended. You can also always opt for a dairy-free variety, but just know that it won’t melt like cow’s milk cheese.
  • Coconut Oil. This is the secret ingredient to making enchiladas. Not only does it help to soften up the tortillas so they are pliable when rolling, but it also gives them a unique taste and flavor. You can also use olive oil, vegetable oil, or melted butter if you don’t have coconut oil on hand.
  • Mole Sauce. While you can use a store-bought mole sauce instead, making it at home is actually pretty simple to do. With a few basic ingredients and 20 minutes, you’ll have it ready to use!

What Is Mole Sauce?

Mole sauce is a traditional Mexican sauce or marinade that is made from dried chilis or powder, nuts and/or seeds, fruit, and rich spices such as cumin and cinnamon. A dark red-brown mole sauce will typically have some kind of cacao in it, either in the form of Mexican chocolate or even cocoa powder.

Unlike other authentic mole recipes, the one included here is much easier to make and uses more common ingredients. So there’s no need to go on a hunt to find 3 different types of dried peppers! Below, you’ll find a homemade mole sauce recipe that is easy to follow.

Sauté the Onion

Place a medium-sized saucepan or skillet over medium heat.  A saucepan is preferred since it’s deeper, but a shallower skillet may be used.

Add oil and diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for another minute.

In a small bowl, whisk together the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, salt, and black pepper. Reduce your saucepan heat to low and add the these seasoning ingredients, along with the cornstarch, to the onions and garlic. Stir for 1 minute. 

Pay very close attention here. If you stop stirring the bottom may burn!

Pour in ½ cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to release any bits or pieces. And scrape it really good! 

Make the Sauce

Add the onion and seasoning mixture to a large food processor or a high-speed blender along with the chipotle peppers, almond butter, raisins, cocoa powder, and remaining broth.

Process for 1-2 minutes or until it is completely smooth.  And double-check that it’s smooth. The last thing you want is to get a big bite of a chipotle pepper in your sauce!

Reduce in a Skillet

Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. The key here is UNCOVERED. 

If you cover the sauce while cooking there will be no way for the extra liquid to evaporate off and you’ll end up with a very runny mole sauce.

How to Make Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Below, you’ll find the step-by-step instructions for making this chicken mole enchilada recipe:

Shred the Chicken

There is one BIG tip I want you to know when it comes to shredding chicken.

Warm chicken is WAY easier to shred than cold. So make sure to shred your rotisserie chicken as soon as you get home from the grocery store.

Also, one rotisserie chicken has about 4 cups of shredded chicken. So you’ll end up using a little more than half of it in this recipe.

Use two forks, holding the chicken down with one fork and pulling it apart with the other.

Or dive right in with your hands—this is the messiest way but definitely the fastest.

Two forks in a piece of chicken demonstrating how to shred chicken.

Prep the Tortillas

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pour ½ cup of the mole sauce into a 13×9-inch baking dish.  Make sure to spray the dish with non-stick cooking spray before adding in the sauce. 

Mole sauce is spread all over the bottom of the pan.

Place a large or medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet. Let the coconut oil melt completely and swivel it around in the pan to completely coat it.

Add 3-4 tortillas in a single layer. Cook the tortillas for about 1-2 minutes per side, making sure they get slightly crispy but not too firm. This is a MAJOR step that you don’t want to miss! The oil creates a barrier between the sauce and the tortillas so the enchiladas do not get too soggy while baking.

Place tortillas on a paper towel-lined plate to let any excess oil drain off.  Repeat with the remaining oil and tortillas.

Corn tortillas are toasted in a pan.

How to Roll Enchiladas?

Many struggle with the process to roll enchiladas, but there is a better way than hastily throwing everything together.

In the center of each tortilla, create a line of ¼ cup of shredded chicken, 2 tablespoons of cheese, and 1 tablespoon of mole sauce. Try not to overfill them so they don’t fall apart in the oven.

Roll in the filling ingredients by putting one side of the tortilla over the other. Then, place each rolled enchilada seam side-down into the baking dish with the warm mole sauce. If your baking dish is too small to fit 8 comfortably in a single row, you can turn them 90 degrees and fit two rows of 4 enchiladas. 

Pour the remaining mole sauce over all of the filled tortillas. Using a spoon, spread it out so it completely covers all of the edges. If the edges aren’t covered they may end up burning in the oven. 

Top with the remaining shredded cheese and cover with a piece of aluminum foil. 

Bake enchiladas in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.  Remove the foil from the baking dish during the last 5 minutes of cooking so the edges can crisp up.

Serve the Enchiladas

These mole chicken enchiladas are already loaded with tons of Mexican flavors. However, you can always take them over the top by topping them with:

Easy Chicken Mole Enchiladas are topped with fresh cilantro for dinner.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead: This chicken enchilada recipe is a great one to meal prep ahead for busy weeks. You can prep the entire enchilada dish up to 24 hours in advance and stop just before baking. Or you can prepare the main components and store them in the refrigerator for a few days until ready to use.
  • To Store: Store enchiladas in an airtight container or in the baking dish they were cooked in with a piece of foil over the top in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3-4 months.
  • To Reheat: It’s best if you keep enchiladas in the baking dish you cooked them in so they’re easier to reheat. To warm them back up, pop them into a 300°F oven, covered, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. You can also pop them in the microwave or add them to a skillet with a touch of oil over medium-low heat.

What is an enchilada?

Enchiladas are traditionally a Mexican dish made by rolling a corn tortilla around a filling, which is then covered in a flavorful sauce. You can fill enchiladas with a variety of ingredients like meats, cheese, spices, and beans.

A fork is set beside a plate of chicken mole enchiladas.

Are enchiladas healthy?

Mole sauce is a calorically dense sauce but it is a healthier option since it is made with real food ingredients such as nuts, seeds, peppers, and cocoa powder.

Are enchiladas gluten-free?

Enchiladas can easily be gluten-free, based on their components. To that end, be sure your sauces, ingredients, and corn tortillas are gluten free if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • DIY time. Make the mole sauce from scratch, it has so much more flavor than the store-bought canned kind.
  • Corn all the way. Use white or yellow corn tortillas for the best texture as flour tortillas get very gummy after baking.
  • Fry ’em first. Lightly heat tortillas in oil so they don’t become soggy, this is THE trick to getting firm enchiladas that do not soak up too much sauce.
  • Cover everything. Spread out the sauce all over the enchiladas, if any area is exposed it will end up burning and getting too crispy.
  • Take it off. Remove the foil off during the last 5 minutes of cooking, the hot air allows the edges to crisp up slightly.
A row of chicken mole enchiladas is shown topped with fresh cilantro.

What to serve with enchiladas?

If you would like a few side dish ideas for these mole enchiladas, you’ll want to try the following recipes.

You can’t go wrong with a rice dish, like Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice and Cilantro Lime Rice. These are my go-to recipes.

You should also try Cheesy Southern Corn Fritters or Mexican Street Corn Salad.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 5 votes

Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Make a batch of these quick and simple Chicken Mole Enchiladas at home, and it'll taste as good as your favorite Mexican restaurants'! Corn tortillas are lightly fried in oil, filled with shredded chicken and cheese, and then covered in a homemade mole sauce that is secretly easy to make. 
A pan of chicken enchiladas is placed on the counter.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 45 minutes
Total 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Mole Sauce:*

  • 1 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive
  • 1 cup sweet onion finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder mild or mixed
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. almond butter
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. cocoa powder regular

Chicken Enchiladas:

  • 8 corn tortillas white or yellow
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut oil olive or avocado oil
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cheese Mozzarella or Monterrey Jack

Toppings:

  • Cilantro optional
  • Queso Fresco optional
  • Sour Cream optional

Instructions 

How to Make Mole Sauce:

  • Place a medium-sized saucepan or skillet over medium heat.
  • Add oil and diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for another minute.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, salt, and black pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in the mixed seasoning ingredients along with the cornstarch. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Pour in ½ cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to release any bits or pieces.
  • Add the onion and seasoning mixture to a large food processor or a high-speed blender along with the chipotle peppers, almond butter, raisins, cocoa powder, and remaining broth.
  • Process for 1-2 minutes or until it is completely smooth.
  • Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  • You should end up with ~2 ¼ cups of mole sauce. Use immediately to make these Chicken Mole Enchiladas or store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

How to Make Chicken Mole Enchiladas:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Pour ½ cup of the mole sauce into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet. Let melt completely and then add 3-4 tortillas in a single layer. Cook the tortillas for about 1-2 minutes per side, making sure they get slightly crispy but not too firm.
Place tortillas on a paper towel-lined plate to let any excess oil drain off.  Repeat with remaining oil and tortillas.
Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup of shredded chicken, 2 tablespoons of cheese, and 1 tablespoon of mole sauce.
  • Fold the right side of the tortilla over to cover the filling ingredients and then fold the left side over. Place the filled tortillas seam-side into the baking dish with the enchilada sauce.
  • Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over all of the filled tortillas. Using a spoon, spread it out so it completely covers all of the edges. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the foil from the baking dish during the last 5 minutes of cooking so the edges can crisp up.

  • Let enchiladas sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving with fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 5 votes

Notes

  • You can also substitute with a store-bought mole sauce.
  • One serving size is for 2 enchiladas with sauce.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep Ahead:  This chicken enchilada recipe is a great one to meal prep ahead for busy weeks.  You can either prep the entire enchilada dish up to 24 hours in advance and stop just before baking.  Or you can prepare the mole sauce one night and store it in the refrigerator for a few days until ready to use.
  • To Store:  Store enchiladas in an airtight container or in the baking dish they were cooked in with a piece of foil over the top in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.  They can also be frozen for up to 3-4 months.
  • To Reheat:  It’s best if you keep enchiladas in the baking dish you cooked them in so they’re easier to reheat.  To warm them back up, pop them into a 300°F oven, covered, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.  You can also pop them in the microwave or add to a skillet with a touch of oil over medium-low heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 684kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 1638mg, Potassium: 999mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2724IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 464mg, Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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Comments

  1. The recipe here says “Bake enchiladas uncovered for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the foil from the baking dish during the last 5 minutes of cooking so the edges can crisp up.
” but if it’s UNcovered, why is there foil to take off? I want to make the recipe but want to be sure I get it right.

  2. 5 stars
    The perfect project for a grey, rainy day!

    Have been craving enchiladas lately and these didn’t disappoint. The sauce is delicious!!!!

    1. Totally with you, Laura!! Enchiladas are the PERFECT rainy day comfort food. So happy to hear you enjoyed the sauce. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating! 🙂