7 Different Types of Oaxacan Moles


different types of mole in oaxaca

Today we’re going to be talking about moles of Oaxaca, Mexico. Mole, which everybody has kind of referred to and related to Mexico, is probably one of the most important historical salsas of the country. However, interestingly enough, it mainly comes from Oaxaca. It is without a doubt the most important place where moles come from. Even though it is estimated to have over 200 different moles throughout Mexico, there are seven of the most important ones that come from Oaxaca that I will be talking about.

When you come to visit Oaxaca there will be no doubt that you will have something with moles, and most likely I would personally even really recommend going for a mole test tasting to have a good idea of the seven different moles that there are out there. So here are the seven most popular ones that you would be able to try.

What Is Mole?

Mole, what it is, it’s salsa. You could have it on your own as a dipping sauce. You could have it to put your meat in, or if you’re vegetarian, to have veggies in it, you could dip tortillas, all these different things that are in it. But you could dip in it also it could be done as an actual meal with rice and meat and whatnot. So usually there are seven different moles and they are very intricate. They could go up to 30 to 60 different ingredients.

It is not just a cooking thing for you to do with the moles, but it is an actual community event and something that is really important to the families.

You could have done it within three to six hours, but the ones that I will also be mentioned, especially the black mole, could take up to seven days to 14 days to be really prepared properly.

Related Read: Food in Oaxaca: Markets, Food Stands and Traditional Cuisine

Types of Mole in Oaxaca

Mole Negro

Mole Negro, so every one of them will pretty much have a chili of some sort. I’m not gonna get into the detail of this is not a recipe book but Mole Negro also has Oaxacan chocolate in it and I have another podcast about where the locals buy their local chocolate mix for their moles and obviously for their chocolates. So make sure to go and listen to it. That particular one as well, but Mole Negro, what they do is they add in chocolate to give it that sweetness and the chocolate base of it as well.

different types of oaxacan moles

Mole Rojo

Then there is Mole Rojo, which is considered to be one of the spiciest of the moles because of the chilies that they add to it.

You could buy mole paste and just cook it, warm it up as well. And a lot of families today go to the markets to buy fresh mole paste because it does take such a long time and it is such a laborious act.

Mole Coloradito

Then there is mole coloradito, which is considered one of the sweetest because it has bananas, raisins and all these other things that add to the sweetness of it.

Moe Amarillo

Then there is Mole Amarillo. Technically it is because of the different chilies that they add in it and also the different leaves and whatnot that they add into it that gives it that kind of earthy look to it. And it is usually used for chicken and for tortillas, so definitely recommend trying that one out.

Mole Manchamantel

Then there is mole Manchamantel. It’s a big word, right? So it has pineapples in it, plantains and obviously with the Chili’s. So even though it is sweet, it is still a little bit spicy.

Mole Chichilo

Then there is Molle Chichilo, which again is all based on the different types of chilies that you are adding to it. This particular one also has avocado leaves and chili Negro, which is this black chilli and all these other types of flavors. It is sweet, but it is definitely spicy.

moles in oaxaca with tortillas

Mole Verde

Interestingly enough doesn’t really have any actual chili in it, so it’s obviously less spicy, but it does have pumpkin seeds. It has leaves and herbs in it. Also, it does not contain the dry chilies that give it that extra kick that you are normally used to.

Chili Poblano

The chili poblano, is the most common one of all. The chili poblanos. Kind of like the more typical ones that they call as well. So these are the seven different chilies and like I mentioned earlier, it is really important to go and actually have a tasting while you are in Oaxaca, this is a pretty normal thing to do.


You could even do a mole tasting as an experience or go to the restaurants. You gotta look them up because a lot of times they kind of have it one day, another time they don’t have it. So just go and find out. You could walk along some of their most popular pedestrian streets where the majority of the restaurants are and just ask around really. Or if you’re staying in a hotel, this is something that is really commonly done and you could also go to the markets.

And you could see all the different moles. They have them in taste as and in a bag that you could buy like a sauce and they do have them vacuum sealed, so if you want to take them back. But this is definitely one of the main things that people do in Oaxaca. It is a very traditional part of Oaxacan cuisine and something that I really recommend giving a taste to.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2023

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