Turkey Mole Poblano

Moles come in various flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. However, the classic mole version is the variety called mole poblano, which is a dark red or brown sauce served over meat. This is a version that works great to help use up that extra turkey on Thanksgiving. We also make this every year for our Christmas dinner with my husbands family. Sprinkle sesame seeds over mole if desired. Garnish with onions and limes. Serve with rice on the sides and tostadas or tortillas.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
6 servings


  • 2 dried pasilla chiles

  • 2 dried guajillo chilies

  • 2 dried ancho chile peppers

  • 1 dried cascabel chile

  • 1 dried morita chile

  • 3 large Roma tomatoes

  • ¾ cup vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 large white onion, diced

  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 4 whole cloves

  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

  • cup sweetened dried cranberries (such as Craisins®)

  • cup unsalted peanuts

  • cup chopped almonds

  • 2 (6 inch) corn tortillas

  • ¾ Mexican hot chocolate drink tablet (such as Nestle® Abuelita)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

  • 1 ¼ cups turkey stock

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 pounds leftover turkey meat, or to taste


  1. Heat about 3 cups water in a microwave-safe bowl for 3 minutes.

  2. Heat a griddle or comal over medium heat. Toast pasilla chiles, guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, cascabel chile, and morita chile for about 1 minute. Turn chiles over and toast until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove stems and seeds. Place chiles in the bowl of water; cover and let soak, 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. Place tomatoes on the hot griddle. Cook until blackened on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender.

  4. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion and garlic to the blender using tongs, tilting the skillet to reserve the oil.

  5. Toast cloves, sesame seeds, and coriander seeds in the hot skillet until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 to 60 seconds. Place in the blender. Cook cranberries in the skillet until toasted, about 1 minute; place in the blender.

  6. Pour an additional 1/4 cup oil in the skillet; reheat over medium heat. Stir in peanuts and almonds; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add to the blender, reserving oil in the skillet.

  7. Place tortillas in the hot skillet; increase heat to medium-high. Fry until slightly crisped, about 1 minute; place on a plate. Add the remaining oil and chocolate tablet to the skillet; cook and stir until melted, about 2 minutes. Pour into the blender.

  8. Place softened chiles and 1/3 of the soaking liquid into the blender. Add salt, white pepper, cumin, and oregano. Blend until smooth. Tear tortillas and add to blender; blend mole until smooth.

  9. Pour mixture into a large pot over low heat. Stir in broth slowly and add cinnamon stick. Simmer until slightly thickened and flavors meld, about 1 hour. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour mole over reheated turkey.

Cook's Notes:

Chicken broth can be substituted for the turkey broth if desired.

Use stale tortillas if possible.

Heat turkey and add directly to mole or serve mole sauce over heated turkey.

All of the chiles should be available at most Mexican stores along with the Abuelita(R) chocolate tablets.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

519 Calories
21g Fat
32g Carbs
51g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 519
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Sodium 582mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 51g
Vitamin C 11mg 57%
Calcium 108mg 8%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 954mg 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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