Enchiladas de Mole with Mushrooms and Zucchini – Recipe

Vegetarian Enchiladas de Mole
Vegetarian Enchiladas de Mole with Mushrooms and Zucchini

Mole (or, rather, moles, since there are many varieties) is shrouded in legend. The dried-chili based sauces, rich with chocolate, spices, herbs and nuts or seeds can contain up to 36 ingredients, each of which has to be individually ground and toasted over a period of days. Each family has its own secret recipe.

This is all completely valid, but you can make a basic version that is about 90% as tasty in an hour. The only unusual ingredients you’ll need are a couple of varieties of dried chili pepper – pasilla and ancho to be specific, and they can be found in many well-stocked groceries these days, although they are much less expensive at Mexican markets.

You’ll see in the recipe, we are making enchiladas using the more traditional stovetop method, not in a casserole. But if you prefer to roll them all up and bring them up to temperature in the oven, that is feasible. The main downside is that the tortillas can get soggy.

This recipe will make a lot more mole than you need for 12 enchiladas, but you might as well make a whole batch. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, and it freezes well.

Enchiladas de Mole with Zucchini and Mushrooms – Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 27 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings + leftover mole

3 enchiladas

Enchiladas de Mole with Zucchini and Mushrooms – Recipe

    For the mole
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 dried pasilla peppers, stemmed, toasted in a dry skillet
  • 2 dried ancho peppers, stemmed, toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1 cup unhulled sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1/3 cup cocoa nibs (or 1/4 cup cocoa powder)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups clear vegetable broth (or part bean-cooking liquid)
  • For the enchiladas
  • Vegetable oil
  • 5 cups diced white mushrooms (about 1/4")
  • 5 cups diced zucchini (about 1/4")
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • To serve
  • Rings of white onion
  • Cotija or other crumbly white cheese (feta works in a pinch) (omit or replace for vegan)
    For the mole
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and sugar and cook until the onion has softened, about 2 minutes. Tear up and add the toasted pasilla and ancho peppers, the sesame seeds, and the bread. Add the cocoa nibs, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes. Puree, then return to pot and taste and adjust seasoning. Add broth as needed to produce a fairly thick but saucy consistency.
  2. For the enchiladas
  3. In a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of oil over a medium high flame. Add the mushrooms and a big pinch of salt, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Reserve the mushrooms and repeat the process with the zucchini. Fold them together. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. To make the enchiladas, have your plates hot, your mole hot, and your filling hot. Heat about 1/4" of oil in a small skillet over a medium-low flame. Add one tortilla to the oil to soften it, turning once with tongs. This should take about 20 seconds - you don't want to get it crisp. It will seem oily, but will turn out awesome. Place the tortilla on a plate and spread about 1 tablespoon of sauce on it. Spoon in a couple tablespoons of filling and roll it up. Repeat this process, putting 3 enchiladas on each plate.
  5. Thin the mole a little with broth (or water), to a saucy consitency, and make sure it is piping hot. Ladle a generous amount over each plate, top with a few rings of white onion and a scattering of cotija, and serve immediately.

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, March 11th, 2013 in Main Courses, Recipes, Vegan or Modifiable.

12 Responses to “Enchiladas de Mole with Mushrooms and Zucchini – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    March 11, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    Traditional enchiladas with mole is possibly my favorite Mexican dish! I normally have to depend on my Mexican friends to prepare the mole, so thanks for this recipe. We usually just use Mexican cheese ( such as queso chihuahua) for filling. But I’ll give the veg a try. 🙂 thanks!

    • Reply
      March 11, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      Indeed, I meant to mention this mole works great with cheese enchiladas as well! A little bit of a gut bomb that way but delicious. You could also do half and half.

    • Reply
      Anna K.
      March 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      What’s queso chihuahua?

  2. Reply
    March 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Sounds so delicious, I’m attempting this for dinner tonight. I have two questions: when do I add the sesame seeds and am I adding sugar once (as on the ingredient list or twice (as in the instructions)?


    • Reply
      March 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Thanks for the good eye! I’ve updated the recipe to answer your questions.

  3. Reply
    March 11, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    Mole has been on my list to make for ages and I can’t wait to try this – pinned! Re: the cheese conversation, I like a little cheese on or in my enchiladas, but not so much that I can’t see what’s underneath! Now that’s a gut bomb!

  4. Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 1:14 am #

    In Australia we don’t have easy access to a lot of specialist Mexican ingredients. Can the two different types of chilli can be replaced with anything else or are they kind of essential.

    • Reply
      March 12, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      You could replace them with other types of whole dried chili, or .. *maybe* with chili powder, but yes, it is fundamentally a chili based sauce, so you can’t omit them and really end up with mole.

  5. Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Sounds delicously flavorful! Never tried mole before, love the spices it has! Onion and white cheese make a perfect match with these enchiladas! Thank you Michael!

  6. Reply
    Anna K.
    March 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    This is perfect! I made a killer mole last week (the sauce from this recipe: link to foodandwine.com) but I’ve been at a loss for vegetarian things to do with it.

  7. Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    This recipe is AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  8. Reply
    Frances Morey
    December 21, 2018 at 9:30 am #

    I went to a delightful vegan Mexican food restaurant in San Antonio, Texas–Viva Vegeria on Nogalitos St. near the junction of I-35, I-37 and I-10. There on the menu I found an entree for roasted cauliflower for mole. It was a wonderful way to eat mole!

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