Pumpkin Mole

On the way home from a Cyclocross race in Astoria, Oregon a few weeks ago, we stopped by a a restaurant in Seaside where Mark had Chicken Enchiladas with a Pumpkin Mole sauce that was, well, to die for. I had to recreate it!

Mole, a type of Mexican sauce, comes in a variety of flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. Modern “Americanized” moles usually have the spice from the pepper, the sweet from the fruit (blackberry, raspberry, and in our case, pumpkin) and a good hint of chocolate.

When I looked online for a healthy pumpkin mole recipe, most contained wheat bread for thickening and since I’m currently gluten-free I kept looking. Alas, I found several recipes without gluten that I could adapt. Here’s my recipe remake which can be used as an enchilada sauce, to top baked chicken pieces, or drizzled over slices of pork tenderloin.


Recipe: Easy Pumpkin Mole


  • 2 cups of organic, whole milk (alternative could be coconut milk)
  • 1 organic dark chocolate bar (I used 1/2 cup of organic Dagoba cacao powder)
  • 1 15 oz. can of organic pumpkin puree (unless you have time to bake, scoop, and mash the flesh of a fresh pumpkin)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp cloves
  • 2 tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika
  • salt to taste
  • (1- 2 tbsp of honey, to taste, if using cacao powder instead of sweeten chocolate bar)


  1. In a large pan heat milk slowly until it starts to boil. (Watch carefully as it tends to boil the second you turn your back.)
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add pumpkin puree and the chocolate bar, stirring constantly until the chocolate is dissolved.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir constantly until smooth. (Since I used dry cacao powder and added dry spices, I used my hand-held immersion blender to get all the lumps out.)
  4. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Thin with a bit of milk if it seems too thick.


Mole is meant to have a good spicy kick with the hint of chocolate, but not sweet. If you don’t like heat, you may want to cut back some on the chipotle and the paprika. This recipe yielded enough mole to cover a pan of pulled pork and veggie enchiladas for dinner that night with a pint jar left over which I stuck in the freezer for another dinner.