Enmoladas (easy chicken mole enchiladas)

Try this enmoladas recipe, juicy and plump mole enchiladas stuffed with shredded chicken and topped with queso fresco and sesame seeds. A real Mexican treat, so hearty and satisfying! 

Mexican chicken enmoladas served in a plate with toppings.

About The Recipe & Origin

Enmoladas is a Mexican traditional recipe that consists of corn tortillas coated in mole sauce, stuffed with shredded chicken, and then rolled or folded to be served with cheese, onions, and sesame seeds.

As in other similar recipes that use the term ladas, such as enchiladas or enfrijoladas, enmoladas are made with the same cooking method but with a different type of sauce.

Mole, which comes from the Nahuatl word mōlli and translates into ‘sauce’, is a traditional sauce used in Mexican cooking. Two Mexican states claim to have created mole; Puebla and Oaxaca.

Being mole a popular dish in those two states, this recipe is also part of their large repertory of traditional and authentic food.

Enmoladas, aka chicken mole enchiladas on a plate with toppings and various bowls with ingredients on the side.

According to food historians, in Precolumbian times some versions of moles were served by the Aztecs as an offer for their Gods in many important events.

The practice of rolling tortillas stuffed with food dates back to Aztec times too when people used to dip tortillas in a chile sauce. Enchilada in Nahuatl is known as chīllapītzalli.

So, even if enmoladas con pollo is without doubt from modern cuisine, you can say for sure that it has also an ancient and traditional background.

Ingredients

  • Mole sauce: To make cooking with mole a little easier and quicker I used a jar of Doña Maria mole and added chocolate Abuelita and cinnamon powder to enhance the flavor.
  • Shredded chicken: Use any pieces of chicken you prefer, or as a shortcut, use rotisserie chicken or turkey leftovers to make this recipe.
  • Corn tortillas: Use homemade corn tortillas or your favorite brand of store-bought tortillas.
  • Queso fresco: Or any fresh farmer’s cheese. For queso fresco, you may have to go to a specialty store or make your own, but farmer’s cheese is usually readily available in the grocery store. In a pinch you can also use feta cheese though obviously not Mexican, it does deliver a nice salty flavor.
  • Onion: I used white onion in this recipe but if you have yellow or red onions in your pantry go ahead and use them. 
  • Sesame seeds: These are readily available in any grocery store. I usually find them in the spice section.
  • Oil: Any kind of oil can be used to cook the tortillas in the oil to warm them up and make them easy to roll or fold. 
Ingredients for Enmoladas recipe displayed with names on a countertop.

How To Make Chicken Enmoladas

Start by cooking the chicken in plenty of water with oregano, onion, garlic, and salt.

Cooked chicken in a stock pot.

Remove from the pot and strain the broth, then allow to chicken to cool down and shred it. Cover with cling film and set everything aside.

Add a small jar of Doña María mole paste to a medium cooking pan along with 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth, chocolate Abuelita, and cinnamon powder.

Adding jarred mole paste to a cooking pan.

Bring to a gentle simmer and cook the mole sauce for 5 minutes until there are no lumps left and it has a thick gravy-like texture. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Doña Maria mole sauce fully cooked on a pan.

Turn off the heat and keep the sauce warm.

Prepare the following:

  • One plate lined with kitchen paper towels for placing the fried tortillas.
  • One plate for assembling each enmolada and then the ones for serving.
  • A mixture with 1 cup of crumbled cheese and 2/3 cup of diced onion.

Heat up about 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan and one by one, fry all tortillas until the edges start to get crips but they are nicely soft in the middle (about 15 seconds on each side).

As tortillas come out of the pan, place them in a paper-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

Slightly fried tortillas on a plate lined with paper towels.

Dip a tortilla in the warm mole sauce until is nicely coated on both sides.

Dipping a corn tortilla into the mole sauce.

Place the tortilla on a plate and add some shredded chicken near the edge, then top with the onion and cheese mixture.

An open enmolada topped with shredded chicken, cheese, and onions.

Starting on the side near the stuffing, roll the tortilla. You can also fold it in half if it’s easier for you.

Rolled enmolada on a plate.

Transfer the enmolada to a serving plate and repeat with 2-3 more tortillas (depending on how many you are serving to each person).

Four assembled enmoladas on a plate.

Pour more mole sauce on top and spread it with the back of a spoon. Then top with sliced onions, more cheese, and a good sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Assembled enmoladas with toppings on a plate.

Serve and enjoy!

Useful Recipe Notes

  • Mole sauce gets thicker as it cools down, if that’s the case, just warm it up with a splash of chicken broth to loosen it up.
  • Instead of frying the tortillas, you can warm them on a comal or skillet until nicely pliable.
  • If tortillas break when you coat them in the sauce is because they need to be fried a little longer.
  • Don’t be tempted to assemble the tortillas without dipping them into the sauce first. Coating the whole tortilla yields juicier and plump mole enchiladas because the sauce goes also inside.
Close-up of enmoladas on a plate with one cut to see the inside.

How To Serve

This recipe is mostly served as lunch or dinner. You can serve these enmoladas as they are or with Mexican white rice, Mexican green rice, or a side of refried beans. 

Wash it all down with some agua de mango or agua de naranja. Both options are refreshing and taste great with these mole enchiladas. 

No enmolada meal would be complete without a dessert. Try these fresas con crema or this Mexican flan.

Store And Reheat

It is best to store the ingredients separately. I suggest you only assemble as many as you want to eat as assembled enmoladas don’t store well. 

You can store mole sauce in the fridge for up to 6 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

The shredded chicken will keep well for 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 4 months in the freezer.

To reheat from frozen, remove the ingredients from the freezer the day before you want to serve them and let them defrost in the fridge overnight. Both the chicken and the sauce can be reheated on the stove.

TIP: Double the ingredients to make chicken broth and have it always ready in the freezer to make this or many other recipes.

FAQ

What is the difference between an enchilada and an enmolada?

The difference between an enchilada and an enmolada depends mainly on the sauce. An enchilada is made with a sauce prepared only with chilies (such as guajillo or pasilla), while an enmolada is made by covering the tortilla with mole sauce, which is a more complex and rich sauce.

What is the best store-bought mole sauce? 

Doña Maria mole is my preferred store-bought mole sauce. But honestly, it depends on personal preferences.

If you have access to a Mexican market and you see mole paste sold in small bags or by weight, go for it because it will be a lot better than any jarred or packed product.

How do you make jarred mole taste better?

Sometimes using jarred mole as a base is easier than preparing from scratch. To make it taste better, you can add homemade chicken stock, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and other spices like a pinch of cumin, whole cloves, or even peanut butter. It really brings the taste up a notch. 

Is the chicken enmolada recipe gluten-free?

Our recipe is not gluten-free as it contains jarred mole, which is usually made with some wheat products. If you want to turn this recipe gluten-free, we recommend making your own mole sauce.

Close-up of enmoladas de pollo, aka chicken enmoladas on a plate.

Similar Recipes

Watch The Video

Enmoladas Recipe. Aka, chicken mole enchiladas.

Enmoladas (chicken mole enchiladas)

author Maricruz
16 enmoladas
These chicken enmoladas are fried tortillas dipped in mole sauce and then stuffed with freshly cooked chicken. Topped with queso fresco and sesame seeds these enmoladas are an authentic Mexican treat!
prep 25 minutes
cook 1 hour 25 minutes
total 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients 

For enmoladas

  • 16 corn tortillas (homemade or store-bought)
  • ½ lb Queso fresco (or any fresh farmer's cheese)
  • cup white onion (diced)
  • ½ small onion (sliced)
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
  • oil for frying

For the mole sauce

  • 1 small jar Mole Doña Maria (4.4oz/125g)
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth (from cooking chicken)
  • ¼ tablet Abuelita chocolate (or dark chocolate)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp powdered cinnamon

For the filling

  • 1 ½ lb chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • ½ Tbsp oregano
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove (skin on)
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions
 

Cook the chicken

  • Place chicken in a pot with plenty of water. Add oregano, onion, garlic, and salt.
  • Cook until nicely tender (about 1 hour).
  • Remove the pieces from the pot and strain the broth.
  • Allow the chicken to cool down and shred it. Cover and set everything aside.
  • Place mole paste in a medium cooking pan along with 2 ½ cups of chicken cooking broth, chocolate, and cinnamon powder.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and cook the mole sauce for 5 minutes until there are no lumps left and it has a thick gravy-like texture.
  • Adjust seasonings if needed and turn off the heat.
  • In a small bowl mix 1 cup of crumbled cheese and diced onion. Set aside.
  • Heat up ½ inch of oil in a frying pan and slightly fry the tortillas on both sides.
  • Place fried tortillas on a paper-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

Assemble enmoladas

  • Dip a tortilla in the warm mole sauce until is nicely coated on both sides.
  • Place the tortilla on a plate and add some shredded chicken then top with a bit of onion and cheese mixture.
  • Roll or fold the stuffed tortilla and place it on a serving plate. Repeat the steps until all tortillas are used.
  • Pour more mole sauce on top of the enmoladas and spread it with the back of a spoon.
  • Top with sliced onions, more cheese, and a good sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Mole sauce gets thicker as it cools down, if that’s the case, just warm it up with a splash of chicken broth to loosen it up.
  • Instead of frying the tortillas, you can warm them on a comal or skillet until nicely pliable.
  • If tortillas break when you coat them in the sauce is because they need to be fried a little longer.
  • Don’t be tempted to assemble the tortillas without dipping them into the sauce first. Coating the whole tortilla yields juicier and plump mole enchiladas because the sauce goes also inside.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1enmolada | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 129IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 1mg
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