What is an Enmolada?

Last Updated on July 3rd, 2023

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When it comes to authentic Mexican cuisine, there are few dishes more popular than the enchilada, burrito, and like the enchilada, the enmolada will be a delicious twist on a culinary favorite. 

Where you have the enchilada, filled and rolled in a tortilla to be drenched in a chili sauce, there is the enmolada which substitutes the sauce with a mole. 

The authentic version of the dish will use corn tortillas smothered in a mole sauce, quick and easy to make, like enchiladas and burritos. For those not privy to what mole sauce is, the ingredients are coriander spices, chocolate, pasilla chiles, and pumpkin seeds. 

What does it Look Like?

When you picture mole, think of a nice medium-bodied chocolate sauce with a reddish-brown color palette when made correctly.

Then, you will have Verde mole sauces, which will require a different thin chip dip consistency. This will, of course, only be the sauce in which the enmolada is covered and smothered. 

The dish will resemble the enchilada you find in many popular Mexican restaurants. Still, instead, you will find the mole sauce as a cover, which traditionally will be a melted chocolate reddish-brown color. 

Most dishes are topped with onions, a sprinkle or slice of cheese, or a simple cut of avocado. 


What is it Made of?

When you think about the different types of mole and fillings for an enmolada, you will have to look into the enchilada format and how to select the best kind of meat for the type of dish. 

Shredded beef, cubed chicken, and ground beef are just a few types of fillings that have been used; there are substitutes for those entertaining vegan or those on non-carnivorous diets. 

Here is a basic ingredients list from an abuelita (grandmother):


  • Eight Tomatillos
  • Dried Pasilla chiles
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Chopped Yellow onion.
  • Roasted Almonds
  • Raw peanuts
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Chicken bouillon
  • Corn oil
  • Hot chocolate (or melted cocoa)
  • Tortillas


What Does it Taste Like?

This is where the fillings and ingredients play an important role in deciding how the dish is going to taste. When it comes to the mole sauce, the taste palette will be dependent on the type of mole you are using as a cover and smothering sauce. 

Here are the different popular types of mole that are used regularly when creating enmolada dish:


  • Mole Almendrado – From the Capital of modern-day Mexico, closer to the San Pedro Atocpan portions of the Central American nation
  • Mole Colorado – A Oaxacan red-colored mole based on tomatoes. 
  • Mole Negro – Also from Oaxaca, a darker chocolate consistency with an intense flavor
  • Mole Poblano – This would be the more popularly known type of mole, which is famously nicknamed the Chocolate mole. 
  • Mole Verde – This bright green mole features more of a chile and spices mixture based and should be prepared and eaten fresh. 


What is the difference between Enchiladas and Enmoladas?

As mentioned earlier in the article, there is only a slight difference between these two Mexican-style dishes. 

Therefore, let us set up a situation in which the enchilada and enmolada will be filled with the same type of ingredients, allowing for easier comparison.

Then comes the sauces, enchilada sauces will be made up of a tomato base with an assortment of spices and broth. 

Enmolada sauce is going to have a similar tomato base but is filled with chilies and a melted chocolate element, giving it a sweeter taste when compared to the spicier aim of the enchilada sauce. 


How Long Does it Take to Prepare It?

For comparison’s sake, there is going to be a prep time of twenty minutes cooking time of thirty minutes to prepare most enchiladas; cooking at altitude may skew these times just a bit. 

However, when it comes to the enmolada preparation times, they are going to be just about the same.

This simplified, easy form of enmoladas will take ten minutes less to cook than the enchilada counterpart provided above. 

However, when it comes to the heavier dish, with more of an authentic texture and flavor palette, the preparation time will take closer to an hour and a cooking timeline of about the same length. 


Final Thoughts on What is an Enmolada

You must try this dish. Even more traditional than enchiladas, enchiladas have an amazingly unique taste and texture that your tastebuds must experience. 

Suppose you lack a Latina or Chicano relative or friend. No worries. There are going to be many Mexican restaurants that service this traditional food. 

Be sure to ask for the corn tortillas, and best to start with the poblano mole, the chocolate mole, which it is also known as.  


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