Instant Pot Chicken Mole

When I think about FLAVOR—dance-on-your-tongue, wow-your-mouth, never-let-it-end FLAVOR—few dishes capture the experience more completely than chicken mole.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Mole from scratch! Quick recipe that tastes authentic but is made fast in the Instant Pot. Perfect for Mexican enchiladas, tacos, and rice.Pin it on Pinterest!

Rich, complex, and lightly smoky, mole sauce is traditional in Mexican cooking and can transform even the most basic ingredient (shredded chicken, I am looking at you) into something extraordinary.

Real-deal authentic chicken mole sauce takes days and 20+ ingredients to make. It’s a treat to devour (I love ordering it when we go out for Mexican food) and something I hope to cook the old-school way someday. Anyone want to spend a day sipping a Skinny Margarita or two and teaching me?

Since most nights I hardly have an hour (let alone days) to make dinner, I set out to see if I could create an easy chicken mole recipe that delivers the complex, bewitching flavor that makes mole so characteristically spell binding, but in a fraction of the time with one-third of the ingredients.

No biggie right?

Where Mexican food is on the line, I will not be deterred. Say hello to Instant Pot Chicken Mole!

Chicken Mole made easy in the Instant Pot! The delicious sauce coats the shredded chicken perfectly.

A Less Authentic, Equally Delicious Easy Chicken Mole Recipe

Let’s be clear: this is a cheater, streamlined, easy chicken mole recipe. It might not be 100% traditionalist approved—or even 80%—but it is unquestionably delicious and maintains the slightly sweet, smoky, and seductive flavor of authentic chicken mole.

My two shortcut secrets: the Instant Pot (this is the model I own and love) and an essentials-only ingredient list.

Why the Instant Pot for Chicken Mole?

Ever since I started cooking these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos, the pressure cooker has become my favorite way to make shredded chicken, along with other favorite Mexican recipes like this Instant Pot Mexican Casserole.

The chicken comes out perfectly tender and juicy, it’s easy to shred on the spot, and you only have one pot to wash in the end.

The nature of mole sauce itself also makes it a prime pressure cooker candidate. The Instant Pot concentrates the sauce’s flavors more rapidly, speeding up the cooking process. The fact that the chicken cooks in the Instant Pot at the same time as the sauce saves an extra step too!

Ingredients for instant pot mole sauce include chipotle peppers in adobo, pepitas, cocoa powder, fire-roasted tomatoes, raisins, cinnamon, and garlic.

What Are the Ingredients in Mole Sauce?

I kept the essentials, the ones mole sauce wouldn’t taste complete without—nuts, raisins, cinnamon, cumin, and chocolate (yes, chocolate! It’s the secret to mole’s inexplicably deep flavor)—then combined them with a few “super” ingredients that have a whopping amount of flavor on their own.

The most important of the super ingredients is canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I’m hooked on these rich, smoky peppers and often use them to impart mega flavor with minimal effort. Many mole sauce recipes call for a blend of three or four different peppers. For today, I’m quite happy to stick with my one-ingredient wonder.

You can find chipotle peppers in the Hispanic aisle of most grocery stores and even online. You’ll have a few peppers left over in the can, which you can enjoy in any one of these recipes.

Blending up the sauce for easy, delicious Instant Pot Chicken Mole.

How to Make Easy Chicken Mole

  • Arrange the chicken in the Instant Pot.
  • Place the sauce ingredients into a blender, process until smooth, then pour the whole shebang right over the chicken. Note: It will smell amazing.
  • Cook the chicken for a short and sweet 8 minutes of pressure. It will be incredibly moist and tender and soak up the wonderful flavors of the sauce. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • Reduce the sauce right in the Instant Pot on the saute setting. (Be careful! It splatters.) Shred the chicken.
  • Add the chicken back into the sauce, stir, and ta-da! Seriously legit-tasting shredded chicken mole you can use any way you like.

If you’d like to make chicken mole in the slow cooker, this isn’t something I’ve tried myself, but I did add suggestions to the recipe notes. If anyone does make slow cooker chicken mole, please let me know how it goes.

Serve this tasty Instant Pot Chicken Mole as tacos for an easy, delicious dinner everyone will love.

How to Use Shredded Chicken Mole

  • The majority of the time, we use the Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Mole to make always-satisfying mole chicken tacos. My favorite toppings are feta or queso fresco and cilantro.
  • It would be equally tasty as a filling for enchiladas or quesadillas.
  • Mix with brown rice and black beans to create your own mole chicken “bowl.”
  • Sprinkle it over tortilla chips, add cheese, chopped red onion, or any of your other favorite fixins, then pop it into the oven for a few minutes for mole chicken nachos.
  • Devour directly out of the Instant Pot (this happens a lot here too).

If you are into Mexican food, bold flavors, and any excuse to open a bag of chips, this easy Instant Pot Chicken Mole will be a sure hit in your house! If you decide to try it, be sure to leave a comment. It makes me so happy to hear from you.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Mole from scratch! Quick recipe that tastes authentic but is made fast in the Instant Pot. Perfect for Mexican enchiladas, tacos, and rice.
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Instant Pot Chicken Mole

Yield: 4 –6 servings
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Mole from scratch! Quick recipe that tastes authentic but is made fast in the Instant Pot. Use this delicious shredded chicken for Mexican enchiladas, tacos, rice, and more.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion — chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic — roughly chopped
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes — (14.5 ounces)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce — NOT two cans, just 2 peppers
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas — or toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts — or thighs

FOR SERVING:

  • Prepared brown rice or tortillas — whole wheat or corn
  • Your favorite toppings: freshly chopped cilantro, avocado, sliced radishes, chopped almonds or pepitas, cheese, etc!

Instructions

  1. Set a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cooker to SAUTE. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and sauté until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn off the Instant Pot and scrape the onion and garlic into a blender. Return the insert to the pot and set back to SAUTE. Add a few splashes of water, scrape up any browned bits, and discard them. You want the bottom of the Instant Pot to be fairly clean so that it does not burn. Turn off the Instant Pot.
  2. To the blender with the onions, add the tomatoes, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, pepitas, raisins, cocoa powder, salt, cumin, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.
  3. Lightly coat the Instant Pot with nonstick spray and place the chicken in the Instant Pot. Pour the sauce over the top and do not stir. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes (for chicken breasts) or 10 minutes (for chicken thighs). Vent immediately.
  4. Remove the chicken to a plate. Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE and bring the sauce to a simmer. Let bubble, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is rich and thick, about 10 minutes. Place a layer of paper towels over the top as the sauce cooks to catch any splatters. While the sauce cooks, shred the chicken with two forks. Return the chicken to the pot and toss with the thickened sauce. Enjoy with any desired toppings over rice, as a filling for tacos or quesadillas, over nachos, or right out of the Instant Pot with a fork.

Recipe Notes

  • To make in a slow cooker: I have not tried this method myself, but if you'd like to adapt the recipe for the crock pot, here's what I would recommend. Saute the onions and garlic in a skillet instead of the Instant Pot and proceed with the rest of step 1 and 2 to make the sauce. Place the chicken and sauce in the slow cooker as directed in step 3 and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on high or 4 to 5 hours on low. After the chicken is cooked, transfer the sauce to a saucepan to reduce.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Healthy Instant Pot Recipe, Healthy Mexican Dinner, Instant Pot Chicken Mole

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 5), without accompaniments) — Calories: 257, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 88mg, Carbohydrates: 14g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 37g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Mole from scratch! Quick recipe that tastes authentic but is made fast in the Instant Pot. Perfect for Mexican enchiladas, tacos, and rice. #instantpot #chickenmole #easy #healthy

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

52 comments

  1. Can you make this in a Crock-Pot if you don’t have an Instant Pot?

    • Hi Arely, yes, I think you could try it in the crock pot! I would saute the onions on the stovetop before adding them to the crock pot and then reduce the sauce in a saucepan on the stove after the chicken is cooked. I would guess the chicken would take 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on high or 4 to 5 hours on low. If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes!

  2. I’ve always wanted to try mole sauce and this sounds wonderful. However, I don’t have an instant pot – any suggestions on maybe an alternate method of cooking this recipe ? Thanks so much…

    • Hi Chris, I’ve been getting that question a lot, so I’ve added my best guess on how to adapt this recipe to the slow cooker in the recipe notes below the directions. I hope that helps!

  3. I just fell in love. Mole is one of my all time favorite sauces, and when I read Instant Pot I can’t even explain my excitement. How have I never thought of this? I absolutely cannot wait to make this.

    BTW, I love your site. You have some great recipes and it’s so easy to navigate!

    • I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try, Danielle! Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words about my recipes and my website! :)

  4. thank you for this and thank you for confirming that it should work in a crock pot since I have that instead, but a wonderful idea to use either one for making mole rather than the tedious traditional recipe

  5. Instant Pot tacos are a major game-changer!

  6. We had to double the time in the Instant Pot. We did add about a half a pound more chicken thighs, but when we opened initially they were still raw visibly on the outside. The recipe came out great though, and reheating them throughout the week has been awesome. Haven’t had to add any liquid to keep it from drying out either!

    • Lindsey, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for taking the time to give it a try and leave your review!

  7. So so so good- mole in under an hour!  Another delicious recipe!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to make it and leave a review, Jordan! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Our family loved this chicken mole! Easy to add more or less spice to taste. Served with hot sauce on the table for those that wanted extra kick.

  9. Fletcher Canby Reply

    I made this but my Instant Pot showed BURN right before it came up to pressure. I got all the browned bits off the bottom. We ended up just slow cooking it. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Fletcher! I’m sorry this happened. Did anything stick and burn to the pot while it was cooking? If this happens, I usually recommend checking the pot to remove anything that is sticking and adding a little more liquid (you could do chicken stock for this recipe and cook the sauce longer at the end to thicken it back up). You can sometimes reseal the pot and continue cooking as long as the burn warning goes away. I’d also suggest reading online to see if you can find more suggestions—since I wasn’t there, it’s hard for me to pin point an exact cause!

      • Fletcher Canby Reply

        Erin! Thanks for the response! The sauce seems pretty thick already before we put it back in the Instant Pot. We got all the bits off the bottom as it said in the recipe. We will try adding some more liquid next time. The family ate it tonight on tacos…SO GOOD!

        • Fletcher, I am glad the flavors were spot on for you! Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoyed it!

          • Just made this recipe. It tastes great!
            The instapot also displayed BURN for me too. I didn’t sauté the onions and garlic in the instapot. When I checked the pot, the chicken charred where it was directly touching the bottom of the pan with no sauce. I would just stir it next time to prevent this even though the recipe says “do not stir.”

          • Daniel, I’m so happy you loved the flavor! I do find that if you make Instant Pot recipes when the sauce is very thick, that can actually cause a burn warning too. If you like, you could also pour in a little water before adding the chicken, then reduce the sauce further. I hope that helps!

  10. Julie Seelinger Reply

    Just got finished cooking this and it’s delicious!!!!!

  11. Looks great! I’ve always wanted to make mole sauce, but the recipes are so intimidating. 
    Is it possible to make the sauce without the chicken? How long would it cook in the instant pot?

  12. I made this recipe . I used Chicken Breasts which I cooked for 8 minutes. The chicken was not cooked so now cooking an additional 4 minutes. Hoping this will do the trick!

  13. Hi, I am from the UK, we do not have fire-roasted diced tomatoes and I am not familiar with these, would normal tinned chopped tomatoes do the same job? Also we do not have chipotles in adobo sauce. I can get hold of this: https://groceries.morrisons.com/webshop/product/Santa-Maria-Chipotle-Paste/372182011?from=search&param=chipotle

    Thank you.

    • Hi Sam, yes, you could try the recipe with regular diced/chopped tomatoes if you’re not able to find fire roasted. And yes, that chipotle paste looks like it would bring a similar flavor to the dish! I hope you enjoy.

  14. I keep reading more and more recipes that use a pressure cooker. Will definitely have to purchase one to replace our old one from years ago that we got rid of because of not being able to find a replacement seal. This recipe of yours sounds really good. We do have a crock pot and I think that I will make it in that. I have eaten mole but have never made it so your recipe will be the first. Thanks!

  15. Hi Erin,
    I’m excited to try your recipe but I’ve had a jar of mole sauce in the cabinet for a while and figure I should use that first. It’s Do~na Maria Mole 8.25 oz. Wow, I just read the ingredients a lot of non-food ingredients and 170 cal 13 gm of fat for only 2 Tbs. Holy cow, I should probably just throw it out. It does have PB in it and GMO soybean oil (made in Mexico). I thought Mex outlawed GMOs.
    Can I add PB to your recipe? I understand some people are allergic to PB so maybe that’s why you didn’t add it.

    • Hi Janet, I’ve only tested the recipe as is, but you are certainly welcome to experiment with stirring in a little peanut butter. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to know how it comes out.

  16. Can you tell me what brand/model instant pot you have?

  17. SO. MUCH. FLAVOR. I neeeed it!

  18. I need to make these! They look awesome!

  19. Your recipe was delicious. It was the best and easiest to make chicken mole sauce I’ve made at home so far.  

  20. Boy, this sauce was delicious and the IP made this mole so quick and easy to make!

  21. These are on my list, looks so easy!

  22. So. Awesome. Good. !!!

  23. Oh this looks sooo good! I might have all the ingredients to make this for lunch today, thank you!

  24. I really loved it! Such an amazing meal for weeknights!

  25. This recipe cook all of the hard work out of making mole. This recipe is so going into rotation!

  26. Excellent recipe- yum!

  27. A perfect mole recipe to frequent. Made this for a small gathering and it got raving reviews. So SOOOO good.

  28.  I’ve never eaten mole before, so I was curious to try this recipe. I like it so much I’ve now made it twice, and I shared the recipe with several friends. It’s a real winner and very versatile. I was afraid the peppers would be too hot for me, so I used only one instead of two. I was right! One pepper in the recipe is plenty for me. So if you don’t care for spicy foods, try it with one pepper instead of two the first time you make the recipe.

  29. My friend just gave me an Instant Pot and I stumbled across this recipe which is perfect because of my love for chicken mole and mexican food in general. It was the first recipe I tried in the IP and despite a small snafu due to not really understanding how the IP works, it was incredible and I’m obsessed and can’t wait to cook this more and show off to everyone I know!

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