Instant Pot Chicken Mole

It takes little convincing to talk me into Mexican food. Need a partner in crime for your next taco night or Cinco de Mayo bash, or just want to hang out so that we can both pretend the other person ate all the chips? I’m your girl! My latest favorite: Instant Pot 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.

If you’ve never had mole sauce, I couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce you.

If you have, then you are aware of how this wonderfully rich, complex sauce can transform even the most basic ingredients (shredded chicken, I am looking at you) into something extraordinary.

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You also might be aware that authentic mole sauce frequently calls for 20+ ingredients and a day or more of cooking…

Which is why today we are making a cheater streamlined Instant Pot 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.

Since discovering the tastiness and speed of these Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos, this Instant Pot Mexican Casserole, and this Instant Pot Chicken and Rice, I’ve had creating other Instant Pot chicken recipes running in the back of my mind. (Get a whole roundup of Instant Pot recipes in this post: 15 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes!)

Add this weekend’s Cinco festivities, and my calling was clear: more Instant Pot chicken tacos, por favor.

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

Since mole sauce typically takes hours to prepare on the stove, it’s an ideal candidate for the Instant Pot. Making chicken mole in an electric pressure cooker concentrates the mole sauce’s flavors much more quickly, and the fact that the meat cooks in the Instant Pot at the same time as the sauce saves an extra step.

Ingredient-wise, I kept the most essential chicken mole components that the 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.

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

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…and maybe I’ll go to that much effort one day.

But for now, I’m sticking with my one-ingredient wonder.

You can find chipotle peppers in the Hispanic aisle of most grocery stores for less than $3 or online here. 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.

The sauce ingredients go into the blender, then you dump the whole shebang right into your Instant Pot with the chicken.

The chicken cooks in just 8 minutes of pressure and will be incredibly moist and tender. It soaks up the wonderful flavors of the sauce, and, once it’s shredded, you can use it any way you like.

This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Mole would be an ideal filling for enchiladas or quesadillas, but I love it most as mole chicken tacos or mixed with brown rice and black beans. The chicken has so much flavor on its own, it needs little else.

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

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Treat yourself to an extra chicken mole taco and Skinny Margarita. It’s the right thing to do.

If you are looking for more Mexican-themed menu ideas, don’t miss my entire section of Cinco de Mayo recipes.

5 from 6 votes
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.
Instant Pot Chicken Mole
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.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Healthy Instant Pot Recipe, Healthy Mexican Dinner, Instant Pot Chicken Mole
Servings: 4 –6 servings
Calories: 257 kcal
Author: Erin
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.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Chicken Mole
Amount Per Serving (1 (of 5), without accompaniments)
Calories 257 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 37g 74%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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…

26 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!

    Rating: 5
    • 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!

    Rating: 5
    • 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!

    Rating: 5
    • 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.

    Rating: 5
  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?

    Rating: 5
    • 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!!!!!

    Rating: 5
  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!

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