Mole Chili


Pinto-Bean Mole Chili

Serves: 6

Adapted from Epicurious. 


  • 2 medium dried ancho chilies, or 2 tbsp dried ancho chili powder
  • 1 dried chipotle chili, or 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted or 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • rounded 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch peices
  • 3/4 lb kale, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped, about 3 tbsp
  • 1 14-ounce can no-added-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 3 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed


  1. If using whole dried chilies, slit the chiles lengthwise and remove the seeds. Open the chilies so they lie flat. Heat a dry skillet on medium heat and toast the chilies, turning and pressing flat with tongs, until pliable and slightly changed in color, about 30 seconds.
  2. After toasting, tear into small pieces. Pulse the cumin seeds and chiles in a (clean) coffee grinder or spice grinder until finely ground.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in the cinnamon, oregano and 3/4 tsp salt. If using only spice powders, simply mix the spices together in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the spices, stir and cook 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the zucchini and kale, cook while covered, about five minutes. Add zest, sugar, chocolate, tomatoes and water. Simmer, while covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beans and cook until it's warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with your choice of toppings - chopped cilantro, microgreens, avocado (!!), and sour cream all sound nice!