Vegan Mole Chilaquiles

Vegan mole chilaquiles are a delicious way to use up extra tortilla chips! Try this vegan version made with homemade mole or keep it easy with my timesaving tricks! 


You thought you had your Mexican food down pat, with your steamy bowl of posole and your overstuffed torta, but little did you know, you're probably missing out on the most delicious Mexican food of all.



Chilaquiles are an authentic Mexican dish of stale tortillas simmered in sauce. I know, I'm not really making the case for the whole 'most delicious Mexican food of all' statement. But hear me out here! Think nachos, but the emphasis is more on the delicious sauce and less on the chip (and not at all on weird neon orange cheese). You can either simmer the chips in sauce, creating an almost polenta-like texture, or pour the sauce over the chips at the last minute, retaining crunch. Either is cool by me. There are a million and one ways to make chilaquiles and I guarantee every single one is delicious.


The dish was basically designed to use up leftovers. Throw some torn up day old tortillas or tortilla chips in a flavorful sauce. Add any other random leftovers - tomatoes, grilled zucchini, shredded chicken, a fried egg...there's no rules! And while this recipe is made with a homemade mole sauce, which admittedly, is a bit complicated and has a lengthy ingredient list, you could easily swap jarred salsa verde, a basic tomato sauce spiked with canned chipotle chiles, jarred enchilada sauce or even a store bought mole sauce.

Speaking of mole sauce, if you've never tried it, the ingredients list probably sounds a little crazy. Chocolate? In Mexican food? Just go with it.

Vegan Mole Chilaquiles

Serves 5

This recipe will make extra mole sauce, which you can freeze and use for later. It would also be delicious in slow cooker chicken, over grilled tofu or with enchiladas. I used sweet potato tortilla chips, but feel free to use any kind you like.


Mole Sauce: 

  • 3 poblano chiles
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 dried chipotle chiles
  • 2 dried New Mexico chiles or ancho chiles
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, avocado oil, or other neutral flavored oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or add a pinch of cinnamon with the other spices)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons masa or cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, avocado oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounces tortilla chips
  • For garnish: avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, salsa, cilantro


  1. Set the oven to boil. Place the poblanos and jalapenos on a large baking sheet and broil for 3 minutes per side until skin is blackened. Place in a bowl and top with plastic wrap or a plate to trap steam. When peppers are cool enough to handle, remove and discard charred skin, stem, seeds and chop remaining flesh.
  2. Warm about 2 cups of water in a pot or glass measuring cup until almost boiling. Add dried chiles and raisins and let sit to soften while you prepare the other ingredients. Once softened, remove the chiles from the water, reserving the remaining chile 'broth', then stem, seed and chop.
  3. Heat oil in a medium pot. Add onion and garlic, saute 5 minutes until tender. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are softened, another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add oregano, cumin and thyme and saute 1 minute until fragrant. Add peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cinnamon stick. Saute another couple of minutes. Add reserved chili 'broth' plus enough water to make 2 1/2 cups, chopped poblanos and jalapeno, chopped dried chiles, raisins and cocoa powder. Simmer 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth. Stir in masa/cornmeal and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large sided skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Add onion and corn and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add black beans, cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add tortilla chips and stir to combine. Pour in about 2 cups of mole sauce and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve with desired garnishes

More Mexican food from the archives: 

Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Eggplant and Tomatoes
Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Eggplant and Tomatoes
Classic Migas
Classic Migas