Do you want the liveliness a bold Mexican dish made from scratch but aren’t in the mood to sacrifice half your weekend chained to the stove to make a singular sauce? Here is a sauce that gives you the aroma and flavor you want along with the flexibility to use it however you please.

A Speedy Molé Sauce Too?

A quick cooking molé sauce? Is that possible? If you’re an enchilada sauce or molé sauce aficionado the rest of this post probably isn’t for you. BUT, if you’re craving the flavor and short on time or patience please keep reading because this sauce happily embraces the chocolate necessary to conjure up a taste of molé.

More than Enchiladas!

Some other ideas:

  • Layer it with cheese, pulled pork or chicken and corn tortillas and bake.
  • Slow cook it with chicken
  • Use it as a salsa inside burritos.
  • Swipe it as a layer on a tortilla with black beans for a heady tostada.

What You Need:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 1/4 chili powder
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1  1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cumin
  • 1 clove crushed, minced garlic
  • 1/4  teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

salt to taste

Optional: 1-2 oz unsweeteened chocolate and a pinch of brown sugar to balance the bitterness.

What You Do:

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium. Add garlic and saute until fragrant (don’t brown the garlic).

2. Stir in flour and chili powder and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burned flour.

3. Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, onion salt, oregano and chili powder until smooth and continue cooking over medium heat.

4. Add chocolate and stir until fully incorporated. Cook approximately 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.

Some Notes: 

I found the original verson on with this promise “A super speedy enchilada sauce with a truly authentic taste.” It speaks the truth but because experimenting with spices is just what is done on Spice Sherpa I had to make some modifications and the revised recipe is what you see listed. You can go to and search for “Ten Minute Enchilada Sauce” if you want the original. My version takes advantage of 5 popular spices that work as a team to contribute Mexican flavor to any dish.

Some considerations:

  • I used olive oil (I just prefer it).
  • Standard flour works fine.
  • 1/4 cup chili powder is a LOT and makes for a fiery but fun sauce.  I used the full amount with an ancho chili powder and the heat was cranking. I recommend using a little less but then considering this as your base sauce. You can add plain tomato sauce to soften the heat. Another trick, if kids are involved, is to dress whatever you’re cooking with sour cream. The dairy cuts the heat down dramatically.
  • If you opt for the add-extra-tomato-sauce-for-less-heat version this sauce makes a generous quantity so you can freeze half of it for a later time.
  • It’s a balancing act between the chocolate and tomato sauce. Add the 1 oz. and a pinch of brown sugar. Then taste and adjust as necessary.

Create the Mood

Flavor is more than what hits the taste buds. True flavor is part of a sensory experience so add these finishing touches to create an authentic mood.

Play some Latin jazz:

Dinner candlesLight some candles.

Finish this up with basic, no cook Mexican chocolate ice cream and you have a fiesta on your hands!


Photo attributions:
dancers –
candle –