Mexican Enmoladas

5 from 3 votes
Jump to Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Enmoladas are more or less enchiladas with a different sauce: Yep, mole instead of a chile sauce. And while you can use any mole for enmoladas, my favorites are mole negro enmoladas: dark, rich, savory, dramatic.

Three enmoladas on a plate, stuffed with turkey.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

If you’re not familiar with it, mole, pronounced “mole-ay,” represents a variety of sauces, not just the chocolate one you may have run across in pretty much every Mexican restaurant in America; that one, incidentally, is, more or less, mole poblano.

Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, has the richest tradition with these sauces, which tend to be baroque, time-consuming and filled with lots of ingredients. You don’t make mole on a whim, and when you make it you make a lot.

That leaves lots of leftover sauce, and one of the chief uses of leftover mole is in enmoladas. You may have seen them here in the U.S. as “mole enchiladas,” which is indeed another way to put it, but enmolada, meaning “covered in mole,” is more common south of the border.

Enmoladas have only a few rules. You really only need some sort of mole, and soft corn tortillas. Everything else is up to you.

What Mole to Use? 

In this case, I chose mole negro, the darkest mole there is, and I made some dark blue corn tortillas. Here is my recipe for mole negro, and if you’re interested in making your own tortillas, here is a tutorial on how to make corn tortillas.

I do have a number of other mole recipes on this site, however, and any of them will work. Some other options for enmoladas include:

You can also buy mole negro paste online or at Latin markets for your enmoladas, then thin it down with broth, typically chicken broth. Lots of people do this, and in a pinch, go for it. But you will appreciate it more if you make your own mole.

Close up of enmoladas with turkey and cheese.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Filling Enmoladas

As for a filling, you will want something shredded or diced — often turkey, chicken or pork — tossed with the mole sauce and topped with some melty cheese and maybe some herbs. In my case, I had some leftover shredded wild turkey thighs I used, and that was it for the filling. I did top the enmoladas with some crumbly cotija cheese, though.

For vegetarian enmoladas, use refried beans, mashed squash, potatoes or mushrooms. 

Other great options would be barbacoa, carnitas, shredded rabbit or pheasant. 

Constructing Enmoladas

Unlike enchiladas, enmoladas are not always baked. They are more often served individually: Stuffed, rolled, put on a plate and topped with the mole, rather than pulled out of a casserole dish.

You can heat them like a regular tortilla, and that’s great if you are serving them quickly. But if you are making a tray of enmoladas, you will want to briefly fry the tortillas in vegetable oil, just for a few seconds — this makes them pliable and the coating of oil helps slow the process of disintegration. Sauce + unprotected corn tortillas = a mess after about 10 minutes.

Enmoladas don’t store too well. But they are so easy to make, once you have mole in the fridge, leftover meat and some corn tortillas, that you can make them in about 30 minutes on a worknight.

Three enmoladas on a plate, stuffed with turkey.
5 from 3 votes

Mexican Enmoladas

Enmoladas are very easy to make if you have all the elements on hand: filling, tortillas and mole. It's usually a weeknight meal after you made the mole on the weekend. Since these are not baked, you want to have everything ready do you can roll your enmoladas quickly and serve, so it all stays hot.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 3 cups mole, any kind
  • 1 pound leftover turkey, chicken or pork, shredded
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or lard (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cotija or other cheese to top enmoladas


  • Preheat the oven to "warm." Set your dinner plates in the oven. Start by heating up the mole in a pot over low heat. You want to thin it to the consistency of melted ice cream. If it's too thick, add some broth. Keep it warm for now.
  • Shred the meat (I used wild turkey thighs) and set them in an ovenproof bowl. Sprinkle some salt over them and mix in the chopped cilantro, if using. Ladle some mole over the meat and mix well. Set this in the warm oven.
  • You need to make your tortillas pliable. There are two ways to do this. You can simply set them on a ragingly hot comal or heavy pan -- 600°F is not too hot -- for a few seconds per side to get them soft, or you can heat the vegetable oil or lard over medium heat and pass the tortillas through the hot oil for just a few seconds. Don't leave them too long or you'll make tostadas. I prefer the oil-free method. Either way, you need to keep your tortillas hot, so put them in foil if you fried them, or in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in towels if you just heated them up.
  • OPTIONAL: You can get more mole flavor by dipping the warm tortillas into thinned mole before rolling them. I do this for normal enchiladas, but not for enmoladas. That said, many people do dip their tortillas. To do so, ladle out some more mole from the pot and thin it with broth until it's just a touch thicker than the broth. Dip your tortillas in that quickly, shake off the excess, then fill them.
  • Turn the heat up on your mole pot until it's bubbling gently. Get your plates ready and pull the meat from the oven, too. Working quickly, fill three tortillas with the meat mixture and set them, seam side down, on the warm plates. Top with the mole sauce and crumbled cheese and serve. Repeat with the remaining plates and tortillas.


NOTE: You can make these vegetarian by filling them with cooked beans and rice, or pickled nopales.


Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1922mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1344IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

You May Also Like

Mexican Mixiotes

Mixiotes are Mexico’s version of foods cooked in parchment. It’s an ancient, versatile way to cook. Here’s a recipe and some tips and tricks to make them at home.

Venison Enchiladas

Classic venison enchiladas are easy to make, delicious and make for fantastic leftovers. What’s more, you have plenty of filling options.


Chacales are roasted, dried and cracked corn typically cooked in soups. Also called chichales or chuales, it makes a great meatless soup for Lent.

Caldo de Queso

How to make classic Sonoran caldo de queso, a cheese soup with a rich broth, roasted chiles, potatoes and chunks of cheese.

About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Delicioso! Today, the Solstice this year, is my birthday. We always seem to travel on this day to visit family for the holidays however the next time I’m home I’m going to make this mole. I may just make it next month on a dark Michigan winter’s day. Thanks for this great post!