Made with sweet potatoes, red peppers, kidney beans and sweetcorn, this Vegetable Mole is a simplified, vegetarian version of a traditional Mexican Mole. Ready in just 30 minutes, it makes a great weeknight dinner!
What is Mexican mole?
This Easy Vegetable Mole is inspired by the traditional Mexican sauce ‘mole’ (pronounced mol-eh and not like the animal who likes to dig up your garden!).
According to Wikipedia, a traditional Mexican mole might include 20 or more ingredients, including chillies, tomatoes, tomatillos, cumin, cloves, garlic and cocoa. The ingredients are roasted and ground and then water is added to make a sauce. The sauce is then simmered until it is very thick. The process is very labour intensive and can often take a day or more. (Though obviously these days the sauce is made commercially and can be bought from a shop!)
An easy vegan version of mole
Clearly a dish which takes a day to make and involves 20+ ingredients does not fit well with the ethos of Easy Peasy Foodie! After much experimentation, I have created a version that, I hope, captures the essential flavours of the dish but which takes far less time and uses a much simpler selection of ingredients.
Mole is traditionally made with meat, but this version makes vegetables the star of the show with a simple combination of kidney beans, red peppers, sweet potatoes and sweetcorn. It makes for a quick, cheap and healthy meal that captures a little of the spirit of a Mexican mole – but with a lot less effort!
What to serve with Vegetable Mole?
I like to serve this easy Vegetable Mole with brown rice and little bowls of all the ‘toppings’ (sweetcorn, pumpkin seeds, fresh coriander and lime quarters) for everyone to help themselves. But this dish is easily substantial enough to be served just as it is, or with some crusty bread, for an even easier meal!
What to drink with Vegetable Mole?
The rich, earthy, herbal flavours of this simple Mexican-inspired dish pair well with Syrah and/or Grenache based reds from the South of France, and also Tempranillo and Garnacha based wines from Spain.
Alternatively, if you prefer white wine, go for a zingy, zesty Sauvignon Blanc from somewhere like New Zealand or Chile.
What to do with leftover Vegetable Mole…
Once cool, place any leftover Vegetable Mole in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 4 days. To reheat, tip into a large saucepan, along with a splash of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until piping hot all the way through.
Can you freeze Vegetable Mole?
Yes you can. Put the cooked and cooled mole in an airtight container and place in the freezer where it will keep for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Easy Vegetable Mole (Vegan)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves grated or crushed
- 1 tablespoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Or to taste, but go carefully - cayenne pepper is hot!)
- 1 kg sweet potato (roughly 2 medium sized ones) peeled and chopped into 2cm / ¾inch chunks
- 2 red peppers chopped into 2cm / ¾inch chunks
- 2 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 x 400 g tin kidney beans
- Salt and pepper
- 1 x 200 g can sweetcorn drained
- Juice of 1 lime plus lime wedges to serve
- 50 g pumpkin seeds for garnish (See Note 1)
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro) finely chopped
- Brown rice or crusty bread to serve
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a wide, deep pan and add the diced onion. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 3-5 minutes until the onions have softened, but are not brown. (Use this time to prep your veg!)
- Add in the garlic, cumin, chilli powder and cayenne pepper. Lower the heat and fry for 1 more minute. (Add a splash of water if the pan gets too dry.)
- Next, add in the sweet potato and red pepper. Give everything a good stir, then add in the tinned tomatoes, cocoa powder, bay leaves and kidney beans, plus some salt and pepper. Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and add this to the saucepan and stir again.
- Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and then turn down and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Take the lid off after about 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Stir occasionally to stop the sauce sticking.
- Use this time to cook your rice. (The brand of brown rice I use takes 20 minutes to cook. You may need to start your rice off earlier if your brand takes longer.)
- When the mole is ready, squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and stir in half the sweetcorn. Put the rest of the sweetcorn in a dish to serve alongside the mole.
- Garnish the mole with fresh coriander and pumpkin seeds, and serve with lime wedges and brown rice. Alternatively you could put the lime wedges, coriander and pumpkin seeds in little dishes on the table, alongside the sweetcorn, and let people to help themselves to the garnishes.
- To make this dish even better, toast your pumpkin seeds. Simply place the pumpkin seeds on a small baking tray and place in an oven set to 120C / 100C fan / gas mark ½ / 250F for 5 minutes. Watch the pumpkin seeds like a hawk to make sure they don't accidentally burn!
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Pin this Easy Vegan Mole for later
FREE 4 Week Easy Dinners Meal Plan
Have you got your hands on a copy of my meal plan yet? If not CLICK here to download a copy of my FREE 4 Week Easy Dinners Meal Plan today!