This Instant Pot Chicken Mole turns traditional Mexican comfort food into a quick and easy dinner recipe! It’s a hearty, spicy meal that’s packed with authentic flavors.
An Easy Chicken Mole Recipe
Chicken mole is one of those dishes you order at a Mexican restaurant when you want to treat yourself to a comforting dish full of warm, cozy flavors. This Instant Pot recipe is an easy and convenient way to make delicious chicken mole at home! Everything cooks in no time inside your pressure cooker.
Tender shredded chicken is simmered in a fiery sauce made with garlic, chipotle pepper, chocolate, tomatoes, and more! You won’t believe how amazingly all the flavors come together. Next time you’re looking for a satisfying dinner that you don’t have to spend all day on, make this chicken mole.
What is Mole?
Mole is a spicy Mexican sauce that’s made with chiles and chocolate. It’s usually served over some kind of meat. Some mole sauce recipes have more than 30 ingredients! This version is a bit more manageable, but it’s still filled with traditional mole flavors.
Why Make Mole in the Instant Pot?
Making chicken mole in your Instant Pot will help you brown your chicken and sauté your sauce with ease. It makes for easy cleanup since everything is cooked in the same pot. It’s also an amazing way to get tender and juicy chicken that’s easy to shred. Using an Instant Pot significantly reduces the cook time for this recipe.
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Onion & Garlic
- Canned Tomatoes: Drain the excess liquid from your tomatoes.
- Ancho Chile: Remove the stem and seeds from your chile. If you don’t have an Ancho chile, you can use Ancho chili powder instead.
- Chipotle Pepper & Adobo Sauce
- Toasted Pepitas: Pepitas are a variety of pumpkin seed.
- Bittersweet Chocolate
- Ground Cumin
- Ground Cinnamon
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: Or use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Chicken Broth
- Fresh Cilantro & Cheese: If desired, garnish your chicken mole with chopped cilantro and queso fresco.
How to Make Chicken Mole in the Instant Pot
- Blend Sauce Ingredients: To a food processor or blender, add olive oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic, tomatoes, ancho chile, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, toasted pepitas, raisins, chocolate, salt, cumin and cinnamon; process until smooth.
- Prepare Instant Pot: In the meantime, set your Instant Pot to SAUTE and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Instant Pot to heat up.
- Add Chicken: Add your chicken to the hot oil and brown the chicken on both sides; about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You will want to do this in batches. Add more oil if needed.
- Remove Chicken & Deglaze Pot: Remove the chicken from your Instant Pot and deglaze the pot with chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits.
- Return Chicken: Return your chicken to the Instant Pot.
- Add Sauce: Pour the blended sauce over the chicken.
- Cover & Cook: Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes. If you’re using chicken thighs, cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes.
- Check Temperature of Chicken: Do a Quick Release. Use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness; the temperature in the thickest part of the chicken should register at 165˚F. If it’s not cooked through, just set the lid over the Instant Pot, cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Shred Chicken: Open and remove the chicken; transfer to a cutting board and shred.
- Sauté Sauce: In the meantime, select the SAUTE function on the Instant Pot and bring the sauce to a simmer. Let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
- Return Chicken: Stir your shredded chicken back into the sauce. Serve.
Tips for the Best Chicken Mole
- Brown Chicken in Batches: Don’t try to shove all of your chicken breasts in the Instant Pot at once when you’re browning the chicken. Do it in batches to ensure everything cooks evenly. Also? You don’t have to brown the chicken at all; it’s an extra step that adds flavor and texture to the chicken breasts, but you can skip it.
- Release Steam After Pressure Cooking: Don’t forget to do a quick release of the steam in your Instant Pot before removing the cover.
- Check Internal Temperature: To make sure your chicken is cooked to perfection, check its internal temperature with an instant read meat thermometer. The thickest area of your chicken should register at 165°F.
- Simmer Sauce Until Thickened: Wait until your mole sauce has thickened before you stir in your shredded chicken. The thickened sauce will coat the chicken effortlessly!
Topping Ideas & Serving Suggestions
There are plenty of simple ways to serve chicken mole, whether you want to add a quick topping, serve it inside a cheesy quesadilla, or enjoy it as is.
- Make Tacos: Chicken mole tacos have a special place in my heart. Your mole will taste great as a nacho topping, too! Don’t forget the crumbled queso fresco.
- Serve Over Rice: Turn plain rice into a delicacy by topping it with your spicy chicken mole. I also love Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice with this dish.
- Add Avocado: For a creamy and cool ingredient to offset the spiciness of this dish, top your chicken mole with fresh avocado slices.
- Serve with Sour Cream: Add a dollop of sour cream overtop the chicken mole.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store leftover chicken mole in an airtight container in the fridge. Your leftovers will stay good for up to 5 days. If you have a lot of extra mole sauce, you can freeze some in a mason jar for later use! It’s a great add-in for tacos, enchiladas and much more.
- To reheat your chicken mole, it’s best to heat up the sauce and the chicken in separate skillets. Reheat them on the stove for 8-10 minutes each, pour the sauce over the chicken and enjoy!
More Instant Pot Chicken Recipes
Tools Used in this Recipe
This Instant Pot Chicken Mole turns traditional Mexican comfort food into a quick & easy dinner recipe! It's a hearty, spicy meal that's packed with authentic South American flavors.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 dried Ancho chile, stems and seeds removed, or you can use 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1.5 ounces bittersweet (dark) chocolate, chopped (you can also use 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder instead of chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- lime wedges, for serving
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish, optional
- crumbled queso fresco, for garnish, optional
To a food processor or blender, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic, tomatoes, ancho chile, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, toasted pepitas, raisins, chocolate, salt, cumin and cinnamon; process until smooth.
In the meantime, set your Instant Pot to SAUTE.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Instant Pot to heat up.
Add chicken to the hot oil and brown chicken on both sides; about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You will want to do this in batches. Add more oil if needed.
Remove chicken from Instant Pot and deglaze the pot with chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits.
Return chicken to the Instant Pot.
Pour the blended sauce over the chicken.
Cover and seal the Instant Pot.
Cook on HIGH pressure for 8 minutes. If using chicken thighs, cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes.
Do a Quick Release. Use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness; temperature in the thickest part of the chicken should register at 165˚F. If not cooked through, just set the lid over the Instant Pot, cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
Open and remove chicken; transfer to a cutting board and shred.
In the meantime, select the SAUTE function on the Instant Pot and bring sauce to a simmer; let simmer for 8 minutes, or until thickened.
Stir shredded chicken back into the sauce.
Serve chicken over rice, nachos, tacos, etc.