Frida Kahlo’s Mole Poblano Recipe

Frida Kahlo’s mole recipe is almost as famous as her paintings. Frida is one of Mexico’s most well-known artists. She even appears on Mexico’s most valuable money – the 500 paper note. On the other side, her equally famous artist husband, Diego Rivera. While he was known for his murals and womanizing, she was recognized for her self-portraits. Her art captures a range of experiences in her life – many agonizing as her life was at times.

“Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter, who painted many self-portraits. Inspired by Mexican popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.” Wikipedia

Frida celebrated life with art, food, family, and friends. All four often came together in her home – which is now her museum in Mexico City. There she threw dinner parties where she often served her recipe for Mole Poblano.

Frida Kahlo’s mole recipe has been popularized by Museo Frida Kahlo, also known as Casa Azul. It is this kitchen of her childhood home where the recipe can be found written on the walls. Repeated in kitchens around the world by her fans and tourists, you’ll be glad to add this authentic mole poblano dish to your repertoire of Mexican cooking.

Frida Kahlo Kitchen – Mole Poblano Recipe

The artwork of Frida can be viewed at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City. The museum, known as Casa Azul, brings you into her old home. You’ll find the museum in the beautiful neighborhood of Coyoacan. You can also learn more about her life and artwork through many available books.

Try making Frida Kahlo’s recipe for mole below.

Frida Kahlo Kitchen - Mole Poblano Recipe

Frida Kahlo’s Mole Poblano

Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo’s Mole recipe has been popularized by visits to her kitchen in Mexico City (La Casa Azul) where her recipe can be found displayed on the wall.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10 people


  • 250 g 1/2 lb. mulato chilies (remove veins and seeds)
  • 350 g 3/4 lb. pasilla chilies (remove veins and seeds)
  • 350 g 3/4 lb. ancho chilies (remove veins and seeds)
  • 250 g 1/2 lb. lard
  • 3 medium-sized cloves of garlic peeled
  • 2 medium-sized onions diced2 hard tortillas broken into pieces
  • ½ dried bolillo like a French bread roll
  • 60 g 2 oz. raisins
  • 125 g 1/4 lb. almonds
  • 6 tablespoons of pepitas de calabaza pumpkin seeds
  • 125 g 1/4 lb. sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 3 tablets of Mexican chocolate or to taste
  • 150 g 1/3 lb. tomatoes (peeled and diced)
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • 1 large turkey cut into pieces and cooked in a soup made with carrots leek, onion, a stick of celery, parsley, a clove of garlic (turkey can be substituted with four chickens)


  • Heat 150 grams (1/3 lb.) of the lard and quickly sauté the chiles. Transfer them to a ceramic pot with boiling water to soften them.
  • In the same lard, sauté the garlic and onion until golden brown. Add the tortillas, bread, raisins, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and half the sesame seeds, the anise, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, chocolate, and tomatoes and sauté them well. Add the drained chilies and sauté a few more seconds. Put the entire mixture in a blender with the turkey broth and strain it.
  • In a large ceramic pot, heat the rest of the lard. Add the sauce and allow the mole sauce to boil for 5 minutes, season with salt and sugar (it should be a little sweet). Add more broth if necessary, it should be a thick sauce. Let it boil for 20 to 25 minutes over a low flame. Add the cooked turkey pieces and let it boil for five minutes more.
  • Serve it in the same pot with the rest of the sesame seeds toasted and sprinkled on top.


This recipe may take 6 hours to a full day the first time you make it. It’s a great weekend cooking project. With time, as you learn the techniques, you’ll probably get it down to a few hours.
Keyword mole

13 thoughts on “Frida Kahlo’s Mole Poblano Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Not sure who did the time on this or how many people were working on it at a time but it’s not 1.5 hours. More like 2.5 hours. And it works better with an industrial blender or emulsifier. I had to blend in four batches.
    Even with all the work this was the sauce was AMAZING! My family LOVED it. Very authentic.
    The mulato peppers were hard to find and I had to order off Amazon but still very worth the cost and efforts.

    1. I’m glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank you for the feedback. We will check out the timing again on the recipe. Sometimes after going through the steps for so long, we move a lot faster in the process. Try the green mole too, it’s refreshing and easy.

        1. LOL. I doubt it, but I’m sure she had a molcajete. A tool that most people don’t have in their kitchens in the states. So, the blender is the substitute for the traditional molcajete in this modern day. Provecho!

          1. I think that if you use a molcajete you are gonna spend not hours but days making mole. What they surely used was a metate.

  2. 5 stars
    I once knew an immigrant neighbor who made black mole with cheap chicken thighs. She never had a recipe written down, and used plenty of chocolate in hers. I never knew anything about chilis growing up, except that my German descent Grandma could eat even the hotter chilis like popcorn. I have a new respect for the dishes thanks to some really wonderful Mexican family owned restaurants. Can’t wait to try the mole. The Frida Kahlo show here at the Botanical Gardens had one of her mole recipes blown up on a wall. Lots of people came with notebooks to copy it or photograph it.

    1. Thanks for sharing Teresa. Yes, the Frida mole recipe is very popular at the museum. It’s a great one to try. They take time to make but are well worth it. Provecho!

  3. Hi! I am trying to make this recipe and I was wondering if the chiles that are required in the recipe are fresh or dried? THX

    1. Great question! I’ll actually clarify that in the recipe. They are dried chiles. Actually, the ancho and mulato are both poblanos chilis dried. The mulatos are fully mature before they are dried. The Pasilla is a more narrow dried chile. You can buy dried chiles on Amazon.

  4. I think that if you use a molcajete you are gonna spend not hours but days making mole. What they surely used was a metate.

    1. Jaja! Yes, you are correct. You can use a molcajete to prepare some ingredients for certain recipes like Mole Verde. But for dark moles, a metate is ideal. For those in the US, a blender or food processor will work too.

    1. This recipe makes enough sauce for a turkey, but chicken is great with it as well. You can bake or grill the chicken breast with or with the bone. I would reserve 1 1/2 – 2 cups of mole sauce for each breast. You can ladle a bit of sauce in the center of your plate then place the chicken breast in the center. Pour more sauce over the top of the breast. Top with sesame seeds. You can also add thinly sliced white onion if you like.

      With the remaining mole, you can freeze it in the freezer for several months. I like to get a freezer bag and put that into a tall saucepan to support the bag. Turn the edges of the bag back so the open is nice and wide. Pour your sauce into the bag. Roll the edge of the bag back up and gently squeeze out as much air as possible. Lay the bag flat in the freezer. When you are ready to use it, you can put it in a bowl in the fridge overnight or in a bowl of warm water until thawed.


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