Enmoladas consist of lightly fried corn tortillas that are dipped in warm mole and filled with ingredients like butternut squash and cheese. Top them with garnishes like crema and toasted sesame seeds for a flavorful meal!
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🍫 What are enmoladas?
Enmoladas (aka enchiladas de mole) include mole-dipped corn tortillas that are commonly wrapped around fillings but can also be served plain.
Enmoladas may vary depending on the region of Mexico you are in. There are actually seven main types of mole in Mexico. This recipe is made with mole poblano, which comes from the state of Puebla and is one of our favorites!
Some version of mole (pronounced mo-lay) has been around since pre-hispanic Mexico. It is believed that various recipes were served to Aztec gods in rituals and on other festive occasions.
While the Mayans of the Yucatán had long been wrapping corn tortillas around foods like eggs, it was the Aztecs who formalized the 'true' enchilada.
Enchilada is derived from the Nahuatl word chīlmōlli, which means chile sauce. Similarly, enmolada means "in mole" (or in other words corn tortillas covered in mole).
While the exact timeframe and origin of enchiladas de mole is speculative, the modern-day version of mole poblano comes from the Puebla region.
🌱 Are enmoladas vegan?
Enmoladas can easily be made vegan, but mole is often made with chicken stock and tortillas filled with chicken and cheese.
Fortunately, it's simple to make your own mole poblano sauce, and you can fill enchiladas de mole with vegetables and all kinds of other plant-based options.
🛒 Ingredients & substitutions
Mole poblano — These enmoladas are made with mole poblano made from scratch. If you don't have time, there are mole concentrates available that just need to be mixed with vegetable broth and a few other ingredients before use.
Corn tortillas — It's best to use homemade corn tortillas in this recipe, but you can use store-bought as well.
Butternut squash — The buttery, sweet, and nutty flavors of butternut squash compliment rich mole poblano so well! We especially love butternut squash because it's a great source of beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes and other squash varieties also work.
Cheese — Our go-to is dairy-free mozzarella, but Chihuahua, manchego, or Monterrey Jack are all good choices too.
Oil — To fry the corn tortillas. Use a neutral vegetable oil like sunflower, canola, or avocado.
Salt — To season the squash and sauce.
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Step 1 — Make your own fresh corn tortillas, or use store-bought tortillas if you're short on time.
Step 2 — Peel and cube the butternut squash into small pieces. Steam them until tender, then toss in a little salt. Slice or shred some vegan cheese.
Step 3 — Toast some sesame seeds in a pan over medium-low for a few minutes until fragrant. Then, make or re-heat your mole poblano in a saucepan over low. Stir it frequently to prevent burning.
Step 4 — Lightly fry each corn tortilla for a few seconds per side, then drain the excess oil on a paper towel-lined plate. Note: You don't want the tortillas to be too crispy since you'll be folding them.
Step 5 — Dip each corn tortilla in the pot of mole to coat both sides, then transfer it to a serving plate. Fill each one with a scoop of squash and vegan cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and continue this process with the rest.
If you have questions about these vegan enmoladas, check out our FAQs or leave a comment down below.
🧀 Best garnishes
When it comes to enmoladas, the fun is in the toppings! Although they aren't necessary, garnishes do make a big difference in achieving the perfect finishing touch. Here are our favorites:
🍠 Filling ideas
Although you don't need fillings for the meal to be classified as enmoladas, a perfectly paired combination makes it extra special. Here are a few ideas:
- Squash and cheese
- Jackfruit carnitas
- Mushrooms (like from our quesabirria tacos)
- Sweet potato and collard greens
- Spinach and corn
🍽️ How to eat enmoladas
Enchiladas de mole are best served right off the stovetop with extra sauce on top. It's important not to skip dipping the tortillas as it creates a layer of sauce on the inside.
Keeping a little mole on hand makes for quick and easy enmoladas at any time. Follow these storage tips to make your life easier:
Fridge — Mole poblano lasts in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. We keep ours in glass mason jars so it doesn't take on flavors of surrounding food. But, for the most part, any clean container will do.
Freezer — Let your mole poblano cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container for up to 6 months. Make sure to leave enough room at the top for expansion.
Reheating — When reheating mole, let it thaw in the fridge overnight (if frozen), otherwise heat it in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat.
Learn how to best store tortillas in our homemade corn tortilla post.
🧑🍳 Top tips
Fry the tortillas in oil — By using oil, you create a thin layer on the tortilla to protect them from turning soggy in the mole.
Prep the mole in advance — Mole can take a while to make, so we suggest making it ahead of time. Plus, it's always better the next day!
Go easy on the toppings — If you use a great mole recipe, you shouldn't need too many garnishes.
Keep it simple — Since there's so much complexity in mole poblano, you don't need an extravagant filling (or any at all).
Mole poblano pairs extremely well with enmoladas, but there's no "best" sauce since it's all based on personal preference! We also really love mole verde.
This enmoladas recipe is not gluten-free as our mole poblano contains wheat from bolillo bread. You can easily make it gluten-free by swapping out the bread for your favorite substitute.
Enmoladas are best served with corn tortillas for the most traditional taste and texture. We haven't tried making them with flour tortillas, but you absolutely can if that's what you prefer.
🍴 Similar recipes
If you enjoyed making your very own enchiladas de mole, be sure to try out some of these other corn-infused dishes:
- Enfrijoladas: A tortilla-filled meal smothered in creamy bean sauce.
- Enchiladas verdes: Tangy, zesty, and fresh green chile sauce served over tender corn tortillas.
- Quesabirria tacos: Ultra-saucy, ultra-cheesy, TikTok-inspired tacos.
- Empanadas: A crispy Mexican antojito made with corn dough.
Best Enmoladas Recipe
- Chef knife & cutting board
- Medium saucepan
- 6 corn tortillas ($0.12)
- 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil ($0.33)
- 1 small butternut squash ($0.92)
- 1-2 ounces vegan cheese ($0.62)
- Salt to taste ($0.01)
- 1 cup mole poblano ($0.40)
- Make your own fresh corn tortillas, or use store-bought tortillas if you're short on time. Set aside for later.
- Peel and cube the butternut squash into ½” cubes. Steam them for 10 minutes, or until tender. Season with a pinch of salt to taste. Thinly slice or shred the vegan cheese, and set both aside.
- In the meantime, make or re-heat your mole poblano over medium-low, stirring frequently. If using store-bought mole concentrate, follow the package instructions to reconstitute it properly.
- Heat about 3 tablespoons of neutral oil in a pan over medium. Once hot, fry each tortilla for approximately 10-15 seconds per side. Transfer the fried tortillas to a paper towel-lined plate to get rid of the excess oil while you cook the rest.
- Dip each corn tortilla in the pot of mole to coat both sides. Transfer the tortilla to a serving plate and fill with a scoop of squash and vegan cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and continue this process with the rest of the tortillas.
- Fry the tortillas in oil — By using oil, you create a thin layer on the tortilla to protect them from turning soggy in the mole.
- Prep the mole in advance — Mole can take a while to make, so we suggest making it ahead of time. Plus, it's always better the next day!
- Go easy on the toppings — If you use a great mole recipe, you shouldn't need too many garnishes.
- Keep it simple — Since there's so much complexity in mole poblano, you don't need an extravagant filling (or any at all).
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe to recipe. All prices are in USD.
Note: We've updated this post to include new information and helpful tips about the recipe.