Chicken Mole Meatballs

I’ve been going to the same woman who cuts my hair for years now. I don’t trust anyone else to be honest, and the day she retires will be the day I stop getting haircuts. I say this because a while ago she shared with me her recipe for mole. We talked about how neither of us usually likes mole because of the chocolate in it and she told me that she actually doesn’t add chocolate to her recipe and so I was intrigued. She walked me through what to do, as with most hispanics, it was a lot “a little of this and a pinch of that.” So I wrote it all down as she cut my hair and made it at home. The first time I made it, I used chicken legs as she recommended and it was absolutely delicious. It’s the only mole sauce I’ll ever eat. I wanted to share the recipe on the blog so I honed in on the actual amounts and decided to give it the ol’ meatball treatment, as I do. The result are these Chicken Mole Meatballs that will be some of the best meatballs you’ll ever eat. That’s a promise!

To make the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic cloves, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cumin, oregano, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until evenly combined.

**Note: You want to make sure not to over-mix this mixture or else you’ll end up with dry tough meatballs. To keep them as tender and juicy as possible, I recommend toss it together with a fork until just combined.**

Divide the mixture and form into 1-inch meatballs. Place on a platter or baking sheet and season lightly with a bit of salt and pepper. Set a large shallow skillet over moderate heat and drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the meatballs in a single layer, making sure not to over crowd the pan. You might have to do this in two batches. Brown the meatballs on both sides.

**Note: Don’t worry about cooking them all the way through, they’ll continue to cook later in the sauce. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside. Cook the second batch in the same way.**

Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add the dried chilis. Cook quickly on either side, just to toast them lightly and develop their flavor. Remove from the pan and place in a blender. Set aside. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for about 1 minute or so. Transfer to the blender along with the chilis.

dd the almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, peppercorns, coriander, allspice, and cloves to the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds or so. Transfer to the blender as well.

**Tip: If you want to add a bit of heat to the mole sauce, you can add in a few or as many as you’d like of the reserved ancho chili seeds from earlier.**

Add the chicken base if using to the blender along with the chicken stock. Blend on high until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet, passing it through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the pulp.

 Add the meatballs, cover and simmer over low heat until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are fully cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

**Tip: If the sauce gets too thick, you can thin it out with a splash or two of chicken broth or water.**

You can garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top right before serving. I like to serve with rice, beans, some salsas on the side and of course a few tortillas for sopping up that sauce!

As with many of my meatballs recipes, you can totally make this with beef, chicken, turkey or ground pork. Use whatever you have on hand or whatever you prefer to eat!

Don’t let the long ingredient list or the steps put you off from trying this recipe. It’s actually not that hard, maybe just a little more involved than other recipes, but it’s well worth the time and effort. You’re going to love it. Let me know what you think below. As always, thank you so much for reading and following along!

Chicken Mole Meatballs

Chicken Mole Meatballs

These Chicken Mole Meatballs are simmered in a homemade mole sauce (made without chocolate) and it's delicious!
Servings 4
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Baking Sheet
  • Large skillet
  • Blender
  • Fine mesh strainer

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teapsoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons corn oil (or any light colored oil)
  • 3 guajillo chilis seeded
  • 3 ancho chilis seeded (save seeds for later)
  • 2 roma tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 small onion peeled and halved
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chicken base seasoning such as Mazola (optional)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  • To make the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic cloves, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cumin, oregano, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until evenly combined. Divide the mixture and form into 1-inch meatballs. Place on a platter or baking sheet and season lightly with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Set a large shallow skillet over moderate heat and drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the meatballs in a single layer, making sure not to over crowd the pan. You might have to do this in two batches. Brown the meatballs on both sides. Don't worry about cooking them all the way through, they'll continue to cook later in the sauce. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside. Cook the second batch in the same way.
  • Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add the dried chilis. Cook quickly on either side, just to toast them lightly and develop their flavor. Remove from the pan and place in a blender. Set aside. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for about 1 minute or so. Transfer to the blender along with the chilis. Add the almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, peppercorns, coriander, allspice, and cloves to the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds or so. Transfer to the blender as well. Add the chicken base if using to the blender along with the chicken stock. Blend on high until smooth.
  • Pour the sauce back into the skillet, passing it through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the pulp. Add the meatballs, cover and simmer over low heat until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are fully cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. If the sauce gets too thick, you can thin it out with a splash or two of chicken broth or water. Garnish with sesame seeds before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Tip: If you want to add a bit of heat to the mole sauce, you can add in a few or as many as you’d like of the reserved ancho chili seeds from earlier to the nuts and seeds in the pan when toasting.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Chicken, Dinner, Main Dishes, Meatballs

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi
    The picture shows shredded chicken — you confused me there for a second! Keeping us all on our toes. I love your site and the photos you do for it (and Joy’s) make me want to make everything. Which I am trying to do!

    1. Hello Marsha! Thank you so much! That means a lot! It’s actually ground chicken in the photo. The long strands are from the chicken being pressed through the grinder. That particular brand is always like that!

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