This Dry Mexican Mole Spice Blend recipe contains just 4 spices in perfect balance - cumin, cocoa, red chile powder, and cinnamon. This spice blend is reminiscent of a Mexican mole, and is a quick and easy way to add bold flavor to tacos, stews and soups, even dry-rub a chicken... Homemade spice blends provide a quick and easy way to kick your meals up a notch!
Latin food suffers like Chinese. You can do marginal Chinese and be successful. You can do crappy Mexican and be packed.~~ Aaron Sanchez, celebrity chef.
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Mexican Spice Blends
I happen to agree with Aaron Sanchez... so much Mexican (and other Latin) food is not representative of its varied and delicious cuisine! In fact, after nearly 5 years in McAllen, Texas, I've yet to eat at a Mexican restaurant other than tacos from a food truck (delicious by the way).
As a teenager, I used to laugh at Taco Bell's descriptions of their "Mexican" food posted on the wall - taco (tah-co), enchilada (en-chee-lah-dah), and so on... I seriously know people that feel strongly that Taco Bell is the definition of Mexican food. 😂
Having seen this video posted on Facebook some time back, I went looking for it (for your viewing pleasure). 🤣
In this spirit, I set about creating a simple, versatile spice blend that would deliver deep Mexican flavor to many different dishes. Taco seasoning recipes abound; while this 4 ingredient spice blend makes awesome tacos, it does so much more!
My Dry Mexican Mole Spice Blend is featured in my Easy Ground Lamb Tacos, my Easy Mexican Lamb Meatballs, my Mexican Roasted Chicken and Vegetables, and my Instant Pot Spicy Lamb Butternut Squash Stew. I'm looking forward to using it as a rub for a roasted chicken and possibly grilled pork.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- ground cumin
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- ground red chile powder - I use ancho, chipotle, or New Mexico red chile. Please DO NOT USE generic "chili" powder. It is a spice blend with a variety of ingredients, and it will throw off the proportions.
- ground cinnamon
Seriously, it doesn't get much easier that this! You will measure out all four ingredients - cumin powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, red chile powder (ancho, chipotle, New Mexico red), and cinnamon.
I think the proportions are perfect. Cumin and cocoa take the lead, the red chile may be adjusted to taste (we like it spicy), and the cinnamon takes a supporting role.
Thoroughly combine all 4 ingredients in a bowl. Store in a non-reactive container for up to 3 months.
💭 Tips and FAQ
Is this Mexican mole spice blend hot? I would suggest "medium" hot. You can adjust the heat by using more or less red chile powder.
How should I store my spice blend? I store my spice blends in airtight mason jars, in a dark, dry place (my kitchen drawer or pantry closet). I try to use them within 6 months. They will begin to lose their flavor after 6 months. Do a sniff test if you're uncertain. For more on storing spices see All About Spices: When to Toss, When to Keep and How To Maximize Flavor.
This recipe makes about ¾ cup, and I have no trouble getting through it in a month or so. If you haven't tried it yet, and are uncertain on the amount of chile powder or if you'll even like it (perish the thought!), I suggest cutting the recipe in half.
Alternatively, you can make the full recipe, and give half of it away to your best friend. 😉
- Light, heat, and moisture are the enemy of spices and spice mixes. It looks lovely to store them in jars on your counter next to the stove, but resist the temptation! I store mine in small mason jars in a drawer near the stove.
- You can store your ground spice blends in an air-tight glass or metal container for up to a year, but for maximum flavor, try to use them sooner.
- Spices (especially ground spices) lose their flavor quickly.
🧂 Spices on Amazon
Spice Blend Tips and Hints
- Spice blends make great gifts. Don't forget to include recipe suggestions or my website.
- For even more flavor, you can toast and grind whole spices!
- Chile powders retain their flavor longer if refrigerated. This might be useful if you're not certain how quickly you'll use it.
- I use chalkboard labels, noting contents and date. If I'm storing in my spice drawer, I put the label on top. Taller spices go in a pullout cabinet, and get a label on the side.
- Glass jars inside a drawer or cabinet is the best storage option. A metal container with a tight-fitting lid is the next best option.
- Generic "chili powder" is not a good substitute as it's a spice blend that will throw off the ratio of the spices.
Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊
Have I convinced you yet? Lol. We have so enjoyed this spice blend, and use it frequently. I hope you'll give it a try!
- 4 tablespoons ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-3 tablespoons ancho, chipotle, or New Mexico red chile powder
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- Combine all spices thoroughly. Add to an airtight storage container.
Generic "chili powder" is not a substitute! It is a spice blend, and will throw off the ratio of spices.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 9Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutrition is an approximation and for reference purposes only!