weeknight instant pot mole pork chops and mexican rice

weeknight instant pot mole pork chops and mexican rice

Okay, before you say anything… I know you are going to look at the ingredient list and think that this is a super complicated recipe but I swear that it’s not. I have always loved mole sauce but it can be so time consuming to create, but with the help of the instant pot I created a recipe for a super flavorful sauce that can be thrown together on a weeknight and poured over enchiladas or made into a sauce or used to braise meat in. Most of the ingredients are spices and the dried chilies which can be found at most grocery stores and definitely most hispanic grocery stores. If you’re still feeling nervous about it, I made this recipe yesterday on my instagram stories and it’ll be saved to my highlights. You can watch it here and see it step by step!

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If you’re unfamiliar with mole, it’s a traditional sauce used in a lot of Mexican cuisine. Both Puebla and Oaxaca claim to be the birthplace of mole, but just about every region has their own style of mole. There are about 20 different varieties but they all share similarities in some of the spices and ingredients. Most mole sauces are made using a variety of dried chile peppers as well as some form of chocolate or cocoa for color and depth of flavor. Man, history of food culture is so fascinating to me. This is why I really try to explore different countries and regions with my cooking. Not only is it extremely flavorful and fun to try foods from different cultures, but I always learn something new and interesting. I hope you enjoy making this sauce and trust me, you’ll want to make the full recipe and freeze the rest to have on hands. I know I’ve got big dinner plans for this sauce in the future! Happy cooking!

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Products I used in this recipe:

Yield: 4 servings

weeknight instant pot mole pork chops with mexican rice

prep time: 10 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 10 mins


Pork Chops
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops, 1.5" thick
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water
Mole Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 4 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 6 guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 pasilla chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper, sliced
  • 10 dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mexican Rice
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. For the pork chops: Dissolve the sugar, salt and vinegar in the hot water. Add the cold water. Place the pork chops in a gallon size ziplock bag and pour the cooled liquid into the bag. Press as much of the air out as possible. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. This step is optional but it helps to ensure juicy pork chops.
  2. To make the mole: Set your instant pot to saute on 'normal'. Add the teaspoon of oil along with the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cloves. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the dried chilies and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring often to keep the spices from burning. Add the onion, garlic, serrano and tomato and cook for 2 minutes. Add the apricots, water, cinnamon, oregano and bay leaves. Lock the lid in place and change the setting to "pressure cook/manual" on high for 12 minutes with a natural pressure release. In the meantime, toast the almonds and sesame seeds for about 5 minutes over medium heat in a dry pan. Transfer the almonds and seeds to the carafe of a high powered blender. Unlock the lid of the pressure cooker and transfer all the contents, including all the liquid, to the blender with the almonds. Add the brown sugar and blend on high until the mole is very smooth. You may need to add a small amount more water to get it smooth. Transfer the blended mole back to the pressure cooker and turn on the sauté function. Melt the chocolate in and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the apple cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  3. To assemble pork chops: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Pat the pork chops very dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Sear the pork chops until browned on both sides and transfer to a baking dish. Thin 1 1/2 cups of the mole with 1 cup of water over medium heat in a saucepan. Pour the mole sauce over the pork chops, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes in the oven. Serve immediately. 
  4. To make the mexican rice: In a 2 quart saucepan with lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and jalapeño and cook until softened. Add the cumin, oregano and rice and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute, until the rice is coated with oil. Add the water and tomato sauce and salt and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat as low as it will go and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the rice covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and adjust seasoning as necessary. 


The mole recipe makes a lot more than necessary for this recipe, about 6 cups. You can freeze the leftover sauce or keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This mole is a sort of concentrate and needs to be thinned slightly with water or broth before using. 

You can use ground spices in this recipe rather than the seeds, just add them all towards the end with the water and apricots. 

The sauce itself is vegan and this recipe can be made vegan if the mole is used over tofu or tempeh.

When selecting dried chilies, make sure they are flexible and soft. Brittle dried chilies are old and lack flavor.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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