Lamb Mole Tacos

Richly spiced with a depth of flavor you won’t get anywhere else, our Lamb Mole Tacos take some time to make but are delicious. Often referred to as the national dish of Mexico, mole originated in the Central Valley region of southern Mexico, Oaxaca. Moles come in various flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. Other common ingredients are nuts, seeds, cilantro, plantains, garlic onions, cinnamon, and often dark chocolate.

Lamb Meat Taco Mole
Lamb Mole Tacos. Photo by Ben Spangler.

How to Make Lamb Mole

Traditional seasoning for mole includes the anise-tasting herb hoja santa, meaning sacred leaf. It is an aromatic herb with a heart shaped leaf. If not available, lightly toast finely ground avocado leaves, epazote leaves, or the herb can be omitted. Mole may be served on tortillas or in a bowl with rice. Either lamb or goat stew meat can be used in this recipe.

Ingredients for mole sauce
Ingredients for mole sauce

The most important step is toasting the ingredients before pureeing into the sauce. Once the ingredients are toasted, you puree them and use them as a sauce.

mortar & pestle ingredients
Grinding mole ingredients for the sauce.

Chef’s note: We’ve made the mole the traditional way with the molcajete (mortar and pestle) here, but it’s a lot of work. Feel free to use a high-speed blender or a food processor to make the mole. Chef Makes his own tortillas too, but it’s fine to use freshly made flour or corn tortillas.

Flattening Tortillas
Flattening homemade tortillas.

This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.

Chef Ben Spangler.

A picture that says get cooking " order meat from this recipe" and "Shop Now" including a link to the cut of lamb used in the recipe.

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

More Mexican Goat and Lamb Recipes

Spicy Lamb Tongue Tacos

Goat Birria Tacos

Smoked Goat Barbacoa

Lamb Meat Taco Mole
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Lamb Mole Tacos

Simple grass fed lamb with a rich mole sauce made with chilis, chocolate, nuts seeds, oregano and cinnamon.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Lamb, Mexican Food, Tacos
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 508kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 Tortilla press
  • 1 Cast iron skillet



  • 2 lbs Lamb Stew Meat Optional Goat Stew Meat can be substituted.
  • 1 oz Cilantro
  • 1 oz Fresno chilies fresh
  • Fresh corn tortillas, for serving (see recipe or use your favorite brand)

Mole Sauce

  • 1 oz Hoja Santa leaf optional
  • ½ teaspoon Allspice
  • ½ teaspoon Star anise
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Clove
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Heirloom tomato small
  • 2 oz Plantain in skin
  • 7 garlic cloves unpeeled
  • ½ Onion diced small
  • 1 Prune
  • 8 Golden raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoon Cashews chopped
  • 2 oz Oregano
  • 2 oz Thyme
  • 1 ea Dried chipotle chili stem and seeds removed
  • 5 ea Dried puya chilis stem and seeds removed
  • 3 ea Dried ancho chilies stem and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon Grapeseed oil
  • ½ oz Dark chocolate, unsweetened grated or coarsely chopped


  • In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, toast the chilies until aromatic, about 20 seconds per side. Add to a bowl with 1 oz of water to help soften them
  • Toast the garlic in its skin until softened and browned.
  • Toast spices and Hoja Santa leaves then add to chilies.
  • Toast spices, plantain, cashews, prunes, raisins and tomatoes. Allow tomatoes to slightly blackened. Reserve.
  • Toast sesame seeds until deep brown. Reserve
  • Mash spices in mortar. Once ground add chilies and Hoja Santa leaves, then mash to a paste.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons diced onions, herbs, cashews, and plantain. Mash until combined.
  • Add toasted tomatoes, garlic, raisins, and prunes.
  • Once combined into a paste begin to cook on stove top for 15-20 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent burning, adding water if necessary to prevent drying out.
  • While still hot, stir in the chocolate until melted and reserve. Season with salt to taste.

Finish and Serve

  • Season lamb meat with salt and pepper and sear with hot cast iron using grape seed oil and medium heat. Sear on both sides and reserve.
  • Spread mole on tacos with a few chunks of lamb. Garnish with Fresno chilies and cilantro.



  • Lamb stew meat is used here but goat will work too. 
  • Chef Ben makes his own tortillas but it's fine to use packaged corn tortillas, toast them lightly before serving. 
  • Another idea is to make lamb shanks in mole sauce. Make the same sauce as directed, using it to cook lamb shanks in the oven until soft. 


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 933IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 230mg | Iron: 8mg