Mexican Turkey Mole with Espresso Coffee

Spicy turkey mole with complex layers of flavour thanks to the addition of coffee and dark chocolate. The combination of traditional Mexican spices and espresso coffee in a rich, tomato-based sauce transform turkey meat into a mouth-watering delicacy, and make a warming winter supper. With its combination of chilli, chocolate and coffee, it’s no surprise that a spicy mole is Mexico’s national dish – although it has nothing to do with the animal bearing the same name! In fact ‘mole’ originates from an Aztec word ‘molly’ meaning sauce, and you can use any meat in the mole that you prefer, such as chicken. At Christmas, this would make a delicious alternative to a roast turkey, if you fancy cooking something different for a change. Or try making it for Boxing Day with leftover turkey, and just cook the mole for a little less time.


This recipe serves two people generously, but is easily scalable – simply double or triple the ingredients to provide more.

Chipotle chillies are smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, and can usually be found in larger supermarkets, or specialist food stores. Alternatively, a poblano pepper or ancho chilli make good substitutes.

If using pre-cooked turkey meat from leftover roast turkey, you can shorten the overall cooking time as the meat will just need to warm through and absorb the mole sauce, and not require such lengthy cooking.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Cuisine: Meat


  • chipotle chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 500g turkey, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/21 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (can be tinned)
  • 80ml espresso coffee (2 espresso measures on your Nespresso machine)
  • 15g dark chocolate


  • White rice, steamed
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lime wedges


  1. Soak the chipotle chilli in hot water for 20 minutes, then reserve the soaking water and finely chop the chilli, removing the stem and seeds. Set aside.
  2. Make a paste out of the chilli flakes, tomato paste, sherry vinegar and vegetable oil. Set aside until needed.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan, and season the chopped turkey with some salt. Brown the meat over a high heat, then remove turkey and set aside. (If using turkey leftovers, with meat that is already cooked through, omit this step and simply shred the meat into bitesize pieces.)
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, and in the same saucepan cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened, being careful to not let the garlic burn.
  5. Add the cumin and cinnamon and cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant. Then add the raspberry jam and ground almonds, stirring to mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes, chopped chipotle chilli, chilli paste from Step 2, espresso coffee and 4-5 tablespoons of the reserved chipotle soaking water. Add salt and return the turkey to the pan. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (or 10-15 minutes if using pre-cooked turkey meat from a leftover roast).
  6. Grate the dark chocolate into the saucepan, and continue cooking (covered) for another 20-25 minutes. If you feel the Mole is drying out, add a little more water.
  7. Serve Mexican Turkey Mole with Espresso Coffee with a pile of steamed white rice and a scoop of sour cream, chopped fresh parsley and squeeze of lime to taste.