Slow Cooker Vegan Mole Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Makes: 6 servings
  • 3 oz dried ancho chilies
  • ¼ cup light cooking oil, such as avocado
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 1 T cacao powder
  • 1.5 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz block tofu, frozen, thawed, drained and finely diced (see note)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 oz good, dark chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 3 cups mushroom stock
  • cilantro for serving (optional)
  • Greek yogurt for serving (optional; omit if vegan)
  • quinoa, rice, or other grain for serving (optional)
  1. Remove stem and seeds from chilies. Place in a bowl, cover with very hot tap water, and allow to steep, covered, for 20 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan or skillet. Add chili powder, cacao, oregano, cinnamon, cumin and paprika and heat until bubbling and very fragrant, about 60 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside. (Now is a great time to dice/prep your veggies and tofu.)
  3. When chilies have completed steeping, drain, reserving ¼ cup liquid. Add chilies and reserved liquid to food processor and blend until almost smooth.
  4. Combine all veggies, tofu, chickpeas, processed chilies and spice paste to slow cooker. Add bay leaves, coconut sugar, salt, chocolate and stock. Stir to mix well and cook on High for 5 hours, or until veggies have all but disintegrated. Adjust with additional salt to taste, if necessary. Serve with grain and toppings of choice. Enjoy!
I know the extra step of browning the spices and soaking the chilies seems to fly in the face of slow cooker ease, but even with those items, the hands-on time is still just around 20 minutes. (If you have a neato slow-cooker like this one, you can even brown the spices right in the insert.)

Regarding the tofu: Freezing and thawing tofu removes much of its moisture and almost turns it into a little sponge, ready to absorb moisture -- and flavor! In dishes like this, it's just about perfect. To prep tofu: freeze entire tofu block until firm. (I just throw the whole package in the freezer overnight. In fact, I've almost always got a block or two in there!) Thaw tofu in refrigerator, then drain it from the package as usual. Slice the block into about 4 or 5 slabs and gently wring the additional moisture from the slabs. (Gently pressing them between two plates works well. Don't be overly aggressive; it doesn't have to be completely dry.) Finely dice tofu per the recipe.
Recipe by the pig & quill at