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Meatless Monday: Tofu with mole sauce is a vegetarian twist on a classic

Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce with a rich, reddish-brown color and fantastic flavor. Spices and chocolate combine to make this a favorite topping to a special Mexican meal. This Meatless Monday recipe combines tofu with Old World cuisine for a fabulous vegetarian dish.


Mole (pronounced mole-lay) is a rich, traditional Mexican sauce or condiment that has many variations. I went the easy (and tasty) route with this Meatless Monday recipe for seared tofu with mole sauce. It’s so good you’ll want to add it to everything!


The mole is simple to make and incorporates spices, green chilies, onion, garlic, almond butter (you can use peanut butter instead) and — wait for it — chocolate. Don’t worry, though. While you catch a hint of chocolate and the almond butter, it doesn’t taste like dessert. It’s rich, a little sweet, a little spicy and perfect over seared tofu.

Seared tofu with mole sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20-24 minutes | Total time: 30-34 minutes

Serves 3


  • 14 ounces firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons diced green chilies
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons almond butter (or smooth peanut butter)
  • 4 ounces veggie stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
  • Avocado slices, for garnish


  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging, drain, wrap it in a few paper towels, and place it on a baking sheet. Add another baking sheet on top of the tofu, and place 1 or 2 canned goods on the baking sheet. This will help drain the moisture from the tofu. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. To a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the green chilies, and cook for another minute or so. Add the garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chocolate chips, almond butter and vegetable stock to the pan, and mix to combine.
  4. Add all the seasonings, and continue to cook for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes or so. Add to a blender or food processor, and carefully blend until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Pat the tofu dry, and slice it into six 1/2-inch-thick steaks.
  7. To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining grapeseed oil. When the oil is very hot, add the tofu steaks to the skillet, and cook on each side for about 5 minutes or until golden.
  8. Remove, and pat the excess oil with a paper towel.
  9. Serve warm with the mole sauce on top and avocado slices on the side.

meatless monday

More Meatless Monday recipes

Roasted blueberry and arugula salad with lemon-Champagne vinaigrette
Citrus fajitas with mushrooms, red peppers and Brussels sprouts
Avocado and black bean enchiladas

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