Grilled Vegetable Tostada with Mole Sauce (and Optional Shredded Chicken)

Mole Poblano with Chicken & Rice

Mole Poblano with Chicken & Rice

By Cat, July 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I have loved mole sauce ever since I discovered it at a new restaurant in my old Portland neighborhood, in the early 1990s: Santa Fe Restaurant. In general I don’t eat much Mexican food, but I do love Chicken Mole Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce.

Tostadas are a salad served on or in a tortilla.  In restaurants, they are typically served in a deep fried tortilla shaped into a bowl, but traditionally, the tortilla is served flat. Although I rarely eat tostadas, I just might try this recipe, so have adapted it here for ingredient versions I prefer. I have not yet tested this recipe.

Grilled Vegetable Tostada with Mole Sauce and Optional Shredded Chicken

I came across this recipe in the July 2009 issue of Better Homes and Gardens (1), and it sounded so good….until I got to the ingredient list for the Quick Mole Sauce.  It includes 1 cup of commercial barbecue sauce (which is typically loaded with HFCS)!  So now the challenge is on, for me to develop my own version of barbecue sauce, so I can test this recipe as written.  In the meantime, I will use one of my chicken mole sauce recipes on this site, or use their original recipe included below. (photos of eggplant and summer squash from wikipedia).

Mole traditionally is made with dark, unsweetened cocoa, which is quite bitter, but adds wonderful flavor when cooked in a sauce like mole.

If you’re not interested in vegetarian tostada, you could add cooked, shredded chicken meat instead of, or in addition to one or more veggies. (see Baked Chicken for Cubing or Shredding).

The original recipe serves 8, but I’ve modified it to serve 4. Not yet tested.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • ¾ cups mole sauce (use recipe below or Quick Chicken Mole, and Traditional Mole Poblano Sauce)
  • 2 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
  • ½ large red onion
  • ½ medium eggplant
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 8 four-inch corn tortillas, toasted (see ‘Method’ below)
  • ½ cup sour cream, preferable homemade
  • ½ cup crumbled quesa fresca or feta cheese
  • 1 avocados (or more)
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  •  8 – 12 oz shredded cooked chicken (optional)
  • Equipment
  • Charcoal or gas grill; or cast iron skillet


  1. Prep: prepare mole.
  2. If using chicken, bake and shred; store in fridge until ready to serve
  3. Peel, pit and slice avocados into at least 8 16 slices.
  4. Quarter the zucchini lengthwise; cut onion into ½ inch slices.
  5. Cut eggplant in ½ inch slices, place on paper towels and salt liberally.  Let rest until moisture sweats on the slices, then dab off with paper towels.
  6. Brush zucchini, onion and eggplant with  olive oil; season with salt and black pepper (except the eggplant which is already salted).
  7. Cook veggies on a grill or in hot cast iron skillet over medium heat until tender, turning once halfway through grilling.
  8. Meanwhile, toast the tortillas:  Brush both sides with  olive oil.  Place on baking sheet.  Heat in 425° F oven 8 minutes or until golden.  Or grill directly over medium coals (or in dry cast iron skillet), 30 seconds each side.
  9. Assembly: Arrange two tostadas on each plate, slightly overlapping them. Arrange grilled veggies on the tortillas. Scatter shredded chicken over (optional). Serve with mole sauce, sour cream and cheese on the side.  Garnish with slices of avocado and sprigs of fresh cilantro.

Quick Mole Sauce

This is my adaptation of the original Quick Mole Sauce that came with the tostada recipe; original makes 1½ cups sauce, but I’ve halved it to make ¾ cup sauce. My thought is that the best substitute for the barbecue sauce would be red chili sauceNot yet tested.

The original recipe also notes hotness; I’ve adapted the amounts to a half-recipe as follows:

  • HOT = 1 tsp chili powder;
  • HOTTER = 1½ tsp hot chili powder;
  • HOTTEST = 2 tsp hot chili powder plus hot barbecue sauce.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 – 2 tsp chili powder, or hot chili powder, to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅛ – ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ Tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup homemade or Organic barbecue sauce (to avoid HFCS) or red chili sauce
  • hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • Equipment
  • large cast iron skillet
  • blender or food processor


  1. Prep: Chop onion and mince garlic; set aside.
  2. Chop chocolate and set aside.
  3. Measure dry spices into a small bowl and stir to combine.
  4.  Cook: In large, dry cast iron skillet, toast pumpkin and sesame seeds over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, or until toasted.  Remove from skillet.
  5. In same skillet over medium-low, heat olive oil, then saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until tender.  Stir in spice mixture and cook 2 minute more, or until fragrant.  Stir in barbecue or hot chili sauce and chocolate; add hot pepper sauce to taste. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer until chocolate is melted.  Cool slightly.
  6. Transfer onion mixture and toasted seeds to blender or food processor.  Cover and blend or process until smooth.  Thin with water if needed.
  7. Store any remaining sauce, covered, in refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Better Homes and Gardens, July 2009 (

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