Mole de Olla Receta (Mexican Beef Stew Recipe)

Mole de Olla Receta – This easy Mexican beef stew recipe is made with a…

Mole de Olla Receta – This easy Mexican beef stew recipe is made with a bounty of fresh veggies and tender beef, all simmered in a deliciously bold chile tomato broth.

Bowl of Mexican beef stew loaded with veggies.

Why We Love This Mole de Olla Recipe

Mole de Olla is a classic Mexican stew that’s LOADED with goodness!

The soup base is stewed with bone-in beef shank, herbs, and dried chiles for a deep smoky, robust flavor. Then lots of hearty vegetables – like corn, potatoes, carrots, and squash – are added to provide freshness and contrast.

Hand bringing spoonful of soup to camera.

And although it is not a quick recipe to prepare, Mole de Olla is quite easy and requires very few steps or hands-on cooking. So it’s great to make for relaxing weekends and special occasions when everyone is gathered around the dinner table.

This Mexican beef soup is the perfect all-in-one meal that will satisfy any south-of-the-border craving!

Top down view large cooking pot and two bowls filled with Mole de Olla.

Ingredients You Need

  • Butter – unsalted
  • Bone-in beef shank
  • Sweet onion – peeled and chopped
  • Garlic – minced
  • Jalapeno – chopped
  • Dried guajillo chiles
  • Dried ancho chiles
  • Bay leaves
  • Epazote (a Central American herb) – chopped
  • Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • Chayote squash – peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • Xonconstoles (prickly pears) – peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Ears corn – shucked and cut into 2-inch segments
  • Carrots – sliced
  • Russet potatoes – peeled and chopped
  • Green beans – trimmed and halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lime wedges – for garnish (optional)
Whole fresh produce needed for this recipe on a white board: carrots, prickly pears, chayote, corn, peppers, beans, and potatoes.

How to Make Mexican Beef Stew

Set a large 8-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the butter. Salt and pepper the beef slices liberally on both sides. Then add them to the butter and brown on both sides.

Beef shanks seared in a large pot.

Add in the chopped onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Sauté and stir for 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the epazote, bay leaves, and canned tomatoes. Add enough water to cover the beef completely. Then cover the pot with a heavy lid and simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until the beef is tender.

Hearty beef soup base in a pot with bay leaves.

While the beef is cooking, pop the stems off the tops of the dried chilies and shake out as many seeds as possible. Peel and chop the remaining produce. Cut the potato and chayote close to the end of prepping so they don’t have time to brown.

Once the beef is fork-tender, add the dried chiles.

Dried chiles added to the Mexican beef soup base.

Push them down under the beef to keep them submerged and simmer another 10-15 minutes.

Use tongs to pull out the cooked chilies. Place them in the blender with a little broth.

Rehydrated chile peppers in a blender.

Puree until smooth.

Pureed chiles in a blender.

Then pour the chili paste back into the pot.

Taste the broth. Then add salt and pepper to taste. (I usually 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons of salt here.)

Chile blend added to the beefy soup base in a large pot.

Now add in all the fresh chopped produce.

Get the Complete (Printable) Mole de Olla Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Fresh chopped veggies added to the pot.

Simmer another 15 to 20 minutes.

Mole de Olla in a large pot.

The potatoes and carrots should be just fork tender, and not mushy.

Taste again, and salt and pepper as needed.

Top down view Mexican beef stew in a large cooking pot.

You can remove the bones and bay leaves, or leave them in to serve authentically.

Serve warm with a fresh lime wedge on the side.

Bowlful of Mole de Olla with lime wedge.

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • If you can’t find chayote or xoconstoles don’t worry! You can substitute 2 zucchini for the chayote, and a large tart green apple for the xoconstoles.
  • In fact, feel free to swap out any of the produce. Other veggies that can be added include yellow squash, peas, sweet potatoes, and parsnips – just to name a few. Your Mexican beef soup might not be authentic Mole de Olla, but it will undoubtedly be delicious!
  • If you can’t find beef shank, beef stew meat will also work well. Reduce cook time from 1 1/2 hours to 1 hour.
  • Save time by using chopped frozen vegetables.
  • While you can prep several ingredients ahead of time (like shucking and slicing corn), it is recommended that you wait until the last minute before cutting up the chayote and potato. Both will begin to brown quickly, so you want to add them to the broth as soon as possible after chopping.
  • This stew is best when the vegetables are cooked but still have some bite. Check the doneness after the soup has simmered for 15 minutes and then keep a close eye on the veggies so that they don’t get too soft.
Top down view bowl of soup loaded with beef and veggies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you serve with Mole de Olla?

Serve a stack of warm corn tortillas or slices of cornbread on the side for an even heartier meal. Or lighten things up with a fresh green salad.

How do you make Mole de Olla con Pollo (with chicken?)

This recipe is easy to tweak for a Mexican chicken stew! Use 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts – or 6 boneless skinless thighs – in place of the beef shank. Chop into 1-inch pieces and cook per the recipe, until the chicken is tender. While beef soup needs 1 1/2 – 2 hours, chicken Mole de Olla will only require about an hour of simmer time.

How long do leftovers last?

Hearty beef stew is fantastic to enjoy as leftovers! Let the soup cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Can beef stew be frozen?

Yes! Mole de Olla is easy to freeze. Once the soup has cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe container with a lid and wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Then thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating to serve.

Hand holding spoonful of stew to camera.

Looking for More Soup and Stew Recipes?

Mole de Olla Receta (Mexican Beef Stew Recipe)

This easy Mexican beef stew recipe is made with a bounty of fresh veggies and tender beef, all simmered in a deliciously bold chile tomato broth. It’s a fabulous one-pot meal that’s perfect for relaxing, cozy weekend dinners and special occasions!

Servings: 8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 pounds bone-in beef shank
  • 1 large sweet onion peeled and chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles
  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped epazote or swap for 4 Tb cilantro + 1 TB oregano
  • 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 chayote squash peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 2 xoconstoles prickly pears, peeled seeded and chopped
  • 2 ears corn shucked and cut into 2 inch segments
  • 2 large carrots sliced
  • 1 large russet potato peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces trimmed green beans halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh lime wedges for garnish optional
  • Set a large 8-quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter. Salt and pepper the beef slices liberally on both sides. Then add them to the butter and brown on both sides.

  • Add in the chopped onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Sauté and stir for 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Stir in the epazote, bay leaves, and canned tomatoes. Add enough water to cover the beef completely. Then cover the pot with a heavy lid and simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until the beef is tender.

  • While the beef is cooking, pop the stems off the tops of the dried chilies and shake out as many seeds as possible. Peel and chop the remaining produce. Cut the potato and chayote close to the end so it doesn’t have time to brown.

  • Once the beef is fork tender, add the dried chiles. Push them down under the beef to keep them submerged and simmer another 10-15 minutes.

  • Use tongs to pull out the cooked chilies. Place them in the blender with a little broth, if needed, and purée until smooth. Then pour the chili paste back into the pot.

  • Taste the broth. Then add salt and pepper to taste. (I usually 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons of salt here.)

  • Now add in all the fresh chopped produce. Simmer another 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Taste again, and salt and pepper as needed.

  • You can remove the bones and bay leaves or leave them in to serve authentically. Serve warm with a fresh lime wedge on the side.

If you can’t find chayote or xoconstoles don’t worry! You can substitute 2 zucchini for the chayote, and a large tart green apple for the xoconstoles.

Hearty beef stew is fantastic to enjoy as leftovers! Let the soup cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Mole de Olla is also easy to freeze. Once the soup has cooled, transfer to a freezer-safe container with a lid and wrap in a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Then thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating to serve.

Serving: 1.25cups, Calories: 296kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 211mg, Potassium: 949mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 3614IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 83mg, Iron: 5mg

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