Borlotti bean mole with winter squash and kale

January 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm (101 cookbooks, B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Beans, Beans and greens, Cruciferous rich, Dark leafy greens, Fall recipes, Mexican & S. American, One pot wonders, Uncategorized, Winter recipes)

I made this 101cookbooks recipe right before I left for Israel last month, when I wanted to use up some steamed kale and some roasted squash.  I only had one serving, but I quite enjoyed it. I thought the dish was extremely hearty and flavorful, and made a great one-pot dinner. Beans and greens and chocolate. How can you go wrong?  I’ll definitely be trying it again.


  • ~4 cups cooked borlotti / cranberry beans
  • 7 ounces peeled and seeded winter squash (about 1.5 cups when cut into 2 cm or 3/4-inch cubes)
  • olive oil for roasting the squash
  • 4 – 5 big leaves of kale (3 1/2 ounces) [I used much more than this.]
  • 2 tablespoons butter [If you switch this to olive oil or coconut oil then the recipe is vegan.]
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 – 4 red jalapeno chiles, halved, seeded, and chopped [I cut this down because Alma doesn’t love super spicy food. But I wouldn’t have minded a bit more spice.]
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound of fresh plum tomatoes, chopped or 14-ounce can
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ounce of almonds, dark roasted and finely ground [I used pre-ground almonds and then toasted the meal in a small skillet.]
  • 2 ounces dark 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces [I used 85% chocolate, and the dish was definitely sweet enough]
  • 1 tsp. salt [I cut this down so Alma could eat it as well]


  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Roast the squash: Cut the squash flesh into good-sized chunks, about 2 cm or 3/4-inch squares, place them in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes until caramelized on the outside but still firm. Reduce the oven temperature to 130C/ 250F / Gas mark 1/2. (hs note: alternately, you can brown the squash in a skillet.)
  2. Without removing the central stem, cut the kale across the leaf into 2cm / 3/4-inch slices. Melt the butter into an oven-proof casserole dish (pot) and fry the onion and chilies gently over a low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized. Add the garlic and fry for three minutes more. Add the tomatoes and paprika, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the ground almonds, chocolate, squash, borlotti beans, kale, and salt. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Cover the casserole and put it in the oven to cook gently for 2 hours. Serves 4.


Although this looks like a relatively simple recipe for a mole (e.g., it doesn’t have you grind your own dried chilies), it’s not that fast. If you don’t have the kale, beans, squash, and almonds prepped, it’s definitely a lot of work. So if you don’t want it to take all day, it’s probably best to make the dish when you already have at least two of the main ingredients prepped and ready to go.

Besides all the time for prep work, it’s supposed to cook in the oven for 2! hours. When we made it we skipped the oven step entirely since the beans were already cooked, the squash was roasted, and the kale was steamed. It still tasted really good, so I’m not sure what the 2 hours in the oven adds.



  1. austingardener said,

    finally you posted something vegan. chocolate and beans. Hmmm. never thought of that.

  2. hanaleahjh said,

    No notes about seitan.

  3. Borlotti Bean Mole with Roast Winter Squash – Nimble Veggies said,

    […] sister posted this recipe on her blog. I’ve never actually made mole. Since this recipe just kind of creates the mole in the broth […]

  4. hanaleahjh said,

  5. Laura said,

    I actually found this recipe on 101cookbooks, but as someone who has made this, I would love to leave several comments 😄. First, the Time in the oven really made the flavors meld – I tried it right before putting it in the oven, and actually thought it tasted kind of gross and was pretty worried about it, honestly, but after 2+ hours, it tasted so so much better. I also added toasted squash seeds on top, but my friend had a great idea and suggested we do some fried tortilla strips on top for the leftovers, since it is a whole lot of soft textures. I also did some crumbled goat cheese on top, which was great, but I would definitely do a crumbled cotija if I had it in the fridge. I also didn’t simmer as long as I was supposed to do for any of the steps (which, to be fair, may by why it didn’t taste great before the oven), but as a generally busy person/parent, I am also a big proponent of things you can just walk away from and let cook, so 45 minutes over a stove was not appealing. Anyway, long story short, the end result was that it tasted amazing after two hours in the oven, but I will be adding a bit more crunch next time.

    • captious said,

      Thanks for the detailed comments! I will have to try it again. I just started seeing kale here, so it’s the perfect time to make it.

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