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Authentic Mole De Olla Recipe (Mexican Beef Soup)

Inside: Learn exactly how to make this delicious Mexican beef based soup, commonly referred to as “mole de olla.” This is a traditional meal from the south and central regions of Mexico and you are sure to love it!

Para Espanol, Haz Click Aqui

mole de olla hot and ready

This recipe combines different vegetables with the flavor of beef and is very popular in the central and southern regions of Mexico. You may think that this is only popular on cooler days, but you may be surprised to learn that it is even more commonly consumed on very hot days. 

My grandma always told us that eating mole de olla on hot days helped to regulate our body’s temperature, since we didn’t have air conditioners to keep us comfortable on those hot days. 

mole de olla

This recipe combines essential vitamins and minerals which are important for your health. This comes from the variety of vegetables and the proein from the beef that it uses. What really makes this meal special though, is the delicious herbs and spices that are used to season in. 

One popular variation is to include bones with marrow, and my grandma told us that it is what gave flavor to the soup. Personally, I don’t like to add that because it adds additional saturated fat. To be honest, I was not a big fan of this when I was growing up, because I didn’t really like vegetables. However, with time I realized how important vegetables are and I love this now. 

What Is Mole De Olla?

Don’t confuse mole de olla with traditional mole which includes chocolate as a base ingredient. That type of mole is delicious, but it isn’t the same as this. Mole actually refers to a combination of ingredients or a salsa, so that is why this recipe has the name mole de olla. An olla is a pot, so it is basically a combination of ingredients made in a large pot!

In some parts of Mexico this meal is simply referred to as beef or vegetable soup. 

Mole de olla is traditionally prepared in a large, deep clay pot. The beef broth is made in the pot and then it is seasoned with herbs and spices along with a tomato or dried chile salsa. Finally a variety of vegetables are added. 

Some of the common vegetables that you will see included are these:

  • Pieces of corn
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Chayote
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage

Mole de olla is delicious when served with freshly made tortillas, lime juice, and of course some type of salsa or pepper on the side. Some common variations are to add other vegetabls like jicama or spinach. I hope you enjoy this for years to come and let me know below how it turns out. 

Check out these other delicious Mexican soups

mole de olla hot and ready
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4 from 4 votes

Mole de olla (Mexican beef soup)

This recipe for mole de olla is delicious and good for you.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: caldo de res, mexican soup
Servings: 10 bowls of soup
Calories: 245kcal


  • 1 pound beef short ribs
  • 1 pound beef, cut into chunks
  • Marrow Bones optional
  • 3 liters water
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 white onion small
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 corn cobs cut into four pieces
  • 1 chayote chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 Carrots chopped into small pieces
  • 3 red potatoes chopped into small pieces
  • 1 squash chopeed into small pieces
  • green beans
  • 1/2 cabbage head cut into small pieces
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce


  • Add the water, beef ribs and beef chunks, salt, garlic, onion and bay leaves in a large pot and bring to a boil for 30 minutes. You may see some foam, which you can remove with a wooden spoon.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the onion and garlic and then add the corn, carrots, green beans, and chayote and cook over medium heat for 30 additional minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, squash, mint leaves, and cabbage and cook for 20 more minutes, or until the beef is tender.
  • Serve hot with lime and tortillas.


Serving: 1Bowl of Soup | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 2952mg | Potassium: 1077mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 10150IU | Vitamin C: 43.4mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 3.2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @mylatinatable or tag #mylatinatable!

Learn exactly how to make this delicious Mexican beef based soup, commonly referred to as "mole de olla." This is a traditional meal from the south and central regions of Mexico and you are sure to love it!

4 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)
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Sunday 11th of June 2023

I've always wondered how to ear corn pieces in soup. Do you pick up the pieces and eat with hands?

Georgina Davidge

Monday 18th of May 2020

What tomato sauce do you use and when do you add it? It's not very clear on that.

Margaret Sanchez

Sunday 27th of September 2020

Tomato is added when you add the last bunch if veggies (with the mint) - I had to go read the Spanish version to figure that out. Great recipe

David McNeely

Thursday 18th of July 2019

You previously published a recipe for caldo de rez (the same soup), with very explicit directions for when to add and how long to cook each ingredient. That recipe included fresh tomatoes, poblano peppers, and cilantro, and some of the vegetables were cooked in oil before being added to the soup. I have cooked that soup numerous times, though I use beef shank, traditional in northern Mexico and southern Texas where I first became well acquainted with authentic Mexican cooking, as opposed to Tex-Mex dishes. I followed your recipe and procedures for the soup, and it is delicious.

Why the changes?

Charbel Barker

Friday 19th of July 2019

Hi David,

I am not sure what other recipe you are referring to. The only traditional soup recipes that I have on my site currently are for Chicken tortilla soup, pozole rojo, menudo, and now this mole de olla (or caldo de res). Unless I am forgetting something, this is the first time I have included a recipe for caldo de res. I'd love to help out, but I'm just not sure what other recipe you are referring to at this point. Please let me know if you can clarify! Thanks! Charbel

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