Chiles en Nogada

This festive dish is considered by many to be the national dish of Mexico.

Chiles en Nogada is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of a roasted poblano chile, stuffed with seasoned meat and fruit, smothered in a creamy pecan sauce, and topped with pomegranates. This one-of-a-kind dish is made on special occasions, particularly Mexican Independence Day in September, because the reds and greens of the dish symbolize the colors of the Mexican flag. We’ve adapted a recipe by My Latina Table to use fair trade sugar and spices. 

Discover retailers selling fair trade ingredients online or in-store using our Where to Find Fair Trade guide.

Recipe appears in: Fair Trade Holiday Recipes

Photo: My Latina Table


  • 10 Poblano Peppers Roasted, with skin and seeds removed. 

For the Filling 

For the Salsa de Nogada 

  • 2 cups walnuts or almonds 
  • ½ cup milk 
  • 3 oz goat cheese or cream cheese 
  • 1 Tbsp fair trade sugar 
  • Salt, to taste 

For garnish

  • Chopped parsley 
  • Pomegranate seeds 

Preparation Instructions

Makes 10 chiles  

For the Salsa de Nogada 

  1. Start by putting the almonds or walnuts in hot water for about 20 minutes. This is so that it is easier to remove the skins, resulting in a white salsa.  
  2. Once you have removed the skins, put the almonds or walnuts in cool water for 15 more minutes.  
  3. Add the almonds or walnuts to the rest of the salsa ingredients, and blend until smooth. Set aside.  

Make the Filling 

  1. Start by sautéing half of the onion, the peppercorns, and the garlic in a frying pan with the olive oil for a couple of minutes.  
  2. Next, add the above to a blender with the tomato sauce, thyme, and cloves and blend until smooth.  
  3. In the same pan where you sauteed the onions and garlic, add the rest of the onion, ground meat, and salt, and cook until the meat is cooked through.  
  4. Add the fruits and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
  5. Add the cinnamon and sugar, stir, and cook for 3 more minutes over medium-low heat.  
  6. Add the tomato sauce mixture from above and let simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Remember that the meat shouldn't be dry, but it shouldn't have too much liquid either, because that will make it harder to fill the poblano peppers later.  

Make the Chiles Rellenos 

  1. Once the meat and salsa are ready, add some of the filling to each cleaned and prepared poblano pepper. In order to do this, cut an opening right down the middle. You can also use toothpicks to close it back up if you desire.  
  2. Smother in the salsa, and top with parsley and pomegranate seeds.