Chiles with Walnut Sauce (Chiles en Nogada)

This dish takes some time to prepare, but you'll find it is worth the effort! Read the recipe through prior to preparing it. You can make the sauce and the meat filling separately in advance, and then assemble dish when you’re ready to celebrate.

Chiles en Nogada recipe

Prep: 6 hr | Cook: 1 hr | Yield: 10 servings; about 4 cups Walnut Sauce

This stuffed chile, inspired by C.Muñoz of Jalisco, Mexico, was supposedly created by the people of Puebla, Mexico for a banquet in honor of Don Agustín de Iturbide’s saint’s day on August 28. This self-proclaimed emperor led the final revolt that won independence from Spain and signed the Treaty of Córdoba. All the dishes at the banquet used ingredients with colors of the Mexican flag, shown here in the green chiles, white sauce, and red pomegranate seeds. The meat and fruits used in the filling have evolved over time, but the walnuts in the sauce are traditional, reflecting the freshly harvested crop available in August. The historical significance of this dish makes it ideal for celebrating Hispanic month.



  • 10 poblano chiles (about 6 inches long)

Meat Filling

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, chopped
  • 1 plantain, peeled, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large peach, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1 medium pear, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup acitrón* or candied citron
  • 7 to 8 green olives with pimentos, chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon capers
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar or more to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry

Walnut Sauce

  • 2 cups shelled walnut halves
  • Boiling water
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (7.6 ounce) can media crema
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, queso doble crema or grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or more to taste


  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • Fresh, chopped parsley leaves (optional)



  1. Roast chiles over open flame on gas stovetop or under broiler, turning often, until skins are charred. Place in paper or plastic bag and close to “sweat” chile for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove chiles from bag and run under cold water. Skin will peel off easily. Make lengthwise slit to remove seeds and veins. Rinse chiles and pat dry with paper towels. (We suggest that plastic gloves be worn when working with the chiles as skin can become irritated. Do not touch face or eyes when working with the chiles.)

Meat Filling

  1. Heat oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until just soft, but not browned.
  2. Add ground beef. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally; drain.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the sherry. Turn the heat to medium low. Simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sherry and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Walnut Sauce

  1. Place walnuts in medium bowl. Cover with boiling water; let stand for 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. When walnuts are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and discard them. (This will take a long time!) Walnuts may need to be covered with boiling water again to keep them easy to peel.
  3. Place peeled nuts, evaporated milk, media crema, goat cheese, cinnamon, sherry and sugar in blender container; cover. Blend until smooth. (It should be the consistency of a thick milkshake.)

To Assemble and Serve

  1. Fill each chile with about 1/2 cup filling. Place stuffed chiles on serving platter. Cover with Walnut Sauce and place remaining sauce in serving bowl.
  2. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley, if desired.
  3. Serve at room temperature.


* Acitrón is the crystallized or candied pad or paddle (leaf) of the prickly pear cactus. This can be found at Latin markets.

Nutritional information: Calories: 520 Calories from Fat: 290 Total Fat: 32 g Saturated Fat: 12 g cholesterol: 60 mg Sodium: 460 mg Carbohydrates: 38 g Dietary Fiber: 5 g Sugars: 22 g Protein: 21 g

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