These mango & chamoy paletas are one of my favorite icy treats to enjoy during the summer! “Paleta” is the Spanish word for popsicle or lollipop, and I love them because they use natural ingredients and can be a healthier snack, depending on the flavor.
I’ve just realized that I have posted so many Mexican recipes on my blog that combine something sweet with chamoy or tajin, or both! What can I say? We love these spicy, tangy, salty, and sweet flavors combined.
This paleta flavor is inspired by the super popular street snack, Mangonada. You can find SO many mango street snacks in Mexico and even in the US. Where I live, there are many Mexican fruit stands that sell mango on a stick (mango en palo), where they carve it into a flower-like shape and sprinkle lime juice, Tajin, and sometimes chamoy all over. They are mouth watering DELICIOUS!
What is the difference between a popsicle and a paleta?
Though similar, paletas and popsicles do have some key differences that will prove paletas are way better, in my opinion.
Popsicles are mass produced and have lots of additives and artificial flavoring. Paletas use natural ingredients like fruits and are made fresh, so they don’t require additives or preservatives to extend shelf life.
Paletas also have a rich history and are culturally important to Mexican street snacks. Nowadays, you will find plenty of brick and mortar paleta shops but it is still common to get your paletas on the street from paleteros (ice cream carts).
Mango- if you have a Mexican supermarket nearby, I HIGHLY recommend that you purchase your mangos there. Mexicans love mangos and usually have the best quality. You want to choose one that is soft enough to make a dent when you push your thumb into it.
Mango nectar- you can use water if you can’t find any mango nectar, but I prefer using the nectar because fruits tend to lose some flavor when they are frozen. The nectar will help to retain some of that flavor and will make a better paleta.
Granulated sugar- you definitely need some sugar to sweeten the mango puree. You can add more or less to your liking, but just remember that fruits lose some flavor and sweetness when they are frozen, so add more sugar than you think you need once you taste the puree before freezing.
Lime juice- a little fresh lime juice for some acidity and flavor. I absolutely love lime and I squeeze it over fruits, vegetables, meats, rice, etc. the list goes on. Add as much or as little as you want.
Tajin & Chamoy- if you’ve never had tajin or chamoy with fruits, you’re missing out! It may be difficult to understand the flavor profiles here but I swear it works. I didn’t realize how weird this combo sounded to people until I visited my family in Korea and gave them some to try. They weren’t big fans of it, but I absolutely love it.
Salt- if you just want to make mango paletas without the tajin and chamoy, add just a pinch of salt to the mangos to bring out the natural flavor.
2 Types of Paletas:
There are MANY paleta flavors & combinations, but there are generally 2 types of paletas made:
Water based- these are typically fruit pops that have a water or juice base. These paletas are more true to the integrity of the fruits, and are also healthier (and vegan too!)
Cream based- these are creamy paletas with a texture that is more similar to ice cream than a popsicle. They usually have some combination of heavy cream, mexican crema, milk, and/or sweetened condensed milk. These also tend to have more flavors available because it isn’t limited to fruits- some common popular flavors are coconut, coffee, oreo, and, chocolate.
To make paletas, you will need a popsicle mold, popsicle sticks, and plastic bags for storing. You will also need a blender.
I recommend a silicone popsicle mold because they are easier to remove the popsicles from. The exact one I have is no longer available on Amazon, but I found a similar one that you can purchase. It also comes with the popsicle sticks and baggies. Here are all the links to purchase everything you will need for this recipe:
Before eating these paletas, I recommend letting them sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften. When they are slightly softened, you can taste more of the mango flavor.
Mangonadas Paletas (Mango & Chamoy Popsicles)
- Popsicle silicone molds
- popsicle sticks
- plastic baggies for storing
- 1 1/2 lbs ripe mango chunks
- 1/3 cup mango nectar or water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 lime
- pinch of salt (if not using tajin & chamoy)
- Using super ripe mangos, peel and cut into chunks to blend. If you want some bites of mango in your popsicle, you can also cut some little chunks and set them aside to add later in the popsicle molds.
- Add the sugar and juice of 1 lime to the mangos. Mix thoroughly then let it sit for 20 minutes to macerate. Note: Add more sugar if you like it really sweet. Also consider adding a bit more sugar if you plan to use water instead of mango nectar.
- After 20 minutes the mangos should be softened and there will be a pool of mango syrup at the bottom.
- Pour into a blender along with the mango nectar (or water). Blend until smooth.*If you want to make mango paletas without the chamoy & tajin, add a pinch of salt to the blender. It brings out the mango's natural flavor and will help since fruits lose some flavor when frozen.
- In a sanitized silicone popsicle mold, first add a layer of chamoy at the bottom, then some mango chunks (if using), then sprinkle some tajin. Pour in the mango puree about half way, then repeat the process and finish the top with some more chamoy and tajin. You can alternate and add as much or as little as you want. I think a 3:1 ratio of mango to chamoy/tajin is a good balance for most people, but I like it with a bit more chamoy/tajin.
- Optional: Lightly mix/swirl the filling for a prettier paleta. You can use a popsicle stick for this- just make sure you don't overmix it or you won't see any swirls.
- It depends on your popsicle mold, but be mindful about the popsicle stick placement when you're sticking them into the mold. You don't want to push them all the way down because it leaves very little room to hold the stick, but you also want to make sure its deep enough. Also make sure it is centered from all sides.
- Freeze for at least 8 hours. To remove from the mold, place it in warm water for 10-20 seconds to loosen. With a little wiggling and force, the popsicles will slide out perfectly. I like to stretch the sides of the silicone mold to help loosen it up a bit more.
- Store in the freezer for up to 1 week.