Mexican Paletas

Mexican paletas ice pops recipe

​The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Freeze: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
86 Calories
0g Fat
22g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 29mg 144%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 144mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you grew up, as did many Americans, on ice pops made of just colored sugar water, but then one day tried a paleta chock-full of real fruit, you will know what we mean when we say that the Mexican-style Popsicle is a revelation.

Mexico may not have been the birthplace of the ice pop (the history of which is a little fuzzy), but that country certainly has taken the making of these frozen treasures seriously. The funny thing is though, that in Mexico, “artisan” paletas are not a novelty gourmet item, but rather an everyday occurrence. Even small towns have a ​paleteria, that magical place where frozen treats are made in a myriad of flavors and sold to customers who must take their time to decide on which variety to eat on this occasion.

Fortunately, paletas are super easy to make, so once the weather gets hot, get out the Popsicle molds and mix up a batch of your own. Start with our basic version, then branch out with the variations listed below the recipe.

“I used watermelon to make these wonderful fruit popsicles and it was the perfect summer treat. You can also add less sugar or more lime juice and really make these your own. I would highly recommend giving this easy recipe a try!” —Tracy Wilk

Mexican Paletas/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 cups coarsely chopped ripe fresh fruit, such as strawberries, pineapple, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Key lime juice, or regular lime juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Mexican paletas
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  2. Place half of the fruit, sugar, water, and lime juice into a blender, and blend until smooth.

    Blended fruit in blender
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Spoon the remaining chopped fruit into ice pop molds, then add the blended mixture, leaving about 1/2-inch of headspace for expansion.

    Fruit in ice pop trays
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Place the molds into the freezer and allow at least 6 hours for your treats to firm up completely. If your molds don’t have built-in Popsicle sticks (or you are using paper cups or some other receptacle as molds), take your pops out of the freezer after about an hour and insert wooden sticks into the slushy mix; return to the freezer.

    Insert wooden sticks into the slushy mix
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Remove the pops from the molds and enjoy!

    Paletas—Mexican Popsicles
    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Recipe Variations

  • Change up the main ingredient. Besides the fruits listed above, how about making them with kiwi, banana, raspberries, blueberries, or guava? Or, forget traditional fruit pops, and make them with tamarind paste, or pecans, or arroz con leche (rice pudding).
  • Blend—or not. The basic recipe has you blending half the fruit and leaving the rest in chunks—but you can also blend it all or leave it all chunky. It really is all up to you.
  • Vary the liquid. Why just stick with water when you can try fruit and/or veggie juice, tea, or milk—cow's, almond, or coconut milk.
  • Pick your sweetener. Instead of refined white sugar, use brown sugar, piloncillo, stevia, agave nectar, or artificial sweetener. Or forego sweetening altogether and let the natural flavors of the main ingredient(s) sing.
  • Add something "hot." Mexicans often add powdered chile (such as chile piquín) to cut fresh fruit to their fruit paletas. Mango with chile and tamarind with chile are special favorites. Or brew a spicy syrup by gently boiling a little water with a fresh jalapeño or serrano chile, straining the pepper out, then adding sugar and heating (stirring all the while) until the sugar dissolves. Blend this with your paleta mix, and you have yourself a hot ice pop.
  • Add something "cool." Fresh mint leaves are an eye-openly good addition to many fruits, and doubly so when the whole dish is frozen. If you don't want leaves in your paletas, use a mint simple syrup. Or try a small amount of spearmint or peppermint essence that will have a similar effect; just don't go overboard on the quantity, as mint extract is very strong and can easily overpower the flavor of the fruit.