Atole de Nuez – A Traditional Mexican Drink

Atole de Nuez is a traditional Mexican drink made with pecans, milk, and cornstarch. This comforting, creamy, and earthy drink can be enjoyed in the mornings or in the afternoon with tamales or pastries.

Atole de nuez in turquoise cups.

What is Atole de Nuez?

Atole is a very popular Mexican drink that is served hot and usually to accompany tamales. This sweet drink has a thick and creamy consistency and can be prepared in various flavors according to each family’s preferences.

Nuez in English translates to “nut”, hence the name “atole de nuez”. The drink is made using pecans, since that type of nut is native to Mexico and the southern USA, and used in many other traditional recipes.

A white pot with atole de nuez.

Even though you can find now flavored cornstarch in small packets at any Latino American store to make atole de nuez, making it at home is really easy and fast.

How To Drink

Traditionally atoles are drunk hot, served in mugs for breakfast or afternoon snacks (merienda). They are the perfect pairing for any tamales recipes, but can also be served alongside Pan Dulce.

But being honest, the drink is too rich and perfectly creamy that can be enjoyed even alone, like a regular cup of coffee in the morning.

Pecan Atole (atole de nuez) served in cups with chopped pecans on top.

Pecans Health Benefits

Pecan nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats which help lower levels of cholesterol. They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, being helpful to those with low blood pressure.

Pecan nuts scattered on a white surface.

Font: Health Benefits of Pecans – WebMD

TIP: If you want your atole de nuez to be even more delicious, lightly toast the pecans on a skillet or comal. The heat will help the oils to release adding a more strong flavor to the beverage.

The Recipe

In a blender place pecans, cornstarch, cinnamon powder, 2 cups of milk, and vanilla extract. Blend for about 2 minutes at high speed. If you want atole to have some nuts bits you can blend for less time. Set aside.

Blending pecans, milk, and the other ingredients.

Pour the remaining milk on a medium stockpot, add brown sugar (read notes) and place on the stove at medium-low heat. Stir well to allow the sugar to dissolve.

Mixing the milk and brown sugar on a white pot.

When you’ll notice the milk starts to make bubbles around the pot and right before it starts to boil, add the pecans mixture while stirring.

Adding the pecans mixture to the pot.

Keep cooking at medium-low heat stirring constantly to prevent the milk from boiling vigorously or from burning and sticking on the stockpot bottom.

After 8-10 minutes you’ll notice the mixture has thickened. So, taste and adjust with sugar if needed then turn off the heat.

Atole cooked on a white pot.

Serve in mugs, sprinkle with chopped pecans and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

  • Cook the atole de nuez mixture always over low-medium heat to prevent it from burning or sticking to the pot, which can add an unpleasant flavor to the drink.
  • It is important to not leave the pot unattended because if it starts to boil it will probably spill out.
  • You can substitute sugar for piloncillo or molasses if you want a more rich flavor. Even though molasses aren’t the same as piloncillo, the taste is pretty similar and you’ll be surprised how delicious is!
  • If you use piloncillo and want to blend it together with pecans, remember to soften it a little by placing it in the microwave for a few seconds then you can cut it in chunks or you can even grate it with a cheese grater.

Frequent Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe with other nuts?

Yes! You can replace pecans with walnuts, hazelnuts, or even almonds.

Can I make it daily-free

Yes. It will be a little less creamy but delicious anyway. You can use soy milk, coconut milk, rice or oat milk, or any other dairy-free milky beverage.

How long last?

If you have atole de nuez leftovers, allow them to cool down, then pour them in a jar with a lid or a container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How to reheat

Pour the atole in a pot and reheat over medium-low heat while stirring constantly until heated up. Or use the microwave and place your mug with atole and heat with 30 seconds intervals.

Watch How To Make It

More Atole Recipes

Atole de Nuez recipe.

Atole de Nuez Recipe

Atole de Nuez is a earthy and warm drink made with milk, pecans and cornstarch. A Mexican traditional beverage that can be enjoy in the mornings or in the afternoon.
PREP 5 minutes
COOK 15 minutes
TOTAL 20 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 6 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup pecans (or other type of nuts)
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup brown sugar (or pilloncillo)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For serving

  • 3 Tbsp pecans (chopped)

Instructions

  • Place pecans in a blender. Add cornstarch, cinnamon powder, 2 cups of milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Blend for about 2 minutes at high speed. Set aside.
  • Pour the remaining milk on a medium stockpot, add brown sugar and place on the stove at medium-low heat. Stir well to allow the sugar to dissolve.
  • When you’ll notice the milk starts to make bubbles around the pot and right before it starts to boil, add the pecans mixture while stirring.
  • Keep cooking at medium-low heat stirring constantly to prevent the milk from boiling vigorously or from burning and sticking on the pot bottom.
  • After 8-10 minutes you’ll notice the mixture has thickened. Taste and adjust with sugar if needed then turn off the heat.
  • Serve in mugs and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

NOTES

  • Cook the atole de nuez mixture always over low-medium heat to prevent it from burning or sticking to the pot, which can add an unpleasant flavor to the drink.
  • It is important to not leave the pot unattended because if it starts to boil it will probably spill out.
  • You can substitute sugar for piloncillo or molasses if you want a more rich flavour. Even though molasses aren’t same as piloncillo, the taste is pretty similar and you’ll be surprise how delicious is!
  • If you use piloncillo and want to blend it together with pecans, remember to soften it a little by placing it in the microwave for a few seconds then you can cut it in chunks or you can even grate it with a cheese grater.
Nutrition
Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 400mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 403IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 303mg | Iron: 1mg
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    The perfect recipe for the cold weather, I made it yesterday and it was exactly as I remember it. I loved it that its made from scratch and not from a maizena package, and its SO EASY!