Tag Archives: cactus

Nopalitos | Warm Cactus Salad

Warm Cactus Salad Photo Credit: Lola's Cocina

Dishes with cactus paddles, or nopales, can be found on restaurant menus throughout Mexico and are growing in popularity here in the U.S. Cactus paddles are believed to aid in digestion, help regulate blood glucose and insulin levels, and have anti-inflammatory properties, among other health-related benefits. My mother’s recipe below is versatile and can be enjoyed as a salad, spread onto a tostada (crispy corn tortilla) with Mexican cream, stuffed into a quesadilla, served alongside scrambled eggs, or used to top your favorite taco. Enjoy! Read More…

Queso Fundido con Chorizo | Melted Cheese and Chorizo

by Lola

2 tablespoon oil divided
½ medium onion
2 serrano chili peppers diced
10 ounces beef chorizo
3 cups Oaxaca cheese or other white melting cheese
5 Mexican green onions (optional)
2 nopales (cactus paddles) (optional)
Salt to taste


  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium flame in large pan. Once hot, add onions and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add chile and chorizo and sauté breaking up and stirring constantly to avoid burning for about 5 minutes or until chorizo is thoroughly cooked.
  4. Transfer half of the mixture to a baking dish (or molcajete) and add 1 ½ cups cheese. Add remaining chorizo, then cover with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is thoroughly melted.
  6. In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high flame on large griddle. Once hot, add Mexican onions and cactus paddles. Sprinkle with salt and turn every five minutes until slightly blackened on each side, approximately 15 minutes total.
  7. Remove cheese from oven and serve with cactus paddles sliced lengthwise, onions, and warm corn tortillas or homemade tortilla chips (see recipe below).

Cactus Salad with Jicama| Ensalada de Nopales con Jícama

by Reyna Mendoza

15 small cactus paddles cleaned and diced
5 avocado leaves
8 epazote leaves
2 medium tomatoes diced
1 medium white onion diced
1 cup jicama peeled and cubed


  1. Add diced cactus to a pot of boiling water (enough to cover cactus). Cook until cactus changes color, approximately 15 minutes or until gelatinous liquids are released. Strain cactus and discard water, then rinse well.
  2. Repeat step 1, only this time add the avocado leaves and epazote. Strain again, then set aside and let cool, removing avocado and epazote leaves.
  3. Combine tomatoes, onion and jicama in large bowl. Mix in cactus and serve with creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing and crumbled queso fresco.

Cactus Paddle Agua Fresca | Agua Fresca de Nopal


4 small cactus paddles cleaned and rinsed
2 1-inch slices fresh pineapple
½ cup sugar (or to taste)
1 small bunch mint stems removed
6 cups water divided


  1. Roughly chop cactus paddle and pineapple into approximately 3-inch pieces.
  2. Blend cactus paddle, pineapple, sugar, and mint with 3 cups water on high for 60 seconds.
  3. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into large pitcher. You may need to agitate the mixture to let the juice through, avoid pushing through the pulp to keep juice light in consistency. Discard pulp.
  4. Stir in remaining 3 cups water.
  5. Chill and serve over ice. Garnish with fresh pineapple cubes on toothpick.