Cactus Paddle Salad (Nopales Salad)

READY IN: 50mins
Recipe by Chef Kate

If you can't get fresh nopales, you can substitute a 12 - 15 ounce jar of the cactus pieces, drained. If you can't find Mexican queso fresco, you can substitue feta cheese--but the feta may be saltier than the queso so adjust your seasoning.

Top Review by cookiedog

This was really good and the first time I prepared fresh nopales. The balsamic gave this a sweet contrast to the salty cotijo. Nice textures and this would make a great side dish to your next carne asada!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat 6 inches of water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cactus and boil, uncovered, until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the cactus and transfer it to a large bowl.
  4. Add tomato, onion and cilantro; set aside.
  5. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano and salt; pour over the vegetables and toss.
  6. Line a platter with lettuce leaves; top with salad; sprinkle with cheese; garnish with jalapenos and radish slices.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a