Ensalada De Nopalitos (Cactus Salad) With Vegan Option

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

This is a delicious recipe using nopales, which are the paddles of the prickly pear cactus. You can use fresh, cooked nopales if you wish, but we just used jarred cactus. We made this for a dinner party and it was a hit! Cooking time is time spent allowing the cactus to absorb the flavors of the other ingredients. There is no actual cooking involved, unless you decide to cook your own fresh cactus. To save time, chop the veggies while you're waiting for the nopales to marinate.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Drain the nopalitos and place in a bowl. Cut them into smaller strips, if you prefer.
  2. Add the white onion, cilantro, Mexican oregano, and lime juice to the nopalitos. Stir well. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
  3. While waiting, prepare the toppings.
  4. When the nopales mixture has sat for 30 minutes, spread the mixture in a 1.5 or 2 inch deep platter.
  5. Top with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, shredded cheese, onion, jalapeños, and avocado.
  6. Place the lettuce along the edges of the platter.
  7. Serve at room temperature.
Most Helpful

this was so good :) -- my partner does not like cactus, but she actually enjoyed this dish. the one thing that i did different was to combine everything in one huge bowl after the nopalitos had marinated. we used soy cheese, but I thought it was the best I have had in a long time -- thanks for sharing

Inspiritual January 14, 2009