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Mexican Nopales Salad (Cactus Salad)

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  • Author: Maxine Dubois
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Mexican Nopales Salad (Cactus Salad) is so fresh, healthy and is made with cooked chopped nopales, tomatoes, onion cilantro serrano peppers and drizzled with oil and lime juice. 


  • 6 cactus pads or a strained 15 oz jar of prepped nopales
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 2 chopped Serrano peppers
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper as desired


  1. Rinse the cactus under cold water and be careful with the thorns. Use a vegetable peeler and peel away the bumps and thorns. With your other hand, you should use an oven mitt so you don’t prick yourself and you can hold it. Lean them against a chopping board. Once cleaned, lay the paddle flat on a cutting board and trim 1/4 inch off the edges and about 1/2 inch of the thick base. Cut the cactus into slices or squares, about a little less than an inch thick. Repeat wit the rest. Bring a medium pot to boil. Boil for 8-10 minutes until tender. The cactus will exude a sticky substance. Place a strainer on top of a bowl and strain the nopales. Keep the nopales in the strainer and place a towel over the strainer and bowl for 10 minutes. This step helps get rid of the sticky substance. Rinse the nopales. 
  2. If you bought strained 15 oz jar of prepped nopales, skip the first step.
  3. Place the nopales in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Squeeze the lime into it. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to your liking and mix. 


  • You can use any sort of tomatoes you want. I love using Roma tomatoes, but beefsteak or even cherry tomatoes will work. Just dice them up really well. 
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Mexican