This Nopales and Eggs Recipe is made with oil, cactus paddles, tomatoes, salsa verde, and eggs anyway you want them.
Nopales and eggs can be served as a breakfast dish with warm tortillas or as a light lunch or dinner. It's a simple yet flavorful dish that highlights the unique flavor and texture of nopales and is a great way to introduce this nutritious ingredient to your diet.
Nopales, or cactus paddles, are a Mexican staple and is a common ingredient in numerous cuisines. Nopales are eaten raw or cooked. In the US, you can find a Mexican grocery store that most likely sells them, and are sometimes sold in American grocery stores. In Mexico, nopales are sold cleaned of spines and prepped for cooking.
- What are Nopales and Eggs Recipe?
- How do I clean nopales?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Nopales and Eggs Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Nopales and Eggs
- What to serve with Nopales and Eggs
- Nopales and Eggs Recipe Variations
- How to store Nopales and Eggs
- Nopales and Eggs Recipe Top tips
- Nopales and Eggs Recipe
- Food safety
What are Nopales and Eggs Recipe?
Nopales and eggs is a popular Mexican breakfast dish that features cactus paddles, also known as nopales, and scrambled eggs. Nopales are a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are often used in salads, stews, and as a side dish. They are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and have a slightly tart and crunchy texture.
To make nopales and eggs, the nopales are first cooked until tender and then combined with beaten eggs and cooked until the eggs are scrambled. The dish is typically seasoned with garlic, onions, and chili peppers and can be garnished with fresh cilantro and avocado.
How do I clean nopales?
- Choose firm, green cactus paddles without any blemishes or soft spots. Use gloves or tongs to handle them, as they have small spines that can be difficult to see.
- Rinse the cactus paddles under running water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to remove the thorns from the cactus paddles. Start at the top of the paddle and carefully shave off the thorns in the direction of the grain. Be careful not to remove too much of the skin, as this will affect the texture of the nopales.
- Use a small knife to trim the edges of the cactus paddles and remove any brown spots or rough areas.
- Rinse the cactus paddles again under running water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Slice the cactus paddles into strips or dice them into small pieces, depending on the recipe.
Why you will love this recipe
- Nutritious: Nopales are a low-calorie, high-fiber vegetable that are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, and iron.
- Unique flavor: Nopales have a slightly tart and crunchy texture that adds a unique flavor and texture to the dish. They pair well with the creamy and savory scrambled eggs.
- Versatile: Nopales can be prepared in a variety of ways and can be used in many different dishes. They can be grilled, sautéed, or boiled, and are often used in salads, stews, and as a side dish.
- Easy to prepare: Nopales and eggs is a simple yet flavorful dish that can be prepared in under 30 minutes. It requires minimal ingredients and can be customized with different seasonings and toppings.
- Healthy breakfast option: Nopales and eggs is a healthy breakfast option that is low in calories and high in protein and fiber. It's a great way to start your day and keep you feeling full and energized throughout the morning.
Nopales and Eggs Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Olive oil
- Cactus paddles
- Salsa verde
- Mozzarella cheese
See recipe card for Nopales and Eggs Recipe quantities.
How to make Nopales and Eggs
In a large skillet, add oil and on medium high heat and wait for it to shimmer. Add two nopales flat onto the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.
Lower to medium heat, then flip the nopales and add four slices tomato on the skillet (I like to use two slices for each nopal).
After 2 minutes, sprinkle cheese on each nopal until it starts to melt. Place 2 slices of tomato on each nopal and remove from heat, and cover for 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
Make your eggs any style you want in a separate skillet. Place the eggs on each nopal, top with salsa, and enjoy.
What to serve with Nopales and Eggs
- Warm tortillas: Warm tortillas are a classic accompaniment to Mexican breakfast dishes, including nopales and eggs. Serve them on the side or use them to make breakfast tacos or burritos.
- Refried beans: Refried beans are a traditional Mexican side dish that pair well with nopales and eggs. They are high in protein and fiber and can be seasoned with garlic, onions, and chili peppers for extra flavor.
- Salsa: Salsa adds a burst of flavor and heat to nopales and eggs. Serve it on the side or spoon it over the top of the scrambled eggs.
- Avocado: Avocado is a healthy and creamy addition to nopales and eggs. Slice it and serve it on the side or mash it up to make guacamole.
- Fresh fruit: Fresh fruit is a refreshing and healthy side dish that pairs well with the savory flavors of nopales and eggs. Serve sliced oranges, papaya, or pineapple on the side.
- Olive oil: You can use another neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, vegetable, or grapeseed oil.
- Cactus paddles: If you can't find fresh cactus paddles, you could use canned or jarred nopales. Alternatively, you could substitute another vegetable with a similar texture, such as zucchini or green beans.
- Salsa verde: You could use red salsa, pico de gallo, or any other type of salsa that you like. If you prefer a milder flavor, you could use diced tomatoes instead.
- Tomatoes: If you don't have fresh tomatoes, you could use canned diced tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes.
- Eggs: If you are vegan or allergic to eggs, you could use a tofu scramble instead. Simply crumble firm tofu in a pan and cook it with the other ingredients.
- Mozzarella cheese: If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, you could use a non-dairy cheese alternative, such as vegan mozzarella, nutritional yeast, or a cashew cheese sauce. Alternatively, you could omit the cheese altogether and sprinkle some chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, on top of the dish.
Nopales and Eggs Recipe Variations
- Add spices: To give your nopales and eggs more flavor, you could add some spices like cumin, chili powder, or paprika to the mix. This will give the dish a smoky, spicy flavor that complements the earthy taste of the cactus.
- Mix up the cheese: While mozzarella cheese is a classic option for nopales and eggs, you can experiment with other cheeses to change up the flavor. Try crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese for a salty, crumbly texture. You could also use a sharp cheddar or pepper jack for a bit of heat.
- Make it a breakfast burrito: If you want to turn your nopales and eggs into a portable breakfast option, wrap the mixture up in a warm tortilla and add some refried beans, salsa, and avocado for a complete meal on the go.
- Add meat: If you're looking for a heartier breakfast option, you could add some cooked chorizo or bacon to the mix. The smoky, savory flavors of the meat pair well with the earthy taste of the cactus and eggs.
- Serve with different sides: While warm tortillas and refried beans are classic accompaniments to nopales and eggs, you can switch things up by serving the dish with different sides. Try roasted sweet potatoes or sautéed spinach for a nutrient-rich breakfast option.
Check out this
- Cutting board: For slicing and dicing the cactus paddles and any other ingredients.
- Knife: A sharp knife is essential for cutting the cactus paddles and any other ingredients.
- Non-stick skillet: A non-stick skillet is best for cooking the nopales and eggs, as it helps prevent sticking and makes for easy clean-up.
- Spatula: A sturdy spatula is needed for flipping the nopales and eggs in the skillet.
- Mixing bowl: You'll need a mixing bowl to whisk the eggs before adding them to the skillet.
- Whisk: A whisk is needed to beat the eggs and create a smooth consistency.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are necessary for measuring out ingredients accurately.
How to store Nopales and Eggs
Nopales and eggs are best enjoyed fresh and hot, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Here are some tips for storing nopales and eggs:
- Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator.
- Store the nopales and eggs in a shallow airtight container. This will help prevent the eggs from becoming soggy.
- Label the container with the date you prepared the nopales and eggs, so you can keep track of how long they've been in the fridge.
- To reheat the nopales and eggs, place them in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they're heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave them in a microwave-safe dish for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Nopales and Eggs Recipe Top tips
- Choose fresh nopales: Look for bright green cactus paddles with no blemishes or discoloration. Avoid paddles that are too thick, as they can be tough and stringy.
- Clean the nopales thoroughly: Use a vegetable brush to scrub the cactus paddles and remove any prickly spines. Rinse them well under running water before slicing.
- Cook the nopales before adding eggs: Sauté the sliced nopales in olive oil over medium-high heat until they're tender and slightly browned. This helps remove excess moisture and ensures the eggs cook evenly.
- Don't overcook the eggs: Cook the eggs over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they're just set but still moist. Overcooking the eggs can make them dry and rubbery.
- Add your favorite toppings: Nopales and eggs pair well with a variety of toppings, such as salsa, chopped tomatoes, avocado, and cheese. Customize the recipe to your liking and experiment with different flavors.
- Serve hot and fresh: Nopales and eggs taste best when served immediately after cooking. If you must store leftovers, follow the proper storage guidelines to ensure they stay fresh.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove