Nopales with ground beef in a piquin sauce

Nopales recipe with ground beef

This is a very delicious way to prepare nopales, the addition of the tomato sauce creates a complete meal when served with rice and corn tortillas. In just one plate you have your protein, vegetables and grains. And even though they have small piquin peppers, this is a mild stew. Of course, if you like to make it spicier, just add more peppers.

Nopales can be eaten raw in smoothies mixed with other fruits, but it is more common to eat them cooked. Prepared in a simple salad, adding tomato, onion, cilantro, oregano and salt. Or added to stews made using dried peppers like ancho, guajillo or mulato. Combined in soups or dishes with chicken, pork or seafood.  Another way to cook nopales is grilling them over a charcoal grill or stove top on a griddle.

There are several processes to eliminate the viscosity formed on the cooking water. Some people add the skins of tomatillos, others add a pinch of baking soda, and even lime juice,  these techniques do work up to a certain point, and also help to keep the color of the nopales slightly greener.

I hope you enjoy this stew, especially for those days when you don’t know what to cook for your family, but you always have that handy ground beef in the freezer.


  • 1 Lb tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons piquin pepper*
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Lb. ground beef
  • ½ cup whote onion, diced
  • 2 cups Nopales, chopped and cooked. (About 1 ½ lb. raw)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Sal and pepper to taste


Piquin peppers recipes

  • To cook nopales check this LINK
  • ·      Piquin pepper can be substituted with arbol peppers, just reduce the amount to 4 peppers. Remember that you can adjust the spiciness to your own liking by adding more peppers.


Nopales recipe with ground beef

1.     Place tomatoes and peeled garlic cloves in a saucepan, and cover with water. Cook over medium high heat until tomatoes are soft, about 8 minutes.
2.     While the tomatoes are cooking, roast piquin peppers over a medium heat. Use a griddle or frying pan for this purpose, making sure you do not burn the peppers. It will take about 30 seconds to roast them. If you are not use to roast peppers, turn the exhaust fan on. Set the peppers aside to cool.
3.     In a large frying pan, heat the oil, once it is hot,  add the ground beef to cook. Stir occasionally to have an even cooking. After 5 minutes, stir in the chopped onion. Keep cooking.
4.     While the meat is cooking, place cooked tomatoes, garlic cloves, roasted piquin peppers, and 1 cup of the cooking water in your blender. Process until you have a smooth sauce.
5.     Pour sauce over the meat, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the nopales, and with your finger crush the dried oregano and stir in as well as the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Keep simmering for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, and the sauce has reduced a little.
Nopales recipe with ground beef

Serve with rice, warm corn tortillas and enjoy!



 Other recipes using Nopales: Nopales with Chorizo, Nopales Salad, and Nopales Smoothie


  1. Is there a "print" link that I'm missing in your posts?

    1. There is a Print widget right above the comments. It is a green printer icon. It says Print Friendly. It will take you to another window and you can select what part do you want to print.


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