Nopales a la Mexicana, Easy recipe

Nopales  mexican cactus recipe
Nopales  Mexican cactus recipe

Usually, a recipe that says “a la Mexicana” refers to a dish that is cooked with the Mexican cooking trinity of tomato, onion, and pepper. In this case, Nopales are cooked with these 3 ingredients and a few more add-ons, for flavor and seasoning. This is a simple meal, and one of the humblest representations of our vast gastronomy. There are still so many dishes that I prepare regularly but are not on the blog, and this is one of them. I could eat Nopales cooked this way every single day for lunch with a couple of charred corn tortillas, a meal so delightful that it always puts a smile on my face! The reason: because it is a NON-GUILTY pleasure!

Yes, it is a pleasure for many Mexicans like me to enjoy Nopales, either grilled, steamed, in a salad, or in a stew. If you haven’t already tried them, then what are you waiting for! I invite you to taste them. I hope you do and come back to tell me about it.

Nopales  mexican cactus recipe


  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 cups Nopales, chopped and cooked
  • ¼ cup White onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, diced
  • 1 cup Tomato, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Nopales  mexican cactus recipe

  • If you can’t find Serrano peppers, you can use 1 jalapeño pepper.


Nopales  mexican cactus recipe

1.     Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes or until it starts to look transparent.
2.     Stir in the Serrano pepper and garlic clove, and cook for one minute.
3.     Add chopped tomato and cook for about 5 minutes; by this time the tomatoes will start releasing their juices.
4.      Finally, stir in nopales and the cilantro sprigs. Let it cook for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. In case your sauce is too dry, add some tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.

              Serve with warm corn tortillas. Enjoy!
Nopales  mexican cactus recipe

Mely Martínez

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  1. Me encantan los nopales! Especialmente en recetas fáciles y sencillas como esta. Para mi, no hay mejor botana o almuerzo ligero que unos nopales a la mexicana con totopos. Delicioso! :D

  2. Made this tonight for Dinner. Delicious! My husband and I really liked Nopales this way. I did add a diced Calabacita. Very healthy and Delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  3. Hi Mely, I really like Nopales, but I don't know how to cook them.your recipe doesn't tell us that. could you tell me how to prepare them before using them in any recipe. Thank you

    1. Hello Dolores,

      Here is the link to the process:

      Happy cooking!

  4. If you like queso fresco crumble some on your plate before you eat, it's wonderful.

  5. Meli, thank you for all you delicious posts...My husand & I are growing them in our yard. I learned to also enjoy them, Shredded(using a hand Shredder) to incorporate into my Salsas, Stews & other dishes...I have learned they also have a medicinal side topically, slicing a Paddle. The cooling sensation is like Aloe but feels great when refrigerator...Thank you, love this recipe...Trying to get my husband to like them.... LOL...


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