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Raw Nopales Salad Recipe
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Raw Nopales Salad

This easy-to-make Raw Nopales Salad has become very popular in Mexico. Cactus Paddles are usually called “Nopales” or “Nopalitos” in Mexico, and we use them in salads, stews, soups, and even in drinks (you can also grill them). It’s a healthy and nutritious source of fiber.
Course Salads
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 153kcal


  • 2 Large Nopales spines removed. (About 2 cups once chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 large tomato 1/3 cup, diced
  • ½ medium size white onion chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 Serrano pepper 1½ tbsp.
  • 2 Cilantro sprigs chopped (3 tbsp.)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp Mexican oregano optional
  • 1/3 cup Queso Fresco crumbled
  • ½ avocado diced or sliced


  • Chop the nopales into small pieces, then place them in a medium-size bowl and stir in the salt.
  • Using your hands, gently squeeze and mix the nopales, making sure that all the nopalitos (pieces of nopales) are well covered with the salt. This step will release the viscous liquid from the nopales. You will start to see that it also forms some bubbles. Continue this process for 4-5 minutes, then set the bowl aside and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop the tomato, onion, serrano pepper, and cilantro.
  • After the 20 minutes of resting, place the nopalitos in a strainer to drain all the liquid that they have released. Rinse under running water to remove the viscous liquid. Shake the strainer to make sure that you remove as much water as possible.
  • Place the drained nopales in a medium-size bowl, then stir in the chopped tomatoes, onion, serrano pepper, and cilantro.
  • In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, black pepper, and oregano. Mix together, then drizzle the dressing over the nopales salad.
  • Top the raw nopales salad with the crumbled Queso Fresco and the avocado. Serve in small bowls and enjoy!


One delicious addition to this salad, believe it or not, is diced mango. If you choose to use it, add it when you combine the vegetables.
You can also use crunchy pieces of Chicharrones to top the salad at serving time.


Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 2946mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg