Ensalada de Nopales (Cactus Salad)

Ensalada de Nopales (Cactus Salad)

Ensalada de Nopales (Cactus Salad)

Prep Time
15 Minutes
Nopal, or cactus leaf, is enjoyed all over Mexico in everything from salads to soups to salsa. Here, pre-cooked nopales help you get a head start on this colorful salad that’s brimming with fresh tomatoes, onion, lime juice, coriander, and spice. Serve it up as a topping or side with tacos and tostadas.
  • 450 grams (1 bag) jarred cooked nopales (nopalitos), drained and rinsed

  • 1 large tomato, diced

  • 1 small onion, sliced

  • small bunch coriander, chopped, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Oregano

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

  • 1 small avocado, peeled stone removed & chopped

  • 75 grams (3 ounces) vegan cheese, chopped (optional)


  • 1 Place all ingredients, except avocado and cheese, in a large bowl. Toss until evenly mixed.
  • 2 Just before serving, add vegan cheese and avocado, if desired, stirring gently to mix. Garnish with additional coriander leaves. Serve with tortilla chips.
  • 3 Test Kitchen Tip: Nopales are the tear-shaped leaves of the Opuntia or prickly pear cactus, harvested all year long in warm, dry regions of Mexico. The pads are harvested young and have a delicate, tart flavor and crisp yet slightly chewy texture. The juicy leaves are eaten both raw or cooked in a variety of Mexican dishes. Nopales are generally sold fresh in Mexico, but jarred nopalitos can be found in online retailers.