5 Ingredients or Fewer

Grilled Cactus Paddles (Nopales)

June  9, 2014
11 Ratings
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 3-4
Author Notes

Nopales are the paddles of oputina (prickly pear) cactus, commonly found in Mexico. They are a common vegetable in Mexico, and taste a little like green beans, but slightly more acidic. They are a great addition to grilled meat dishes, or tasty just on their own. They are also often sliced/diced and served with eggs or in salads. —Russ Crandall

What You'll Need
  • 6-8 nopales
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Using a sharp knife, hold the nopales by its stem and scrape off its thorns. Then hold it on the other side and scrape down its stem until you get to the soft part. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Brush the oil onto the nopales, and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Grill on direct, medium heat, and flip once it is slightly charred, about two minutes. Grill for another two minutes – you’ll know they’re ready when they are soft and dark green. Slice and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Paulie Edwards
    Paulie Edwards
  • marymary
  • Debbideb

3 Reviews

Paulie E. May 9, 2017
Tastes great right off the grill, but cold leftovers are a bit bitter
marymary June 10, 2014
Interesting! I've passed by these in several Hispanic grocery stores many times, wondering how to prepare them. Thanks for the incentive to pick some up next trip. Good luck in the contest.
Debbideb May 2, 2023
Wonderful in scrambled eggs with some green sauce