Cactus Salad Recipe

Cactus Salad


Certain cactus varieties are edible, once their needles are removed. The flavor is like green beans. Nopales (edible cactus) may be found in Latin groceries or certain farmers markets. Look for firm pads with consistent green color and no wrinkling. If the needles are still attached, you need to remove them carefully. The nopales may be cooked by either boiling or grilling. We boiled the nopales for this recipe.

Yield: 2 servings


  • 6 large cactus leaves, about one and half pounds, cleaned
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, very thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime


  1. Cut the nopales into thin strips.
  2. Fill 2/3 of the stockpot with water and bring to a boil.
  3. When the water is boiled up, add the nopales and boil them until they are tender (about 8-10 minutes).
  4. Remove the nopales from hot water and let them cool slightly.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.
  6. When the oil is warm, add onions and cook them until they soften.
  7. Add the nopales and cook them until they soften (about 10-15 minutes) in medium heat. Stir them often.
  8. Place the cooked nopales on a service plate. Add lime/lemon juice.