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Ensalada con Nopales: Delicious Cactus Salad Recipe

I can’t stop having fun experimenting with fresh cactus (nopales) from Melissa’s Produce. After making nopales con huevos (cactus and eggs) for breakfast, I then made a fresh and delicious cactus salad for dinner.

Ensalada con nopales

The salad was fresh, delicious, and packed full of nutrition to fuel my kids growing bodies. It was very simple to make and is perfect for your next summer barbecue or potluck. Plus, if you have a picky eaters like me, it is super easy to hide the nutritious cactus in this recipe – mine didn’t even know it was in the salad.

Cactus Salad Recipe

Preparing the cactus (nopales) is super simple. There are three different ways to prepare the cactus, but I choose to grill the cactus for this recipe so that it would have a smoky flavor. Also, feel free to add more of your favorite vegetables to make this salad unique to your family.

Since our family loves spicy food (the spicier the better) I added a diced serrano pepper. The pepper gave the salad incredible flavor, but I caution to be careful with how much you add depending on how spicy your kids like their food.

Summer Cactus Salad

Cactus Salad Recipe


3 Cactus leaves from Melissa’s Produce (grilled and chopped)
1 Can of corn
1 Can black beans
1 Large heirloom tomato (diced)
3 Tbl fresh cilantro (chopped)
4 Limes
2 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 Cup red onion (chopped)
Cotija Cheese (grated)
1 Avocado
1 Serrano pepper (optional)


1. If you are using canned corn vs fresh, I always recommend cooking it in a frying pan. Simply add a Tbl of olive oil and then cook the corn for about 5 minutes or until the corn looks grilled.

Grilled Nopales (cactus)

2. After preparing the cactus, grill it for about 5 minutes on each side. Then slice into small squares.

Nopales Salad Recipe

3. In a large mixing bowl add the cactus, corn, beans (drained & rinsed), tomato, cilantro, red onion, salt and pepper. (optional diced serrano pepper)

Fresh limes from Melissa's Produce

4. Next drizzle the olive oil and squeeze the juice from the four limes.

5. Mix well. Top with diced avocado and cotija cheese.

6. Serve with your favorite protein. Enjoy!

Summer Cactus Salad (Ensalada con nopales)

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