Prep Time:
15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Serving Size
1/2 cup
3 cups of fresh nopalitos (cactus), diced*
1 roma tomato, diced
¼ purple onion, diced
5 tablespoons lime juice, about 3 limes
¼ cup of cilantro, diced
1/3 cup of Panela or Queso Fresco, diced or crumbled
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Avocado for garnish

*Instructions for cleaning fresh, whole cactus paddles: For the best taste choose firm, light green cactus. Wear gloves or tongs to protect your hands. Place the cactus paddle on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, trim off the edge. Running your knife from back to front, scrape the spines several times until the paddle is completely clean. Turn the cactus paddle and do the same on the other side. Rinse the cactus paddles and place them in a clean cutting board. For this recipe, cut the cactus paddles into small strips.  



  1. In a medium pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add cactus and boil for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Drain the cactus and rinse under cool running water. You might have to rinse and drain the cactus several times to remove the drool. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cooled cactus, Roma tomatoes, purple onion, lime juice, cilantro and queso fresco.
  4. Serve and garnish with cilantro.
  5. Enjoy!



Recipe modified by CHOICES Nutrition Education Program

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