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Cactus Salad (Ensalada de Nopales)

  • Author: Mirna Pena
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 generous servings 1x


Also known as Ensalada de Nopales. Tender cactus planks cut into strips and then diced with tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, avocado, cilantro, lime, and salt. Great as an appetizer or as a side for many meals.


  • 130 oz jar of tender cactus “Nopalitos” – drained and diced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup diced jalapenos 
  • 1 avocado – cubed pieces
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco (optional)


  1. Drain the jar of tender cactus over the sink in a colander.
  2. Take out the pepper, cilantro, and onions at the bottom of the jar.
  3. Rinse the cactus with cold water.
  4. Dice the cactus into small pieces.
  5. In a bowl, add your diced cactus, diced tomato, chopped onion, diced jalapenos, roughly chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, and queso fresco (optional).
  6. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime and add ½ teaspoon of salt over your mix.
  7. Mix well with a spoon or utensil of choice.
  8. Serve and enjoy!


You can add as little or as much as you’d like of the jalapeno. If you don’t like yours that spicy or you don’t want any spice at all, just decrease or omit it completely.

Cheese is completely optional. It does give a creamier feel to it, but leaving it out makes for a great vegan option.

Don’t have fresh jalapenos, you can use pickled jalapenos instead! Your salad will still be super delicious!

If you are serving these as an appetizer, they are great with saltine crackers or tortillas chips.