Garlicy Nopales (Cactus Pads)

Garlic Nopales

This is a simple recipe that packs in a LOT of flavor and texture.  You can use it to stuff tacos or event just as a side dish,  hot or cold.  I’ve also chopped up leftovers and mixed it with tomatoes and onions to make a salsa.


2 cactus pads, de-thorned (see method for Preparing Nopales)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp cilantro


1.  Cut the cactus pads into long thin strips.  I cut them about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.

2.  Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large saute pan on medium heat.

3.  As soon as the garlic starts to turn a light brown, add the salt and nopales.  Stir well to ensure all the nopales strips get coated with the oil.

4.  Place a lid on top and cook for 10 minutes.  Take the lid off and stir well (at this point, you will see a good amount of liquid from the cactus pads).  Replace the lid and cook for another 10 minutes.  After 20 minutes total, most of the liquid should be gone.  If it is not, take the lid off and cook until the liquid is gone.

5.  Turn off the heat.  Stir in the cilantro and serve!


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