Nopales Compuesto

Whole nopales with spines

Nopales Compuestos

Jon Griffin
Nopales Compuestos or cactus salad is refreshing and nutritious. It is served all over Mexico year round. It is especially good in the summer as a cool but satisfying salad. All of the mercados (markets) have multiple vendors selling nopales, and like most peasant food they are all a little bit different. This is the recipe I used when I lived in Mexico City. Let me know what you think.
This is a Whole Food Plant Based No Oil version. You won't miss the cheese or oil.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 16 kcal


  • ½ lb cactus paddles (nopales)
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste or omit
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 large tomatoes


  • Dethorn cactus with the back of a knife, just like scaling a fish 🙂
    Nopales dethorned
  • Cut cactus into strips
    Nopales cut into strips
  • In large sauce pan with 2 cups of boiling water add the cactus with onion, garlic, and salt
  • Allow to cook until cactus are soft
  • Rinse with cold water and strain
  • In large bowl add cactus, sliced onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and stir

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