This is the Italianization of a stacked enchilada. Great for a party where you need to bring something, and easy to make. Canned nopalitos (cactus) can be found in the Hispanic foods section of grocery stores.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
50 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
16 servings
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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a large disposable aluminum roasting pan with cooking spray.

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  • Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking the meat into crumbles as it browns, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain excess grease and stir in taco seasoning and half the enchilada sauce. Reserve remaining enchilada sauce for later use. Bring beef mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Set meat aside.

  • Layer one package of tortillas into the bottom of the prepared aluminum roasting pan and spread refried beans evenly in a layer over the tortillas. Arrange 1 more package of halved tortillas over the beans, and top with slices of queso fresco. Spread 1 package of reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend over queso fresco slices. Lay half the sliced nopalitos in a criss-cross pattern over the shredded cheese.

  • Top nopalito layer with 1 more package of tortillas and spread beef mixture over the tortillas; top with remaining package of tortillas. Finish casserole with remaining enchilada sauce and remaining 1 package cheese blend. Top the cheese with remaining nopalito slices arranged in a criss-cross pattern.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until casserole is bubbling and the cheese topping is melted and starting to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve in squares.

Nutrition Facts

778 calories; protein 53.2g 106% DV; carbohydrates 78.8g 25% DV; fat 25.4g 39% DV; cholesterol 88.7mg 30% DV; sodium 1786.6mg 72% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (4)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/22/2015
Hubby's coworkers love it. Also when people ask "What is in it?" or "what are these green slivers?" I answer "mild hot peppers". My experience in making several times is that "The less they know the better they eat it and they love it". If you actually say "cactus" most often they snub their nose. People don't like to think outside of the box or even close....eat up...yum yum. Read More
(3)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/28/2017
It was good except was very salty. I would perhaps try it again if I can find low sodium ingedients. Maybe use my own chili powder and cumin instead of the packaged taco mix to reduce the salt. The nopalitos were a pleasant surprise with a mild flavor. I just let people think that the nopalito pieces were peppers instead of telling them that they are cactus. Read More
(1)
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/22/2015
Hubby's coworkers love it. Also when people ask "What is in it?" or "what are these green slivers?" I answer "mild hot peppers". My experience in making several times is that "The less they know the better they eat it and they love it". If you actually say "cactus" most often they snub their nose. People don't like to think outside of the box or even close....eat up...yum yum. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2014
This recipe was a big hit on my Super Bowl table. People came back for 2nds and 3rds. I had to hunt all over for the cactus but it was so worth the effort. Read More
(3)
Rating: 3 stars
01/28/2017
It was good except was very salty. I would perhaps try it again if I can find low sodium ingedients. Maybe use my own chili powder and cumin instead of the packaged taco mix to reduce the salt. The nopalitos were a pleasant surprise with a mild flavor. I just let people think that the nopalito pieces were peppers instead of telling them that they are cactus. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/21/2019
Great recipe! I halved it because that’s a bit too much. I have always wanted to try the cactus in the store. So yummy!! I would put a little more cactus next time!!! Thank you so much for the great recipe!!! Read More
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