Arizona Cactus and Beans


Being surrounded by land filled with wild prickly pear cactus in Arizona, I was inspired to find different ways to enjoy this local plant. This is a simple but tasty recipe that is best if served with warm cornbread.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
18 mins
Total Time:
33 mins
6 servings


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • 2 potatoes, cut into small rectangles

  • 1 cup shredded carrots

  • 2 ½ (15 ounce) jars nopalitos cactus, drained

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and carrots; cook and stir until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir cactus, chili powder, garlic, fenugreek seeds, coriander, and cumin into the potato mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until cactus is softened, about 5 minutes. Add pinto beans; cook, stirring gently, until just heated through, about 3 minutes.

Cook's Note:

Remove spines and slice 3 to 4 prickly pear cactus pads instead of used jarred cactus if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

160 Calories
3g Fat
30g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 160
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Sodium 217mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 41mg 203%
Calcium 339mg 26%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 1085mg 23%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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