Prickly Pear and Nopales Recipes

Call it nopales or prickly pear, both the fruits and leaves of this cactus make delicious dishes.

Community Picks

Mexican Pintos with Cactus

Rating: 4.5 stars 38
An honest Mexican recipe for pinto beans using bacon, chilies and cactus.

Prickly Pear and Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

A fun and fruity frozen yogurt, made from prickly pear, strawberries, vanilla Greek yogurt, and bananas. Use toppings of your choice; I used kiwi, chia seeds, and bee pollen.

Nopalitos Con Papas

Rating: 4.5 stars 23
An authentic Mexican dish; tender cactus with potatoes. Cactus tastes like cooked green beans.

Prickly Pear Cactus Margarita

Rating: 5 stars 18
Prickly pear gives this sweet, tart, refreshing margarita something extra.

Prickly Pear Limeade

Rating: 4.5 stars 5
A refreshing limeade with a unique twist. Prickly pears are now being considered as another 'superfood' with many health benefits. They can be found in various colors--red, green, yellow, and orange. One great way to enjoy this fruit is in this minty limeade. Serve cold and over ice.

Southwestern Cactus Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 30
A delicious spicy salad, made from tender cactus, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lemons. This is hot and spicy, so beware!

Guacamole with Nopales (Mexican Cactus)

Rating: 5 stars 2
Guacamole is served in many variations in Mexico - here it is combined with nopales, Mexican cactus paddles. [Recipe originally submitted to]

Cactus Fig and Lime Sorbet

The fruit of the prickly pear cactus (often called 'cactus fig' or 'tuna,') is sweet and juicy. Coupled with lime and frozen, it makes a light, refreshing summer treat. You can find cactus fig at any Mexican grocery and at some gourmet markets.

Inspiration and Ideas

7 Prickly Pear Recipes That Are Full of Fruity Flavor
Prickly pears (A.K.A. cactus figs), the edible fruits that grow on the nopales cactus, are as delicious as they are gorgeous.
What Is a Prickly Pear and What Do You Do With It?
Don't be fooled by its thorny exterior, this desert fruit has an intensely sweet flavor.