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Vegan Ensalada de Nopales

Ensalada de Nopales

Mitch and Justine
Ensalada de nopales is a quick, easy, and vegan-friendly dish that can be served as a light lunch, a side dish, a taco garnish, and more.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish, Snacks
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican, Vegan
Servings 4 servings
Calories 44 kcal


  • Knife & cutting board
  • Large pot
  • Mixing bowls



  • 3 large nopales, spines removed ($0.66)
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, diced ($0.32)
  • ½ small white onion, diced ($0.24)
  • 1 serrano, minced ($0.02)


  • 2 tablespoons lime juice ($0.12)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.11)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano ($0.03)
  • Salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)

Toppings optional


  • Clean the nopales by cutting around both edges to remove the outer thorns. For the rest, run the edge of your knife in a horizontal fashion all over the paddle until the thorns are gone. Flip and repeat on the second side.
  • Chop the de-spined nopales into small rectangles, rinse them in a colander, then place them in a large pot with water and a large pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the nopales are tender and slightly darker green in color.
  • In the meantime, prep the tomatoes, onion, serrano, cilantro, avocado, and queso fresco.
  • After they’ve cooked, transfer the nopalitos back to a strainer. Rinse under cold water while vigorously mixing to remove the slime. Add the rinsed nopalitos to a mixing bowl, then stir in the tomatoes, onions, and serrano.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the lime juice, olive oil, Mexican oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix together, then combine the dressing with the nopales salad.
  • Serve your cactus salad with cilantro, queso fresco, and avocado on top. Happy eating!



  • Some sources swear by boiling the nopalitos with a tomatillo husk or 2 in the water. We haven’t personally tried this, but you can give it a try to get rid of more slime.
  • Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
  • We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
  • Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
  • All prices are in USD.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.1g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 3.6g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.6g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 2.6mg | Potassium: 107.9mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 1.4g | Vitamin A: 288.1IU | Vitamin C: 7.9mg | Calcium: 15.6mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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