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Grilled Nopales


Grilled Nopales

Grilled Nopales

Photo © Molly Watson
Nopales are cactus leaves. You may not be able to find them everywhere, but they are fairly commonly available at markets in the Southwest. Nopales are delicious when simply grilled. Their thick, meaty texture lends them their nickname of "green steaks." They are great with fresh salsa or your favorite hot sauce.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 to 2 Nopales per person


  • 1 to 2 Nopales per person
  • Canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil
  • Fine sea salt to taste


  1. Heat a grill to medium high or high heat.
  2. Brush each nopales with oil. Put them on the hot grill and cook, undisturbed, until grill marks form and the nopales wilts, about 4 minutes. Turn to cook on the other side until grill marks form and the leaf is tender all the way through, about another 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the nopales from the grill, sprinkle with them salt, and serve hot or warm.

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