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Nopales Asados (or Grilled Cactus) … Mmm!
There’s always someone who is on a diet. You know, that one person who can’t eat anything at the BBQ.
This is an easy side dish that everyone can eat. Not only that, but when grilled, the cactus pick up a yummy, smokey flavor that is DELICIOUS!
Serve as is or put it into a salad. It’s sure to be a hit at your next backyard cookout.
More Cactus Recipes:
Ensalada de Nopales
Nopales con Huevos
Pork Chile Colorado with Nopales
Licuado de Nopal
How to Remove the Thorns:
- Hold by the end of the cactus and bend.
- Remove the thorns using a knife. Repeat this on the opposite side.
- Cut around the cactus and cut off the tough end.
Cactus paddles are also sold without the thorns. Hallelujah! Make life easier for yourself and buy those!
This step is for those who can’t find the kind without thorns or maybe are growing them in their backyard. It’s a big pain but relatively easy once you get the hang of it.
Do this in the sink for easy clean up. It’s ok if when removing the thorn, there is a wedge where the thorn used to be.
- Wash and rinse the cactus.
- Pat them dry with a paper towel.
Check the cactus paddle for any leftover thorns. If you spot one, you can carefully remove with your fingers.
Once the cactus is cut, it starts releasing slime. Rinse well and cook within days of cutting.
- Brush oil on both sides of the cactus.
Any oil is fine – corn oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil.
Grilling is one way, but you can also saute in a skillet.
- Sprinkle with salt.
You can also use garlic salt or a combination of salt and garlic powder.
Please note that salt is optional and can be added once cooked.
If adding to a salad, you can skip this step and add salt to the dressing.
- Heat grill.
- Place the nopales on the grill.
Don’t go far. This will only take a few minutes before turning.
For the Grill Master: By placing the nopales on the top rack of the grill, they will require more time.
More Mexican Grilled Side Dishes:
- Turn the nopales.
- Grill for 5 more minutes.
Remove them from the grill. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Great Idea:Add cheese like Monterey Jack, Chihuahua, or Mozzarella 2 minutes before removing from the grill. The melted cheese is something to savor and enjoy!
How Long Do They Last?
Once cooked, wrap them up in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. They will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
Nopales Asados (Grilled Cactus) is a delicious and easy side dish. Ready in minutes and sure to please everyone at your next BBQ.
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- Heat the grill to 400 degrees F.
- Meanwhile rinse and pat dry the cactus paddles.
- Brush with the olive oil on both sides.
- Sprinkle with salt on both sides.
- Place on the grill and cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- If using the top rack of the grill, the cactus will need more time to cook.
I have never heard of eating cooked cactus before. Something I must try. Love trying new recipes.
Great. It’s a really yummy dish, hope you try it
I didn’t know cactuses are edible? Whoa, I have to try this one.
They are edible and so yummy. Hope you try it!
They’re not only edible they help control your blood sugar so they’re really good for you if you’re diabetic.
Yes! It’s great for diabetics.
OKAY this is something I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT to eat – EVER!!! But now I am super curious to try it out!
You will love it! Hope you try it.
Jennifer Van Haitsma
I’ve never eaten cactus, but I am intrigued! Thanks for another delicious looking recipe!
So glad you enjoyed this!
When I go my favorite Mexican restaurant I always get Molcajete which includes cactus and I love it! Can’t wait to try your recipe.
That’s awesome. It’s a really yummy dish, hope you try it
Sounds so good. I am so curious to try this grilled cactus!
This recipe is delicious. Hope you try it!
I have never tried to grill cactus but we are definitely going to try it. My sons are very adventurous eaters and next time we grill I am going to grill some cactus. Thanks for sharing this interesting recipe.
It’s delicious. Hope you try it!
I have honestly never heard of grilling cactus, but I’m so interested! What a unique side dish–and probably a fun way to surprise dinner guests who have never heard about it, too. Definitely a must try!
It’s delicious and unique, It’s pretty common in Mexico. Hope you try it!
This is such a curious dish. I have always thought cactus would be fun to try!
It’s fun and delicious. Hope you try it!
Mary v caballero
I love Nopales we were raise with great food parents were farmers love it!
My grandfather had a large ranch. I loved seeing him with his trees. So much pride and love went into the food he grew.