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Chicken Mixiotes served on a plate next to rice and sliced serranos.
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5 from 12 votes

Chicken Mixiotes with Nopales

Chicken Mixiotes with Nopales are easy to make and packed with flavor. This recipe features tasty and tender chicken thighs cooked in a rich chile sauce.
Prep Time4 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 136kcal


  • Steamer pot
  • Foil Paper


For Adobo Sauce

For the Chicken

  • 8 pieces chicken thighs bone-in, skin removed
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 2 cactus paddles (thorns removed)
  • 6 cups water (for steaming)


To Make the Adobo Sauce:

  • Boil 3 cups of water.
  • Add the dried chiles.
  • Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, or until fully rehydrated.
  • Place rehydrated chiles, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, cloves, salt, apple cider vinegar, and water in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Strain the sauce removing any bits of chile that remained.
  • Set aside until ready to use.

For the Chicken:

  • Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  • Pour the sauce all over the chicken.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  • Marinate for 4 hours or up to overnight.

How to Assemble Foil Packets:

  • Tear off a large rectangular piece of foil paper.
  • To the center, place a bay leaf.
  • On top of the bay leaf, add the chicken and slices of cactus.
  • Tightly fold the side in.
  • Then fold in the ends.
  • Set aside and continue until there is no more chicken.
  • Add water to the bottom of a large steamer pot.
  • Carefully place the foil packets.
  • Steam on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove and serve.


Instead of dried bay leaves, you can also use avocado leaves or fresh bay leaves. Be sure to REMOVE before eating. 
Covered over indirect heat for 50 to 55 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. When the chicken reaches an internal temp of 160F, it’s ready.
No foil paper? You can also use wax paper


Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 939mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 9752IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg