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RECIPE
14 INGREDIENTS 13 STEPS 1hr 10min

Nopales and Roasted Corn Tacos

5.0
2 Ratings
Warm corn tortillas topped with shredded cheese, nopales and roasted corn, a drizzle of lime crema, crumbled cotija cheese, a slice of avocado, fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime – these nopales and roasted corn tacos are one of the best things to come out of our kitchen this year.
Nopales and Roasted Corn Tacos Recipe | SideChef
Warm corn tortillas topped with shredded cheese, nopales and roasted corn, a drizzle of lime crema, crumbled cotija cheese, a slice of avocado, fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime – these nopales and roasted corn tacos are one of the best things to come out of our kitchen this year.

How To Make Nopales Cactus Tacos

How To Prepare Nopales

Start by cleaning your cactus paddles.
  • Fill up a basin or bowl with water and submerged your cactus in water and start brushing to take out any dirt. Don’t forget to use some rubber gloves to keep you from getting hurt from its thorns.
  • You can use a vegetable peeler or a knife to take out the thorns and bumps from the paddles and their edges.

Once your nopales are clean and thorn-free, cut them into dice and cook them in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Their lush and bright green color will turn into olive pale green. Dry and cool them before using them for your salad.

How To Prepare Nopales and Roasted Corn Salad

In a medium-size bowl, combine the nopales, jalapenos, onions, cilantro, and some salt. Toss them until well combined. Saute your nopales mixture in a skillet over medium heat. Add in your kernel corn just before the nopales mixture starts to brown. Cook the nopales and roasted corn salad just until it’s heated through. Keep it warm while preparing to assemble the tacos.

How To Assemble Nopales and Roasted Corn Tacos

Start with heating up the tortilla for 2-3 minutes or until it’s lightly toasted in a greased griddle or skillet. While the tortillas are heating up, add in your shredded cheese and top it with your nopales and roasted corn salad. Serve it warm and garnish with some sour cream and lime juice mixture, slices of avocados, cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro leaves.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Cactus Paddles - also known as nopales and prickly pear cactus, this is a common vegetable in Mexico and can be cooked by boiling or grilling. It’s slimy like okra and the flavor is almost like green beans but a bit acidic.
  • Yellow Onion - pungent and has a strong onion flavor but when cooked, gives off a sweet flavor that will complement this taco recipe.
  • Jalapeno Pepper - compared with other fresh chilies, jalapenos have less heat or are just moderately spicy but has a bright flavor that helps lift up your palette.
  • Cilantro - also known as coriander and commonly found in Latin American, Asian, and Caribbean dishes. Not everyone appreciates the flavor of cilantro but to those who do, describe it as vibrant.
  • Fire Roasted Corn Kernels - roasting corn kernels is super quick and easy, you can easily fire roast it in a skillet. The smoky flavor is a great addition to this dish making it richer and fuller. You can also use frozen corn kernels, just thaw them before adding them to the nopales mixture.
  • White Corn Tortillas - you can use store-bought tortillas and you can also make corn tortillas from scratch with just 3 ingredients. You can use this recipe for Homemade Corn Tortillas.
  • Monterey Cheese - this type of cheese has a mild and buttery flavor and will go well with all the flavors of these tacos. You can also use a Mexican cheese blend.

Tips & Suggestions

  • Garnish - tacos always taste better with some garnish! For this recipe, slices of avocado, sour cream with lime juice, and crumbled cotija are highly recommended for a full and better taco experience.
  • Leftover nopales - if you have some leftover nopales, you can use it for some nopales salad. You can use it with other leftover vegetables like tomatoes and toss it with your favorite dressing and top it with cotija cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can nopales be refrigerated?

Nopales can keep up to a week in a refrigerator. Just place it in a sealed plastic bag to keep it fresh. Freezing nopales is not recommended since the quality can be affected.

How to make nopales less slimy?

Nopales are naturally slimy, like okra. If you like its flavor but not the slimy texture, you can dice it, toss it in salt, and bake it for 20-30 minutes.

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1hr 10min
Total Time
$0.84
Cost Per Serving

Ingredients

US / METRIC
Servings:
8
Serves 8
4
Medium Cactus Paddles
1/4
Yellow Onion , thinly sliced
1
or Serrano Pepper
1 1/2 cups
Fire Roasted Corn Kernels
1 Tbsp
Neutral Oil
or Avocado Oil
8
White Corn Tortillas
1 cup
Monterey Jack Cheese , shredded
or Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup
1
Avocado , cut, sliced
to taste
Cotija Cheese , crumbled
to taste

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Nutrition Per Serving

VIEW ALL
CALORIES
273
FAT
14.6 g
PROTEIN
8.7 g
CARBS
27.2 g

Cooking Instructions

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Step 1
To prepare the Cactus Paddles (4) , scrub them under water with a firm bristled brush. Wear a glove on the hand you are holding the paddle with to prevent yourself from getting any thorns in your fingers.
Step 2
Once all of the paddles are thoroughly scrubbed, use a vegetable peeler to remove the bumps that once held the thorns from the body and edges of the paddles.
Step 3
Next, dice the paddles into approximately 1/2" by 1/2" pieces.
Step 4
Once all the paddles have been cleaned and diced, boil them in salted water for 5 minutes.
Step 5
Place onto paper towels to cool and dry.
Step 6
Add cactus, Yellow Onion (1/4) , Jalapeño Pepper (1) , Fresh Cilantro (1/4 cup) and Sea Salt Flakes (to taste) to a medium bowl and toss to combine.
Step 7
Heat a large cast iron skillet with Neutral Oil (1 Tbsp) over medium high heat. Add nopales salad to skillet and cook for a few minutes until mixture is warmed through and just beginning to brown.
Step 8
Add Fire Roasted Corn Kernels (1 1/2 cups) (thawed to room temp if using frozen corn) to the skillet and cook with the nopales for a few minutes until heated through - turn off heat and leave skillet on the stovetop to stay warm while you prepare the tacos.
Step 9
Slice 1/4 inch off of each end of the Lime (1) and cut it in half, lengthwise. Juice one of the halves and set the other cut side-down​​ on the cutting board. Slice it at an angle, lengthwise to make lime wedges and set aside.
Step 10
Warm a lightly greased griddle over medium heat, once hot, add a few White Corn Tortillas (8) to the griddle and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a small handful of Monterey Jack Cheese (1 cup) to each tortilla while still on the griddle.
Step 11
Fill with each tortilla with the nopales and roasted corn mixture, using about 1/3 cup of filling per taco (use more or less depending on the size of your tortillas).
Step 12
Remove filled tortillas from griddle and put on plates to serve. To each taco add 1 tbsp Sour Cream (1/2 cup) mixed with Lime Juice, a slice or two of the Avocado (1) , Cotija Cheese (to taste) and Fresh Cilantro (to taste) .
Step 13
Serve tacos with Lime Wedges. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Per Serving
Calories
273
% Daily Value*
Fat
14.6 g
19%
Saturated Fat
6.2 g
31%
Trans Fat
0.0 g
--
Cholesterol
26.7 mg
9%
Carbohydrates
27.2 g
10%
Fiber
5.2 g
19%
Sugars
5.9 g
--
Protein
8.7 g
17%
Sodium
164.1 mg
7%
Vitamin D
0.1 µg
0%
Calcium
267.0 mg
21%
Iron
0.9 mg
5%
Potassium
243.9 mg
5%
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