Nopales (Cactus) Breakfast Tacos

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Cactus breakfast tacos are always a treat! Adding potato and egg is a great way to be introduced to cactus. Cactus for the unfamiliar, is similar to aloe. It has a gel like inside. To remove this gel you’re going to need to boil it in the water, salt and vinegar. Cactus done correctly has a nice crunch with a tangy bite. Pair with crispy potatoes for some added texture. Top with your favorite salsa and you’ll be hooked.


  • 3 cactus paddles
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced lengthwise
  • jarred salsa
  • salt
  • pepper
  • corn tortillas
  • 1Tb white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2Tb milk
  • 1 medium potato, cooked and chopped
  • Cotija cheese


  • For cactus paddles. Handle gently until thorns are removed.
  • To remove thorns. slice outer edge of cactus off around the entire cactus paddle. Using the back of the knife scrape the cactus the opposite way the thorns are facing. Rinse with cold water and Clean work station.
  • Slice cactus into strips.
  • In a big pot of boiling water add a bunch of salt like you would if you were making pasta add in vinegar.
  • Once at a boil. Toss in cactus and boil for 10 minutes. Do not reduce temperature.
  • Have a ice bath waiting ( a bowl of ice and water). Add cactus to ice bath to stop the cooking.
  • Poke holes in one potato. Wrap in plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes. Once cooled chop into bite size pieces.
  • Beat together eggs, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set to the side.
  • In a cast iron skillet on medium high heat add a little oil and sauté potatoes till golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and set in bowl to the side.
  • In empty skillet sauté onions, peppers, and cactus till they get a nice char on the outside. Season with salt and pepper and move mixture to the side of pan then add in eggs. and scramble in pan once cooked toss with cactus, onions and pepper. Toss with potatoes. Serve over cooked corn tortillas and salsa top with cotija cheese and chopped cilantro.


  • Replace the eggs with a tofu scramble to keep recipe vegan.
  • Fry tortilla with a pinch of paprika to give the tortilla nice color.
  • The boiling with vinegar is a must.

8 responses to “Nopales (Cactus) Breakfast Tacos”

  1. Ha! I think I’d feel bad if you’d cut that lone survivor cactus down! 😃 I’m not really familiar of cactus harvesting but I get mine at the grocery store it’s usually near the peppers for me. They also have them pre chopped but those can sometimes be too sticky and have to be used right away.

  2. I actually have a cactus that survives our freezing cold winters. I think it is ornamental. How do you know what cactus is safe to eat? I will try just about anything once!

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