How to Cook Nopales with Chorizo

Don’t be afraid to eat cactus or nopales, they’re easy to cook, full of nutrition and taste amazing. This vegan recipe for nopales con chorizo is one you’ll want to make over and over again.

Nopales with Vegan Chorizo Recipe

What Are Nopales

Nopales is the Mexican (Spanish) word for cactus, or rather the oblong-shaped green paddles of the “nopal” cactus. Some people will also call them “prickly pear cactus”. Though that can be a bit confusing as that name can also refer to the fruit that grows on the paddles. (Those are called tunas in Mexico.)

How to cook cactus paddles with Mexican chorizo sausage.

Cactus, nopales or nopalitos are a very common vegetable in Mexico. We Mexicans love to use them in smoothies and most commonly like to cook them in countless ways. A common way you may have seen is the cold nopales salad which is served with onion, tomato, cilantro and sometimes cheese.

Personally I prefer my nopales warm and sauteed. I like to enjoy them on top of some topopos, tostadas, or as a filling for tacos and quesadillas. To make a full meal out of them I like to serve them with some rice, beans. Add a pile of tortillas and a nice medium-spicy salsa.

What is Vegan Chorizo

Vegan chorizo is a completely meat-free, animal-free and of course cruelty-free alternative to the popular Mexican sausage. Chorizo is made of pork (though you can also get turkey chorizo) and has a bright red color brought on by the red chiles and sometimes annatto (or achiote) seeds used to spice the meat.

The meat versions do come in casings. And you must remove the casing to release and cook the meat into a crumbly broken down sausage. Thankfully for the vegan chorizo we don’t need to deal with any of that!

Vegan chorizo can be made with texturized soy protein (TVP) which is then called soyrizo. It can also be made using tofu, tofu and mushrooms, or even a combination of tofu and lentils.

Mexican vegan chorizo sausage or chorizo vegetariano made from soy.

The quickest and easiest vegan or soyrizo to use is storebought. I live in Mexico and I’ve had to test out a few brands to find the one right for me. I like ones that aren’t too greasy and also that aren’t too tart. My favorite brand is one called Sabori chorizo vegetariano. Find the brand that you like best and use it for all your chorizo needs.

How to cook nopales (cactus) with vegetarian chorizo. A super easy and quick recipe.

How to Cook Vegan Chorizo with Nopales

This simple and rather inexpensive meal is one you can cook quickly and have on the table in about 20 to 30 minutes. You can also cook it and freeze it for later use or also for your weekly meal preps.

Check out the recipe below, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment or go find me on social media and ask away. (Find me everywhere as Mexican Made Meatless.)

Cactus with Soyrizo

How to Cook Nopales con Chorizo or Cactus with Mexican Chorizo Sausage

Nancy Lopez &
Learn how to cook nopales with chorizo, a classic Mexican dish made vegan that you’ll want to make over and over again.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, vegan
Servings 4 people


  • 2 cups nopales cubed cleaned and prepped
  • 1 cup soyrizo
  • ½ cup white onion roughly chopped into small pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • splash of vegetable oil olive oil
  • salt to taste


  • Prep all of your ingredients before you begin. In a large pan add a splash of oil and once hot add the onions. Saute until they begin to soften, stir often. Next, add the soyrizo and saute until it begins to crisp up a bit. Then add the nopales and saute until they turn a darker green color and have softened. They’ll start realizing some of their viscous liquid but just keep cooking them to cook that off.
  • Next, add the garlic and the salt, give it a good stir and cook for another minute or two to soften the garlic. Make sure you stir until well combined to distribute the garlic and salt.
  • Continue to cook for another few minutes, taste and if needed adjust the salt or add any other additional seasonings. If you get a nice and flavorful soyrizo you really won’t need to add much more seasonings.
  • Serve as desired, see suggestions in the article. It’s great to accompany with a bowl of a medium-spicy salsa if of your choice.


How to Cook Nopales with Chorizo Recipe
*If you can do buy the nopales already cleaned and cut it’s much easier. But if you but the paddles whole and uncleaned do watch my video on how to prep them.
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!
How to cook nopales with Mexican vegan chorizo.

How to Serve This Easy Vegan Meal

If you cook this for a weekly meal prep you’re going to love all the ways that you can eat it. For starters, you can simply serve alongside rice and beans. You can use it as a filling for tacos, quesadillas, burritos…

Tostadas with refried beans and sauteed nopales with soyrizo. A scrumptious vegan meal!

Serve as a topping for some tostadas by simply smearing the tostada with some refried beans and scooping up some chorizo and nopales on top. Or you could also do the same with some sopes, or even use it as a stuffing for gorditas.

Chorizo and nopales tacos with spicy charred green salsa.

There are so many options and ways to enjoy this deliciously healthy, vegan meal full of traditional Mexican flavors.

Make sure to come back in a few days so you get the recipe for my sopes and gorditas.

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5 from 3 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I would suggest frying with avocado or grapeseed oil for better health benefits, vegetable oil is mainly hydrogenated oils and olive oil is toxic at high heats. Don’t forget the vegan cheese and sour cream. Yummy!!

  2. My chorizo turned mushy when i adeed nopales is that how the texture is supposed to be?

    1. Hi Gloria! Vegan or soyrizo doesn’t have the same consistency as meat-based chorizo. It will break down a bit more.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe, worked out great! I had nopales and chorizo in the fridge and had no idea what to do with them. This will be my go-to for simple meal prep.