How to Make Nopales con Huevo

Put an exotic touch on your scrambled eggs by adding nopales or edible cactus! This nopales con huevo or nopales with eggs recipe is a classic Mexican breakfast that’s delicious on warm tortillas.

Black bowl filled with nopales with scrambled eggs.
Nopales con Huevos

Is Cactus Edible

Yes!

While not all species of cactus are edible, the ones you see at the Mexican grocery stores and mercados are perfectly safe to eat.

Nopales in English can be called any of the following names: cactus, prickly cactus, or cactus leaves, cactus paddles, or prickly pear cactus pad.

Some Nopales Recipes

Where to Buy Nopales Cactus Paddles

You can buy nopales in Mexican supermarkets, mercados or Hispanic stores.

In the US, some farmer’s markets may carry them as well as some non-ethnic or “regular” grocery stores also carry them.

For fresh nopales look in the produce aisle. You’ll find fresh whole paddles both with and without the thorns.

Most Mexican grocery stores will also have prepackaged bags or a pile of nopales already cleaned, prepped, and sliced or cubed — so, ready to cook after a quick rinse!

NEVER buy nopales from other sources and certainly NEVER go and harvest wild nopales unless you 100% know what you’re doing! Remember not all cactus species are edible.

Four nopales or cactus paddles on a white and blue plate.
Raw Nopales Paddles

What if Fresh Nopales Aren’t Available

If you can’t find fresh nopales you can also check for jars at the grocery store.

They come “pickled” or in brine and are in the same grocery aisle as other canned vegetables. Sometimes you’ll find them in the cold section of the produce isle.

Jarred or canned nopales are fine to use too but you definitely need to drain them and give them a several rinses to remove the viscous liquid before using.

Another option is frozen nopales. Some Mexican stores carry these and they too are a good alternative to fresh nopales. You don’t need to defrost or rinse before using, just toss them into your pan.

How to Safely Clean and Prepare Nopales Paddles (cactus)

Most grocery stores and mercados will clean and prep the nopales for you. But if you want to you can certainly remove the thorns yourself. It’s not that difficult to do just takes a little practice.

Click on the photo below to learn how to clean your own nopales — or how to remove the thorns from nopales.

Boiled nopales cactus on a large white and blue plate ready to eat.

💡 TIP

If you want to buy fresh nopales paddles with the thorns, they will actually last longer in your fridge than buying prepped and clean cactus.

The prepared cactus will turn brownish on the areas where they were cut and thorns were removed. Still edible, just not as pretty to look at.

What do Nopales Cactus Taste Like

Ah, the most popular question regarding nopales!

When raw this vibrant green vegetable has a crunch or rather crispness to it’s texture. The taste of nopales is a light lemoniness with touches of herbs and also similar to raw green beans…the truth is that the smell and taste of nopales cactus is quite unique.

Trust me if you’ve never tasted nopales you really must, and I guaranteed if prepared correctly, you’ll fall in love with them. They are one of my most favorite vegetables and I eat them quite often.

Ingredients for making Mexican cactus and eggs breakfast.
How to Make Nopales and Eggs

Nopales and Eggs Ingredients

The ingredients for this delicious, hearty and healthy breakfast are basic and easy to find. I usually give you substitutions but none are required or available in this simple recipe.

  • nopales
  • white onion
  • garlic
  • jalapeno peppers or serrano chilies
  • roma tomato
  • eggs
  • salt
  • olive oil

You’ll also need corn tortillas or flour tortillas and your favorite salsa for serving. If you’d like you can also serve with refried beans.

Make This Recipe Vegan

To make the nopales con huevo vegan simply swap out the eggs for vegan egg substitute like Just Egg, or tofu, or even chickpea vegan egg scramble.

Cooking Mexican nopales with onion, garlic and tomato.
How to Make Nopales with Eggs

How to Make Nopales and Eggs or Nopales con Huevos

Amigos this is such an incredibly easy dish to prepare. I don’t know about you but I don’t like to spend hours cooking in the morning, so for me this recipe is the perfect dish for breakfast.

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the minced garlic and chopped chile and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the nopales and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Sauté until the nopales release their viscous liquid, continue to cook until that liquid cooks off.
  6. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Crack or break eggs into the nopales mixture.
  8. Mix until well combined and cook until desired consistency.
  9. Serve with warm tortillas on the side and if desired some refried beans, your favorite salsa, and avocado slices. 
Cooking Mexican nopales with scrambled eggs.

How to Eat and Serve Huevos con Nopales

This dish makes a hearty and healthy breakfast any day of the week. But it’s also great for lunch too!

Typically I serve these scrambled eggs and nopales with some warm corn tortillas, whatever salsa I have in the fridge, maybe some refried beans, and some slices of avocado. You could also top with some sprinkled queso fresco.

You can make tacos or if you’d like this can also be delicious vegetarian breakfast burrito filling. Or it can be used to stuff breakfast gorditas.

Another option is to take a crusty bolillo and hollow it to to stuff with the nopales con huevo. So delicious and so are many possibilities!

How ever you choose to eat this delicious, nutritious vegetarian, just remember to enjoy or buen provecho!! 

A plate full of Nopales con Huevos Mexican breakfast.

Nopales with Eggs Recipe

The recipe is very easy and best of all it doesn’t take a lot of time — especially if you buy the nopales already cleaned and cubed!

Some people simply use eggs, nopales, and onion. As you can see I like to add the trinity of Mexican cooking ingredients: onion, chile, and tomatoes!

Please feel free to adjust the ingredients used as well as their amounts. If you want you could even just do egg whites instead of the whole eggs.

If you already have cooked nopales that were first cooked in salted water, you can drain and use them for this dish too. I just skip that step when making this for breakfast.

I truly hope you make this scrumptious recipe, buen provecho!

Black bowl filled with scrambled eggs cooked with nopales cactus.
How to Make Nopales con Huevos
A plate full of Nopales con Huevos Mexican breakfast.

Huevos con Nopales or Scrambled Eggs with Cactus Paddles

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
Put an exotic touch on your scrambled eggs by adding nopales or edible cactus! Nopales con huevos or cactus paddles with eggs is a perfect dish for breakfast or lunch.
5 from 2 votes
Pin Recipe Leave a Review
Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Lacto-Vegetarian, Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 122 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups nopales cleaned and cubed
  • ½ small white onion about little more than ¼ cup, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 2 whole Roma tomatoes chopped
  • ½ serrano pepper roughly chopped , to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1.5 Tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs or as desired

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and chopped chile and cook for 3 minutes. Mix in the nopales and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until the nopales release their viscous liquid, continue to cook until that liquid cooks off.
    Cooking Mexican nopales with onion, garlic and tomato.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Crack or break eggs into the nopales mixture. Mix until well combined and cook until desired consistency.
    Cooking Mexican nopales with scrambled eggs.
  • Serve with warm tortillas on the side and if desired some refried beans, your favorite salsa, and avocado slices. 
    A plate full of Nopales con Huevos Mexican breakfast.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servingsCalories: 122kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 6gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 654mgPotassium: 194mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 446IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe brings back fond memories of my grandmother cooking breakfast for us in her kitchen wearing her mandil, makin us huevos con nopales en salsa. I will be making this as soon as I go shopping for nopales