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Chile Con Queso y Nopalitos- Cactus and Cheese in Salsa

Chile Con Queso y Nopalitos(Cactus in Salsa)

Both nopalitos in salsa and queso en salsa remind me so much of home. They are quick meatless dishes that I enjoy year round!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 4 Servings



  • 3 cups fresh cactus sliced into strips
  • 2 Roma tomato chopped
  • 2 to matillo chopped
  • 1 chile de arbol crushed
  • 1 serrano chile minced
  • 3 green onions sliced thin or 1/3 cup white onion diced
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces panela cheese sliced (or queso fresco)
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Warm corn tortillas or crusty bread like Mexican bolillos



  • Add the cactus to a small sauce pan, cover with water, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking for 8 minutes; drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  • Add the tomato, tomatillo, chile de arbol, pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of water to the blender. Blend on high until smooth, set aside. Add a little more water if needed.
  • In a medium skillet, preheat oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onions and serrano chile, cook for 2 minutes. Add the salsa from the blender and bring to a simmer, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, taste for salt.
  • Add the cactus and cheese slices and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes. Serve with warm corn tortillas or Mexican bolillo rolls. Garnish with cilantro and avocado slices.


If you have never tried nopales(cactus), they have a lemony flavor and the tecture is much like green beans wne cooked.