Nopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle

Nopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle

Ensalada de Nopalitos con Chipotle en Escabeche
4 Servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cactus, carrots, Chipotle, Nopalitos, pati's mexican table, Zucchini
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Nopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 6, Episode 1 "One Day in Oaxaca"


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion, slivered
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 dried chipotle peppers
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 1/2 pound cactus paddles, cleaned and cut into sticks (1 1/2” to 2” long by 1/2” wide)

To Prepare

  • Heat the oil in a large extended casserole over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and dried chipotles, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring occasionally until the onion begins to soften. Add the oregano and salt, and stir. Raise heat to high, add the vinegar, and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a few times. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. (You can make this chipotle pickle ahead of time and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.)
  • Bring salted water to a boil in a large saucepan and take turns cooking the vegetables. First cook the carrots for 2 minutes, remove with a large spider or slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Then cook the zucchini for 30 to 40 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the carrots. Lastly, add the nopales and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water, for at least one minute, until all viscous liquid is removed.
  • Incorporate the carrots, zucchini and nopales into the prepared chipotle pickle, toss well and scrape into a bowl or container. Let it sit and marinate for at least an hour before serving. You can also cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Mix well before eating.

27 comments on “Nopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. I hate nopales! Usually they taste worse than bland green beans. But I just made this, and it’s divine. Excellent recipe. I can’t stop eating.

    1. Yay Jaime! So glad I made you give Nopalitos another chance, they are really yummy and very healthy as well 😉

  2. With the quarantine on, goI got to the store is not easy. Can any other type of dried chili be substituted? Love the ingredients in this escabeche! Love your recipes, and your show!

    1. Hey Ana, is hard to find a good substitute for dried chipotles, but you could use jalapenos instead. Your salad will not have the smoky flavor of the chipotles, but it will still be delicious!

  3. Simple to make and oh so tasty. Made it today and it was delicious. Its paleo and whole 30 compliant. I recommend this to everyone who loves pickled vegetables.

  4. Oh heck yeah!!! I went to market and I actually bought everything on the list just cause I was going to make another recipe and bought extra!! Now I can make this as well. I’m diabetic and can’t wait to make this. Thanks Pati!

  5. Pati
    Felicidades! love your creative recipes con nopalitos!
    Do you have a recipe nopalitis w Chile Colorado? Por favor~

  6. Se ven riicooos a ver comp me salen con Las tortas de tasajo gracias x compartir tan ricas recetas soy un seguidor tuyo desde hace años x create tv saludos a toda la familia jinich y x tu Lado tambien

  7. First time watching the show and I just had to try this recipe. I could not find nopalitos so substituted green beans. It was delicious both hot and cold! I can wait to try it again with nopalitos.