Pati Jinich nopalitos salad with pickled chipotle


Nopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle

Nopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle

Ensalada de Nopalitos con Chipotle en Escabeche

Recipe Yield

4 Servings

Cooking time

30 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.50 from 4 votes


  • 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.


35comments inNopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle

  1. Carole

    Jan 15

    Where do I buy Nopalitos in Washington, DC? thanks!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 04

      You can find them in any Latin or Hispanic Market, I know they sell them in Panam Supermarket and in the Megamart grocery stores 🙂

  2. Martha V

    Jun 06

    Have already made twice and I love it! Something else to do with nopales when they’re in season. Muchisimas gracias Pati. Enjoy watching your show, siempre.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 12

      Gracias Martha, un abrazo grande!

  3. Dora Ontiveros

    May 31

    Una ensalada requisito.!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 05

      Siempre 😉

  4. Catalina

    Apr 13

    No encuentro Ensalada de Nopalitos con Chipotle en Escabeche en espanol. Nomas encuentro Nopalitos Salad with Pickled Chipotle en ingles.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 30

      Aqui esta el enlace a la receta en Espanol Catalina, saludos!

  5. Jaime

    May 26

    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. Pati Jinich

      May 28

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

  6. Ana

    May 02

    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. Pati Jinich

      May 04

      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!

  7. Anonymous

    Jan 19

    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.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 19

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Kathy

    Jan 11

    Wow! I love nopales, and I put them in everything, the recipe looks luscious, can’t wait to try this! Gracias Pati

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 12

      Enjoy, Kathy!

  9. Martha Munguia

    Jan 10

    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!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 12

      Oh good! Enjoy this salad and your other recipe, Martha.


    May 30

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

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 31

      You can use nopalitos instead of chicken with this recipe: Enjoy, Linda!

  11. Julio navarro

    Oct 02

    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

    1. Pati

      Oct 08

  12. Jennie

    Jan 21

    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.

    1. Pati

      Jan 22

      Oh I’m glad you liked it and made it your own with the green beans!

    2. Jaime

      May 26

      I think green beans are a fine substitute. They taste very similar.

  13. Dale Eaton

    Jan 07

    love nopales this recipe has me making it twice a week thank you

    1. Pati

      Jan 08


  14. Maria f corona

    Nov 18

    Muy ricooos ! Muchas gracias

  15. Maria f corona

    Nov 18

    Muy ricos ,muchas gracias

  16. sal

    Nov 04


    1. Pati

      Nov 06


  17. Alison

    Oct 23

    I can’t find fresh cactus paddles in Australia – would this recipe suit canned/ tinned nopalitos?

    1. Pati

      Oct 25

      Yes…just rinse and drain well, and take into consideration that they will be ready much faster than if they were fresh.

  18. Anonymous

    Oct 15

    I thing you need to be more specific on what “cleaning” the cactus paddle means.

    1. Pati

      Oct 18

      Here’s some more information on how to clean the paddles:

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