Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado

Recipe Yield

8 servings

Cooking time

45 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.34 from 6 votes


  • 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil separated
  • 3 pounds fresh nopales rinsed, cleaned and diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 ounces (about 7 or 8 chiles) guajillo chiles cleaned, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels from about 3 cobs, or thawed from frozen
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

To Prepare

  • Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the diced nopales, sprinkle the salt and stir for a minute or two. Place the lid on, reduce the heat to medium and let the nopales cook and sweat for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. They will have exuded a gelatinous liquid that will begin to dry out. Take off the lid, stir and make sure most of the liquid has dried up; if it hasn’t, let them cook for a couple more minutes until it does.
  • Pour in the third tablespoon of oil, mix with the nopales and incorporate the garlic, chopped onion, guajillo chiles and corn. Mix well and let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze in a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, mix and place the lid back on. Let the nopales cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more if need be.
  • If you have any leftovers, they make a wonderful filling for quesadillas.


49comments inWarm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

  1. Kate

    Sep 03

    Since my guajillos were a little older and drier, 8 equalled just 1 oz, so I stuck with that number and put them in earlier so they’d soften a bit more. Delicious!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 04

      Glad you liked this nopalitos Kate!

  2. Andy Montiel

    May 24

    Definitely a keeper!

    To be included on our family menu, this recipe is a winner.

    Muchas gracias Pati.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 04

      Gracias a ustedes Andy, que bueno que les gusto!

  3. Sandra Jimenez

    Dec 15

    Hola Pati! I made this recipe but used it as filling for tamales with some cheese! It was great!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      What a great idea Sandra, yummy!!!!

  4. Antonio

    Sep 22

    Hi Pati, we made this for dinner last night it was great. Only difference was we added cubed beef tenderloin and 1/2 cup of broth! Super yummy, kids even had a second serving. Thank you Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 05

      Yay Antonio! What a wonderful way to make this a full meal, so glad everyone enjoyed it 🙂

  5. Adriana Cervera

    Sep 05

    Delicious I love all your recipes thanks for sharing 😊

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 27

      My pleasure Adriana, un abrazo 😉

  6. Sandra Knau Jimenez

    Jun 16

    Can you use the store bought nopales in this recipe?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 20

      Yes you can, just make sure you rinse them perfectly 😉

  7. Brad

    May 27

    Hola Pati! I made this recipe for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I didn’t quite have enough corn on hand so I added some chayote which turned out to be a great addition! It was a great side to the enchiladas verdes. Can’t wait to try the leftovers in a quesadilla!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 28

      Great idea Brad! Chayote works perfect with the nopales and corn, yumm 😉

  8. Rose

    Jul 22

    Hi Pati,
    I too have difficulty eating dried guajillo Chile’s. Based on your suggestion to soften the guajillo chiles by boiling them, I did just that. Then, I went one step further. I chopped the Chile’s in 1/2 “ pieces so I could easily pick them out before serving. I got all the flavor without the worry. Thank you Pati for sharing your delicious recipes!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 22

      I’m so glad you made the recipe your own, Rose!

  9. Larry

    Sep 30

    Wow, haven’t had nopales since my Mom and Grandmother use to make. I was just too small to remember their recipes, too bad. It’s all in how you prepare them to make a great dish, I can’t wait to make this for the family tomorrow!

    1. Pati

      Oct 06

      I hope the family loves them, Larry!

  10. Patricia

    Jul 21

    The taste is good BUT the chile juajillo gets stuk in my throat. It is very hard to chew and is like plastic!

    1. Pati

      Aug 02

      I am so sorry about that! I love their crunch there, but you can pre soak the stemmed and seeded guajillos in boiling water for 10 minutes. Give that a try!

  11. Iviaria

    Nov 07

    Qué ricos nopalitos!!!! Gracias Pati, eres una inspiración para mis hijas que les encantan tus recetas!!

    1. Pati

      Nov 08

      Mil gracias, Iviaria!

  12. Cynthia

    Oct 23

    I’m trying to eat healthy and getting away from the typical “garnachas”. I had recorded your show and decided that was delicious Mexican food and it was healthy! Bueno a ver cómo me sale!

    1. Pati

      Oct 26


  13. teri

    Jul 30

    Once again, your recipe made me want to lick my plate!!! This was the first time I’ve made nopales. It won’t be the last. Thank you so much!

    1. Pati

      Jul 31

      I’m so happy to hear that you will be making them again Teri!

  14. Jesica

    Apr 20

    What if I’ve already boiled the nopales?

    1. Pati

      Apr 24

      Jesica, you can warm the nopales in a pan and once they have warmed through follow the recipe from there, adding the garlic, corn, etc.

  15. Janie

    Mar 16

    Hello, I am making this tonight, ( I can’t wait 🙂 About how much is 1 serving? would it be about 1 cup?

    1. Pati

      Mar 17

      It depends…the whole recipe makes 8 servings.

  16. Nanovar

    Mar 08

    OMG. This recipe is just as you described on your TV show. I suspect it will become a favorite here too. Once the nopales were cooked down, that nasty substance disappeared. My significant other absolutely adores corn so I can’t wait to surprise him tonight with your recipe. Thank you.

    1. Pati

      Mar 09

      Yay! Hope your significant other love it.

  17. Wendy

    Jan 21

    The print version is full of typos, mainly missing spaces between words, etc. Please fix it! Thanks.

    1. Pati

      Jan 23

      Oh no Wendy… let me see what is going on, we will try to fix it ASAP. Thanks so much for giving us the heads up…

  18. Theresa Sandoval

    Apr 30

    Thank you Pati..Super yummy..I made this today. Followed the recipe exactly and came out perfect. Can’t stop eating it!!!!

    1. Pati

      May 04

      Thank you, Theresa!

  19. Don Farmer

    Oct 10

    Hi, Pati, In the recipe for nopales with corn and guajillo, are you using dried chilies or fresh? Your book is fantastic!

    1. Pati

      Oct 15

      Hola Don! They are dried! They reconstitute as they cook with the other ingredients. =) Thank you for your kind words!

  20. Amanda

    Jun 27

    Hi Pati! I’m a huge fan of your show. I just saw the episode for this recipe in fact. I now live in Alaska and don’t have access to fresh nopales but I can get them in a jar already diced. Do you think the recipe would be good with them?

    1. Pati

      Jul 05

      Absolutely, Amanda. Just rinse and drain well, and take into consideration that they will be ready much faster than if they were fresh. They wont let out that much viscous liquid at all, and just wait for them to sear, a few minutes, then follow recipe along.

  21. Carl

    Jun 04

    what? you mean there’s a kitchen gadget i don’t already own?!
    thanks, i may try that altho there’s no room in our drawers for anything more. i thot of using a food processor or cutting the chiles into small pieces and using a coffee “grinder” (with spinning blade) like the one i use for cumin seeds. seeking of speeds, i always think it’s funny when cooks remove these altho i did try this with the guajillos. next i was thinking of using the leftover chiles to make the tomatillo salsa. i like green sauces in restaurants but haven’t been able to make a decent one yet myself and heating tomatillos on cast iron just sucked up all the pan’s seasoning. i was also disappointed to discover that guajillos apparently are not available organically.
    salad? i didn’t even see that one! still wish videos of your shows were available online.

  22. Carl

    May 28

    i thot i had located videos of your recipes but now can’t find them anywhere.
    i was curious how to chop guallios. apparently i can’t get our knife sharp enuf to handle either this or the nopales but i’m going to try this and see if it comes out ok.

    1. Pati

      May 29

      Hola Carl, I sometimes use kitchen scissors to cut the chiles. I hope you try the salad!

    2. Pati

      Jun 04

      You can also use scissors!

  23. Norma

    Apr 25

    Love your show, Pati! I’ve made this recipe twice since I first saw it. Love the tender nopales mixed with the sweetness and crunch of the fresh corn – so yummy! The second time I made it, I tweaked your recipe just a little – I softened and blended the guajillo chiles before adding to the mix. So happy with the results! Thanks for always bringing such interesting and delicious recipes! You inspire me to cook!!

    1. Pati

      Apr 29

      That sounds like such a great adaptation, Norma!

      1. Maria

        Jul 24

        Hijole Los nopalitos me quedaron riquísimos!!!! La modifique un poco dore los chiles con ajo y los moli en la liquadora y le agregue Chile de árbol. no me pierdo tu programa. Y tus niños están muy lindos y son bien educaditos. En hora buena por tus logros y que sigas enseñando mucho de tu rica cocina.
        Maria, en Laredo, TX.

        1. Pati

          Jul 28

          Gracias Maria, que bueno que te quedaron ricos!! Muchas gracias por ver mi programa 🙂

  24. Rachelle T.

    Apr 23

    Great recipe. Super easy.

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