Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado
8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Aguachile, cactus, cactus paddles, Corn, grill recipes, Guajillo, Mexican, Nopalitos, noplales
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 4, Episode 1 "Good Morning, Mexico!"


  • 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil, seperated
  • 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.

37 comments on “Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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

    1. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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

  10. 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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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,
        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.