Nopales with orange vinaigrette

Total Time
30 min
15 min
15 min
If you can’t find nopales for this recipe, replace them with a few more bell peppers or poblano chiles. The orange vinaigrette is great tossed with any roasted or grilled vegetables.


Cooking spray

3 spray(s)

Orange zest

1 tsp, grated

Orange juice

3 Tbsp


1 small, minced

Extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp

Red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp

Fresh oregano

2 tsp, finely chopped

Jalapeño pepper

1 tsp, minced seeded

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Uncooked nopal(es)

4 item(s), cleaned

Bell pepper

2 item(s), medium, red, orange, or yellow, halved

Queso cotija

4 Tbsp, crumbled (1/4 cup)

Green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

4 tsp, toasted


  1. 1 Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Preheat grill to medium- high heat or prepare medium-hot fire.
  2. 2 Whisk together orange zest and juice, shallot, oil, vinegar, oregano, jalapeño, salt, and black pepper in large bowl.
  3. 3 Place napales and bell peppers on grill rack; grill nopales, turning once, until tender, 8–10 minutes, and peppers, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, about 15 minutes.
  4. 4 Transfer vegetables to cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips; add to dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly with Cotija and pepitas. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  5. Serving size: (1 cup vegetables, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1 teaspoon pepitas)


To clean nopales, hold each one flat on a cutting board by its base. With a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, scrape off the thorns, leaving as much of the green outer layer as possible. Repeat on the other side. Cut off the base and trim any rough edges.