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A close up of a cast iron dish with 3 nopales tacos topped with corn, onions, avocados, cotija, and cilantro.

Nopales Tacos

Tamara Andersen
Healthy nopalitos combined with red chile sauce, wrapped in a corn tortilla with tasty, fresh toppings, these delicious tacos can be on your table in 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Vegetarian Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 servings
Calories 388 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided use
  • 2 onions sliced thin
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 12 ounces nopalitos sliced or diced
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red chile sauce see Ingredients in post for more options
  • 6 corn tortillas warmed


  • Caramelize the onions - To a skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil, add the thin-sliced onions. Add a few grinds of sea salt (about ¼ teaspoon). If I'm in a hurry, I leave the heat at medium-high, and keep a close eye on the onions, stirring often. When the onions are mostly brown and quite soft, they're done. You can remove them to a prep bowl until ready to serve.
  • Make the charred corn - Add about a teaspoon of oil to a skillet over high heat. Add the corn kernels. Cook until you see some nice charred spots on the corn, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan, and set aside.
  • Make the nopalitos and red chile sauce - With either a drizzle of oil or some cooking spray, add the diced nopalitos to a skillet on medium-high heat. Sauté until the mucilaginous liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. This process usually takes 7 to 10 minutes. Stir the red chile sauce into the nopalitos over medium-high heat. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add broth or water to thin if needed. Cover and simmer until ready to serve. It only needs to be heated throughout.
  • To serve - Fill warm corn tortillas with a scoop of nopalitos and red chile sauce, top with caramelized onion, charred corn, and fresh toppings. Delicioso!


Macronutrients do not include toppings.


Serving: 3tacosCalories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 4gFat: 15g
Keyword gluten free tacos, Mexican tacos, nopales tacos, taco recipes, bison tacos, healthy tacos, quick, gluten free, low fat, vegetarian tacos
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