Scrambled Eggs with Cactus

Surprise and delight family with this unusual brunch dish recipe of chili-seasoned scrambled eggs with cactus pads from the prickly pear cactus. Look for nopales (cactus pads or leaves) in the produce section of large supermarkets or specialty food stores.

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  • 2 - 3 cactus pads (6 to 8 ounces total) or one 8-ounce can nopalitos (cactus pieces), rinsed and drained; or 2 small zucchini, cut into bite-size strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or green sweet pepper
  • 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • Flour tortillas, warmed (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)
Carefully rinse cactus pads; pat dry. Holding cactus pads with tongs, use a small, sharp knife to carefully trim off eyes around edges and on both sides of pads; discard. Cut cactus pads into thin strips (you should have about 2 cups).
In a large skillet cook cactus with onion and sweet pepper in margarine or butter about 3 minutes or until onion is tender.
In a bowl beat eggs, milk, chili powder, salt, and black pepper with a fork. Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around the edge.
Using a spatula or large spoon, lift and fold the partially cooked eggs so the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat about 5 minutes more or until eggs are cooked through, but are still glossy and moist.
Remove from heat. If desired, serve with tortillas and salsa. Makes 6 servings.


  • Nopales, the fleshy, oval pads of the prickly pear cactus, are showing up in many supermarkets. Cooked, theyre soft but crunchy, with the slipperiness of okra and flavor of green beans. The pads have tiny, sharp thorns that usually are removed at the market. To remove any thorns, carefully hold the pad and scrape with a paring knife. Use the tip of a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler to remove the thorn bases and any blemishes.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 139, Fat, total (g) 9, chol. (mg) 285, sat. fat (g) 3, carb. (g) 5, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 9, sodium (mg) 205, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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