Nopales with Queso Frito and Ham

Nopal cactus is a healthy and tasty vegetable used in a wide variety of dishes, drinks and health remedies in Mexico, and now they are widely available at many supermarkets. We want to delight you with this easy dish filled with delicious queso frito.


  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ onion
  • 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 4 clean nopales (thorns removed)
  • 8 slices of Tropical Cooked Ham
  • 4 medium thick slices of queso frito
  • 2 cups blended or canola oil for the queso frito 
  • 1 ½ tablespoon salt used for all the steps
  • 4 tablespoons of Tropical Crema Mexicana


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  
  2. In a large pot, cook the nopales in boiling water with baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt, for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and reserve.
  3. Place the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. 
  4. In a blender process the roasted vegetables along with the fresh lime juice, cilantro and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  5. In a pot over medium-low heat pour the blended vegetables and season with the chili powder, dry oregano, pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 6 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and reserve.
  6. In a deep skillet pour the canola oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot fry the slices of Queso de Freír until golden brown on both sides. Remove the fried cheese slices from the oil and place them on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
  7. On a wooden board, place one nopal, add 2 slices of ham on top and one slice of fried cheese in the middle crosswise to the length of the nopal. Fold over each side of the nopal to make a roll and hold with a toothpick.
  8. Put some of the sauce on a plate and place 2 nopales on top.
  9. Decorate with the Crema Mexicana. Serve hot. 

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