Creamy Rice with Nopalitos

To add a bit more heat to this side dish, substitute Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers for the regular Monterey Jack. In order to streamline the preparation, we roasted the nopales with the chiles.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 274
  • Calories from fat: 26%
  • Fat: 7.8g
  • Saturated fat: 4.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 13.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 35.9g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg
  • Iron: 2.2mg
  • Sodium: 344mg
  • Calcium: 297mg


  • 3 nopales (cactus paddles), trimmed (about 9 ounces)
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim chiles (about 8 ounces)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati or other long-grain rice
  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton fat-free sour cream
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Place the nopales and chiles on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until chiles are blackened and nopales are tender, turning nopales once. Place chiles in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes; chop chiles to measure 1/2 cup. Chop nopales to measure 1 cup.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  4. While nopales and chiles cook, prepare the rice. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add rice, and sauté 2 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool slightly.
  5. Add nopalitos (chopped nopales), chiles, yogurt, sour cream, and pimiento to rice mixture; stir until well-blended. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Broil 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
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