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Grilled Quesadillas with Nopales and Salsa Slaw

Grilled Quesadillas with Nopales and Salsa Slaw

Cactus pads, or nopales as they're known in Spanish, are a common ingredient in vegetarian cooking in Mexico. Many Latino grocery stores sell bags of them already cleaned and cubed, which makes this dish really easy to toss together.

Sunset APRIL 2010

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Prep time:30 Minutes


  • About 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 2 poblano chiles, seeded and sliced
  • 1 cup cleaned and cubed nopales
  • About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas (8-in. size)
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese
  • 1 qt. shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup salsa (any kind)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • Sour cream


1. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high heat (450° to 550°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 2 to 4 seconds). Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, chiles, and nopales until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and remove from heat.

2. Lay 4 tortillas on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 cup warm vegetable mixture. Top each with a second tortilla.

3. Using a wad of oiled paper towels and tongs, oil cooking grate. Use a spatula to transfer quesadillas to grill; cook, turning once, until grill marks appear and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from grill, cut each into quarters.

4. In a small bowl, combine cabbage, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Serve quesadillas with slaw, and sour cream if you like.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 494
  • Calories from fat: 36%
  • Protein: 18g
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 7.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 63g
  • Fiber: 8.3g
  • Sodium: 1382mg
  • Cholesterol: 25mg

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Grilled Quesadillas with Nopales and Salsa Slaw recipe