Pollo con Nopales (Chicken and Cactus) Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Pollo con Nopales (Chicken and Cactus) Recipe
  • READY IN 30 mins

Pollo con Nopales (Chicken and Cactus)

Recipe by  

"Don't let the cactus part fool you! They already sell it canned or peeled whichever you prefer. One of my bff's mom taught me this recipe and it goes great with just about anything. Not for the faint of heart if you're not into spicy things."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    30 mins


  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook the chicken breasts in the boiling water until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 10 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, shred the chicken into small strands.
  2. Fill the pot again with water and bring to a boil. Cook the tomatillos, jalapeno peppers, and nopales in the boiling water until the vegetables are all tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Blend the tomatillos and jalapeno peppers in a blender until smooth; pour into the pot with the shredded chicken and place over medium heat. Cut the nopales into small dice and add to the mixture. Allow the mixture to simmer until completely reheated, about 5 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Sep 14, 2009

This is really simple and tasty. I've made it twice now and the second time around I used 4 tomatillos and when I blended the tomatillos and jalapenos I added a little chicken broth.

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 11, 2012

Not enough flavor for me. Definitely needed salt. I used fresh nopales (grown on our property) and they made the mixture pretty slimy. My Mexican husband told me when it was too late that I should have chopped them before boiling and the boiling would take the sliminess out. Maybe next time.


11 Ratings

Mar 05, 2010

Very good! I also used additional tomatillos and only used 1 jalapeno since I have a tendency to make things too hot for most tastes. I added about 1/4 C chicken broth and 1/4 t ground cumin. Serverd on tortillas with mex blend cheese and something new, Rosa Rita green salsa verde, which had just the right kick. Will make this again!

Apr 20, 2011

Good & easy recipe. As So. California residents my mother grows cactus aka Nopales in her yard & she harvests this "green meat" throughout the year. As kids we grew up on it. Thanks for sharing with my additions it was a hearty meal that got rave reviews. I served it corn tortillas, a side of rice and limes. My edits: I added tablespoon of chicken bouillon, garlic and a big chunky onion.

Jan 20, 2011

I understand that this is "con Nopales" but after having it, I can't say that the cactus was really worth the mess and effort. I think a better substitute for the flavors in this would just be green peppers/pepper medley. Otherwise, a fantastic recipe. I added some garlic powder, a bunch of fresh cilantro, and a 1/4 onion to the green sauce and the flavor was phenomenal. Will definitely make it again with the above adjustments.

May 05, 2010

Not bad. I used pre-cooked, packaged chicken slices, and added a dash of garlic powder, 2 tbsp lime juice, and 2 tbsp of dried cilantro leaves. I didn't shred my chicken, just a personal preference. Thanks, Chef Kiki.

May 07, 2012

Very good flavor! We used bell peppers instead of nopales and added one white onion and a bit of chicken broth, served over white rice and/or in corn tortillas. Everyone loved it! Definitely a keeper!!

Apr 22, 2014

made with chicken breast chunks, did not shred, added black beans with the cactus and some onion, cumin and a dash of chicken boullion, put on tortillas and used tomatillo salsa as a topping with some grated cheese, YUMMY!


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  • Calories
  • 174 kcal
  • 9%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 11.9 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • 59 mg
  • 20%
  • Fat
  • 3.2 g
  • 5%
  • Fiber
  • 6.7 g
  • 27%
  • Protein
  • 25.7 g
  • 51%
  • Sodium
  • 99 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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