Prickly Pear Paddles

Here in Minnesota, we're a bit removed from the typical landscape the Cactaceae family calls home, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy an item found in the diets of many Mexican and Mexican-American families: the prickly pear cactus (also known as the nopales cactus)!

Cook time:

Fast! <5 minutes


Red meats - The paddles of the nopales have been described as a slightly more acidic green bean. This dish goes great with a pairing of a grilled steak

Semi-Sweet White Wine: We recommend a local MN favorite, Schram vineyard's 2015 Blossom



Servings: Two

You will need:

  • Two tablespoons olive oil - We love using an infused blood orange oil for this dish
    • In summer months, grilling the paddles is also popular (no oil needed)
  • Four medium nopales paddles
  • One tablespoon honey
  • One teaspoon lemon juice
  • Teaspoon of sea salt
  • Drizzle of Triple Crown's Cayenne BBQ sauce
  • Shape knife
  • One pan
  • Small bowl


  1. If not removed, hold paddles by the stem and with the sharp knife, remove the thorns. Scrape down the plant's stem until you come to the soft part.
  2. Rinse with water to remove extra debris - pat dry
  3. On a stove-top simmer oil on medium low
  4. Add paddles and let cook for two-three minutes
  5. Flip and against let cook for two-three minutes
  6. While cooking, mix the honey, salt, and lemon in a small bowl
  7. After removing paddles from the pan, serve with the honey mix as a sauce on top, or for dipping
  8. Drizzle Triple Crown Cayenne BBQ sauce on top for a little added heat