How to Pickle Cactus

Before starting your DIY home pickling project, The FruitGuys recommends you familiarize yourself with basic pickling practices to ensure that you produce a batch of healthy, delicious pickles. There are many resources available online. A good place to start is here. Happy pickling!

How to Pickle Cactus

Adapted from eHow

Nopales” is a popular treat in Mexico and the American Southwest. Its juicy texture and distinctive flavor make great salads, jellies, and even candy. Cactus pickles are another delicious preparation, and many restaurants serve them as a side dish or accent. When you pickle cactus, you can add your own sweet, sour, or spicy twist to basic recipes like the one below.


  • 1 lb Nopales cactus leaves (about 3)
  • ¾ cup white wine vinegar
  • One small onion
  • One large tomato
  • One jalapeño pepper
  • A ½ cup of sugar
  • Sea Salt


  1. Peel the cactus leaves and cut them into sticks. The sticks should be about the size and shape of French fries. Bring a pot of water to boil. Put the cactus pieces into the water and boil them for 6–8 minutes or until they are tender. You can test them with a fork as needed. Drain and cool.
  2. Chop the jalapeño, onion, and tomato. Combine the cactus with the chopped vegetables in a pickling jar.
  3. Mix ¾ cup of white vinegar with ½ cup of sugar in a pot; stir while bringing to a boil. Pour the vinegar and sugar mixture over the vegetables in the jar.
  4. Sprinkle salt liberally over the vegetables. Let cool and then cover the jar and refrigerate the cactus pickles for 3–4 hours or overnight.

Serves 4. Cook time, 12 minutes

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