In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Prickly Pear Margarita Recipe and more from El Saguarito

Albert Vasquez, owner of El Saguarito Healthy Mexican Food came by the studio to show us how to properly prepare Nopalitos or Cactus Pads:


Prickly Pear is a cactus that is native to the western hemisphere and prevalent in the American Southwest deserts in southern Arizona.   There are different types of prickly pear, but the most common are O.ficus-indica including Engelman Prickly Pear and Beaver Tail Cactus.  The cactus bears large yellow flowers and purple-pink colored fruit.

Serving the Prickly Pear includes despining the cactus fruit, slicing and preparing. The fruit has small, hard seeds.  Albert Vasquez will demonstrate how to prepare the fruit, similar to preparing green beans or okra. One of the signature drinks at El Saguarito is purple/pink Prickly Pear Cactus Margaritas colored perfectly for Valentines Day.

Here is the recipe:



  • 2 oz. agave syrup
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. organic tequila
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish with a lime wedge
  • 1 oz or to taste mango or prickly pear syrup flavoring


  • In a margarita glass squeeze a lime around the edge of the glass and then dip glass into salt.
  • Fill ¾ of glass with crushed ice.
  • Add all ingredients
  • Add mango or prickly pear syrup
  • Garnish with lime




  • One large, (14-15-inch diameter) flour tortilla
  • 3/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup of grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 or 2 roasted green chiles, peeled, seeded, cut into strips
  • ½ tomato diced or cut into moon slices
  • ¼ cup green onion diced


  • Preheat oven (with a rack in the middle) or flat grill to 350°F.
  • Put a 14-15 inch tortilla on a pizza pan
  • Make a heart design with red chili strips on top of the tortilla
  • Spread Monterey Jack cheese around the outside of the heart to the edge of tortilla.
  • Spread Cheddar cheese on the inside of the heart
  • Sprinkle the green onion on top of the Cheddar cheese
  • Place the sliced/diced tomatoes around the heart shape
  • Place into oven or on grill for 5-7 and take out when cheese is melted
  • Use pizza cutter to slice like pizza

For more information, you can go to El Saguarito’s website.