The 10 Best Cactus Soup Recipes

Cactus isn’t exactly on most people’s average menu beyond a few places in desert countries. However, it has significantly increased in popularity in recent years because of its unique flavor, dense texture, and nutrient-dense structure that makes it a healthy alternative to other ingredients. Let’s showcase 10 of the best cactus recipes you’ll find anywhere online!

What Does Cactus Taste Like?

In our many taste tests, cactus produces a fairly sour taste that we can compare favorably to rich green vegetables, like asparagus. However, some cactus types can taste like green beans or peppers! We particularly loved the Nopales variety, and it is the most commonly used type in cactus-based meals. Each of our cactus soup recipe options uses Nopales cactus.

Finding Cactus

As you might expect, finding cactus is a bit more challenging than finding something like asparagus or green beans. However, it is becoming easier every year to walk into an average supermarket and find some cactus options. While it might never become a major food staple in many parts of the world, you can still find cactus in a variety of different places, like:

  • Specialized food stores, mainly Mexican shops
  • “Rare” food shops that stock interesting ingredients
  • Online stores like Amazon, Costco, or Sam’s Club
  • Farmers’ markets throughout your area, especially in warm-weather regions

Before buying cacti, make sure that you’re not buying dangerous varieties! Cactus like San Pedro, Peruvian Torch, Peyote Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Cholla Cactus, and Saguaro Cactus are either poisonous, hard to prepare and eat, or cause hallucinations when ingested. Ask about what type you are buying and ensure you understand how to prepare your cactus before eating.

Nutritional Value of Cactus

Cactus is not a calorie-dense food because it is primarily made of water and various fibers. The following nutritional facts are based on a 150-gram serving of cactus and represent a specific percentage of a standard 2,000-calorie daily diet:

  • 24 calories
  • 0.1 gram of total fat (0%)
  • 32 milligrams of sodium (1%)
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates (2%)
  • 3.3 grams of fiber (12%)
  • 1.7 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein (4%)
  • 246 milligrams of calcium (19%)
  • 0.9 milligrams of iron (5%)
  • 386 milligrams of potassium (8%)

Cactus is also an excellent source of vitamin A (34.5 micrograms), carotene alpha (72 micrograms), carotene beta (375 micrograms), and magnesium (78 milligrams). It has almost no fat and plenty of fiber, though not as much as some denser foods, like beans. However, its overall nutrient base and taste type make it an excellent alternative to broccoli and a fantastic ingredient for your next cactus soup recipe!

In each of the following 10 recipes, we’ll highlight the ingredients that you need to use and discuss the steps necessary for preparing these delicious meals. We based each recipe on research into various options online and added our own spin on each to produce a fantastic array of flavors! Anybody who is interested in the best cactus soup recipe will love at least one option here.

1. Base Cactus Soup Recipe

This base cactus soup recipe is based on a great suggestion by nutritionist Katya Galbis. Her recipe uses Nopal cactus to create a gluten- and nut-free recipe with very low sugar content. It will produce four servings that you can refrigerate for later use. Many of our other recipes are based on this base recipe, and you can change out various ingredients to produce a fantastic array of flavors.


  • Two pounds of cactus
  • Four tomatoes
  • One-quarter white onion
  • Two garlic gloves
  • Three cups of vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper (to season)


  1. Bowl your cactus for about 25 minutes until they are tender
  2. Rinse your cactus with cold water
  3. Blend your tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves until smooth
  4. Cook this sauce for three minutes and add the cactus to the mix
  5. Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes before adding salt and pepper
  6. Serve in standard soup or cereal bowls

2. Spicy Cactus Soup

After you try the base cactus soup recipe, you can expand to this delicious spicy variation! It includes the same ingredients mentioned above, so we won’t list them here in depth. However, we will highlight a few extra items you can add to give this soup more of a kick. If you love peppers and want a rich cactus soup recipe, this is your option.

Extra Ingredients and Steps

  • Two large red peppers
  • Two large bell peppers
  • Two large green peppers
  • One leek (to balance the spiciness)

Now, you can chop your peppers and leeks up and mix them with your tomatoes, onions, and garlic cloves. This will naturally create a spicy soup and produce more soup volume by the bowl as well. You can also half your spicy ingredients if you find it has too much of a kick for you.


Try to serve this soup with bread, like rich French bread or baguette. The bread soaks up much of the juice and can also help balance your stomach if you feel it grumbling after eating. Bread also helps provide a softer and gentler balance to this cactus soup recipe.

3. Creamy Cactus Soup

If you want a creamy cactus soup recipe that has a similar feel to a cream of mushroom soup, you may enjoy this recipe. It uses a heavy concentration of cream and milk, so be prepared for more calories with this meal. You can cut the cream and milk ingredients by half or so if you want a denser and less calorie-dense meal. However, you will lose some creamy texture.


  • Two pounds of cactus
  • One ounce of sunflower oil
  • One glove of garlic
  • Four ounces of white onion
  • Two quarts of chicken broth
  • Allspice pepper and salt to taste
  • 20 ounces of whole milk
  • Two ounces of heavy cream


  1. Sautee the onion, garlic, and cactus in your oil for about seven minutes
  2. Mix in the chicken broth, pepper, milk and cream
  3. Boil this mix and then reduce heat to a simmer
  4. Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly
  5. Season with salt and allspice pepper
  6. Garnish with your favorite herbs and spices
  7. Serve in medium-sized soup or cereal bowls


You can add a little more flavor to this meal by mixing in 10 stems of freshly cleaned cilantro. Cilantro adds to the overall taste of the cactus and creates a unique texture. It can also soften some of the more intense flavors and textures common in this meal.

4. Scallions and Cactus Soup

Here’s another variation on the base cactus soup recipe that adds a few more ingredients to give it a richer flavor. Here, you’ll be adding scallions, which provide their dense texture and unique taste. Ensure you carefully clean the scallions and check them for freshness before serving. Just as importantly, look to our tips section to learn more about interesting variations.

Extra Ingredients and Steps

Add two ounces of cleaned scallions to your tomato mix but don’t use garlic cloves with this recipe! Though garlic and scallions don’t taste bad together, they may end up creating a very potent flavor that could overwhelm the other ingredients. If you still want some garlic in this recipe, try to cut the dose by half or more. Doing so keeps a faint ghost of garlic without taking over your dish completely.


Consider cleaning some shrimp and adding it to your scallion soup recipe. This adds an even fresher flavor that’s perfect for seafood fans. Note that this may tend to overwhelm the cactus flavor, so be prepared to make adjustments if you find you lose the initial cactus taste.

5. Lentil and Cactus Soup

Lentils are a classic ingredient in many soups, and they go perfectly with cacti. Their mild but pleasing taste highlights the potency of cacti and adds a little more depth. Thankfully, this recipe is fairly easy to produce and follows a basic traditional lentil soup recipe. As a result, it adds the nutritional value of a lentil soup with the fiber-rich density of cacti.


  • Five garlic gloves
  • One-pound lentils
  • One and one-half tablespoon of bouillon
  • One-half onion
  • One tomato
  • One cup of cactus
  • Three potatoes


  1. Add three garlic cloves and bouillon in a large pot and simmer for an hour
  2. Cook the onion and remaining garlic in a skillet until the onion is translucent
  3. Add tomato and continue cooking for another five minutes
  4. Pour this mix into the lentil combination along with the chopped potatoes and cactus
  5. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft
  6. Serve in medium-sized soup or cereal bowls.


Add ground cumin to this recipe to highlight the lentil and cactus tastes. Cumin also helps balance the sour taste of cactus and may make it more palpable for the average person.

6. Cactus Taco Soup

This fun recipe is a variation on a standard taco soup option and includes many fantastic ingredients. If you’re a Mexican food lover and you want to try this variation, use Nopales for the best result.


  • One and one-half pound of ground beef or pork
  • One-half pound of cactus
  • Two onions
  • Taco seasoning
  • 10 ounces of diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 16 ounces of ranch-style beans
  • 22 ounces of corn


  1. Cook the pork in a large saucepan and break it up into small parts
  2. Stir in onions, seasoning, and cactus
  3. Add the tomatoes, beans, and corn
  4. Boil this mix and simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Serve in medium-sized soup or cereal bowls


Top this soup with tortilla chips, sliced avocados, sour cream, and shredded cheese to add to its flavor. Mexican cheese works best, though extra sharp cheddar is a great option too

7. Cactus and Chicken Soup

A healthy chicken noodle soup is typically no more than 86 calories per cup, and cactus adds very few calories to its mix. It can replace your celery if you don’t enjoy that ingredient.


  • One-cup chopped onion
  • One-cup chopped cactus
  • Four cans of chicken broth
  • One can of vegetable broth
  • One-half pound of chopped chicken breast
  • One tablespoon of butter
  • One and one-half cup of egg noodles
  • One cup of sliced carrots


  1. Melt butter in a large pot and add onions and cactus to the mix
  2. Cooking until tender and add your broth, chicken, noodles, and carrots to the mix
  3. Bring the mix to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Serve in medium-sized cereal or soup bowls


Add one-half teaspoon of dried basil and dried oregano to improve this meal even more. Flavor with salt and pepper to give it more of a traditional chicken soup feel.

8. Cactus Vegetable Soup

There are few soups as nutrient-rich as vegetable soup. This recipe includes many veggies and has very healthy calories that will improve this meal’s health. The cactus adds a bit of a kick to the soup’s somewhat mild flavor.


  • One chopped yellow onion
  • Two tablespoons of garlic
  • Two cups of cactus
  • Six white potatoes
  • Two cans of beans
  • One can of diced tomatoes
  • Six cubes of vegetable bouillon
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil


  1. Cook onions and garlic in a pan coated with the olive oil
  2. Add the cactus and cook for about five minutes
  3. Stir in several cups of water, potatoes, beans, and tomatoes
  4. Add your bouillon and bring the soup to a boil
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it cook for 25 minutes
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve in medium-sized bowls


Adding one tablespoon of Italian seasoning or two tablespoons of your favorite herb (try parsley!) will give this soup more taste. We strongly recommend it with a multi-cheese grilled cheese sandwich.

9. Tomato and Cactus Soup

When it comes to simple soups, tomato is one of the most diverse options available. It is very easy to create a tomato and cactus soup that may replace your traditional tomato soup recipe.


  • One chopped onion
  • Four chopped garlic cloves
  • One-quarter cup flour
  • One can of diced tomatoes
  • One cup of cactus
  • One can of chicken broth
  • Two cups of chicken
  • One-quarter cup of heavy whipping creams


  1. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil for about five minutes
  2. Sprinkle flour over the onion mix and add tomatoes and chicken broth
  3. Boil the liquid and cook until the tomatoes are soft
  4. Blend soup in pulses to liquefy its ingredients
  5. Add heavy cream, cooked chicken, heavy cream, salt, and pepper
  6. Serve in soup or cereal bowls


Mix oregano, basil, and parsley in this recipe to produce an exciting taste variety. One teaspoon of each should be more than enough for most: try two each for a real head-spinning meal!

10. Asian-Style Cactus Soup

Are you a major fan of Asian-style soups and wonder how you can add cacti to it? This simple recipe produces a delicious soup that should fit any Asian foodie’s recipe card quite nicely.


  • Two minced garlic gloves
  • One tablespoon of canola oil
  • One shredded large carrot
  • Two green onions
  • One cup of shredded cactus
  • One tablespoon of minced garlic
  • One carton of chicken broth
  • One-quarter cup of soy sauce
  • Seven ounces of firm tofu
  • One cup of snow peas
  • Eight ounces of Chinese egg noodles


  1. Cook ginger and garlic for one minute in a large saucepan coated with oil
  2. Add mushrooms, broth, and soy sauce and cook for five minutes
  3. Mix in tofu and your veggies (including the cactus) and cook for 4-6 minutes on simmering heat
  4. Soak your noodles during this time and boil to soften
  5. Place noodles in bowls and pour soup over top to serve


Mix in one tablespoon of fresh ginger root and one-quarter teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to make a spicier meal. You can also add peanuts to give it a bit of a crunch.

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