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Chef Diana Dávila’s Guisado de Nopalitos

A delicious take on one of Chef Diana Dávila’s favorite Mexican dishes. Get mashy and top with fried cheese curds!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Midwestern
Servings 6


  • 4 lbs nopales cleaned, blanched and diced
  • 1 lb chayote squash seeded and diced
  • 1 lb yellow squash seeded and diced
  • 1 lb green zucchini seeded and diced
  • 1/2 lb fresh corn kernels
  • 2 oz minced garlic
  • 2 cups sunflower oil
  • 2 oz flaked guajillo pepper
  • 3 serrano peppers sliced
  • 1 12 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 12 vine tomatoes charred and grilled


  • In a blender puree the canned and fresh tomatoes together, set aside.
  • In a braising pan, sautée the garlic and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the squash and corn, and sweat the veggies.
  • Once the squash and corn have been sweated, add the guajillo flakes and peppers and mix to incorporate.
  • Add the nopales and mix to incorporate.
  • Add the pureed tomato mixture, mix to incorporate and bring to a boil.
  • Let simmer for 20 minutes, then top with cheese of your choice (we currently use burrata at the restaurant but have also used fried cheese curds and queso fresco).
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, serve with flour tortillas, and enjoy!