Food Recipe

Chef Diana Dávila’s Guisado de Nopalitos

The mashiest nopalitos in town.
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Diana Dávila’s food at her award-winning restaurant, Mi Tocaya Antojería in Chicago, invites guests to sample less-known regional Mexican cuisine, her take on familiar Mexican favorites, and of course, the dishes that aren’t exactly traditional but inspired by her Mexican-American life experience in the Midwest. In other words, it’s perfectly mashy. The guisado recipe below is especially mashy when topped with fried cheese curds, which was the set when Mi Tocaya first opened. Also, if you aren’t familiar with cheese curds, please travel to Wisconsin and educate yourself!

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!
Posted by Diana Dávila
Diana Dávila Dávila is the Chef and Owner of Mi Tocaya Antojería in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Dávila grew up in kitchens and began working in her parent’s taqueria at the age of 10. At Mi Tocaya guests are invited to enjoy Davila’s takes on familiar Mexican favorites; less known regional specialties; and completely new dishes that are inspired by her Mexican heritage. Since opening Mi Tocaya in March of 2017 the restaurant has received numerous accolades from organizations like the Michelin Guide, Bon Appetit, and James Beard.

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