Fried Cactus Strips

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 20 min.


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
This fun recipe makes a tasty, crunchy treat that uses a wild resource so abundant here in the Southwest. Many people don't know cactus is edible—and tasty! If cactus don't grow where you live, your grocery store may carry cactus pads in the produce section.—Nema Lu Parker, Eastland, Texas


  • 4 to 6 large cactus pads (about 8 inches x 4 inches)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup saltine crumbs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Picante sauce


  1. Remove all needles and spines from cactus pads. Slice into 1/2-in.-wide strips. Wash thoroughly; drain and pat dry. Set aside. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. In another bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk. Combine the bread and saltine crumbs, chili powder, cayenne pepper and remaining salt; set aside. Dredge cactus strips in flour mixture, shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then coat with crumb mixture.
  2. In a deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry strips until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with picante sauce.