Nopal Smoothie with Cucumber (Healthy and Refreshing!)

This nopal smoothie with cucumber is so refreshing. You’ll turn to it over and over again when the weather is hot. 

Nopales (or cactus paddles) are one of my favorite vegetables to use in Mexican cooking. Not only do they have a unique flavor, but they offer so many incredible health benefits. 

A smoothie with nopal is a classic drink in Mexican food, and it’s a convenient way to get the health benefits of nopales! 

You’ll often see it with other green vegetables like cucumber, celery, or even parsley. In my version I use cucumber, and add a dash of pineapple for extra tropical flavor. 

So grab your blender and let’s mix up a nopal smoothie together!

nopal smoothie with cucumber

Is this like jugo verde (green juice)?

Jugo verde is very popular in Mexico, and many variations use nopal. The flavors of this smoothie will probably remind you of jugo verde, if you’ve ever had it. 

But it’s not exactly like jugo verde because this nopal smoothie doesn’t strain out the fiber like a juce does. 

Keeping the fiber in this smoothie has health benefits like helping you feel full and helping manage blood sugar. It also requires less special equipment. I’m all about ease!

Using nopales

You will want to use fresh nopales for this recipe. I like to buy nopales that have already had the thorns removed. If you can’t find these, use this video to show you how to safely peel and remove thorns from nopales.

Recipe Tips

While I love jarred/canned nopales, they will not work well in this recipe due to the different flavor. I recommend making a salad with canned nopales. 

Use frozen pineapple for a thick, slushy-like texture. If you only have fresh pineapple, you can add ice. 

ingredients for a nopal smoothie including nopales, cucumber, and frozen pineapple

What to serve with a nopal smoothie

As a dietitian, I’m always checking to make sure my clients get enough protein. This nopal smoothie is delicious, but doesn’t have very much protein. That’s why I like to serve it with a high protein breakfast like eggs for a complete, balanced meal. 

Serve with classic egg dishes like:


Nopal smoothie with cucumber and pineapple

This nopal smoothie is so refreshing with cucumber and pineapple added.
Prep Time5 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Drinks, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: smoothie
Servings: 2


  • 1 Blender
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 chef's knife
  • 1 vegetable peeler



  • 1 lb fresh nopales approximately 2 nopal pads, peeled with thorns removed
  • 1 cucumber peeled
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup water



  • Make sure both the nopal and cucumber have been peeled. Cut nopal and cucumber into bite-sized pieces.
    chopped nopal and cucumber on a plate
  • Place nopal, cucumber, pineapple, and water into blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until completely smooth.
    ingredients for nopal smoothie in a blender
  • Pour into glasses and enjoy


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