Prickly pears, also known as cactus pears, are native to North America and are the fruit of the Opuntia genus, commonly found in arid regions. They have a subtly sweet, melon-like flavor with berry undertones. Prickly Pear is an underestimated fruit, perhaps because of its spiky exterior with those invisible prickles (glochids) that hurt crazy when you get them in your hands. However, you can always be careful using long tongs, gloves, and long boots while hunting for them.

Just beneath that stiff exterior is soft and juicy candy-sweet flesh with a delightful sweet-tart flavor. Prickly pears are nutritional powerhouses and rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a fantastic addition to your diet. These 25 Best Prickly Pear​​ Recipes are your gateway to discovering a hidden gem in your kitchen. Whether you’re seeking a refreshing cocktail for a summer evening or an innovative twist on a classic dessert, this Prickly Pear recipe compilation has something for everyone.

1. Prickly Pear Gum Drops

These 4-ingredient Prickly Pear Gum Drops are a fun and exotic treat combining ripe prickly pears, applesauce, and a touch of pectin powder. Just boil all the ingredients, cut them into bite-sized pieces or fun shapes, and coat them with sugar for an extra layer of sweetness. These homemade gumdrops taste better than store-bought ones.

2. Prickly Pear Jelly

Discover the true gem of the Southwest with Prickly Pear Jelly – a delicious blend of sweet and tart flavors with a stunning pink hue. The tangy notes of prickly pear are perfectly balanced with the brightness of lemon juice, held together by the natural thickening power of low-sugar pectin. Slather this delightful jelly on toast, drizzle it over pancakes, or use it as a glaze for meat to unleash its full potential.

3. Prickly Pear Vinaigrette

This zesty Prickly Pear Vinaigrette is a must-try if you enjoy experimenting with different vinaigrettes to enhance your summer salads. Although it tastes like raspberry vinaigrette, a distinctive prickly pear twist sets it apart. With a refreshing hint of citrus and a bold, complex flavor profile, this dressing is a true standout that will elevate any salad to a new level of deliciousness.

4. Tenderloin With Prickly Pear Sauce

Imagine a perfectly cooked pork tenderloin with a deliciously crispy golden-brown exterior, topped with a rich and flavorful prickly pear sauce. The sauce is infused with savory herbs and spices, complementing the tenderloin. You can prepare this delicious dinner recipe in 30 minutes or less, and it will surely be a hit with your entire family.

5. Prickly Pear Lemonade

This Prickly pear lemonade will replace whatever pick-me-up summer beverage you drink to beat the scorching summer heat. Its tropical appearance and sweet-tart taste will enchant you. You can whip up this refreshing concoction in just 5 minutes, making it the ideal go-to drink for hot summer days. You only need a few prickly pears, a dash of lemon juice, and your preferred sweetener to make this lemonade.

6. Prickly Pear Cocktail with Bourbon

This fruity, delicious Prickly Pear Bourbon Cocktail is naturally gluten-free and the perfect way to unwind after a hectic day. Homemade prickly pear syrup takes center stage, and with just two ounces of liquor, this dinner cocktail is reasonably strong with Bourbon’s warm undertones. Half a cup of prickly pear syrup is a welcome addition, as it does not overpower the flavors.

7. Prickly Pear Margarita

This 5-ingredient Prickly Pear Margarita is an exotic twist on the classic cocktail, combining clear tequila, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice, and prickly pear syrup. It’s an ideal beverage to serve alongside Mexican dishes, seafood, or spicy foods, requiring only 5 minutes to make. Don’t forget to rim your glass with kosher salt and a lime slice for stunning visual appeal and refreshment.

8. Prickly Pear Syrup

You cannot think of an easier recipe than this thick, luscious, prickly pear syrup. This versatile syrup can elevate cocktails, desserts, and savory dishes; all it takes is prickly pears, sugar, and water. You can drizzle this syrup over pancakes, mix it into cocktails, or use it as a tasty glaze for meats. Adjust the sweetness and store the syrup for several weeks to elevate your sweet and savory dishes.

9. Prickly Pear Juice

Nothing can promise you this kind of fuss-free recipe except prickly pear. This visually stunning Prickly Pear Juice can be easily made with just the star of the show, the prickly pear itself, and takes 10 minutes of your time. Wash, peel, and blitz them until suitable for consumption. Opt for a dash of lime juice for a zing and agave syrup for added sweetness. Drink it on its own or stir it into your favorite cocktails.

10. Prickly Pear Tacos

Let’s take a savory approach to prickly pears and make these delicious tacos. These Prickly Pear tacos are all set to elevate your taco Tuesdays, combining grilled prickly pear strips, savory black beans, zesty cabbage slaw, and cotija cheese, all wrapped in corn tortillas. It’s a delightful fusion of Tex-Mex and Southwestern tastes that’s easy to make and perfect for taco enthusiasts. Customize your toppings and enjoy a flavorful fiesta with every bite!

11. Nopales/Chopped Prickly Pear Pads

Being a one-pan, stir-fry recipe is enough reason to fall in love with this Chopped Prickly Pear Pads recipe, and the health benefits are just the cherry on top. Nopales, the edible pads of the prickly pear cactus, might not be a familiar ingredient, but they’re about to become your new culinary obsession. Packed with vitamins, fiber, and a distinct flavor profile, nopales are a hidden gem waiting to be explored in your kitchen.

12. Prickly Pear Tonic and Lime

Thirsty for a revitalizing sip that’s both hydrating and indulgent? This Prickly Pear Tonic and Lime is just another blend-everything-together recipe, keeping up the Prickly Pear promise to deliver fuss-free recipes. You can whip up a hydrating drink in five minutes with just four simple ingredients – water, diet tonic water, lime juice, and prickly pear juice. This prickly pear tonic will replace your post-workout beverage.

13. Prickly Pear Limeade

No better way to beat the scorching summer heat than with a revitalizing sip of this minty Prickly Pear Limeade. It’s a vibrant and refreshing beverage that combines prickly pear puree, lime juice, and mint leaves. With stevia as its sweetener, this low-calorie beverage is guilt-free indulgence.

14. Prickly Pear and Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Ditch that sugary ice cream mug and switch to Prickly Pear and Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. It blends prickly pear fruit, frozen bananas, strawberries, vanilla Greek yogurt, and lime juice. With a creamy, fruity flavor and a hint of tanginess, it’s the guilt-free dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can also adorn this frozen yogurt with your favorite toppings, including chia seeds, kiwi, and bee pollen.

15. Nopalitos Fritos – Cactus Fries

Do you love French fries but worry about the oily mess that comes along? Consider using prickly pear nopales as the key ingredient instead of potatoes. What’s even better is that these fries are baked, not oil-fried, so that you can indulge guilt-free. These crispy cactus fries are vegan-friendly and pair perfectly with a spicy ancho chili dip, making for a savory snack or side dish.

16. Prickly Pear Lemon Bars

These Prickly Pear Lemon Bars feature a perfect balance of sweet and tangy, with a delectable buttery cookie crust. The cookie base is made of butter, flour, chopped pecans, and sugar, while the filling blends lemon juice, lemon zest, and prickly pear juice. You can whip up a batch in just 35-40 minutes! For an extra touch of sweetness, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

17. Prickly Pear Sorbet

Made from the vibrant fruit of cactus pears, this dairy-free and vegan-friendly Prickly Pear Sorbet strikes an ideal balance between sweet and tangy. With just three main ingredients and a bit of freezing time, you can create a delightful dessert without the mess of baking or cooking. Perfect for beating the summer heat, this dessert is easy to make for a casual gathering yet impressive enough to delight guests.

18. Red Leaf and Cactus Pear Autumn Salad

This Red Leaf and Cactus Pear Autumn Salad captures the spirit of autumn like no other. Featuring the red leaf lettuce, zucchini, fresh figs, and the unique charm of cactus pear, this salad is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. It’s a perfect fit for those looking to benefit from seasonal produce while keeping their health goals in check.

19. Grilled Chicken & Oranges w/ Prickly Pear Cactus Glaze

Imagine succulent chicken breasts marinated to perfection and slathered in an enticing Prickly Pear Glaze. Prickly pear jelly, cloves, olive oil, Dijon mustard, orange zest, and a hint of finely chopped jalapeno creates a magical marinade. As the chicken finishes grilling, generously baste it again with the remaining glaze and watch as it glistens, creating a mouthwatering masterpiece that’s too palatable to eat.

20. Nopales Con Huevo (Cactus with Eggs)

Nopales Con Huevo is one of Mexico’s most beloved breakfast dishes featuring the prickly pear cactus pads as its star ingredient. This delectable dish combines the subtle heat of jalapenos with the richness of eggs and the savory sweetness of onions. Whether enjoyed alone or wrapped in a warm tortilla, Nopales Con Huevo will satisfy any appetite. Try topping it with crumbled queso fresco and creamy slices of avocado for extra flavor and texture.

21. Prickly Pear Smoothie

Looking for a kick-starter breakfast or revitalizing post-workout beverage? Look no further than this Prickly Pear Smoothie. Combining the tarty-sweet flavors of prickly pear, banana, pineapple, and pomegranate juice, this exotic smoothie will keep you going for hours and hours. Feel free to throw in your favorite fruits, or garnish with nuts for an added nutrition and crunch.

22. Prickly Pear & Lime Curd

This exotic Prickly Pear and Lime Curd combines prickly pear sweetness with lime zest. Easy to make and extremely versatile, this curd is a must-try for those seeking to add a gourmet touch to their ordinary meals. Drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or French toast to make a restaurant-worthy dessert. Swirl it into yogurt for a tangy and sweet parfait. You can even use it to fill tarts, cakes, or pastries. The possibilities are endless!

23. Raspberry-Prickly Pear Agua Fresca

No one beats prickly pears when it comes to easy and blend-everything-together recipes. Raspberry-Prickly Pear Agua Fresca is a Mexican-inspired drink that combines the natural sweetness of ripe prickly pears with the tangy allure of raspberries, all brought together with a hint of zesty lime. It’s perfect for beating the summer heat or a show-stopping addition to your summer gatherings. Serve it over ice for an instant burst of flavor that keeps you coming back.

24. Prickly Pear Mojito

This Prickly Pear Mojito recipe is a vibrant and refreshing twist on the classic mojito that features the unique flavor of prickly pear fruit, a hint of mint, and a touch of rum (or not, for a non-alcoholic version). Perfect for sunny days and gatherings, it’s quick to make and visually stunning. Garnished with lime and mint, it’s as appealing to the eyes as the taste buds. Try it and elevate your cocktail game!

25. Prickly-Pear Cactus Fruit Salad

Picture a vibrant pink and magenta masterpiece, bursting with sweet-tangy prickly-pear cactus fruit, ripe strawberries, and fresh green grapes, all elegantly intertwined with Valencia orange segments. Drizzled with honey and a dash of cinnamon, this Prickly-Pear Cactus Fruit Salad is not just a recipe; it’s a work of art. Whether you want a guilt-free indulgence or to showcase your culinary skills, this refreshing salad is designed to impress.

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25 Best Prickly Pear Recipes to Try Today

prickly pear jam on toast
These 25 Best Prickly Pear​​ Recipes are your gateway to discovering a gem in your kitchen for a refreshing cocktail an innovative dessert.
Tried this recipe?Mention @drizzlemeskinny or tag #drizzlemeskinny!

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Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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