Steak Fajitas with Grilled Nopalitos

Raise your hand if you appreciate easy-to-make dinners that even the pickiest eater in the family enjoys. When it’s full of flavor and packed with good-for-you ingredients, it’s not hard to love. 

Aromatic, tender and packed full of flavor, our Steak Fajitas with Grilled Nopalitos is a family favorite.

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What is a fajita?

Fajitas are one of the most beloved Mexican recipes amongst Americans and Mexican-Americans, due in part to the vibrant culture and authentic heritage that Hispanics bring to the US. The dish consists of steak strips cooked on a hot skillet, usually with onions and bell peppers, then served on a warm flour tortilla and grilled nopales (a type of edible cactus).

Where did fajitas originate?

These iconic fajitas were initially created in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas by ranch workers tasked with making use of leftover cuts of beef. With their limited resources, they cooked these strips of meat on an open fire, then served them on warm tortillas topped with grilled nopales. This inexpensive meal quickly became an American classic – so much so that today it can be found in every state across the US. 

The popularity of fajitas has since spread far beyond the Rio Grande Valley to Mexico and further afield to countries such as Spain and France — all thanks to its savory flavor combination and ease of preparation. Despite its humble beginnings, this dish has become a staple in Latin American cuisine.

The dish is traditionally served with tortillas and beans accompanied by salsa. However, some restaurants have been known to get creative with their recipe by adding grilled nopales to the mix; this seasonal cactus vegetable adds a unique depth of flavor, enhancing the overall taste experience.

What are nopales and how do we use them

Nopales, or prickly pear cactus paddles, are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine. It has an earthy flavor and a slightly slimy texture that makes it a unique addition to salads, tacos and fajitas, burritos, and even omelets! Nopales can be cooked with onions and garlic for added flavor. They are also sometimes cooked with chilies for a spicier dish. The paddles can be boiled, grilled, stewed or sautéed – it’s up to you! Furthermore, nopales are rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A and C, as well as potassium and dietary fiber. So why not give them a try? You just might find a new favorite dish!

When it comes to cooking nopales, the possibilities are endless. With their unique flavor and texture, they can be used in all kinds of recipes – from salads to breakfast burritos. So go ahead and experiment with this Mexican staple — you won’t regret it!

If you grow your own cactus in your backyard you can certainly go pick out your favorite paddle to make up a delicious dish. But if you’re pressed for time, or simply want a tried-and-true win, try a jar of La Costeña Tender Cactus Nopalitos. They’re delicious but packed with flavor.

Want to try nopalitos in other delicious dishes? Check out our Steak and Nopalitos in Salsa Taquera and Chicken and Nopalitos Aztec Casserole. 

Are you a retailer wanting to carry La Costeña Tender Cactus Nopalitos? Let’s chat.

Why fajitas are so loved

Aside from their flavorful qualities, fajitas have many health benefits as well. Fajitas are generally low in fat and a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals due to their meat content. Additionally, nopales provide essential nutrients like dietary fiber, calcium, and iron, which all contribute to a balanced diet. Furthermore, Hispanics often prefer grilled vegetables such as nopales instead of fried foods when preparing meals for their families — making it an even healthier option.

Fajitas can be prepared quickly and easily using simple ingredients that most people will likely already have in their kitchen pantries. The versatility of fajitas also allows each person to customize their meals according to their individual taste preferences. Whether adding extra vegetables or leaving out certain ingredients altogether –- the possibilities are endless!

Because fajitas come from a place deeply embedded within Mexican culture, every time someone prepares or enjoys this dish, they honor its history and celebrate authentic flavors from different parts of Mexico. So next time you’re looking for a delicious meal idea for any occasion, consider serving up some steak fajitas with grilled nopales — it’s sure to please all your guests!


Step 1

Combine the lime juice, orange juice, beer, soy sauce and oil in a bowl. Marinate the steaks for at least 1-2 hours.  

Step 2

Light up the grill, and grease it with cooking oil. 

Step 3

Cook the strip steaks to the desired doneness, allow them to rest for ten minutes and cut them into strips against the grain. 

Step 4

Drain the Nopalitos La Costeña, heat a skillet with a teaspoon of cooking oil and sauté them until slightly charred. Season with salt.  

Step 5

Heat the refried beans in a pot for 2-3 minutes and set aside.  

Step 6

Serve the Asada meat with a side of Nopalitos, La Costeña salsa, beans and tortillas. 



  • Complement your grilled meal with your choice of vegetables, Cambray onions, chicken and more.



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