Prickly Pear Paletas

Prickly pears, the fruit that grows on cactus plants, are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine. The fruit yields a bright pink juice that lends its color to Justin Chapple’s fun, summery ice pops. To prepare, use a paring knife to scrape off thorns. Then cut off the ends of the fruit and score it lengthwise. Slip your thumb under the skin and peel the fruit, discarding peel and thorns.

Total Time:
20 mins
1 quart


  • 8 prickly pears

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/3 cup light agave nectar

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Ice and lime wheels, for serving


  1. Using a paring knife, working away from you, carefully scrape off any cactus thorns. Cut off the ends of the fruit and, using the tip of the knife, score the fruit lengthwise. Slip you thumb under the skin and peel the fruit. Discard the peel and thorns, then dice the fruit.

  2. In a blender, combine the prickly pear, lime juice, water, agave and salt; puree until smooth. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer; discard solids. Pour liquid into ice-pop molds. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

    Prickly Pear Paletas
    Victor Protasio

Make Ahead

The paletas can be frozen for up to 3 weeks.

Related Articles