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Authentic Pork Mixiotes with Nopales Recipe

Inside: Learn how to make these delicious and authentic pork mixiotes with nopales that are very delicious!

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mixiotes de puerco con nopales con arroz

Pork mixiotes with nopales is a popular Mexican dish for the holiday and other celebrations in Mexico.  There are many different ways to make them depending on the specific region in Mexico. You can make them with any kind of meat, including chicken, pork, beef, lamb. There are even some more exotic varieties using meats such as wild hog, rabbit, and even squirrel!  

That, however, is all a question of persoanl taste. I am going to show you the most traditional variety, which are the pork mixiotes. This Mexican recipe will win over anyone who tries it.

What are mixiotes?

Mixiotes is a typical dish that is representative of Mexican cuisine. In consists basically of meat, marinated and cooked in a chile-based sauce, seasoned with cumin, oregano, and avocado leaves, and is cooked by steam (like tamales). 

mixiotes with aluminum foil

The original preparation method was to wrap the meat in a very thin leaf that came from the maguey plant, which was called a “mixiote.” That is where the name of the recipe came from. 

The word mixiote comes from the Nahualt “metl” (maguey) and “volt.” Over time the preparation method changed, and today you can find it wrapped in plantain leaves, aluminum foil, parchment paper, and even plastic bags. 

You can make it with just meat or you can add vegetables such as nopales or potatoes. 

Mixiotes are considered an exotic, but delicious dish, capable of winning over the palate of anyone who tries it. The flavor is hard to describe, but it is amazing. It has lots of different herbs which give it its great flavor, including bay leaves and avocado leaves. 

Like I said earlier, it is traditionally wrapped in a thin maguey leaf, but there is a problem with that. Maguey is a protected plan and it is no longer legal to sell it since removing the part that you use for this recipe dries up the plant, causing it to die. 

Don’t worry though, like I said, you can also wrap it in plantain leaves, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. So, if you can’t find maguey, there are no excuses and you can still make it using something else. 

mixiotes with rice

What can you serve with mixiotes?

You can serve mixiotes with rice, fresh made corn tortillas, y your favorite salsa. Aside from its great flavors, this is a healthy recipe that is low in fat since it is cooked in its own juices and you don’t add any additional oils or fats. 

Give this recipe a try, I am sure you will love it!

Other recipes you will love!

mixiotes en un plato blanco con arroz
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Pork Mixiotes with Nopales

These pork mixiotes with nopales are a delicious Mexican recipe
Prep Time4 hours
Cook Time1 hour 31 minutes
Total Time5 hours 31 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mixiotes, nopales
Servings: 12 Mixiotes
Calories: 242kcal


  • 2 pounds pork ribs
  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 8 oz guajillo chiles
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 12 avocado leaves
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion large
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 12 pieces nopales sliced and cooked
  • 12 maguey leaves or parchment paper this can be replaced with aluminum foil or plantain leaves
  • Sal to taste


  • Bring the dry chiles to a boil in water until they are soft, set aside and let cool (don't drain the water)
  • Blend the chiles from the previous step with the herbs and spices, garlic, salt and vinegar, and the water where you boiled the chiles.
  • Put the pork in a large plastic bag or bowl and completely cover with the salsa from the previous step. Let marinate overnight or for at least three hours.
  • Cook the nopales with water, salt, garlic, onions, and 2 bay leaves. When cooked, drain the water and set aside.
  • Put the mixiotes together by placing the leaf (or aluminum foil, parchment paper, etc.) on a large plate. Add the marinated meat with some of the marinade, a bay leaf, and an avocado leave. Add some of the cooked nopales.
    If you use maguey leaf or parchment paper, lift the four corners to form a small pouch and tie with butcher's or kitchen twine, and if you use aluminum with banana leaf, wrap like a tamale.
  • Place the mixiotes in a large pot and steam for 1 1/2 hours until very soft.
  • Serve with rice.


Serving: 1Mixiote | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 667mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 7348IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg
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