Nopal Stuffed with Quail in Guajillo Sauce Recipe

Discover the art of culinary fusion with nopal stuffed with quail in guajillo sauce, a mouthwatering dish that combines Mexican and European flavors. Learn about its history, nutritional benefits, and step-by-step preparation in this captivating article.

Nopal Stuffed with Quail in Guajillo Sauce Recipe
This beautifully plated nopal stuffed with quail in guajillo sauce is a culinary fusion masterpiece.

In a world where globalization has connected cultures and cuisines, there's no better way to celebrate the beauty of culinary diversity than with a dish that fuses unique ingredients and techniques. Nopal stuffed with quail in guajillo sauce is a prime example of this, combining the earthy, slightly tart flavor of the nopal cactus with the tender, succulent taste of quail, all smothered in a rich, vibrant guajillo sauce.

The dish's fusion of Mexican and European elements creates a symphony of flavors and textures that will delight the taste buds and leave you craving more. This article will explore the origins of this mouthwatering dish, the nutritional benefits it offers, and the culinary techniques required to bring it to life in your kitchen.

A Taste of History

The nopal cactus, known as a prickly pear in English, is indigenous to Mexico and has been a staple in the Mexican diet for centuries. It's used in a variety of dishes, from salads to stews, and is even enjoyed on its own, grilled or sautéed with a squeeze of lime. The use of nopal in this recipe pays homage to Mexico's rich culinary heritage while also adding a unique textural element to the dish.

Quail, on the other hand, has its roots in European cuisine, where it has been enjoyed since Roman times for its delicate flavor and tender meat. The combination of quail with nopal creates a beautiful interplay of flavors that is further enhanced by the guajillo sauce, which has its origins in the Mexican culinary tradition.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Not only is this dish a flavorful delight but it's also packed with nutritional benefits. Nopales are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great choice for those looking to manage their weight. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium and potassium.

Quail, a lean source of protein, is rich in essential nutrients like vitamin B3, selenium, and phosphorus. The combination of these nutritious ingredients, along with the heart-healthy avocado and manchego cheese, ensures that you're not only indulging your taste buds but also providing your body with essential nutrients.

Nopal Stuffed with Quail in Guajillo Sauce Recipe

(10 portions)


  • 8 quails
  • 10 medium nopales
  • 500 grams of grated manchego cheese
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 8 chopped green chilies
  • 1 chopped red tomato
  • 2 diced avocados
  • 6 chopped cilantro sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Italian lettuce
  • Salt, to taste

Maceration of the quail

  • 1/2 onion in chunks
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper powder
  • 3 tablespoons of salt grains
  • 2 tablespoons of fine herbs
  • 1/2 glass of apple vinegar


To make the maceration, blend all the ingredients so that a paste is left. With this paste, macerate the quails for 8 hours. Once macerated, they are placed in a refractory container and covered. The oven is heated to 350 degrees Celsius, and the quails are baked to cook (they should be soft). Take them out of the oven, let them cool, and bone them. Separately, open the nopales in half lengthwise and roast them on both sides in a pan without oil. Fill them with the quail meat and place them on a plate; cover them with cheese and gratin them.

Preparation of the guajillo sauce

150 grams of deveined guajillo chili, soaked and ground with a clove of garlic and a 1/2 onion. This sauce is fried in a little oil, seasoning it to taste. Once the nopales are gratinized, they are served with guajillo sauce.

Mastering the Art of Nopal Stuffed with Quail

Step 1: Macerate the Quail

Macerating the quail is a critical first step in creating this dish, as it ensures the meat is tender and flavorful. To achieve this, blend the maceration ingredients into a paste and massage it into the quail. After allowing the quail to marinate for eight hours, bake it in a preheated oven until cooked through and tender.

Step 2: Preparing the Nopales

While the quail is marinating, it's time to prepare the nopales. Slice them in half lengthwise and grill them on both sides in a pan without oil. This step helps to remove some of the moisture from the nopales and enhances their flavor.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake

After the quail has cooled and been deboned, stuff the nopales with the tender meat, and place them on a plate. Cover them with a generous layer of grated manchego cheese and broil them until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Step 4: Guajillo Sauce

The final step in creating this culinary masterpiece is to prepare the guajillo sauce. Soak and grind the deveined guajillo chilies with garlic and onion, then fry the mixture in a little oil. Season to taste and let the sauce simmer until it reaches your desired consistency.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Once the nopales are gratinized, it's time to plate your dish. Arrange the stuffed nopales on a bed of Italian lettuce and drizzle the guajillo sauce over them. Garnish with diced avocado, chopped cilantro, and a sprinkling of lemon juice for an added burst of freshness.

To elevate the dining experience, consider serving this dish alongside a refreshing cucumber and jicama salad, or with warm corn tortillas and a side of black beans. Pair it with a crisp, fruity white wine or a cold Mexican beer to complement the dish's complex flavors.

A Culinary Journey Worth Taking

Nopal stuffed with quail in guajillo sauce is more than just a meal; it's a culinary adventure that transports your taste buds across time and continents. By fusing elements from both Mexican and European cuisine, this dish captures the spirit of creativity and innovation that defines the modern culinary landscape.

Whether you're an experienced home chef or just looking to try something new, this recipe offers a unique opportunity to challenge yourself in the kitchen and explore the world through the language of food. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and prepare to embark on a flavorful journey that is sure to surprise and delight your palate.