How to Peel a Pear Cactus


The pear cactus, also known as a prickly pear or tuna cactus, is a native fruit of the Southwestern United States and Mexico. There are almost as many ways to peal a pear cactus as there are to prepare the flesh. Prickly pear can be eaten raw, cooked and served as a side dish, or tossed into omelets, soups and stews. If you purchase prickly pear at the grocery store, the larger spines will have been removed. Smaller spines will still be on the fruit.

Step 1

Place the pear cactus flat on the work surface.

Step 2

Insert a fork into one end of the cactus paddle to hold it firmly in place.

Step 3

Scrape the surface of the prickly pear with a sharp knife to remove the sharp spines.

Step 4

Remove the skin from the pear paddle using a vegetable peeler.

Step 5

Repeat the process on the opposite side of the paddle to completely peel the fruit.

Step 6

Alternatively, remove the spines from the fruit by roasting and charring the skins over a gas stove or on a grill. Once the skins are roasted, they will peel away from the fruit easily with a fork.

Things You'll Need

  • Fork
  • Long, sharp knife
  • Vegetable peeler


  • American Indian Health and Diet Project: Prickly Pear Cactus Pads
  • Northern Arizona University: Flagstaff's Community Supported Wild Foraging Newsletter
Keywords: pear cactus, tuna cactus, prickly pear cactus

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.