Best Jackfruit Tacos

The best vegan tacos? In just 20 minutes jackfruit turns into a plant based version of pulled pork carnitas. These jackfruit tacos will amaze you!

Jackfruit tacos

Have you had jackfruit before? It’s starting to become more popular here in the US as a plant based substitute for pulled pork. And let me tell you, Alex and I were very skeptical about this concept. A fruit standing in for meat? It wasn’t until I gave brave and tried a jackfruit tostada at a local Indianapolis restaurant that I was sold. Wait a minute: this isn’t meat? Could there be some mistake? Turns out this tropical fruit magically mimics pulled pork in a way we never dreamed. And one of the best ways to eat it? Tacos: a fast and easy dinner recipe for weeknights. Keep reading for our best jackfruit tacos recipe and a bit more info about this unique fruit.

Where is jackfruit from?

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that originated in India and is common in Southeast Asia. It’s now popping up all over the world as a plant-based meat alternative. Why? Unripe jackfruit soaks up flavor and has a stringy, “meat-like” texture when cooked. Jackfruit is also packed with nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants.

Related: What is Jackfruit?

Where is jackfruit from? Green jackfruit
Here’s what green jackfruit out of the can looks like!

Does jackfruit really taste like meat?

You truly have to try it to believe it with jackfruit! For these jackfruit pulled pork tacos, we’ve added savory flavors like onion, garlic, cumin, tomato paste, and adobo sauce to create something that tastes close to meat out of the pan. We’ve also used cocoa powder to get a dark flavor and color. Check out the photo below for how it comes out!

Another way we’ve used jackfruit is in this Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich. You can almost fool your friends and family into thinking it’s pulled port barbecue! We’d heartily recommend this as another way to use jackfruit.

Jackfruit pulled pork tacos
Canned green jackfruit transforms into a pulled pork texture and flavor in these jackfruit tacos

Where can I buy jackfruit?

You can find canned green jackfruit online or in your local supermarket in the canned fruit aisle. It’s typically sold fresh, frozen and canned. Important: make sure to use canned, green jackfruit for this recipe! Do not buy ripe jackfruit. Ripe jackfruit is a yellow fruit that is packaged as the whole fruit, and does not work as pulled pork. So it won’t work for these jackfruit tacos.

Alex and I accidentally bought frozen ripe jackfruit, and trust us: it definitely does not work in tacos! Ripe jackfruit can be used in smoothies or ice cream, but not for vegan pulled pork. If you can’t find jackfruit in your local grocery, here’s a link to order it online:

Order it: Canned Green Jackfruit | Amazon

Jackfruit tacos

How to make jackfruit tacos

Now that you know to buy green, unripe jackfruit (if you skipped that part, see above!), let’s get to the good part. Somehow adding secret savory spices to jackfruit gives it a meaty quality that is truly similar to actual meat. How did we do it? Here are all our secrets! And even better: these jackfruit tacos are a fast and easy dinner recipe: you can make them in just 20 minutes!

Here’s how to make jackfruit tacos:

  • Make the pulled pork. The canned, green jackfruit needs to be pulled apart into the signature shreds. You can do this with your hands.
  • Saute minced onion and garlic. To balance the tangy jackfruit flavor with some savory, saute onion and garlic for a few minutes.
  • Add the secret spices. Add the spices! Our secret blend is: adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers), tomato paste, cocoa powder, cumin, oregano, and a bit for salt. This blend not only adds a meaty flavor, but adds a meaty color to the jackfruit as well. Cook for about 5 minutes until saucy.
Jackfruit tacos
Vegan tacos recipe

What is adobo sauce?

What is adobo sauce? Chipotles in adobo sauce are sold in most mainstream grocery stores here in the US, available next to the Mexican products. The small can includes chipotle chiles, which are smoked and canned in an adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and some other spices. The result is a smoky flavor that’s fantastic for adding body to vegetarian dishes. Typically in our recipes, we use only the adobo sauce and not the chilis, because it’s very potent on its own.

This jackfruit tacos recipe calls for 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, which results in a mild spice level. But you could add up to 1 1/2 or even 2 tablespoons, depending on your spice preference. We made it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of adobo sauce, and our toddler Larson loved it! (He typically is ok with just a little spice, but not much.)

Jackfruit tacos

Looking for more taco recipes?

And that’s it: how to make jackfruit tacos! If you’re looking for other taco recipe ideas or vegetarian Mexican recipes, here are some of our favorites:

This jackfruit tacos recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, and plant-based, dairy-free.

Print
Jackfruit tacos

Best Jackfruit Tacos


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x

Description

The best vegan tacos? In just 20 minutes jackfruit turns into a plant based version of pulled pork carnitas. These jackfruit tacos will amaze you!


Scale

Ingredients

For the jackfruit

  • 2 15-ounce cans green jackfruit in water or brine
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water

For the tacos


Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the jackfruit in a colander, pressing down to extract as much water as possible. Run your hands through the pieces, pulling and separating them into shreds with your fingers.
  2. Mince the onion. Mince the garlic.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until tender and fragrant, but before the garlic browns. Add the jackfruit and remaining ingredients (add 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce for a mild recipe, up to 1 1/2 or 2 tablespoons for a spicier recipe). Cook for about 5 minutes on medium low heat until saucy.
  4. If desired, char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  5. To serve, place the jackfruit, romaine, salsa fresca, and torn cilantro leaves in a warmed tortilla. Serve immediately with refried beans.

Notes

*To keep the meal filling enough (since jackfruit doesn’t have much protein), make sure to serve with refried beans! We tested serving them in the tacos, but found that the jackfruit flavor didn’t come through as well.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired

Keywords: Jackfruit tacos, Best jackfruit tacos, jackfruit pulled pork tacos, where can i buy jackfruit, where is jackfruit from

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.