BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos

Quick and EasyVeganTaco

Jackfruit makes an easy, meat-free meal any night of the week. Here, we're making tacos! Warm it up with your favorite BBQ sauce and pile it into tortillas with all your favorite toppings.

Photography Credit: Megan Gordon

Tacos are my “single girl” food. You know, the food that you make whenever your partner, kids, or roommates are out of town and you get to sit down and be really honest about what you and only you feel like eating? I never tire of them and am always looking for ways to amp up my taco game.

But if for some reason you’re sharing, these jackfruit tacos are a saucy, lick-your-fingers addition to the weeknight roster for the vegans and non-vegans in your life. They’re ready in less than thirty minutes, and couldn’t be simpler to pull together—it’s more assembling than cooking, really.

Jackfruit taste What is Jackfruit? And how can you use it?

WHAT IS JACKFRUIT?

If you’re not familiar with jackfruit, it’s a large fruit that’s thought to be indigenous to India, and today grows in tropical regions such as Southeast Asia and Brazil. It can be purchased frozen in its ripe, sweet form and used in dessert recipes or smoothies, or you can find it in its young green, unripe form packaged in cans.

Both are edible, but they’re not interchangeable per se. For today’s recipe, we’re focusing on unripe canned jackfruit.

Young green unripe jackfruit has the texture of a stringy, pulled meat but doesn’t actually taste anything like meat on its own; in fact, it tastes more like artichokes! But much like tofu, jackfruit takes on the flavor of whatever sauce, marinade or spices you’re cooking it with, making it an incredibly versatile meat substitute and an obvious choice for tacos, sandwiches, salads and wraps.

Canned jackfruit is available at most Asian grocery stores, well-stocked grocery stores with a natural foods focus (such as Whole Foods), Trader Joe’s, or Amazon.

How to Prepare Your Jackfruit

Be sure to buy canned unripe, green or young jackfruit for this recipe. (Ripe jackfruit is sweeter and has a different texture; it won’t work in this recipe.)

After removing it from the can, give the pieces of jackfruit a good rinse to remove that briny, salty flavor.

Next, shred your jackfruit before starting to cook. Take the larger canned chunks and simply use your fingers or a fork to shred them, much like you would pulled pork or pulled chicken—or canned tuna, which it loosely resembles.

If you’ve got little bits of the core on some of the chunks, don’t worry about those; you can leave them as they are or give them a quick chop with a kitchen knife. They’re edible as well, and you won’t even notice them once you cook the fruit down.

WAYS TO USE LEFTOVER PULLED JACKFRUIT

If you end up having leftover jackfruit filling, it’s great folded into a breakfast burrito, salad or wrap. But if your crew is anything like mine, leftovers won’t be likely with these quick, new family favorites!

MORE MEAT-FREE MAINS TO TRY!

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos Recipe

Print
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

To serve:

  • 10 to 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels, canned or fresh from the cob
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Method

1 Shred the jackfruit: Using your fingers or forks, break apart the chunks of jackfruit into shredded pieces.

Jackfruit Taco Recipe shred the jackfruit

2 Cook the onions: In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for an additional 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.

 3 Cook the jackfruit: Add the shredded jackfruit to the pan with the onions and stir well. Add the barbecue sauce, cumin, oregano, coriander, smoked paprika and salt to the pan.

Stir to evenly distribute the spices and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the jackfruit is browned and slightly crisped around the edges. Fold in the orange zest.

Vegan Jackfruit Tacos cook the jackfruit with barbecue sauce and spices

4 Assemble the tacos: Warm the tortillas and add a large spoonful of cooked jackfruit to the center of each. Top with avocado, radishes, cilantro, cabbage, corn, sour cream and a squeeze of lime.

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos serve the tacos

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

Products We Love

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Megan Gordon

Megan Gordon is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Simply Recipes. She's the author of Whole Grain Mornings and her blog, A Sweet Spoonful, focuses on healthy seasonal cooking and baking.

More from Megan

5 Comments / Reviews

No ImageBBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Chris

    Thank you, will do!

  2. Chris

    If I wanted to add meat to this dish, would you recommend chicken as the best choice? Can I cook the chicken with the jackfruit or should it be cooked separately and then added to the jackfruit mixture?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Chris! I think either shredded chicken or pork would work well with these tacos. Cook the meat separately, shred it, and then add it to the pan when you cook the jackfruit. Enjoy!

  3. Courtney S

    My husband had no idea that he was eating jackfruit when I served these! Great vegetarian/vegan option for BBQ season and super easy to make.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Christopher

    I have a similar recipe that I usually serve at BBQs as a pulled pork alternative, since the veggies and vegans have so few choices in those instances.

    What you say is true; it is equally loved by vegans and meat eaters. I’ve yet to have any meat eater try it and respond in any way other than delighted surprise.

    xxxxxyyyyy

What does jackfruit taste like?BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos