With its tender, string-like texture, jackfruit has carved a niche for itself in plant-based pulled or shredded preparations, especially as a chicken and pork alternative. Here’s a roundup of enticing vegan jackfruit recipes, including sandwiches, soups, stews, tacos, and more.
Jackfruit has a somewhat neutral flavor that can shade to slightly sweet (it is a fruit, after all) that absorbs savory seasonings and flavors, like BBQ and teriyaki, quite well.
What is jackfruit?
Jackfruit really is a fruit, and grows mainly in subtropical and tropical regions of Asia. Related to breadfruit and figs, it’s considered the largest tree-growing fruit, and can weigh up to forty pounds!
Though on occasion you might encounter whole jackfruit in a well-stocked supermarket’s produce section, Asian grocery stores, and Asian markets, its whopping size does make it quite daunting.
That’s why it’s great that several companies make it available in reasonably-sized, ready-to-serve portions or in cans.
A meat alternative, but not a good protein source
Jackfruit is touted as an alternative to chicken, pulled pork, etc. Of course, any product that takes the place of meat is a good thing. But it’s not a good protein source. Even a serving of broccoli has about 4 grams of protein, whereas a serving of jackfruit has about 2 grams.
So if you’re featuring jackfruit as your main event, it’s good to team it with another plant protein (like seitan, tofu, or legumes) in the same dish, or offer a protein-rich side dish. Jackfruit has a meaty texture and may be eaten cooked or raw.
This is what shredded jackfruit looks like before being seasoned, sauced, or added to dishes. It’s low in calories and fat, and offers modest amounts of an array of nutrients. Here’s lots more information, along with its nutritional properties.
What is young jackfruit (young green jackfruit) and unripe jackfruit? Are there any differences between them? You’ll find answers to these questions in What is Jackfruit?
Here are some of the popular jackfruit brands. Look for prepped (and often seasoned) jackfruit products in well-stocked supermarkets (where they’d likely be shelved near tofu and plant-based meat alternatives, often adjacent to produce sections), natural foods stores, Trader Joe, and online.
Each company offers a range of flavors, and most of these come in packages of about 10 ounces or so:
- Edwards & Sons
- The Jackfruit Company
- Native Forest
- Uptons Naturals
Unflavored jackfruit is more likely to come in cans, and some of the recipes in this roundup call for that type. So now, let’s explore the wide range of ways to use jackfruit.
Each of the vegan recipes following will let you know what type of jackfruit or jackfruit product is best to use for that particular purpose, once you link through. Thanks to the talented bloggers who have participated in this roundup for permission to link to their favorite vegan jackfruit recipes and use their photos.
Triple-BBQ Pulled Jackfruit + Plant Protein Sandwiches: Here’s a hefty BBQ jackfruit sandwich that solves the dilemma of delivering this intriguing meat substitute with more of a main-dish protein punch.
Sweet Tea Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches: From BittersweetBlog, here’s another take on the now-classic pulled jackfruit-and-slaw combo. The ginger-scallion slaw — crisp, cooling, yet bright and invigorating in flavor — is an ideal foil to the richly meaty main, and truly completes this deeply satisfying sandwich.
The Ultimate Easy Vegan Cuban Sandwich Recipe: This take on a Cuban classic does away with the multitude of animal products in the original. It’s easy to swap in BBQ-flavored pulled plant protein or jackfruit sautéed in a little olive oil, plus plant-based deli and vegan cheese slices.
Vegan Reuben Jackfruit Sandwich: From Cadry’s Kitchen comes a vegan reuben jackfruit sandwich packed with corned jackfruit, crunchy sauerkraut, and tangy Thousand Island dressing on toasted marbled rye.
Vegan French Dip Sandwich with au Jus: Also from Cadry’s Kitchen, a hearty jackfruit sandwich served on toasted ciabatta with sautéed onions and horseradish mayonnaise.
Jackfruit Soups and Stews
Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup: From Happy Food, Healthy Life, here’s a plant-based twist on a beloved comfort food that soothes the body from the inside out.
Hearty Jackfruit Beef Stew: From My Pure Plants, a beefy jackfruit stew that’s heart, filling. and loaded with vegetables. Young jackfruit bites will give you the perfect beefy texture.
Jackfruit Chili: From V Nutrition and Wellnews, jackfruit takes the place of meat in this vegan jackfruit chili. This slow-cooker recipe brings out all of the jackfruit’s delicious flavors.
Instant Pot Jackfruit White Bean Chili: From Plant-Based Instant Pot, the jackfruit gives this white chili the perfect texture combined with the Great Northern beans. It’s seasoned with mild ancho chili powder, green chilies, and ground cumin.
Slow Cooker Jackfruit Tom Kha Gai: Another from Plant-Based Instant Pot, this Tom Kha Gai Recipe is a vegan version of a traditional Thai chicken soup. It’s in a rich vegetable broth of coconut milk, mushrooms, and a few things you need to pick up at the Asian market.
Jackfruit Corn Chowder: From Healing Tomato, a vegan take on Crab and Corn Chowder, with jackfruit as a great substitute for crab.
Slow Cooker Jackfruit Tacos: From Happy Food Healthy Life, jackfruit tacos that are a flavorful hit for a busy weeknight dinner when you need to get a wholesome meal on the table.
BBQ Jackfruit Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa: From Cozy Peach Kitchen, shredded jackfruit is simmered in sweet BBQ sauce and paired with a delicious mango-avocado salsa in these easy vegan tacos!
Instant Pot Jackfruit Tacos: From Kara Lydon, a plant-based take on carnitas. These instant pot jackfruit carnitas are going to satisfy your weeknight craving for Mexican food.
BBQ Jackfruit Tacos with Mango Salsa: From Ramshackle Pantry, an easy and tasty jackfruit taco recipe with a wonderful mango salsa! Lime juice adds a fragrant touch.
BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos with Homemade Tortillas: From Rainbow Nourishments, easy BBQ jackfruit tacos are made with less than 10 common supermarket ingredients! The jackfruit has an incredible pulled pork texture and is bursting with flavor. Also included is an easy optional homemade recipe for corn tortillas!
Jackfruit Curry with Sweet Potato: From Aubrey’s Kitchen, a curry that’s rich, hearty and super easy to make. This healthy one pot meal is vegan, oil free and wonderful to feed your whole family.
Jackfruit Biryani: From Rachna Cooks, this indulgent rice and curried jackfruit dish is super delicious and meaty. An absolutely gorgeous centerpiece for a vegan meal!
Jackfruit Curry with Potatoes: From The Veg Connection, light spicing, creamy curry, and tender jackfruit make this curry a beautiful vegan dinner option!
Jackfruit Molokhia: From Plant-Based Folk, Molokhia is a beloved Middle Eastern comfort food that kids and adults adore. Also known as Jute leaves, this vegan recipe uses pulled jackfruit, is warming and mouthwatering, the perfect way to get a load of greens into your diet.
A miscellany of other jackfruit recipes
Vegan Crab Cakes: From No Sweat Vegan, vegan crab-less cakes that are delicate, flaky, and full of the flavors of the sea. Nori and Old Bay Seasoning add all the right notes, while jackfruit creates the perfect texture.
Jackfruit Southwest Salad: From Peel with Zeal, BBQ jackfruit on a colorful with a avocado dressing.
Vegan Shredded Chicken: From Zardy Plants, super-fast vegan shredded chicken comes together in just 10 minutes with 4 pantry ingredients and is incredibly versatile. Spice how you like and use it in any dish — it’s gluten-free and soy-free to boot.
Vegan Chicken Salad: Another from Zardy Plants, a creamy, refreshing, and delicious plant-based chicken salad that’s a quick and easy meal you can make for yourself, your family, or even a barbecue or potluck. It’s gluten-free, oil-free, and ridiculously tasty in a sandwich or with some fresh vegetables!
Easy BBQ Pulled Jackfruit: From Happy Kitchen, soft and juicy pulled jackfruit is gently roasted and coated with a gorgeous BBQ sauce that is sure to convert even meat lovers to this vegan pulled pork alternative. Because of the innate ability to soak up flavors, unripe jackfruit paired with its string like texture makes a fantastic pork substitute.
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