Hey friends! I’m excited to share this fun new recipe with you: Jackfruit Carnitas. I’m always looking for meatless meals to share for vegetarian and vegan readers and this recipe fits the bill! It looks – and tastes – surprisingly like pork carnitas, but it’s vegan and quick enough to make on any weeknight (Taco Tuesday, anyone?)!
If you’re wondering what the heck jackfruit is, it’s a large tropical fruit grown mostly in India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Brazil. Whole jackfruit are pretty huge – they can grow up to about 80 pounds – and are prickly on the outside. This recipe uses canned jackfruit, though, so you don’t have to worry about any heavy lifting. 😉
I first discovered jackfruit when I was in Columbus last summer – I tried an amazing BBQ jackfruit sandwich at Alchemy and it tasted EXACTLY like pulled pork BBQ. Crazy! Ever since, I’ve been wanting to share a jackfruit recipe, and now is finally the time. 🙂
You will typically find two types of canned jackfruit – jackfruit in brine/water and jackfruit in syrup. For this recipe, you want jackfruit in brine/water – it’s typically just jackfruit, water, and salt. Jackfruit in syrup is a more ripened jackfruit, with sugar added, making its texture more similar to a banana than meat.
You can find canned jackfruit on Amazon, or in an Asian specialty store alongside the canned water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the like. Your regular grocery store may carry it now, too, since it’s gaining popularity. Doesn’t hurt to call and ask!
Start by shredding your jackfruit – it should pull apart into tender pieces pretty easily. Any parts that look like seeds are totally fine to keep in there, too. The texture doesn’t turn out any differently once it’s all cooked!
Next, it’s as simple as sauteing onions and adding in the jackfruit & seasonings.
As far as nutrition goes, jackfruit lacks the protein that meat has, even though it’s got the meaty chew and texture, so I suggest adding some beans to the mix in these tacos to amp up the staying power. Jackfruit is high in potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and fiber, though!
Here’s the full recipe. Enjoy!
If you liked this recipe, check out some of my other favorite vegan and vegetarian dinner ideas!
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas
- Mexican Black Bean Spinach Burgers
- Quinoa Taco Salad
- Walnut & Mushroom Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Baked Sesame Tofu with Veggies
Have you ever eaten jackfruit or cooked with it? Let me know in the comments below!