Jackfruit is the unsung hero of meatless dishes. This tropical fruit tree grows in Africa, Asia, and South America, and is known for its unique stringy inner flesh.
When cooked properly (or eaten raw), jackfruit works as a great substitute for meat such as pulled pork.
So, if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you should probably know how to implement jackfruit into your diet. Here are 29 vegetarian and vegan jackfruit recipes!
Tacos are notoriously easy to make and delicious to eat.
These vegan tacos feature jackfruit as the main ingredient, which is cooked in a variety of seasonings and foods to emulate the taste and texture of chicken.
The rest of the taco is filled with ingredients of your choice, including avocado, onion, cilantro, and lime.
Serve alone as a quick lunch or with other tapas dishes for an easy Mexican meal.
Arguably one of the best ways to cook jackfruit is to make it into BBQ pulled pork. The texture, after all, is very comparable to shredded meat – and it doesn’t take much effort to replicate the taste, either.
Simply cook the shredded jackfruit with olive oil, onions, garlic, oregano, and vegan barbecue sauce.
Serve inside fluffy white buns and any sides you like, such as coleslaw (easy to vegan-ize) or fries.
You don’t just have to eat BBQ jackfruit pulled pork in a bun – you can also turn it into a loaded fries recipe! This vegan loaded fries recipe is incredibly easy and quick to cook, making it a great weeknight meal.
It also comes with instructions to make your own vegan coleslaw, which is the perfect side to this delicious dish.
Serve these loaded fries alone or as a side dish to a barbecue.
Another great way to use jackfruit in a meal is to make your own vegan duck pancakes! When pulled, jackfruit is very similar to the texture of shredded duck, making for a perfect meatless Chinese dish.
To emulate the flavor of real duck pancakes, fry the jackfruit in five spice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.
Wrap the jackfruit in the pancakes alongside sliced cucumber, scallions, and coriander.
Nothing is quite as heartwarming as a bowl of delicious chili. This vegan jackfruit chili recipe is ideal for a fall or winter evening thanks to its warming spices and protein benefits from the black beans.
Plus, this recipe only takes an hour to complete, all in the same pot! Perfect for a quick weeknight meal to fill the kids up with hearty goodness.
Serve alone, with a chunk of bread, on a bed of rice, or even on a baked potato.
Tuna salad is a beloved sandwich filling, but did you know that you can make a vegan tuna salad? This recipe uses both chickpeas and jackfruit to make a protein-rich filling that is reminiscent of tuna salad.
Simply chuck all the ingredients into a food processor, and you’ve got yourself a delicious vegan tuna salad filling that’s ideal for lunches.
You can also add vegetables and other spices to the filling to add flavor.
Another comforting and surprisingly healthy dish is the humble pot pie. However, rather than using chicken, you can use jackfruit for a meatless alternative!
This recipe is a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables, including mushrooms, leeks, and bell peppers. While this is a vegan recipe, you can make a creamy sauce instead if you still eat dairy.
Serve alongside a plate of mashed potatoes and vegetables.
If you’re looking to add more traditional Asian-style cuisines to your diet, check out this vegan Korean fried jackfruit recipe.
The jackfruit is fried in a Korean sauce featuring gochujang (see also ‘26 Simple Recipes That Use Gochujang‘) and rice vinegar (along with other ingredients) to make a sticky and pleasantly spicy sweet and sour dish.
Serve the jackfruit on a bed of rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Believe it or not, jackfruit doesn’t just need to be used for savory dishes. In fact, you can even make healthy jackfruit pancakes!
Jackfruit is a great source of vitamin C, making for a healthy breakfast. The batter is easy to make – just make sure to spare enough time to allow it to set properly.
Serve with your favorite pancake toppings, including yogurt, fruit, and even ice cream.
You can make a curry with virtually anything, including jackfruit. The meat-like texture of jackfruit makes for a filling and comforting curry for vegetarians and vegans alike – especially when you’re craving something meaty.
This curry recipe is super creamy and provides just the right amount of spice.
Serve the curry on a bed of fluffy rice or with naan bread.
If you need something quick and easy to make (that also stores excellently for batch cooking), check out this jackfruit rotini pasta recipe.
This is a satisfyingly creamy tomato pasta featuring jackfruit, making for a meatless meat-like pasta dish. You can also substitute the rotini pasta for fusilli.
Serve alone, with a sprinkle of cheese, or even with a nice chunk of garlic bread.
If you love Greek food, you have to try this vegan jackfruit gyros recipe. The jackfruit is a perfect substitute for pork or chicken, especially when fried to a crispy texture.
If you want to make the gyros filling even more flavorsome, make sure to leave it overnight to allow the flavors to intensify.
Serve alone or alongside some homemade potato fries and a generous helping of tzatziki.
Burritos are a beloved Mexican dish known for their intense flavors.
These vegan BBQ jackfruit burritos are great for those who love flavorsome food, thanks to the complimentary mixture of BBQ jackfruit, creamy Chipotle sauce, guacamole, cilantro, and more. Plus, these burritos are really quick and easy to make – perfect for a fast weeknight meal!
Serve alone or alongside chips and salsa for a makeshift Mexican night.
If you’re a new vegetarian or vegan going through those pesky meat cravings, check out this Kentucky fried jackfruit recipe.
This fried jackfruit is reminiscent of fried chicken, just without the meat, and is perfect for soothing meaty cravings.
Not only does the jackfruit mimic the texture of chicken, but it’s also super easy to make and doesn’t pose the risk of food poisoning!
Serve alone or with some homemade fries.
Move over stuffed white potatoes, it’s time for stuffed sweet potatoes to shine. Baked sweet potatoes go with a multitude of fillings, including BBQ jackfruit, making for a sweet, savory, and slightly spicy dinner.
Plus, this is an easy and quick recipe to follow that is ideal for a weeknight meal or lunch.
Serve alongside steamed vegetables, and with a sprinkling of avocado and a yogurt tahini dressing.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan craving a meaty pizza, why not try a jackfruit pizza? The BBQ jackfruit topping works beautifully with vegan (or non-vegan) mozzarella, making for a guilt-free and totally delicious pizza.
This recipe is ideal for those who want to expand their cooking skills, as it comes with instructions on how to make vegan mozzarella by hand.
Serve alone or with some homemade fries.
Let’s be honest – turkey was never the star of a Christmas dinner. If you’re looking to cut your meat consumption, try this jackfruit Christmas dinner recipe, where the jackfruit is turned into a fantastic substitute for turkey.
Plus, it takes far less time to make the jackfruit turkey, and isn’t too difficult to make!
Serve with your favorite roast vegetables and drizzle in homemade gravy. Just make sure you stick to non-dairy ingredients if you are vegan.
Chicken salad is a beloved sandwich filling that can be easily made vegan.
This recipe uses jackfruit as the substitute for chicken, along with other healthy vegetables such as red onion, dill pickles, and celery, making for a refreshing and crunchy sandwich filling.
This is ideal for soothing those meaty cravings without having to break your veganism.
Serve in a baguette, toasted bread, or on a bed of salad leaves. Make sure to store the salad in a tight container in the refrigerator.
Real ribs are hit or miss, because it’s not easy to make the meat fall off the bone. Jackfruit ribs, however, provide the perfect texture that beats real ribs every time.
This recipe features jackfruit and seitan as the key ingredients for the ribs, and while it’s not the easiest dish to make, it’s certainly a fantastic vegan substitute for ribs.
Serve alongside a salad, fries, creamed spinach, pizza, or other vegan meats.
If you’re having or attending a barbecue, it’s time to wow your fellow guests with these Hawaiian jackfruit pineapple kebabs (see also ‘Traditional Hawaiian Desserts: 18 Of the Best‘).
The combination of the savory jackfruit (fried in BBQ sauce) works beautifully with the grilled pineapple, making for a refreshing and delicious side dish. This recipe also includes tempeh bacon for an extra meaty flavor.
Serve as a side dish to a barbecue or on a bed of rice for a tasty weeknight meal.
While normally filled with pork or chicken, bao buns can be easily vegan-ized with delicious pulled jackfruit. This dish has it all – from the savory jackfruit to the crunchy vegetables and peanuts.
This recipe is easy to follow and even comes with instructions on how to make your own bao buns (though they can be bought from the store).
Serve alone or alongside other Chinese dishes, such as noodles or spring rolls.
22. Vegan Crab Cakes
That’s right – you can make vegan crab cakes. All you need is jackfruit and Old Bay seasoning, which is an essential ingredient in regular crab cakes, to make a delicious dish for everyone to enjoy.
This particular recipe is easy to follow and takes less than an hour, making for a perfect starter or side dish.
Serve with a sauce like vegan tartar or sriracha.
Another popular Mexican dish is taquitos, which usually contain beef or chicken as the filling. These vegan taquitos, however, make jackfruit the star.
This recipe teaches you how to make satisfyingly flavorful and crispy taquitos that are perfect for dipping into sauces.
Serve alone or with guacamole, salsa verde, refried beans, or sour cream.
Carnitas are Mexico’s version of pulled pork that can be easily made vegan by replacing the pork with pulled jackfruit.
This recipe is not only easy to follow and quick to make, but it’s ideal for stuffing in burritos, tacos, enchiladas, burrito bowls, or alone. Just make sure to wring out the jackfruit to ensure its crispiness.
Thanks to the natural mild flavor of jackfruit, it soaks up flavors really well. If you’ve never made your own teriyaki stir fry, now’s the time to with this vegan jackfruit recipe. It’s surprisingly easy to make and a true crowd pleaser.
Serve on a bed of rice alongside carrots and spinach.
Jackfruit isn’t just used as a substitute for meat. In fact, jackfruit is a common ingredient in Asian desserts! This Indian dessert recipe is a great way to use up canned jackfruit in syrup, which makes the jackfruit sweet.
When fried into balls thanks to coconut flour and other ingredients, this makes for a deliciously sweet dessert.
Another jackfruit dessert is this sweet Southeast Asian soup, featuring jackfruit (nangka) and sago. This coconut soup is creamy and can be served warm or cold, making for a refreshing and satisfyingly sweet dessert after a heavy meal.
You’ll be surprised at how well jackfruit works in an upside-down cake. This recipe follows the general instructions for a pineapple upside-down cake, except with jackfruit as a replacement.
It’s still equally delicious and sweet, and works a treat with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Jackfruit is so versatile that it can be made into a smoothie! This smoothie contains jackfruit, pineapple, banana, mango, and coconut for a taste of the tropics. Plus, it’s a great way to get numerous vitamins into your diet!
So, there you have it! Turns out, there are countless ways to cook jackfruit, all of which are surprisingly straightforward. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Jackfruit Healthier Than Meat?
While jackfruit might be a good source of vitamin C, it has a significantly lower amount of protein per serving compared to meat.
This is important to take into consideration if you’re looking to add protein to your meat-free diet, because you might want to combine your jackfruit with protein-rich foods such as chickpeas or tofu.
How Do You Make Jackfruit Taste Like Meat?
Jackfruit has a mild taste, meaning it will soak up the flavors of any seasoning. So, the best way to make jackfruit taste like meat is to use the same seasoning and cooking method as meat!