You won’t believe how crispy, tender, juicy and flavorful these Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos are! A perfect plant-based recipe to try with your friends and family! It pairs amazingly with guacamole, diced fresh onion, and some fresh thin jalapeno slices on top. 

 

You can prepare crispy jackfruit carnitas ahead of time like you would prepare taco meat. This dish is so easy, and you can easily assemble the ingredients in your busy day or weeknight meal. Prepare a batch of carnitas on Sunday, and you will love to prepare them in hundreds of ways to enjoy throughout the week.  

 

I am a huge fan of raw jackfruit as it resembles pulled chicken after you cook them. Jackfruit carnitas is now my favorite list of quick dishes, and I love how easy it is to prepare. It is truly yummy as it is, but I like to add them to my tacos to make them more delicious! 

 

I bought two cans of green jackfruit and I needed to make a quick and easy recipe because I had less than an hour to leave for an appointment. I decided to make tacos because my family loves tacos whenever I prepare them. Usually, I keep a lot of my favorite La Tortilla Gluten-Free Wraps on hand, so we can always make quick and easy wraps. I also used these gluten-free wraps to prepare my amazing Black Bean Burritos and my Curried Tofu Wraps.

jackfruit carnitas stacked on a wooden cutting board garnished with lime, orange wedgesClose up jackfruit carnitas

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What Is Jackfruit?

As I said, I have been in love with jackfruit lately, and it’s so good that you can easily substitute it with meat. If you have never tried this fruit or are new to this, then let me give you a quick review. 

 

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is grown almost in South America, Asia, Brazing, and some parts of Africa. It is mild and flavorless when this fruit is young, which is the best for meat substitutes. Fresh jackfruit can grow 40 to 50lbs; it is known as the largest fruit on earth. 

 

You can buy jackfruit from any grocery store or get it from the canned vegetable section or online. You can purchase fresh jackfruit from any local Asian or Latin supermarket. 

 

However, I mostly prefer canned ones as they are easy to assemble, and you can easily get them. Get the green jackfruit, not the ripe yellow jackfruit, as the taste and texture are completely different. 

The seeds are also edible (after cooking), and downright delicious. They can be roasted and eaten as a snack, or used in dishes such as Jackfruit Seed Curry.

Green Jackfruit Works Exactly Like Meat!

 

When the jackfruit is raw, you can easily pair them with savory dishes. You can use it as a replacement for tofu or chickpeas. The stringy texture of the jackfruit gives you a feeling that you are eating chicken. This yummy meaty fruit’s biggest claim is that it can copy barbecue meat. 

Look for packages that have the label “young” or “packed in brine” so that you can easily get raw jackfruit. It contains 3 grams of protein per cup, making them much lower in protein than meat. Keep that in mind when you add protein to your diet.   

Where To Buy Fresh Jackfruit?

Fresh green jackfruit can be purchased from a local Asian or Latino Supermarket, and you can find instructions HERE on how to prepare the jackfruit from scratch. You will have tons of leftovers that you can freeze and use in recipes to come.

However, for convenience’s sake, I bought green jackfruit in the can. The easiest and most economical source will still be your local Asian or international market. They are also now sold at Trader Joe’s. Make sure you get the green jackfruit in brine and not the ripe jackfruit in syrup, as the texture and taste are completely different.

Jackfruit Health Benefits

On top of its nice, sweet smell and taste, jackfruit is full of vitamins and minerals. Some of the important vitamins and minerals found in jackfruit are Vitamin A, B6, C, niacin, thiamin, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, folic acid, etc. Read More.

 

Additionally, they are antiviral and antibacterial to support our immune system greatly. The ability of jackfruit to cure and provide solutions for different health issues ranging from cancer to weight reduction and more is due to its rich and unique components, as noted above. 

Here are some important health benefits of jackfruits that you should know,

Can Heal Cancer

 

It is rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamin C, which are known to heal lung cancer, gastric cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer. These qualities are used to cure cell damage and build resistance.

Helps To Lose Weight

As obesity rates increase, jackfruit can aid weight loss by being fat-free and low in calories. Allowing dieters to safely and comfortably consume it while receiving all of its other nutrients.

Decreases Blood Pressure

Jackfruit’s high potassium content lowers and manages blood pressure. Also, it lowers the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and cardiovascular disease in general.

Improves Digestion

Because of its high fiber content, jackfruit helps to improve digestion when consumed on a regular basis. Even when consumed in large numbers, it causes no stomach pain and helps bowel movement. It also helps to protect the colon by eliminating carcinogens from the large intestine.

Cures Insomnia

As jackfruit is high in magnesium and iron, it can help with sleep difficulties. Magnesium also aids in the prevention of anemia, which is one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation.

Helps People With Diabetes 

 

Despite its exceptionally sweet taste, people with diabetes can safely eat jackfruits because it slowly dissolves sugar into circulation. It also improves glucose in those with diabetes of both kinds. Allowing diabetic patients to consume it while still enjoying all of its health advantages.

Heals Ulcer

 

Due to its potent anti-ulcerative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant characteristics, this fruit is an ideal option. They can treat ulcer conditions, while traditional ulcer medications have a couple of side effects. 

Boosts Eye and Skin Health

 

Jackfruit is beneficial to eye health because of its high vitamin A content. It can boost eyesight and protects against macular degeneration and cataracts. It’s also recognized as a potent anti-aging ingredient that improves skin brightness. It protects and cures sun-damaged skin as well as wrinkles.

Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

What are Carnitas Tacos?

 

Traditionally carnitas tacos are prepared from pork shoulders that are finely seasoned and cooked until tender with a variety of herbs. After cooking them, they are roasted in the oven to get a slightly crispy texture. From here, they are popularly eaten in different ways, like burritos, tacos, and tamales. 

 

Well, we are not going for the traditional tacos, obviously. That is why I wanted to recreate my vegan version of the recipe, and happy to say I succeeded! These yummy tacos’ taste, texture, and aroma are absolutely a showstopper. 

Jackfruit carnitas ingredients in white bowls on grey background

 Jackfruit Carnitas Ingredients

  • Green Jackfruit
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Tomato Paste
  • Orange Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Gluten-Free Tortilla Shells
  • Guacamole
  • Red Onion
  • Cilantro

What are The Best Toppings for Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos?

 

Authentic jackfruit carnitas tacos go amazing with fresh spring onions, cilantro, and some fresh squeeze of lime juice. Mexican street food tacos are often served this way, but now you can add any types of topping you prefer. 

How to Cook With Canned Jackfruit? 

 

The awesome stringy texture of raw, canned jackfruit is lately becoming quite famous in vegan and vegetarian recipes like sandwiches, tacos, and curries. 

 

Since the canned jackfruit is mostly stored with brine solution, make sure to clean it before using it. When you take the big chunks out of the can, shred them before using them in many dishes. 

 

Some of the pieces will be attached with the firm core, which won’t shred. The core can go perfectly with the other pieces, so you will not notice it when cooked with the other ingredients. You can easily chop it with your kitchen knife or leave it as it is. 

How To Cut Jackfruit Raw or Green?

What you will need:

  1. Raw or green jackfruit.
  2. A sharp knife.
  3. Oil
  4. Clean newspapers.
  5. Bowl
  6. Tissue papers.

To cut Jackfruit,

 

  • Spread the clean newspapers on the table as it is difficult to remove the sticky sap of jackfruit from the table. 
  • Apply oil to the knife and your hand to prevent stickiness. 
  • Cut jackfruit in 4 to 5 parts and clean the sap that drips off. 
  • Cut down each piece into halves depending on their size. 
  • Cut out the outer skin of the jackfruit until you find a smoother area. 
  • Take out the inner hard white portion from the top of each piece. 
  • Put the chopped pieces in the bowl of water to prevent discoloration. It will also help to get rid of excess gum. 
  • Enjoy! 

How To Make Jackfruit Carnitas?

The awesome stringy texture of raw, canned jackfruit is lately becoming quite famous in vegan and vegetarian recipes like sandwiches, tacos, and curries. 

 

Shredded Jackfruit

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, drain jackfruit and pat dry. Add the jackfruit to the skillet, and cook until brown and crispy on both sides, for about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat, and mash the jackfruit with a fork or potato masher until it is shredded. Toss with one tablespoon of Bragg’s liquid aminos, and set aside while you make the sauce.

Sauce

  1. Heat remaining oil or 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock in the same skillet on medium-high. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, cumin, and paprika, and cook until it is fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, orange juice, lime juice, vegetable stock, sugar, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper, the remaining tablespoon of Bragg’s liquid aminos, and salt.
  3. Cook for about two minutes, allowing for the flavors to meld. Stir the jackfruit shreds into the sauce, and continue to cook until the sauce evaporates.

Taco Assembly

  1. When ready to eat, heat the tortillas on a clean dry skillet on both sides until soft.
  2. Make your tacos with the jackfruit carnitas, and toppings such as guacamole, sliced onions, and cilantro.
assembling jackfruit carnitas

How to Store Cooked Leftover Jackfruit?

 

To store cooked jackfruit, transfer it into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Press it flat against the counter, make sure to keep it no more than a half-inch thick, and spread it evenly throughout the bag. Take out the air from the bag as much as you can. 

 

First, keep it flat in the freezer, and when it is frozen solid, you can stand it up to save space in the freezer. You can also keep the cooked jackfruit in an airtight container. Make sure the cooked jackfruit is cooled perfectly. It is ideal to use it within a couple of months.    

Additional Notes and Tricks

  • To make this recipe gluten-free, you can try corn tortillas and gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce. 
  • You can serve this dish beside rice and beans to enjoy a full meal lunch. 
  • Leftover jackfruit carnitas will stay fresh in the airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. 
  • Make sure to cut the jackfruit into smaller pieces and dry them well. Use a kitchen towel to dry them as you want to make them dry as possible to get the crispy effect. 
  • Just like how bread is important for a sandwich, the tortillas are key to making the tacos more delicious. Make sure you get the finest and perfect tortillas to make tacos. 

 

Vegan Jackfruit Recipes

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

Vegan Jackfruit Stew

Gluten-Free Vegan Pot Pie

Vegan Crab Cakes

Instant Pot Jackfruit Potato Curry

Jackfruit Seed Curry

jackfruit carnitas assembled on cutting board

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Nutrition

(Per portion)
  • Energy: 237 kcal / 991 kJ
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbs: 42 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 17 min
  • Ready in: 32 min
  • For: 6 servings

Ingredients

Toppings

Instructions

Shredded Jackfruit for Carnitas

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, drain jackfruit and pat dry. Add the jackfruit to the skillet, and cook until brown and crispy on both sides, for about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat, and mash the jackfruit with a fork or potato masher until it is shredded. Toss with one tablespoon of Bragg's liquid aminos, and set aside while you make the sauce.

Sauce for Carnitas

  1. Heat remaining oil or 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock in the same skillet on medium high. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft, for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, cumin, and paprika, and cook until it is fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, orange juice, lime juice, vegetable stock, sugar, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper, the remaining tablespoon of Bragg's liquid aminos, and salt.
  3. Cook for about two minutes, allowing for the flavors to meld. Stir the jackfruit shreds into the sauce, and continue to cook until sauce evaporates.

Assembly

  1. When ready to eat, heat the tortillas on a clean dry skillet on both sides until soft.
  2. Make your tacos with the jackfruit carnitas, and toppings such as guacamole, sliced onions, and cilantro.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.