Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)


Enjoy Vegan Ackee, this amazing fruit reminds me of scrambled eggs. It is yummy served at breakfast, lunch or for dinner.

Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

Ackee (Blighia Sapida) originated in Africa and was brought on slave ships to the Caribbean in the eighteenth century. It became very popular in Jamaican as a cheap source of protein. It is now the national dish and is customarily served with salted fish (cod). It is served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The fruit is ready to eat when the red pod splits open naturally exposing 3-4 creamy yellow flesh topped by 3 shiny black seeds. The pod, the black seeds and the red inner membranes of the yellow flesh are discarded; leaving only the yellow flesh. The yellow flesh is then rinsed and ready to be boiled.

Only imported canned ackees are sold in West Indian supermarkets, therefore I’ll provide instruction for preparing canned ackee.

Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

Ackee reminds me of scrambled eggs when cooked. I have always loved ackee and try to keep a supply handy. Fortunately here in Florida Publix and Walmart carries it. It reminds me of home and it is strange that even though it is grown in other Caribbean islands, it is not as popular as in Jamaica.  I love to prepare it well seasoned and it is delicious served with roasted breadfruit, yellow yams, dumplings, callaloo, and plantains.


For: 2 servings


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally until soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic and bell pepper and cook for another minute. Add spring onions, thyme and tomatoes and cook stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Add ackee to skillet with salt and Scotch Bonnet pepper stirring gently to coat with seasonings.
  4. Cover skillet and reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Delicious served with dumplings, callaloo and fried plantains.

Recipe notes

Note: Until the pod of the fresh ackee is opened naturally on the tree, exposing the yellow flesh it is poisonous! Also, the red inner membrane has to be discarded as well. Only the yellow flesh is fit for food. Thankfully purchasing the canned ackee makes sure you are getting ackee that is safe to eat!

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Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

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  1. Anthony Davis

    Ate this for breakfast and loved it, might add some all-purpose seasoning next time, ut that’s just me.

    Can I put in a request? Before I became a veggie I used to love currygoat in roti, I was thinking I could make using quorn as a substitute for the meat but, I need a recipe for the sauce so, would you be kind enough to oblige?

    Many thanks,


    • Michelle Blackwood

      Thank you, Anthony, for your feedback. All-purpose seasoning definitely makes it pop! I haven’t tried Quorn, don’t think it is vegan but it should work as a meat substitute. I have a great recipe that I will share for ‘curry goat’!

  2. Good thing you posted this as I see so many people commenting that they never heard of it before. I love it and thus make it all the time. I only recently discovered that on the side of the can different brands have different amounts for the “drained weight”… something to be weary of as there may be some that have significantly more water than ackee in the tin. Try it with seaweed instead of saltfish sometime for the traditional JA style flavor. I see you recommend serving with dumplings (which I do); do you have a recipe for gluten-free dumplings?

    • Michelle Blackwood

      Hello Dunori, so happy to be introducing our loved Ackee to others. Thank you for the information on the side of the can, I usually buy Linstead brand ackee and don’t have other choices locally. I have tried it with nori and hijiki but find they taste too fishy or strong, you know what I mean. I have a recipe for gluten-free dumpling with The Stew Peas recipe (I will put a link to it). I also have a gluten-free fried dumpling recipe in my cookbook.

  3. I tried this fruit once, where I live – a local restaurant had a Jamaican theme on and they’d managed to source it. It was so lovely!

  4. This looks great! My fiancé is of Jamaican descent so would be really impressed if I could pull this off!


    This is the first time I’ve heard of Ackee. Interested to know what it tastes like! Will check it out :)

  5. Iza Abao, Two Monkeys Travel Group Writer

    It is a fruit but it looks like a vegetable to me. I would love to eat this. I wonder if the canned ackee is available here in the Philippines. It looks like a jackfruit from afar.

  6. I h ave never heard of Ackee, but it does resemble scrambled eggs, looks good, I would give it a try, interesting food migration history of how it came to be in the Caribbean.

  7. Carol Cassara

    I would love to give this a try since it suits the diet that I’m currently following. I love that it’s a good alternative to scrambled eggs.

  8. This sounds really good! I’ve never heard of ackee before and I sure would love to try this dish. It’s not so difficult to make.

  9. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I have never heard of this either! I would love to try it. Where would I be able to buy it?

    • Jennifer Wolfman

      Most ethnic grocery stores in the Northeast Philly would have it. Do you know that area of Philadelphia?

  10. Jessi Joachim

    I have never heard of this before, but it looks delicious! I have a good friend who is vegan, so I will send this her way!

  11. It’s funny that you said it reminded you of eggs when you opened the Ackee. That’s what I thought it was when I saw the picture lol. I had never heard of Ackee. Will have to check it out.

    • Michelle Blackwood

      I got mine from a friend but I normally purchase mine from Publix, Latino store or even Walmart sells it locally. You can purchase it on Amazon too.

  12. Author Brandi Kennedy

    I’ve never had this before, but it reminds me of scrambled eggs too! I wonder if it would be good in a breakfast hash with diced potatoes … I might have to see if I can find some here in Tennessee.

  13. Ana De- Jesus

    It really does look like scrambled eggs yum! I have never tried ackee before but I will have to try it out now x

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