Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

Jump to Recipe
Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

Enjoy Vegan Ackee, this amazing fruit reminds me of scrambled eggs. It is yummy served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A vegan, gluten-free version of the popular traditional Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish recipe.

Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

What Is Jamaican Ackee And Saltfish?

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. Ackee and saltfish is now the national dish and is customarily served with salted fish (cod) that have been soaked overnight to remove its saltiness. 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.

Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

How To Cook Ackee Without Saltfish?

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

I first saute onion, garlic, bell pepper, green onion, thyme, tomatoes. Open the can ackee and add to the cooked vegetables, be very careful to gently stir ackee because they are very soft and delicate. Stir to coat, adding salt and pepper, and allow to cook until flavors blend.



Vegan 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.

Ackee reminds me of home and it is strange that even though it is grown in other Caribbean islands, it is not as popular as it is in Jamaica.

I love to prepare it well seasoned and it is delicious served with roasted breadfruit, yellow yams, dumplings, callaloo, plantains. or even these deep-fried  Puff Puff (Deep Fried Dough Balls) {Vegan}.

yellow yam with Jamaican produce, ackee, plantain, green banana, dasheen on a marbled counter

Other Delicious Jamaican Recipes

Jamaican Lentil Patties

Jamaican Rice And Peas

Vegan Ackee Quiche

Jamaican Ackee Pizza

If you enjoyed this post and would love to see more, join me on Youtube,  InstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Also please leave a star rating ;-)

Need some encouragement on your Healthier Steps journey?

Join our Facebook groups, sharing lots of delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes, health tips, etc., from our members. Please join us and invite your friends to Gluten-Free and Vegan For Beginners and Vegan Recipes With Love.




(Per portion)
  • Energy: 274 kcal / 1145 kJ
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 14 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 10 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • 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.


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!

I am so excited to start a new facebook group, sharing lots of delicious vegan recipes, health tips etc. from our members, please join us at Vegan Recipes With Love! If you tried this recipe, please comment below and let us know how you like it. Also, please follow us on Instagram!

Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

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.

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

Rate this recipe

  1. Rosa E Owens
    July 28, 2020

    I found ackee in the can at the Georgia Dekalb Farmers Market, sometimes I can find fresh bread fruit (that was my favorite dish when I lived in Jamaica ackee with roasted breadfruit I love breadfruit also) and I eat ackee on my rice and peas, with green banana, yellow yam aside from an additional protein item, I love ackee, try not to get it with saltfish in the restaurants here but you must go early only served for breakfast but I love it any time. I had some small green bananas and needed to cook them before they got ripe so I had the extra can of ackee and thats my dinner. Your ingredients are what I remember from when I lived in Jamaica. Just wanted to check to make sure I was not missing any thing but the breadfruit on the side.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      July 28, 2020

      Rosa, I haven’t been to Dekab market for over 10 years, that market is a foodie’s paradise. You left out the callaloo. Thank you for your post.

    • Leah S
      November 26, 2020

      Your Dekalb farmers market is the best and the price for ackee is half of what you’d pay at the grocery store!!!

      • Michelle Blackwood, RN
        November 26, 2020

        Oh wow, I haven’t been to Dekalb farmers market for at least 10 years, it was such a treat when I shopped there.

  2. Verna
    June 2, 2019

    Hi Michelle, as I don’t use canned foods, I would like to try this recipe, using freshly-picked ackee. How much would you recommend using, please?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 2, 2019

      Verna, you are so blessed to have fresh ackees. Here in North Central Florida, we aren’t so fortunate unless family members bring us and now I’m hearing that they are confiscating the fresh ones at the airport. Well, 2 cups of cooked fresh ones are perfect, boil them in water until tender, then drain and set aside and follow the recipe as written.

      • Verna
        June 3, 2019

        It is so unfortunate that they confiscating them at the airport. It would be good if you can plant a tree in your yard. They grow wild here.

        Thank you very much.

        • Verna
          June 3, 2019

          Sorry, I meant to say “they are confiscating…”

        • Michelle Blackwood
          June 5, 2019

          Where I live in Florida gets too cold during the winter, so it wouldn’t survive the occasional frost. Nice talking with you.

  3. Camille
    April 23, 2019

    I just tried this Ackee for the first time ever and it was so good. I never had anything like it before. It tastes like cheader cheese. I’m vegan so I don’t eat cheese anymore but I bet this could be puréed and made into an anternative style cheese sauce of many recipes. 🤔

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 24, 2019

      Camille, I’m so happy that you decided to try it and you enjoyed it. Yes, it can actually be pureed into a ‘cheese’ sauce, you have a keen sense of taste. Thank you for your feedback.

    • Tania N. Aleman
      June 9, 2020

      I Live in Florida My auntie has a tree of ackees behind her house and I keeped wondering what could I Cook with It. I can wait to try this recepi! Thank You

      • Michelle Blackwood, RN
        June 10, 2020

        Oh wow, if only I was closer to you Tania, I’m living in North Central Florida. Make sure the ackee pods are open naturally on the tree, the pods will turn from green to a bright red to yellow-orange. The pods have to split open naturally showing three large, shiny black seeds, each seed is partially surrounded by soft, creamy white to yellow flesh.
        It is important to note that if the pods aren’t opened on the tree naturally then it is toxic to eat the flesh. Remove the flesh from the pods, next remove the black seeds from the flesh and the redlining in the flesh and discard. The flesh is what you want to cook, rinse the flesh and boil in water until soft.