Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

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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. A vegan, gluten-free version of popular traditional Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish recipe.

Vegan Ackee (Gluten-Free)

What Is 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}.

Other Delicious Jamaican Recipes

Jamaican Lentil Patties

Jamaican Rice And Peas

Vegan Ackee Quiche

Jamaican Ackee Pizza


Categories: ,



Per serving

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.

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  1. Nai
    January 31, 2019

    I’m excited to have found your blog being a Jamaican vegan in states. I make my ackee pretty much like yours. Once I did use diced salty ish potatoes to sub for salt fish and it wasn’t bad. It added another layer of creaminess and of course saltiness. Just a tip for anyone who misses the saltiness or wants to stretch the ackee as we know it’s expensive. I ended up being able to use half the can with just one potato.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 31, 2019

      Welcome Nai, that’s wonderful that you have a similar recipe. Great idea with the potato. I have had success with tofu that is marinated and fried as well. I’m sure the readers will appreciate your feedback. Thank you very much!

  2. Nettie
    December 31, 2018

    The Ackee from the recipe does not state that the Ackee should be rinsed and drained prior to being added to the vegetable. But, this is a very good recipe. Thank you.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 31, 2018

      You are welcome Nettie, I’m happy you like it. Thank you for your feedback, Happy New Year.

  3. Antoinette Messam
    December 22, 2018

    Do you not rinse the Ackee when you take it out the can? We pour hot water over the Ackee before putting it in the seasoned mixture. You have to get all the canned preservative/salt juice off. My mother goes as far as boiling it a little. Makes it too mushy why I just pour boiling hot water on it (sitting in drainer). I am Jamaican and this is only when I can’t get it fresh.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 22, 2018

      Hello Antoinette, it’s definitely a personal decision if you want to rinse the ackee. I only buy ackee in the can that has ackee, water, and salt on the label, no preservative. Some of the time my family brings me frozen ackee from Jamaica and I am Jamaican living here in Florida.

  4. AJ
    August 4, 2018

    I made this last night for dinner with boiled banana and a salad it was delicious! We gave up meat/fish and we didn’t miss the fish at all. I did add pimento cause I love it but this was so yummy. Thank you!

  5. philly
    January 7, 2018

    hi. in ingredients u don’t have garlic but in instructions u do.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 7, 2018

      Hi Philly, thank you very much I fixed it. A proofreader has just joined our team but I have been so busy creating and posting recipes plus being a wife, mother, homeschooler I haven’t had a chance to send her work but so excited for a second eye. Sometimes I’m typing so fast but the words in my mind is going faster and doesn’t reach the keyboard lol

      • philly
        January 7, 2018

        That’s ok.. we r all humans. Thanks for the wonderful recipes. You are blessed with a gift.

  6. Rachel
    October 25, 2017

    I love ackee, although I’ve only had it a few times, it’s so expensive in uk. Thanks for sharing your vegan recipe.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 25, 2017

      You are welcome Rachel, it is expensive in some states and stores as well.I love when I’m gifted frozen ones from Jamaica or friends in South Florida, I’m planning to plant my own and keep it in a pot in my garage during the winter because a friend in my area did so and was able to harvest her own.

  7. Anthony Davis
    July 19, 2017

    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
      July 19, 2017

      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’!

      • Pduyah Baht Yahyisrael
        November 8, 2018

        May I also have that Recipe for vegan curry goat and roti

  8. Dunori
    March 24, 2017

    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
      March 25, 2017

      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.

  9. Elizabeth
    March 24, 2017

    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!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 24, 2017

      That’s so cool and I’m happy you like it!

  10. Lisa
    March 23, 2017

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

  11. UB Rey
    March 22, 2017

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

  12. Kristy
    March 22, 2017

    This looks scrumptious. It’s great to see vegan recipes for those who need alternatives.

  13. Glenda
    March 21, 2017

    The Vegan Ackee looks so colorful and delicious. I’m sure the avocado makes it taste even better!

  14. Julie
    March 21, 2017

    Surprisingly this looks tasty and does resemble scrambled eggs. I’m not vegan but I would try it. =D

    • Ashley Copeland
      July 25, 2018

      If you’re not vegan you will really enjoy the regular version. It is incredible
      Salt fish and ackee.. I just recently went vegan so I am SOOOO excited to try this and tell my jamaican husband how it tastes ???

  15. Cameron
    March 21, 2017

    I’ve never hear of this before, but they certainly do resemble scrambled eggs! They look tasty!

  16. Otilia
    March 21, 2017

    It looks very interesting! Would love to try it one day !

  17. Iza Abao, Two Monkeys Travel Group Writer
    March 21, 2017

    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.

  18. Tina Andrews
    March 21, 2017

    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.

  19. Carol Cassara
    March 20, 2017

    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.

  20. Elizabeth O.
    March 20, 2017

    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.

  21. Amber Myers
    March 20, 2017

    Mmm, this looks so delicious! I like that it’s healthy.

  22. Helene Cohen Bludman
    March 20, 2017

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

    • Jennifer Wolfman
      March 28, 2017

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

  23. Jessi Joachim
    March 20, 2017

    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!

  24. Jacqui S
    March 20, 2017

    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.

  25. Ang.
    March 20, 2017

    This looks SO yummy! I think I an find all of the ingredients too! Sweet

  26. Payastyle
    March 20, 2017

    that looks really yummy, where did you get the Jamaican ackee?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 20, 2017

      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.

  27. Author Brandi Kennedy
    March 20, 2017

    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.

  28. Agentszerozerosetter
    March 20, 2017

    Such a great recipe! I’m vegetarian, so I’ll try to do it for sure!

  29. Ana De- Jesus
    March 20, 2017

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

  30. robin Rue
    March 20, 2017

    My sister in law is a vegan and is going to love this. She is always looking for new recipes!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 20, 2017

      Awesome, happy for you to share my website with her!