Take one look at cooked jackfruit and you might assume that anyone who calls it a “meat substitute” is trying to pull a fast one on you — surely a fruit can’t really taste like meat, right?
It depends on the ripeness. Ripe jackfruit has a sweet taste, similar to a pineapple or mango, but green jackfruit actually has a texture like artichokes and tastes like…well, nothing. We realize “tasteless” food wouldn’t normally be something to celebrate, but that means green jackfruit can soak up marinades and spices like a sponge, so you can make it taste like anything you want. And green jackfruit is easy to shred, making it a natural swap for any pulled meats.
Even better, green jackfruit contains nutrients like vitamin C, B6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. So how can you add this meatless wonder to your meal plan? Whether you’re adopting a #meatlessmonday tradition or following a vegan diet, we rounded up the best green jackfruit recipes to help you get started.
Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes
A medley of spices, breadcrumbs, and two cans of green jackfruit is all you need to create these vegan jackfruit “crab” cakes. Add a little vegan mayo — or a bit of Sriracha — to create an appetizer or entree that even the pickiest eaters will love.
Vegan BBQ Ribs
These vegan BBQ ribs are about to become a staple for your summer parties. With seitan, jackfruit, spices, liquid smoke, and BBQ sauce, this jackfruit recipe has that unmistakable smoked flavor that beef ribs are known for. Serve it with coleslaw or potato salad for a traditional cookout treat.
Vegan Nachos with BBQ Jackfruit
Plain chips and salsa is a bit boring, but your can amp up the flavor by creating some vegan nachos with shredded jackfruit caoted in barbecue sauce and some vegan cheese sauce (made with carrots!). The best part? You can add extra toppings — like peppers, black beans, and red onion — to create a game-day treat that’ll be devoured in minutes.
Instant Pot Vegan Posole Using Jackfruit
Traditional posole is made with pork, but you can make it vegan by swapping in jackfruit. Simply add the green jackfruit to your Instant Pot along with red chile puree, hominy, onion, garlic, and oil to create a hearty meal that’ll please the whole family.
Vegan Jackfruit Pot Pies
Pot pies make a hearty meal for blustery nights, but meatless versions can leave a little something to be desired. The solution: Add a can of green jackfruit in brine to the mix to give the pot pie more meaty texture — and flavor — while still keeping it vegan.
Vegan Jackfruit and Mushroom Gyros With Tzatziki
Enjoy the unforgettable taste of a gyro without adding lamb or chicken — this vegan gyro recipe replaces meat with green jackfruit and mushrooms. Bonus: The creamy tzatziki sauce is delish and dairy-free, thanks to coconut yogurt.
Jackfruit Fried Chicken
Fried chicken…without chicken? It’s possible with this easy-to-follow (and tasty!) recipe. The finished product looks a whole lot like chicken tenders, so pair with your favorite dipping sauce and get to munching.
Vegan Jackfruit Jerky
Jackfruit is such a good meat substitute, you can even make jerky from it! This vegan version will satisfy your jerky craving. The only downside: Unlike beef and turkey, jackfruit isn’t a great source of protein, so you’ll have to pair it with another protein source for a more well-rounded snack.
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches With Avocado Slaw
This hearty sandwich recipe only takes 10 ingredients and 30 minutes to make — sign us up! Combine canned jackfruit (in water, not brine or syrup) with spices and barbecue sauce to create tasty sandwiches that’ll have everyone coming back for seconds.
Jackfruit Pulled Pork Tacos
Ditch the bun for a tortilla and try these vegan carnitas topped with spicy mango salsa and a dairy-free creamy lime sauce that’ll give any street taco truck a run for its money.
Slow Cooker BBQ Jackfruit Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
What’s easier than cooking with jackfruit? Cooking with jackfruit in a slow cooker. Simply throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a delectable creation that you can add to some baked sweet potatoes for a full, satisfying meal.
BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza With Mango Salsa and Cashew Crème
Jackfruit pizza? Yep — this healthy version of popular pulled pork pizza is made with green jackfruit on a barbecue sauce base. No cheese, but the mango salsa and cashew sauce will make you forget all about it.
Vegan Pulled Jackfruit Curry
Jackfruit has been used in Southeast Asian cuisine for centuries, so we can’t leave out this tasty vegan curry recipe. Combine jackfruit with garam masala, coconut milk, and other ingredients to get a meatless dish with a spicy curry flavor.