What is Jackfruit? 3 Scrumptious Vegan Jackfruit Recipes

Food The List
By: Jared Cotter Posted: 10:24 PM, Feb 16, 2018 Updated: 5:17 PM, Nov 6, 2020

Jackfruit is the latest culinary trend among vegan foodies. According to a recent Upserve report, jackfruit grew 131% in popularity in 2017. It’s one of the most versatile foods you can cook with, and vegans love it as a meat, fish, and even dairy substitute! We spoke with vegan chef Jason Wyrick, who shared three recipes you can make using jackfruit.

1. Jackfruit Carnitas

Jackfruit is the chameleon of fruit, and can turn into pretty much anything you crave – including a meat substitute! Fresh, ripe jackfruit is naturally sweet, making it perfect for savory dishes like these jackfruit carnitas.


The Jackfruit Mix

2 (14.5 ounce) cans of jackfruit, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon of salt, divided in half

1 can of organic cola

2 cups of water

1 tablespoon (or to taste) of ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons of dried Mexican oregano

½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cinnamon

1 orange, sliced

Optional: 2 more tablespoons of olive oil if you want a fuller feel

The Taco Fixings

8 small (4-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts

1 large avocado, sliced

Salsa verde to taste

Minced white onion to taste

Minced cilantro to taste

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges and served on the side


To make the carnitas, pulse the jackfruit in a food processor a few times until it shreds. Transfer to a baking dish, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Roast at 325 F for 40 minutes. Transfer to a pot and add the remaining ingredients for the jackfruit mix. Bring this to a low simmer and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Warm the tortillas and fill them with jackfruit. Add any or all of the fixings and enjoy!

2. Jackfruit Crab Cakes

The next transformation for this wonder fruit is crab cakes! Jackfruit is high in fiber, has no cholesterol, and is rich in vitamin C – making this vegan crab cake recipe both delicious and nutritious!

Crab Cakes Ingredients

1 (14.5 ounce) can of jackfruit, drained and rinsed

1 (14 ounce) can of hearts of palm, drained and rinsed

12 green onions, sliced thin (about ½ cup)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ cup of Just Mayo

1 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons of yellow mustard

½ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning

Salt to taste

Optional: 1 teaspoon of crushed nori

1 cup of bread crumbs plus ¼ cup for a coating

Vegetable oil for frying

Roasted Garlic and Lime Aioli Ingredients

½ cup of Just Mayo

8 cloves of roasted garlic

Juice of 2 limes

¼ teaspoon of salt


In a food processor, pulse the jackfruit and hearts of palm together until they are shredded. In the order listed, combine all the ingredients for the “crab” cakes, except for the breadcrumbs for coating and the frying oil. Spread the coating breadcrumbs out on a plate. Add about ¼ inch of oil to a skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Form the mixture into 10 to 12 cakes. Working with 3 or 4 at a time, pat the cakes into the breadcrumbs and fry in the oil until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. In a blender, puree the ingredients for the Roasted Garlic and Lime Aioli. Serve the “crab” cakes with the aioli on the side.

3. Jack Fruit Soft Serve

And finally – I scream, you scream, we all scream for…jackfruit soft serve! Not only is jackfruit naturally sweet, but it’s also deceptively sticky! When making this soft serve recipe, make sure to clean your food processor right away – or you’ll have to put in lots of extra elbow grease to get it clean.


6 fresh jackfruit pods, chopped

½ cup of cashews, soaked for about 4 hours, then drained and rinsed

1 can of coconut cream

¼ cup of sugar, or more to taste

¼ cup of shredded coconut

¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom


Puree the jackfruit, cashews, coconut cream, and sugar. Transfer to a bowl and freeze for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to break up any ice crystals. While it’s freezing, toast the coconut shreds, then transfer to a small bowl and combine them with the cardamom. Transfer the soft serve to bowls and garnish with the coconut cardamom mix.

Hit the road, Jack, and try one or all of these jackfruit recipes!

Would YOU try any of these jackfruit recipes? Join the conversation on our Facebook page @TheListShowTV. 

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