Pulled BBQ jackfruit is a meatless wonder to make all of your Taco Tuesday dreams come true. This BBQ jackfruit tacos recipe only takes about a half hour to prepare – perfect for getting dinner on the table in a hurry. 

Chances are you’ve probably heard the word jackfruit before but haven’t quite known what it was or why it was worth trying. Today, I wanna teach you the art of cooking with jackfruit.

jackfruit tacos

Fruit or meat??

Green jackfruit is a popular vegetarian meat replacement because it shreds like meat and has a very similar texture. It’s grown in the tropical climates of southern India, Southeast Asia and is ginormous once it’s full grown and ripened (check out the picture below to see what I mean by ginormous!).

Doesn’t it look like a spiky dragon egg?!

fresh jackfruit is super huge + nutrient dense

A ripe jackfruit contains sweet yellow fruit that is reminiscent of fruit gum with tropical + floral notes. While the ripe jackfruit is certainly popular and delicious to eat, it’s the young, unripened, green jackfruit that has become especially trendy over the last few years. The green jackfruit is perfect for jackfruit tacos, since we don’t want the super sweet side of this fruit.

A powerfully nutritious fruit

This unique fruit also packs a powerful protein punch; over 3 grams of protein per serving! It’s also brimming with vitamins + minerals, as well as lots of antioxidants. So the jackfruit food trend isn’t just for its unique look + texture; people are starting to realize the health benefits of it too.

canned jackfruit for tacos

What do jackfruit tacos taste like?

Think of green jackfruit sort of as you would any unripe fruit, such as bananas. Because it’s the immature version of the fruit, it doesn’t taste very sweet – it can be tangy even. This unsweet taste makes it the perfect thing to use in a number of recipes.

My husband, Ryan, couldn’t believe he wasn’t eating meat when we tried this jackfruit tacos recipe for dinner. BBQ jackfruit is so similar in taste AND texture to a pulled chicken BBQ— you’ll be hard pressed to realize the difference.

jackfruit tacos recipe

How to make jackfruit tacos

For this recipe, we’re using canned green jackfruit. That’s the easiest to find. Trader Joe’s is a great place to buy canned jackfruit, but it can also be found at health food stores and Asian markets as well.

To keep this jackfruit tacos meal simple, I also used store bought BBQ sauce. My family’s fav is probably Trader Joe’s Organic Kansas City Style BBQ, though you can use whatever kind you like!

Pro tip: store bought sauces are known for their additives, corn syrup, and food dyes. Read your labels when buying, to make sure you’re getting one that uses real ingredients.

Before using the jackfruit, take a few steps to ensure success when preparing it. The first step is shredding it.

BBQ jackfruit

How to shred jackfruit

Warm jackfruit shreds easily with two forks, just like meat. There are parts of the fruit that are a little more tough and fibrous, but even still completely edible. I prefer to remove the hard seed pods before shredding and adding sauce. Here’s how I shred my jackfruit for tacos:

quick and easy meatless dinner recipe
  1. After draining + rinsing, place jackfruit pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet
  2. Warm in oven at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes
  3. Remove from oven and shred jackfruit pieces with 2 forks, just like you do with chicken or pork
  4. If there are tougher seed pods, you can remove these (they are edible, yet tough)

To keep these 100% plant-based, we’re using corn tortillas and topping our BBQ jackfruit taco “meat” with thinly sliced red cabbage and white onion for plenty of crunch, creamy diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. You can top these with any of your favorite taco toppings. (A drizzle of cashew cream is really good too!)

(Recipe note – to bypass the oven, the drained and rinsed jackfruit and BBQ sauce can go straight into a slow cooker and shredded before serving.)

jackfruit tacos

 

jackfruit tacos
4.95 from 19 votes

BBQ Jackfruit Tacos

Pulled BBQ jackfruit is a meatless wonder to make all of your Taco Tuesday dreams come true. Jackfruit Tacos only take about a half hour to prepare - perfect for getting dinner on the table in a hurry. 
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired, Plant-Based
Serves: 4 2 tacos each

Equipment

  • stove

Ingredients  

  • 2 cans green jackfruit drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce your favorite kind
  • 8 corn tortillas warmed

Taco Toppings

  • 1 cup red cabbage very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes quartered or halved
  • ¼ cup yellow onion diced
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper.
  • Drain and rinse the canned jackfruit. Allow any excess water to drain off the jackfruit or pat dry with a few paper towels. Place on the lined sheet or pan in an even layer. Roast for 10-12 minutes, or until warmed through and jackfruit looks a little dry on top.
  • Remove from oven and use two forks to shred the jackfruit. If desired, remove any of the hard, tough seed pods. Pour 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce over the shredded jackfruit and toss to coat. If needed, add a little more sauce. Roast for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and darkened. Remove from oven and stir in remaining BBQ sauce, if desired. (This is personal preference.)
  • To assemble tacos, place about 1/4 cup of the BBQ jackfruit into each of the warmed tortillas and top with desired toppings. Serve immediately. 

Notes

  •  BBQ jackfruit can be made several days in advance and warmed up before serving.
  • It will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge and can also be frozen.
  • Freezing may affect the texture of the jackfruit.

Nutrition

Calories: 465kcal, Carbohydrates: 95g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 786mg, Potassium: 772mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 653IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 154mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

5 More Plant-Based Taco Recipes

Tacos are such an easy + nutrient dense meal for the entire family. Here are a few of my fav taco recipes:

I hope you give this jackfruit tacos recipe a try first. Then you’ll see what I’m talking about!!! I also wanna know what your favorite taco toppings are, as well as if there are any other foods you’d like to see me turn into the Tuesday tacos of your dreams. 😉

About the Author

Jen Hansard

I went from exhausted mama to running across the Grand Canyon, riding & hiking to the top of the tallest waterfall in North America with my kids. How? I fell in love with the smoothies and plant-based meals you can find on my blog.

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Comments

  1. I can’t get canned jackfruit where I live (Panama), but I can get the whole fruit, which I did–once! It was quite the experience to open it and clean it, and I even had to enlist the help of my 12 year-old neighbor. We had a blast! Lots of work, but so many delicious meals out of it and plenty to share. I hope to have access to the canned fruit someday.

    1. Oh my gosh! I would have LOVED to watch you do this! Reminds me of the time when I tried to open a coconut for the milk + meat. I almost cut my finger off, but it was so much fun. Wish the fresh jackfruit, you can get so much fruit form it. I wonder if you did it with a friend again and freeze it until you need it?

  2. I am so excited to make these! I had no idea how to use Jack Fruit. I bet my carnivore husband will love them!

    1. Another win for you Beverly!!! Yeah!!!! Seriously, if Ryan was tricked, I think there’s a good chance most meat lovers will love them too. My kids didn’t give them a shot yet, but I’m def gonna win them over soon. 🙂

  3. Oh I would love to try these! I know from experience as a SGS recipe tester and Cleanse participant that they will be awesome! A little place down my street uses jackfruit and I’ve been interested in trying it at home…didn’t know it came in a can!!

    1. You are awesome Kate and I always enjoy your feedback with new recipes. Trader Joes is the best price I can find, but I know there are other options out there too. And you can always buy the dragon egg if you’re extra adventurous. Hahaha!

  4. 5 stars
    Alright, you’ve sold me. I’m going to pick some up and give these a try!! We’ve been playing around with a lot of nuts for non-meat, protein options, so this will be new and hopefully delicious!

    1. Hahaha! I love it! Glad I could bring you over to the jackfruit side. I can’t wait to see what you think. Adding a cashew cream on top would boost the protein content too, if you feel you need it.

    1. NO way?! I haven’t heard using it for that! Seriously the options with jackfruit go on and on.

  5. 5 stars
    I have used jackfruit in a smoothie with mango an kale. Super yummy, but I am willing to try it in a recipe, taco are a favorite food of mine, cause you can do a lot with them in different techniques. Thanks for the recipe. Tuesday is Taco Night.

    1. I think you’re gonna be amazing Jeannette. It’s such a great base for tacos and you can change up the sauce from BBQ to even a Taco Seasoning and it would be delish!.

  6. Love Jack Fruit, and Trader Joe’s is one of the better ( and less expensive brands!) . Tacos, bar-b-que sandwiches,. I am curious to try it in”un”/“no” tuna salad instead of hearts of palm….

    1. Trader Joes is amazing with all their plant-based options. You’ll have to let me know how it goes with the “tuna” salad. Christina.

  7. I am so curious! I live in a house of meat-lovers and I love finding ways for them to feel like they are eating meat when I know we are not. I have seen the can at Trader Joe’s but haven’t gotten any to try yet. Now I have a reason to add it to the list!

    1. This recipe is WORTH making and serving to your meat lovers. Hope you can find it at your Trader Joes- i know all food can be dicey to find right now Karin. Good luck!

  8. Jackfruit has always intrigued me both because of the name and what it looks like, but it has also always intimidated me, mainly because I had no idea what it was like at all! I would love to try this recipe if I can find the canned version. Otherwise, I would have no idea how to even access the fruit within the “dragon eggshell!:

    1. I was the SAME way!!! I stayed away from it for years (mainly because it looked too much like meat and I’ve never been a big meat eater). Yet I finally tried it and was in awe of how much flavor it can pick up from the sauces you use. It was amazing and I hope you give it a shot Susan. And yeah— I’ve never been brave enough to buy. the dragon egg at the store. I stick with the cans. Hahahha!

  9. I actually have 2 cans of this in my pantry, but haven’t used them yet as I didn’t have a recipe that sounded like something appealing to me. I pray that I have some BBQ sauce tucked in there somewhere, too! My favorite is Bone Suckin’ Sauce, made locally by a former student’s family. Stay safe, Jen and fam!

    1. I hope you find your sauce! It sounds amazing and this would be such an easy meal for you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 🙂

  10. I definitely want to try these tacos! I was introduced to jackfruit by my sister, who’d picked up some dried jackfruit (it’s yummy), and would love to try it out in a non-dried fruit kinda way. 🙂 And they look delicious!

  11. 5 stars
    This sounds so good! I would love to try a homemade version since the preseasoned ones i’ve tried weren’t very good.

    1. Yeah— I saw the bags at the store that have everything mixed in and they feel so mushy. Def go this route and add some crunch with diced onions and cabbage– it’s really good Brittany.

  12. 5 stars
    I LOVE ❤️LOVE❤️ LOVE jackfruit! Especially tacos! Originally born and raised in California tacos were one thing I missed when I moved and became plant based so jackfruit became my best friend. Lol it so versatile.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I would love to try it soon.

    1. I was born and raised in LA— so tacos are part of my bloodline too! In Florida it’s rare to find a good taco place. If we can’t find good tacos, we bring them to us, right!

  13. 4 stars
    I’m excited to try this. I feel like it will give the sturdiness of meat without the cholesterol, etc.

    1. For sure! This could be a Meatless Monday dish all the way Tracy.

  14. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Jack fruit. But, yum fruit in your taco! Can’t wait to try it.

    1. It’s truly like a whole new world right here. And it doesn’t even taste fruity…. it’s literally just a carried for all my sauces and flavors I want in a taco. Hahaha!