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. 5 stars
    I was so excited to see this recipe this morning. I can not wait to try it!!!! I am tasting it with my eyes. Lol!!!!!

  2. This is good but i have a better plan. I put this as an omelette. Stir fry onions, garlic. Add the jackfruit then put in the eggs.
    Also but the fresh one that is ripe is good, eat the fresh yellow meat take out the seed inside. Also you can cook the seeds in boiling water for about thirty mins. Let it cool then shell the seed eat the inside. Taste like peanuts. Take care for those who has gout. You can not eat more than ten pieces. Thanks.

    1. An omelette would be delicious. Great suggestions, thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this post! I’ve always wanted to try jackfruit but was a bit put off and too afraid to try. Your post assured me of the benefits and that yummy recipe definitely changed my mind. Now I’ve just gotta get my hands on some to try it.

    1. You’re welcome, Brandy! You def need to try these. 🙂

  4. I fell in love with jackfruit last year. It is amazing and with bbq sauce tastes just like meat. It’s crazy!

    Try to fool your family and friends with this. Make sure the pieces are shredded finely though.

  5. I had actually tried a prepackaged shredded jackfruit that I had no idea what a jack fruit was, but all I knew that it was shredded meat of some sort and I loved it. It was made with bbq sauce. The store I got it from went out of business so i am on the hunt for this canned jack fruit. Thanks to you i now know there’s a chance of me getting it again

    1. If you live near a Trader Joe’s, they have canned jackfruit. But you could also try your local health or asian market. 🙂

  6. I can’t wait to try these! I’ve always been a bit afraid to try jackfruit but these look very doable and delicious!

  7. I’m kind of intrigued! They started selling the whole fruit in Publix and I’m always curious to know how you eat it. I’d give these a try now that I know you can get it in a can! Less intimidating than that dinosaur egg!

    1. So true! Even though that dinosaur egg looks so interesting, I’m going for the canned version every time!

    1. Jackfruit is a popular replacement for meat, especially shredded chicken or pork. Def give these a try!

  8. I am not an adventurous cook or eater but I became vegetarian 4 years ago on Earth Day. Jackfruit is so ugly I never wanted to buy it, and never even thought it might come canned. I want to try this recipe because it looks simple and different, and if I like it I can make it again for my birthday which is on Cinco de Mayo! Conveniently, there is a Trader Joe’s within walking distance of my apt. so I would also adhere to stay at home rules in WA. Pick Me!!

    1. That’s awesome, Mary! Sounds like you have no reason not to try this delicious recipe! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    YES! My daughters and I just learned all about the Jackfruit because of your blog post and we are definitely going to try this recipe. Just printed it out and added canned Jackfruit to our Trader Joe’s shopping list. Thank you so much!!!

    1. That’s awesome, Trish! Jackfruit is really good and so versatile! After you make them, come back and let us know how you liked the tacos! 🙂

  10. Glad I have Trader Joe’s nearby. Will look for this next time. I am open to try new things at least once. I never had fennel before. Loved it …. now I can’t find it. But times are far from normal. I have tried to incorporate more plants into my diet and I am very happy to say the recipes are easy or I should say they are workable for me. so for once I am succeeding. This is all from the kid that was bribed or told my grandfather grew them to get me to eat veggies.

  11. very intriguing. at first, i thought from the picture the lady was holding a durian which has unique taste much beloved in parts of SE asia despite its noxious smell and rotten egg taste. so in contrast jackfruit is wonderful. very creative use of the fruit. keep up the good work, great healthy food is love. Best regards

    1. Thanks, Tim! And you’re right, healthy food is a great way to show love to ourselves + our families!

  12. I was at a friends house this last year for dinner. Their Indonesian aunt made curried ‘chicken’ using jackfruit. It was amazing! I have a can of Trader Joe’s jackfruit in my pantry right now just waiting for a good recipe. Will try your barbecue. Also I have reached out to my friend for his aunt curry recipe. Will share when I get it.

    1. Yes, please share it! And let us know what you think of these tacos! 🙂

  13. Not at all interested in something like this. Maybe I’m more of a purist. I don’t eat meat, so I dont want to eat something that masquerades meat. Yuck! I thought the same thing when they started coming out with vegetarian sausages, chicken, meat, etc. Give me beans and veggies any day!

    1. Everyone has their own tastes, of course! But the HUGE difference between these and vegetarian meat substitutes is that those other things are often made with a long list of ingredients, some unpronounceable, and these are made with one, whole food… which does appeal to some food purists. So maybe it’s the BBQ flavor you’re not into. 😉

  14. I’ve heard about jack fruit as substitute for meat but never knew how to prepare it since it looked so different. Thanks for excellent recipe and photos