Vegan Tacos Recipe With Jerk-Spiced Jackfruit

These Jerk-Spiced Jackfruit Tacos immediately transport you to a tropical paradise on a Tuesday night. They are topped with a zesty Pineapple Salsa and creamy Avocado Sauce to add some extra Caribbean flavor.

Jerk Spiced Jackfruit Vegan Tacos Recipe
Jerk Spiced Jackfruit Vegan Tacos Recipe

Vegan Taco Meat

Jackfruit is a great plant-based meat substitute that is well-loved in most plant-based kitchens. It is both gluten-free and soy-free which makes it the perfect meat replacement for persons with gluten sensitivity and soy allergies.

Cooked Jackfruit - Jerk Spiced Jackfruit Vegan Taco Recipe
Cooked jackfruit: a vegan taco meat

So What Is Jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit found in Southeast Asia in places like Thailand, Bangladesh and India. Locals have enjoyed jackfruit for hundreds of years especially because it’s believed to have antifungal properties as well as being high in antioxidants.

The part of the jackfruit that is typically eaten is the plump, stringy pods found inside. When jackfruit is ripe it tastes sweet and somewhat banana. Ripe jackfruit can be used in smoothies or eaten fresh as is for a quick snack. For savory recipes, jackfruit is best used in its unripened state for a more firm and meatier texture.

Since fresh jackfruit is not a common fruit found in North America, you would most likely have to shop around in International and Asian markets where it can be found in its whole state or in the can.

Note that there are two kinds of canned jackfruit – in syrup and in brine/water – so choose the one that is in brine or water for savory dishes.

For this recipe, we used young green jackfruit in the can and seasoned it with a spicy Jamaican jerk marinade.

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Jerk is a popular cooking method in Jamaica where meats are barbecued over Pimento Wood and glazed with a spicy and slightly sweet sauce. We replicate these flavors by roasting shredded jackfruit in the oven until nice and tender.

Seasoned Jackfruit for Jerk Spiced Vegan Tacos Recipe
Seasoned Jackfruit for Jerk Spiced Vegan Tacos Recipe

Taco Toppings

Tacos really aren’t complete without fun toppings, so to stick with the Caribbean theme and flavors we whipped up a zesty Pineapple Salsa.

Unlike a typical tomato salsa, this colorful condiment features sweet pineapple, crisp bell pepper, fresh lime juice and cilantro.

We opted for fresh pineapple since they are at their peak of freshness and sweetness during the warmer months.

Pineapple Salsa - Jerk Spiced Vegan Tacos Recipe
Pineapple Salsa – Jerk Spiced Vegan Tacos Recipe

When choosing a pineapple, look for one with nice green leaves – if your grocery stall leaves them intact. The pineapple should not be mushy to the touch and should have a lightly sweet smell when sniffed at the base.

Feel free to make the pineapple salsa the night before to save on time. In fact, the longer it sits the better since the flavors have time to “get to know each other” resulting in a more flavorful salsa.

We finish things off with a creamy Avocado Sauce staying true to the usual taco fixings. Think of this sauce as a lighter and more zesty version of guac. It comes together quickly and adds a cooling touch to help balance out the spicy kick from the jerk seasoning.

Substitutions

This recipe is pretty simple to make but if you are having trouble finding some of the main ingredients then here are some substitutions.  

Jerk Seasoning – You can find Jerk seasoning virtually anywhere these days whether it’s in the form of a paste or dry rub. For this recipe, we used the Jerk paste here but feel free to use the dry rub in the same amount.

Pineapple – We recommend that you use fresh pineapple. However, you can also use canned pineapple chunks and give them a rough chop. Be sure to use the pineapple in 100% pineapple juice and not the one in syrup.

Cilantro – Cilantro is an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine and adds so much freshness and flavor. However, if you can’t find cilantro – or just aren’t a fan – feel free to use parsley, basil or any fresh herb of your choice.

Tortillas – we have used a flour tortilla but you use a corn tortilla to be gluten free.

What to Serve With Jerk-Spiced Vegan Tacos

These tacos are great on their own but why not make it a spread and complete your “Taco Tuesday” weeknight lineup. You can serve these with fragrant yellow rice, fajita-style peppers and onions, a refreshing watermelon salad, or grilled Mexican street corn.

How to Store Vegan Taco Leftovers

As mentioned before, you can make the Pineapple Salsa the night before and store it in the fridge. Ensure that you store it in an airtight container and give it a quick stir before serving.

Store the Avocado Sauce in an airtight container in the fridge as well where it will keep fresh for 3 days.

If you have any Jackfruit leftover – which we believe will be highly unlikely – you can also store it in the fridge and consume within 3 days.  

Serving Size

This recipe makes 6 street-style tacos which by their very nature are small in size. They’re designed to be hand-held and super easy to eat. Depending on how many people you are feeding, you can easily double the recipe to make 12 tacos and use the additional tortillas from the suggested tortilla pack size of 12.

Ingredients for Vegan Tacos:

Jerk-Spiced Jackfruit Taco Filling:

  • 1 20oz can Young Green Jackfruit (in brine or water, not syrup, like this one here.)
  • 1 Tbsp Jerk Seasoning (we used this Jamaican Jerk Paste here)
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 (12ct) pack Street Taco Flour Tortillas (we like these tortillas – keep in mind they are mini size)

Pineapple Salsa:

  • 1 cup Pineapple (diced)
  • ½ cup Bell Pepper (diced)
  • ¼ cup Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • ¼ tsp Salt
Pineapple Salsa Ingredients for Vegan Tacos Recipe
Pineapple Salsa Ingredients for Vegan Tacos Recipe

Creamy Avocado Sauce:

  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • ¼ cup Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • ½ tsp Salt
Avocado Sauce for Vegan Tacos Recipe
Avocado Sauce for Vegan Tacos Recipe

Directions: How to Make Jerk-Spiced Jackfruit Vegan Tacos

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 C). Open and drain the can of Jackfruit then proceed to shred the Jackfruit pieces with a fork. You can also give it a rough chop with a knife. Be sure to discard any seeds that you might come across.

Next, add the shredded Jackfruit to a medium-sized bowl and season with jerk seasoning, salt, sugar, paprika, oil and lime juice then toss to coat. Spread the Jackfruit in an even layer onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes tossing halfway through.

In the meantime prepare the toppings. For the salsa, combine the pineapple, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a small bowl and toss to combine then set aside.

For the avocado sauce, add the avocado, cilantro, garlic, water, lime juice and salt to a high-speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Feel free to add more water to get your desired consistency.

Now it’s time to assemble your tacos. In your tortillas add a spoonful of the jerk-spiced jackfruit, followed by some salsa then finish with a dollop of avocado sauce. Finish with fresh cilantro if desired.

Jerk Spiced Jackfruit Tacos Recipe
Jerk Spiced Jackfruit Tacos Recipe

Vegan Taco Recipe With Jerk-Spiced Jackfruit

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 Small Street Style Tacos (Double the recipe for more tacos!)

Ingredients

Jerk-Spiced Jackfruit Filling

  • 1 Can 20oz Young Green Jackfruit (in brine)
  • 1 Tablestoon Jerk Seasoning
  • ¼ Teaspoon Paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Pack (12 Count) Street Taco Flour Tortillas (or corn)

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 Cup Pineapple (diced)
  • ½ Cup Bell Pepper (diced)
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt

Creamy Avocado Sauce

  • 1 Avocado
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • ½ Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Open and drain the can of Jackfruit then proceed to shred the Jackfruit pieces with a fork. You can also give it a rough chop with a knife. Be sure to discard any seeds that you might come across.
  • Next add the shredded Jackfruit to a medium-sized bowl and season with jerk seasoning, salt, sugar, paprika, oil and lime juice then toss to coat. Spread the Jackfruit in an even layer onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes tossing halfway through.
  • In the meantime prepare the toppings. For the salsa, combine the pineapple, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a small bowl and toss to combine then set aside.
  • For the avocado sauce, add the avocado, cilantro, garlic, water, lime juice and salt to a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Feel free to add more water to get your desired consistency.
  • Now it’s time to assemble your tacos. In your tortillas add a spoonful of the jerk-spiced jackfruit, followed by some salsa then finish with a dollop of avocado sauce. Finish with fresh cilantro if desired.
Vegan Tacos Recipe
Vegan Tacos with Jerk Spiced Jackfruit, Pineapple Salsa and Avocado Sauce

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