Shredded jackfruit is simmered in sweet BBQ sauce and paired with a delicious mango-avocado salsa in these easy vegan tacos!
Jackfruit is great in tacos because it has a meaty texture that mixes SO well with BBQ sauce. This recipe is perfect for spring and summer and takes just over 30 minutes to make!
Why this recipe works
- Diet-friendly: vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free
- Paired with a delicious 5 ingredient mango-avocado salsa
- Jackfruit is easy to prepare and has an awesome "meaty" texture when shredded
Jackfruit is a large fruit native to Southern India and Malaysia. It is available as a whole fruit or as canned green young jackfruit. Green jackfruit is more starchy where ripe fruit is sweeter. Think starchy plantains vs ripe sweet bananas.
We're using canned green jackfruit in this recipe, which is just young jackfruit cut into pieces and canned in water or brine.
You can usually find canned jackfruit at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or a local co-op (that's where I found it). You may be able to find it at your local Asian grocery store. You can also buy it online.
BBQ sauce: I use my homemade vegan BBQ sauce in this recipe because it's a good balance of sweet and spicy. You can use any kind of BBQ sauce you prefer!
Corn tortillas are my go-to for tacos. You can also use flour tortillas.
Mango: I use thawed frozen mango to cut down on prep time. Most frozen mango is made of ~1 inch pieces, which I like to cut in half after thawing.
Avocado: Choose an avocado that is ripe but not so soft that it gets mushy in the salsa. You can tell an avocado is ripe when it yields to firm but gentle pressure.
Tomato: I use a large beefsteak tomato for the salsa. Cherry or grape tomatoes would also be delicious.
Step by step instructions
Prep the jackfruit
I like to use a scissors to slice up the jackfruit into smaller pieces. This takes more time than slicing but it gives you more control over the size of pieces.
Cut each piece into 3-4 smaller pieces from the core to the tip. Keep the core and the seeds - they are edible and add great texture!
You can also roughly chop it with a knife. Another option is to mash it with a potato masher until broken down.
Make the BBQ jackfruit filling
- Sauté onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
- Add jackfruit and vegetable broth, stirring to combine.
- Cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add in the BBQ sauce. Simmer uncovered over medium-low for another 10 minutes, until the BBQ sauce is thickened.
Make the avocado mango salsa
I make this while the jackfruit is simmering. Simply toss together diced mango, avocado and tomato.
Add a squeeze of lime, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Put it together
Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2-3 corn tortillas. Flip when golden.
Assemble tacos with the salsa, jackfruit, fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- BBQ sauce: My homemade BBQ sauce errs on the thinner side. Some store bought sauces are really thick and squeezable (like Sweet Baby Ray's). You may need to add an extra tablespoon or two of vegetable broth to thin it in the pan.
- More serving ideas: I love topping these with pickled onions. This jackfruit also goes well in burritos or on burrito bowls. It's also a great additional to nachos. You might also like my BBQ jackfruit sandwiches.
- Salt content: You can cut down on salt content by using homemade BBQ sauce or a lower sodium BBQ sauce, by thoroughly rinsing/draining the jackfruit, and using a reduced sodium vegetable broth. Nutrition facts are calculated using store bought BBQ sauce.
Refrigerate leftover jackfruit in a closed container for 3-4 days. The avocado salsa is best enjoyed in 1-2 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave with a splash of vegetable broth.
Yes, jackfruit freezes well. Let cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer safe container. Freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Since jackfruit is canned in a salty brine, it can have a slightly acidic taste. It reminds me a lot of canned artichoke hearts. Rinsing it, simmering it and cooking it in a flavorful sauce helps remove the canned flavor.
More easy vegetarian meal ideas
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BBQ Jackfruit Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
Mango Avocado Salsa
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 cup frozen mango, thawed see note #1
- 1 medium beefsteak tomato any slicing tomato works
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lime juice from ½ lime
BBQ Jackfruit Tacos
Mango Avocado Salsa
- Dice avocado, mango, and tomatoes into half inch cubes. Stir together in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
BBQ Pulled Jackfruit
- Drain cans of jackfruit. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cool water. Cut jackfruit into smaller pieces with a scissors, until it is mostly shredded. I use all parts of the jackfruit, including the seeds and core.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, drizzle in the olive oil. Add diced onion to the hot oil. Sauté until softened, around 6-8 minutes. Add in minced garlic and sauté a minute more, until aromatic.
- Add in shredded jackfruit and vegetable broth. Cover with lid and let simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Uncover the pan. If any large pieces of jackfruit remain, use a potato masher to break them down. Add in the BBQ sauce, stirring to fully cover jackfruit.
- Cook jackfruit uncovered over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula to prevent sticking. The jackfruit is done when the sauce is thickened and the jackfruit is no longer watery.
- To heat the corn tortillas: Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2-3 corn tortillas. Flip when golden.
- Serve jackfruit on corn tortillas with mango avocado salsa, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Mango: I find that it's easiest to use frozen mango. I thaw the mango in the microwave in ~30 seconds then dice the pieces it into ½" cubes. One fresh mango also works.
- Jackfruit: Cans of green young jackfruit come in a variety of sizes. Anywhere around 14 ounces will work. Fresh jackfruit and jackfruit canned in syrup will not work here.
- BBQ sauce: I use my favorite homemade vegan BBQ sauce but any sweet BBQ sauce works here. Using homemade BBQ sauce is one way to make this a lower sodium meal.
- Salt content: You can cut down on salt content by using homemade BBQ sauce or a lower sodium BBQ sauce, by thoroughly rinsing/draining the jackfruit, and using a reduced sodium vegetable broth. Nutrition facts are calculated using store bought BBQ.
- Storage: Refrigerate leftover jackfruit in a closed container for 3-4 days. The avocado salsa is best enjoyed in 1-2 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave with a splash of vegetable broth.
- Freezing instructions: Let cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer safe container. Freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Check out my "BBQ Jackfruit 2 Ways" video on YouTube for more tips & tricks.
Author's note: This post was originally shared on March 4th, 2018. It was updated with new photos, a video and FAQ on March 22nd, 2021. The recipe remains mostly the same with a few minor adjustments.