These Chipotle BBQ Jackfruit Tacos are a fast and easy vegan meal that is perfect for Taco Tuesday! In case you’re unfamiliar with jackfruit, it has a shredded meat-like texture which makes it a fabulous plant-based substitute in recipes ranging from sandwiches, to pastas, to tacos just like these!
What I love most about these tacos is that they’re SO easy, SO delicious, and they will have even the pickiest meat eaters asking for more. Plus, they are full of veggies and plant protein to create a perfectly well-balanced meal. The chipotle peppers pack some heat with a spicy smoky flavor, but it’s instantly balanced by the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. This is a wonderful weeknight or meatless Monday meal because the entire sha-bang comes together in less than 30 minutes.
Frequently Asked Jackfruit Questions:
What is Jackfruit?
You may not realize this, but jackfruit is indeed a fruit! It is a cousin to the fig and mulberry, and it is actually the largest fruit on earth. That’s right – mature jackfruits can weigh up to 100 pounds. Can you imagine having the job of harvesting those?! However, when harvested young, jackfruit has a very neutral, mild flavor and a meaty, stringy texture, similar to that of shredded pork. When making a recipe that traditionally calls for shredded meat, jackfruit is a wonderful substitute for any savory recipe.
Where to Buy Jackfruit?
It is important to note that there are two VERY different types of jackfruit, purely determined by its ripeness. Jackfruit sold in produce sections is always very ripe. This is the perfect jackfruit to buy to use in smoothies, fruit bowls, or desserts. However, for recipes like these tacos, you want young, green jackfruit. This variety can be found at most grocery stores in the canned or frozen section, and sometimes even in a refrigerated pouch.
How to Prepare Jackfruit for These BBQ Jackfruit Tacos?
My favorite type of jackfruit to use is canned jackfruit. When working with this variety there are a few simple steps to follow:
- Drain: Pour the contents of the can into a colander to drain the brine.
- Rinse: Next, rinse with cool water, letting excess water drain.
- Squeeze: Wrap the jackfruit pieces in a clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth and firmly squeeze over the sink to remove excess moisture.
- Chop or Shred: Use your hands or a knife to pull the pieces apart and create meat-like shreds.
- Bake, Simmer or Sauté
Is Jackfruit Healthy?
In short, Yes!! Jackfruit is rich with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and is totally cholesterol-free unlike shredded meat. The one thing it lacks is high protein, so I always recommend pairing it with a plant-based protein option like legumes, tofu, tempeh, or nuts. This specific recipe combines jackfruit and shredded tofu for a protein-packed meal!
Can These BBQ Jackfruit Tacos be Made with Other Flavors?
Heck yes! This recipe is a wonderful guide to make any flavor of taco! You could use traditional dry taco seasoning, curry powder, tikka masala sauce, buffalo sauce, seasoning, or anything your heart desires.
- 1/2 small red onion diced
- 2 large carrots shredded
- 15 oz canned young green jackfruit
- 16 oz super-firm high-protein tofu shredded*
- 7.5 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/3 cup bbq sauce
- 2 tsp chipotle chili powder optional, for extra spice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 6" corn tortillas
- 3 cups lettuce chopped
- 1 cup fresh or frozen yellow corn warmed
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt
- 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Start by warming a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and adding a small amount of water, vegetable broth, or oil for cooking.
- Add in the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Next, add in the shredded carrot and cook for 2-3 more minutes, adding a bit of water or vegetable broth as needed to deglaze.
- While the onion and carrot are cooking, prepare your jackfruit following the steps outlined in the "How to Prepare Jackfruit" section above by draining, rinsing, squeezing, and pulling apart your jackfruit into bite-sized pieces. Once this is complete, add the jackfruit to the skillet, along with your shredded tofu. Cook on medium high heat, adding a tbsp of water or broth as needed, for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally but letting the edges get browned and crispy.
- Meanwhile, add your chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and bbq sauce to a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir to combine. Add the optional chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper if desired. Stir for another minute until the mixture is heated through. Turn off the skillet.
- If you have a gas range, turn a separate burner on a low flame and place your tortillas directly over the flame flipping every 10 seconds or so until they are browned, and making sure to not let them burn or catch fire! If you do not have a gas range, warm your tortillas in a small skillet over medium low heat.
- Assemble your tacos by adding a layer of lettuce to each tortilla, topping with the taco meat, and adding the remaining toppings, finishing with a squeeze of lime.