Vegan Carnitas Tacos

These crispy vegan jackfruit tacos are so close to the real thing, they’ll blow your mind! They are flavorful, super easy to make, and versatile. Make this jackfruit recipe for burritos, bowls, quesadillas, and more! One of the best, most flavorful jackfruit recipes.


Vegan Jackfruit Carnitas

I used to visit Mexico every year when I was younger and carnita Sundays were a tradition. We actually had them for brunch every Sunday morning with fresh corn tortillas, just carnitas and tortillas — that’s it!

When I went vegan I refused to let go of my favorite foods, and so far I think I’ve “veganized” all the essentials. This carnitas recipe is one of my vegan Mexican recipes that I am most proud of. 

These crispy jackfruit carnitas are savory, tender, versatile and so easy to make! This is one of the easiest recipes on the blog because it only requires 7 ingredients. You’ll want to make this recipe every single week for taco Tuesday.

vegan taco recipe


Jackfruit is typically found in cans called “jackfruit in brine”. This is the easiest way to get your jackfruit because it can take an entire hour to remove seeds/cut open a fresh jackfruit.

If you’re not a fan of jackfruit, I highly recommend using shredded king oyster mushrooms instead. It is actually super meaty and amazing in this recipe! It can also be harder to find as most stores don’t usually carry it. I like to get it at an asian market in the east bay area. 

Liquid smoke:
It is not absolutely necessary to have liquid smoke in this recipe but it adds a hint of meat-like smokiness which is a nice touch. It’s nice to have on hand as I also use it for my vegan seitan recipe and I’ve also heard it makes great vegan bacon!

You can use any neutral oil in this recipe such as vegetable oil, canola oil (no it’s not bad for you *eye roll in dietitian*) or even olive oil. Adding the oil is important as pork/carnitas are high in fat. So if you are looking for an authentic carnitas recipe I recommend adding the oil.


Tips for The Best Vegan Jackfruit Tacos

  • For extra crispy jackfruit I recommend using an air fryer or oven. Air fry at 375 F for 8-12 minutes depending on the desired texture.
  • Make sure that you drain and rinse jackfruit well to get rid of the brine flavor. Pat dry after rinsing with a kitchen towel or a paper towel.
  • For the absolute best vegan jackfruit tacos, marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes but preferably a few hours.
  • Add jackfruit carnitas to burritos bowls, tacos, burritos, nachos or a plate of rice and beans!
vegan taco recipe

Other Vegan Taco Recipes:

Vegan Carne Asda Tacos

Potato Chorizo Tacos (1-pan & super easy!)

Quesabirria Tacos

Easy Lentil Tacos

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Vegan Carnitas Tacos

  • Author: Anna Rios
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


The easiest jackfruit carnitas that are delicious and super quick to prepare. Eat in form of tacos, nachos, burritos, bowls and more. Make these vegan carnitas on taco Tuesday or everyday!


  • 1 large can of jackfruit

For sauce:

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos, tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

For tacos:

  • 810 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 small onion
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa of choice
  • Lime wedges


Cook option:

  1. Preheat oven to 390 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Open a can of jackfruit, drain, and rinse well. Shred jackfruit and dry with a kitchen or paper towel.
  3. Add all sauce ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined.
  4. Add shredded jackfruit to the mixing bowl and mix in until it’s evenly coated in sauce.
  5. Spread out the marinaded jackfruit onto the parchment paper and bake for 15-18 minutes or until desired texture is achieved. 
  6. Warm up tortillas on a skillet, dice onions, and cilantro, and assemble your tacos.

Air Fryer option:

1. Follow steps 2-4 from above. Air fry for 8-12 minutes at 375 F until desired texture is achieved.

No cook option:

  1. Follow the steps above to marinate jackfruit for at least 1 hour or overnight for best results. Warm-up jackfruit in the microwave for at least 1 minute before serving.
  2. Warm-up tortillas in the microwave for 15 seconds on each side and add jackfruit, cilantro, and salsa.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Vegan, Mexican, Plant-based, jackfruit, tacos, vegan tacos, easy vegan recipe, weeknight dinner, jackfruit tacos, jackfruit carnitas

2 thoughts on “Vegan Carnitas Tacos

  1. Janet says:

    Anna, I found jackfruit at the market that was “in syrup”, not brine. Would this work if it was rinsed or should I keep shopping?

    • Anna Rios says:

      Hi Janet,

      I have never tried jackfruit in syrup. It should be okay if you rinse it well? If it’s just sugar water it should be okay because one of the ingredients for the carnitas is actually sweet which adds a good flavor 🙂 If you’re skeptical I would recommend to just buy online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star