Jackfruit Tacos (Carnitas)

These jackfruit tacos are meaty, flavorful and absolutely mind-blowing! 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.

jackfruit tacos on a mexican plate.

Jackfruit Tacos

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

When I started to reduce my meat intake I refused to let go of my favorite foods, and so far I think I’ve recreated all of my favorite recipes. This carnitas recipe is one that I am most proud of. Jackfruit has a very familiar texture and absorbs the flavor of whatever you add to it.

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.

Jackfruit Tacos Ingredients

VEGAN JACKFRUIT CARNITAS TACOS RECIPE
  • Jackfruit – canned young green jackfruit. Buy at Trader Joe’s for the best price. Can also be found at Safeway, Whole Foods, and Sprouts.
  • Garlic powder – I prefer powder over fresh garlic for this recipe as it can coat the jackfruit evenly and does not burn in the oven or air fryer.
  • Liquid aminos, tamari or soy sauce – a must to get that umami meaty flavor.
  • Chili powder – used mostly for flavor. You can also do a bit of cumin mixed in with chili powder.
  • Avocado oil – or any neutral oil such as canola.
  • Liquid smoke (optional) – adds a smoky flavor.
  • Maple syrup – helps with browning and balances the flavors well. Does not make it taste sweet.
vegan taco recipe

Substitutes

Jackfruit:
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 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 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!

Oil:
You can use any neutral oil in this recipe such as vegetable oil, canola oil (no it’s not bad for you *rolls eyes 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.

jackfruit tacos on a mexican plate.

Tips for The Best 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. Be careful and check every few minutes as jackfruit can burn easily.
  • 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 best jackfruit tacos, marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably a few hours.
  • Add jackfruit carnitas to burrito 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

Print
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jackfruit tacos on a mexican plate.

Jackfruit Tacos (Carnitas)


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5 from 1 review

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

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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 (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

For tacos:

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

Instructions

Cook option:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 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 until it’s evenly coated in sauce.
  5. Spread the marinaded jackfruit onto the parchment paper and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the desired texture is achieved. 
  6. Warm 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 365 F until the 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

6 thoughts on “Jackfruit Tacos (Carnitas)

  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.

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  3. Elaine says:

    I just tried this tonight! I accidentally burnt most of it in the oven. The pieces that weren’t burnt were 10 out of 10 amazing. I also used garlic salt instead of garlic powder, which made it a little bit too salty for my liking, but my husband couldn’t tell and loved it. I will make adjustments next time and try the air fryer and follow the recipe Better. Amazing website. Can’t wait to try another one. Thank you






    • Anna Rios says:

      Jackfruit can be easy to burn haha. I have done it a few times too! Make sure to check the jackfruit every 3-4 minutes even in the air fryer as every air fryer is a bit different. I recommend tossing it every few minutes so it cooks evenly/avoid burning. 🙂

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