This flavorful bowl is hearty, healthy, and incorporates fresh jackfruit for a sweet twist on a classic. Bonus points: it looks and tastes extra fancy, but is actually super easy.Jump to Recipe
We’ve all tried canned jackfruit as the now infamous vegan pulled pork, but have you ever tried FRESH jackfruit? The kind you find in a can is actually unripe and flavorless. That’s why it works so well in faux meat recipes where it absorbs the flavor of the ingredients you’re using. The texture of raw jackfruit is chewy and plump like a pineapple, but when cooked, it definitely gives off slow cooked tender vegan meat vibes.
What does jackfruit taste like?
Fresh jackfruit is unlike any other fruit I’ve ever tried. It has a faint bubble gum scent and tastes like if a banana and mango had a baby. While that sounds super bizarre, it totally works! I’d say you can use it in any context where you’d use pineapple: fried rice, teriaki, kebabs, vegan jackfruit TACO BOWLS…
To make this bowl you will need:
- fruit: fresh jackfruit, lime, avocado (optional)
- starch: rice
- protein: black beans
- veggies: bell pepper, onion, corn (optional)
- spices/condiments: onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika (optional), salt and pepper, white vinegar
How do I prep jackfruit?
Jackfruit is crazy sticky
A little known fact about fresh jackfruit is that it’s super sticky inside because it makes natural (edible) latex. May I offer you this pro tip: oil your knife AND your hands so you don’t get tacky. I did not do this the first time I cut one and it was kind of hilarious. But don’t be like me.
Step two – Grab your giant dinosaur egg of a fruit and slice it lengthwise down the middle so it is cut in half. You’ll see a white center area. Carve out this center spine and discard, as it is inedible.
How can I tell what part of the jackfruit is edible?
You’ll see little yellow pods inside as well as stringy yellow-white fibers. The fibers are not for you, don’t eat them. I know you want to, but don’t. Pull the yellow pods out from the fibers, split down the middle with your knife, and remove the seed. The pods are the edible part that we are using for this taco bowl recipe.
What about the jackfruit’s seeds?
These giant seeds are also edible if cooked! Don’t eat them raw, but you can boil or roast them for extra B vitamins and protein.
How do I cook jackfruit?
How to cook the jackfruit
In a large saucepan drizzle a little olive oil, then toss in your fresh jackfruit and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. It will start to break down and become softer the longer it cooks.
After this cooks down a little bit, add in your crushed tomatoes, vinegar, and spices, and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
How to cook the rice and beans
After the jackfruit has been cooking for ten minutes (before you add the tomatoes), you can get started with your rice and beans. I used brown rice I had cooked the day before, as well as beans that were already prepared. You can use beans from a can or check out my bean cooking guide here.
First, slice the onion and throw into a pan with olive oil. Sauté this for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Next, add in cooked rice, beans, and salt.
How to make the cabbage slaw
I made a very simple slaw to add a crunch and tang. There are so many options here, so if you don’t have purple cabbage, you can use green cabbage, romaine, carrots, whatever is easiest. Simply chop coarsely, add a little scoop of mayo, a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of salt. Simply mix in a bowl and serve – that’s about it.
Finally, you can opt to throw a little bit of frozen corn into the pan if you’d like. Once this is warmed up, add your rice and beans to the bowl and start plating.
How should I serve the jackfruit?
I plated a few hearty scoops of the taco jackfruit onto my plate with rice and beans. I added a good handful of the cabbage slaw, and then topped with avocado, fresh sliced sweet or spicy raw peppers, like bell or jalapeño, fresh herbs (either cilantro or parsley will work), and a squeeze of lime.
What are some easy substitutions for a jackfruit taco bowl?
- If you don’t care for rice, cooked quinoa, bulgur, or farro will do the trick.
- Use any kind of bean you like – this would be amazing with pinto or even white beans.
- Any fresh veggies would work in this dish! I used bell peppers and jalapeños to even out the sweetness of the jackfruit, but steamed broccoli, green beans, carrots, would all work too!
- If you don’t have crushed tomatoes, you can cook the jackfruit with fresh tomatoes sliced in half or even a jar of your favorite salsa.
- What if I don’t like slaw? Skip the cabbage and simply serve with a side salad. A bed of baby spinach with some fresh veggies and a tangy dressing would be perfect with this vegan meal.
- Can I use canned jackfruit? Yes! you definitely can, but the fresh one adds such a fun, sweet note to this dish. I got my jackfruit from the incredible tropical fruit section at Sprouts.
For More Information:
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Lauren 🌱 Easy #Vegan seasonal recipes: usually healthy, always satisfying. Sustainability + garden to table inspo
Vegan since ‘13👇click for recipes
Vegan Jackfruit Taco Bowl
- 3 cups fresh jackfruit
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup onions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans
- 1/2 tsp salt
Quick Cabbage Slaw
- 1 cup cabbage chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp mayo
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1/8 tsp salt
- In a large saucepan drizzle olive oil and turn stovetop burner to medium heat. Allow jackfruit to cook for about 10 minutes until it starts to soften.
- After this cooks down a little bit, add in your crushed tomatoes, vinegar, and spices, and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
Rice & Beans
- While the jackfruit is cooking, slice the onion and throw into a pan with olive oil. Sauté for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Next, add in cooked rice, beans, and salt, and heat until everything is warmed thoroughly, about 5 minutes.
- Turn both burners off and plate rice and beans and jackfruit taco meat.
- Simply chop coarsely, add a scoop of vegan mayo, a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of salt. Simply mix in a bowl and serve.
- Place cabbage slaw to bowl with jackfruit and rice, and then add optional toppings.