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Crispy Jackfruit Carnitas - a simple vegan Mexican-inspired filling for tacos, enchiladas, burritos and quesadillas and bowls. Perfect for Sunday meal prep! #jackfruit #carnitas #vegantacomeat #tacos #jackfruittacos #vegantacos #plantbased

Jackfruit Carnitas Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.6 from 42 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Vegan, meal prep
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Crispy Jackfruit Carnitas a Mexican-inspired vegan recipe that can be used as a meat substitute in tacos, enchiladas, burritos or burrito bowls. Perfect for Sunday meal prep- this lasts 4 days in the fridge.


  • 20 ounce can of Jackfruit, (packed in WATER not syrup), drained.
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil ( divided )
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced (one cup) or one fat shallot
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1/2 a jalapeno, finely diced (add more or less depending on spice preference- this is medium spicy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Braggs liquid amino acid
  • —–
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ( whole seeds are nice too)
  • 1 teaspoon dry Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, more for smokier
  • 1 /2 teaspoon sugar ( to help caramelize)


  1. Drain the jackfruit and cut into very thin slices, slicing through the core, see photo.
  2. Place it in the middle of a kitchen towel, roll it up and wring it out very very firmly. Squeeze out as much water as you can. You should see quite a bit of liquid release.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil (save the other tablespoon for later) and saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno over medium heat until deeply golden and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes stirring often. Be patient here, this is where  the flavor is. 🙂
  4. Add the jackfruit, and soy sauce and stir well and lower heat. This is where you’ll let the moisture cook-off even more- you want to get this fairly dry but without burning. So low heat, stirring occasionally, uncovered, 3-5 minutes.
  5. When it seems good and dry, add the salt, sugar, and spices- chili powder, cumin, oregano smoked paprika, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil – stir-frying the spices and jackfruit a bit until jackfruit begins to caramelize crisp and deepen in color. It should smell amazing!
  6. Taste, and adjust salt and spice level ( feel free to add cayenne, ground chipotle or more smoked paprika). For more tang, squeeze with lime, keeping in mind jackfruit has a natural tanginess, so taste it first.
  7. Use Jackfruit Carnitas in tacos, enchiladas, burritos or burrito bowls, and breakfast bowls.


This will keep four days in the fridge.

Be sure to rinse and drain the jackfruit well.

Wringing out the jackfruit is essential here. Really try to get the water out so it crisps up nicely.


  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 169
  • Sugar: 18.2 g
  • Sodium: 566.3 mg
  • Fat: 7.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.5 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg