What is Jackfruit?: The vegan meat alternative recipe you have to try

-Apr 29, Hannah Hargrave, Nutrition -

Move over tofu there’s another meat alternative in town and it’s taking the vegan world by storm - introducing the jackfruit and a delicious recipe

Move over tofu there’s another meat alternative in town and it’s taking the vegan world by storm – introducing the jackfruit!

In the UK alone a third of the population have stopped eating meat or have reduced their intake so it seems fitting that people are seeking fulfilling alternatives to add to their vegetarian, pegan or vegan diets. This is where jackfruit comes into play. 

It can be used for sweet or savoury dishes but it’s making a buzz in the food world primarily because of it’s ability to imitate pulled meat and absorb flavours so well.

So get the barbecue sauce ready and let’s find out more about this quirky fruit.

What is Jackfruit?

These strange, spikey looking delights are the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. They can grow up to three feet long and can weigh a whopping 100 pounds. 

It’s a relative of the fig and mulberry family and originates in southwest India but grows in abundance in Asia, Africa and Brazil too. 

It has a subtle fruity flavour and meaty texture which makes it fantastic for replacing shredded meat. 

How nutritious is Jackfruit?

The nutritional values of a jackfruit are pretty impressive and it’s good for your waistline too.

A 165 gram serving contains approximately 155 calories, the majority of which  come from carbs, but it does contain a decent amount of protein and a little fat too. 

The jackfruit is packed with vitamins and minerals, including but not limited to Vitamin A and C, potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It’s also rich in antioxidants 

Where can I buy Jackfruit?

While some supermarkets – especially Asian grocery stores – stock fresh jackfruit you are more likely to find it tinned or in pouches. 

How to prepare Jackfruit for use

The fruit can be eaten cooked or raw but if you buy it fresh it can get a little sticky trying to prepare it. You will have to cut the fruit open and remove the seeds and fruit pods inside, tearing them away from the skin and core which will be discarded.

Also bare in mind that if you’re looking to use it for savoury dish then you’re better off sticking to a young or unripe jackfruit and save the ripened ones for dessert. 

Even the seeds can be boiled or roasted and made into hummus too.

Alternatively you just need a can opener as jackfruit in a tin is a convenient option. You will just need to drain the fruit and sometimes remove the core before cutting it up. Depending on the size of the chunks you can even break it up in the pan. 

Recipe: Pulled Barbecue Jackfruit and Avocado Filled Tortillas

When it comes to savoury dishes, Jackfruits are fantastic in curries, burritos, tacos, stir fries and just about any other often meat-based meal. 

We’ve picked a delicious and healthy pulled barbecue jackfruit recipe for you to try at home.


250g can of jackfruit (drained)

1 lime

1 avocado

1 red onion

1 red pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp tomato puree

2 tsp chipotle paste

2 tsp maple syrup 

Fresh coriander

1 tbsp oil

200 ml boiling water



1.) Drain and rinse the jackfruit.

2.) Slice the red onion and dice the red paper.

3.) Heat up a the oil in a frying pan and cooking 3/4 of the onion on medium heat until soft. 

4.) Add the paprika and cumin.

5.) Add the jackfruit and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cooking for 2 minutes.

6.) Add the red pepper, chipotle paste, tomato puree and maple syrup.

7.) Pour over 200ml of boiling water, put the lid on and let simmer for 15 minutes. 

8.) Occasionally stir and cook until you can pull the jackfruit apart with a fork.

For the avocado salsa

1.) Peel and de-stone the avocado and chop into small cubes.

2. ) Chop the coriander.

3.) Place avocado, coriander and remaining onion into a bowl and squeeze over half the lime

Warm the tortillas and spoon your pulled jackfruit and salsa on top. Squeeze the remaining lime juice over your dinner.

If you liked this article you might also be interested in the foods that can make you look more youthful and these healthy eating tips for busy women.

Healthy Beauty 24|7

Sign up to our weekly newsletter