The Edgy Veg

vegan carnitas recipe

vegan carnitas recipePhoto by: Kyla Zanardi

Jackfruit tacos – Oh Carnitas, the delicious designer taco everyone is raving about. The word “Carnita” literally means “little meats”- how fitting! It is a traditional Mexican cuisine made by simmering pork in lard until tender, usually about 3-4 hours until it simply falls apart. This Mexican favourite has now become the King of the taco truck and I was on a mission to re-create it.

Since I have never actually eaten pork (I grew up in a home run by a vegetarian) I needed the help of my trusted carnivore, J. I wanted to everything to taste and look as authentic as possible, so for the pork I decided to use Jackfruit. I see the raised eyebrows- so let me explain…

At first you look at jackfruit and you’re like “Common Candice, this is a super sweet fruit that looks nothing like pork and looks more like Durian.” – and you would be right in making such claims. There is the thing, if you go to an Asian supermarket; they have all kinds of canned jackfruit, ripe, ripe in syrup, young in water, and young in brine. We are going to use the young in water, and here’s why; young jackfruit much like tofu has no taste and simply absorbs the flavor of whatever you cook it with. This means you can marinate this young jackfruit to resemble whatever meat you with! The best part; when you cook this jackfruit, it shreds and falls apart EXACTLY like pulled pork, making it an obvious and desirable substitute.

We are going put on some fiesta music, cook up this amazing meat-free meat, and top it with my favourite accoutrements to create these “little meats” handheld snacks. I hope you enjoy!

4.6 from 17 reviews
Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos (Pulled Pork Tacos)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Learn how to make vegetarian pulled pork tacos using jackfruit! This easy vegan taco recipe, tastes so much like the real thing you'll never miss eating pulled pork tacos again! This is the perfect meatless Monday dinner. Easy Vegan Taco Recipe - Jackfruit tacos.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 servings
Spicy Mango Salsa
Lime Crema Sauce
Jackfruit Pulled Pork
Jackfruit Pulled Pork
  1. In a large freezer bag add coconut oil, paprika, chili powder, tamari, and maple syrup and mix well.
  2. Add jackfruit to the marinade and allow to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours either on the counter, or if marinating overnight, place in the fridge.
  3. While you are waiting for the jackfruit to marinade, you can make the Salsa and the Lime Crema.
  4. When the jackfruit has marinated and is ready to go, place a pan on medium heat, and heat some coconut oil.
  5. When your oil is hot, add onion and garlic to the pan. Cook and mix until onions are clear.
  6. Add bouillon and chipotle peppers and and mix until all onions are covered in the bouillon (about 2 mins).
  7. Add jackfruit, mix well, and bring to a simmer for about 20 mins, covering halfway through to avoid drying out the meat.
  8. after 20 mins, break up the jackfruit using a a masher or a fork, and reduce heat even more.
  9. Cover and continue to cook on low for another 15-20 minutes, stirring often to break up large pieces of jackfruit.
  10. Cook until all liquid has evaporated.
Spicy Mango Salsa
  1. Combine mango, onion and cilantro in a medium size bowl and mix well. Add jalapeño peppers and lime juice to taste, with a sprinkle of salt. Mix well.
Lime Crema Sauce
  1. Drain and rinse your cashew really, really well!
  2. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Slowly add more lime juice to taste, and water until desired consistency is reached.
Build Your Jackfruit tacos, and serve with a wedge of lime for garnish.


Love the flavours of Mexico as much as I do? Try these other vegan recipes out!

Vegan Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme Recipe

Vegan Baja Fish Tacos Recipe

Vegan Taco Soup Recipe

Vegan Frito Pie Recipe

Vegan Huevos Rancheros Recipe

Raw Vegan Taco Meat Recipe

vegan carnitas vegan pulled pork tacos

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  • I did not see where and when to add the water. I assume that’s the liquid that needs to evaporate as it’s simmering?

  • Don’t say pork if it’s not pork. It’s fine to eat vegan but don’t mention a meat if it’s not in the recipe. I wouldn’t write a recipe saying “Jackfruit Taco’s with pork”.

    • I think you should go have a temper tantrum elsewhere, John.

      • Awww. Imagine being so sensitive and easily triggered that 2 simple words put together; jackfruit + pork, sends you in to a tailspin of anger and online rage-typing. I think the bacteria from the pork has gotten into his brain. Here’s an idea, John, don’t call it “pork”, when it’s really pig. Pork is quite literally a made up word, invented to help you feel better about eating pigs. Call it what it is, unless ignorant hypocrisy is your thing and you’re sticking with that. Take your sad mansplaining elsewhere and leave innocent food bloggers alone. ✌🏼

  • FYI – Jackfruit here is a broken link. Great recipe, though!

    Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos (Pulled Pork Tacos)

  • Anastasia says:

    So good! Just a note that it saves some time and might even add some flavor to throw everything in the freezer bag to marinate together… onions, garlic, everything. It all cooks down the same and tastes great in my opinion!

  • This is the best jackfruit recipe I’ve ever tried. So delicious. Amazing.

  • I have made this jackfruit recipe so many times now I think it’s the best jackfruit taco recipe. I always have to double it for leftovers! I have started adding beans, mushrooms and I love to add tomato paste to give it a boost. It’s a very flexible and tasty recipe-
    Thank you!!

  • Do you mean a single chipotle pepper or a single can? In the ingredients, you list 1 pepper, but in the directions you refer to peppers, plural.

  • Anu Gill says:


  • So for the lime cream sauce your water measurements are 2-3 tbsp cup water. Is it tbsp or cups?

    You mention using water with the Jackfruit but I never saw the use of water?

  • Samantha says:

    When do you add the 1/2-1 cup water when cooking the jackfruit? It doesn’t say or show it in the video??

  • Katherine says:

    Hi there,

    I loved this recipe so much, I featured this in my best of post 37 Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes: Indulge Without The Bulge.
    I have shared one photo and a small quote from here and given full credits to you and linked back to this page.
    Hope that is okay.
    Have a fantastic day!
    Katherine @

  • Holy cow was this delicious!
    Made it yesterday, and it was super easy and very tasty. My friends that came over for dinner had no idea it was not meat until after eating it.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Tracy D. says:

    Made these this weekend and they were amazing; very well received! The recipe was quite easy to make and the tacos were delicious. The mango salsa was also excellent and would be great on its own on many different dishes. This recipe is a keeper!

  • I am brand new to cooking and this was the first real recipe I tried.. turned out AMAZING. Only issue is we ate the jackfruit up so fast! I’m planning on using 2x the jackfruit next try, and I assume I should use 2x marinade ingredients as well. That said do you have any idea if I should cook it a little longer because of the larger amount, or at a higher temperature? Was so tasty I don’t want to mess it up!

    • EdgyVeg says:

      Just be sure to use a larger pot! It’s the same cooking temperature. You can double up on the marinade if you are doubling up on the jackfruit.

  • First time having Jackfruit..texture was very good..just the right amount of heat!! Two thumbs up!!

  • Heather says:

    How long do you soak the cashews for?

  • I am trying Jack fruit for the very first time! No idea why I have not tried it yet 😉
    I have a fresh one that isn’t ripe yet, I have the canned and I have the boxed from Upton’s Naturals.

    Do you think I should marinate it over night or longer like once person suggested? Or will it be fine to eat same day?

    Thank you 🙂

    • it will be fine to eat the same day- I do that often. If you have the extra time- marinate it. if not, it will still be delicious.

  • Cheryl says:

    This recipe is fantastic. It tastes better that pulled pork ever did!
    The only change i wish you would make, leave the plastic bag off the recipe. I marinated the jackfruit in a glass bowl for 24 hours just stired occasionally, worked great. The world needs less plastic
    Thank you for the great recipe.

  • Erin W says:

    My meat eating boyfriend was so skeptical, but I think he loved these even more than me! Awesome recipe.

  • Christine says:

    When you say boullion, I assume you mean boullion already dissolved in water vs just the boullion concentrated, right?

  • cristal says:

    this. is. gorgeous. will need to make a bigger batch this weekend coming. how long do you think the “carnitas” and crema would keep in the fridge?

    • Allison says:

      For me the “carnitas” stayed great and the crema got a little firm but still tasted great. I also marinated over night and thought it was perfect.

  • Whitney says:

    I made this lettuce wrap style and it was so delicious ! Thank you!

  • Kelly Driscoll says:

    Do you know what that calorie content on this dish is? Thanks!

    • We don’t calculate calorie content as it’s not part of how I eat. But you can punch this recipe into my fitness pal or other tracking apps 🙂

  • Jennifer Rau says:

    My meat loving 14 yr old I am super scared to try something new friend gobbled these up. So impressed!! Delish. Outstanding recipe and do not skimp on the cashew crema

  • Raven says:

    I’m going to try these soon. Your recipe was featured in a video and they look amazing!

  • Allison says:

    How long do you soak the cashews for??

  • What size can of jackfruit is needed?

  • Brad Burzynski says:

    Why does the ingredients list for the lime crema call for a lemon? Shouldn’t it be a lime? Or perhaps it should be called lemon crema?

  • Made these tonight and they were pretty good. Next time I’ll cut out the chipotle pepper for those that want a milder taco. Will repeat! Yum!

  • Lane B says:

    I have a very ripe jackfruit at home. Will that do or will it come out too sweet? I had been looking for a cool recipe for it and I kind of forgot about it until now. All the other recipes I had seen didn’t mention the fact that a young jackfruit was needed, only one canned with water, and I never thought that would actually be an important bit.

    • EdgyVeg says:

      Hi Lane!

      You cannot use ripe jackfruit for this recipe, as it is too sweet and soft. I would recommend only using young jackfruit from a can in water.

  • Second Base says:

    I am very picky when it comes to blindly trying new recipes. I have to admit that I was very skeptical going into this. This recipe is amazing! We marinated this for 36 hours and used the Better than Boullion Beef cube in this. We also used vegetable broth (almost exactly a cup) instead of water for the cooking process. The jackfruit fell apart perfectly, looked the part and the flavor was stellar. Thank you for this recipe!

    • EdgyVeg says:

      That is fantastic!!! SO happy you think so!!! xo

      • Amy S says:

        Made these on the weekend and they were aaaaaaamazing!!! Will definitely make them again! And love the crema and mango salsa too- such an awesome combo with the jackfruit!

  • Just tried these. Huge success! The only thing I did differently was I used a different brand than buillion and I added orange juice to the jackfruit when I cooked it because all the meat recipes had orange juice.

  • These are my fave tacos ever!

  • Lorinda says:

    In the ingredients for the lime crema sauce, you call for “2-3 tbsp cup water”. I’m assuming you meant 2-3 tbsp water?????

    I’ve tried other jackfruit carnitas recipes; yours looks good and a lot less work! Going to make it soon.


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