You don't have to be vegan to enjoy this creative faux-meat food. Dress it up with 10 fun, healthy recipes and you won't miss a thing
What Is Jackfruit?
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Jackfruit is the latest vegan food craze, thanks to it's role as an alternative to meat. You'll find tons of recipes for pulled "pork" jackfruit or a variety of jackfruit tacos, but this versatile fruit can disguise itself in so many ways. It tastes relatively plain when raw, so jackfruit (which has a kind of intimidating thick, nubby green skin) lends itself to whatever flavors you throw at it. Find it at special grocery stores, or in the canned fruit section of many supermarkets. Vegan or not, you're going to love what jackfruit can do in your kitchen. (And stock up on these 11 Vegan Superfoods to Add to Any Meal.)
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw
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Perhaps the best intro to cooking with jackfruit as a meat replacement is by using it to mimic pulled pork, like in this delicious recipe for BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw. At first glance, you'd probably never notice a difference. Truthfully, though, you had us at avocado slaw.
Photo: Minimalist Baker
Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes
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With a crunchy outer layer and moist "meaty" inside, these Vegan Jackfruit Crab Cakes are an addicting meal. The recipe is entirely vegan since it uses flax eggs for binding, and there's no mayo in sight.
Spicy Chipotle Jackfruit Tacos
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In this recipe for Spicy Chipotle Jackfruit Tacos, you'll boil the jackfruit so it's easy to pull apart; then you'll prepare an aromatic sauce of garlic, chipotle, and black. The two come together for just the right amount of spice, and the mixture is loaded into tortillas and piled with sliced avocado. (Want more healthy vegan recipes? Check out these 6 Flat-Belly Vegan Meals.)
Photo: Vegan Richa
Mu Shu Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps
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The beauty of jackfruit is that (like tofu) it lends itself to pretty much any flavor you bring to it. In this case of Mu Shu jackfruit Lettuce Wraps, the Chinese pork dish goes vegan when you swap the meat for jackfruit. Then everything gets even better when you add veggies and a tasty hoisin-tamari sauce.
Photo: Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Jackfruit Tuna Melt Sandwich
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This time jackfruit masks itself as tuna for a remake on the classic sandwich. This Jackfruit Tuna Melt Sandwich even tastes eerily similar to the real deal because the jackfruit is cooked with kelp granules to give it that seafood taste.
Photo: Keepin' It Kind
Mini Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Sliders
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What happens when you marinated and then bake sliced jackfruit? It turns into "bacon." You have to try it for yourself with these Mini Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Sliders that just scream, "eat me!"
Photo: Vedged Out
Spicy Jackfruit Salad
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For a sky-high, full-meal-worthy salad, this Spicy Jackfruit Salad takes the vegan cake. The whole thing comes together seamlessly, since you can cook the jackfruit in a crockpot while you get everything else prepped—like the red chilies that lend a much-needed kick to a bed of plain greens.
Photo: Olives for Dinner
Jackfruit Fish-Free Tacos
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Again, looks can be deceiving when it comes to cooking with jackfruit. These Jackfruit Fish-Free Tacos might look like the familiar poolside lunch, but you won't find any fish on this plate. (And the plate isn't just gorgeous, BTW. That's partly thanks to the Ancho chili cashew cheese sauce—yum!)
Photo: Keepin' It Kind
Maple Cinnamon Delicata Squash Salad with Vegan Jackfruit Bacon
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This colorful bowl meal uses fresh ingredients that together make the perfect Instagram-able pic. It tastes as good as it looks too. Make this Maple Cinnamon Delicata Squash Salad with Vegan Jackfruit Bacon (yep, bacon) and you'll see what we mean. (Did you know you can also turn mushrooms into bacon?)
Photo: Sweet Simple Vegan
Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip
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For those vegans who cry inside a little every time he or she is at a party with buffalo chicken dip, this recipe is for you! Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip isn't necessarily the lowest low-cal option—it still uses cream cheese and cheddar (both vegan)—it's worth the splurge because you can finally have what everyone else is having!
Photo: Vegan Yack Attack