You may have heard the name and wondered: “What is jackfruit?” Or you may be a longtime jackfruit fan. Either way, you’re in for a treat! This big, versatile tropical fruit is both an amazing vegetarian meat substitute and a sweet addition to salads and desserts. Whether you’re hungry for BBQ dishes or love making tacos and burritos, it’s worth incorporating jackfruit into your cooking.
Let’s discover how you can use jackfruit for home-cooked meals with seasonal fruit and produce.
What Is Jackfruit?
Green and yellow, spiky, and football-shaped, jackfruit is the world’s largest tree-grown fruit, weighing between 20 and 80 pounds. Jackfruit grows mainly in South Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, but can also be found in Florida and Puerto Rico. It’s related to breadfruit and figs. Jackfruit is loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
When Is Jackfruit In Season?
Depending on the region, jackfruit is in season between March and September. It’s usually at its best from March to May. Naturally, you can also find canned jackfruit at the grocery store, but there’s nothing quite like fresh jackfruit in season.
How Do You Cut Jackfruit?
To cut jackfruit, use a sharp paring knife to slice through the thick green skin, cutting length-wise down the middle. Since jackfruit sap is sticky, coat your hands with coconut oil or wear latex gloves. Once you’ve cut the jackfruit in half, use the knife or your hands to extract the flesh and seeds, both of which are delicious and edible.
How Do You Eat Jackfruit?
Eating Ripe Jackfruit
Fun fact: you can eat jackfruit either when it’s ripe or unripe. Ripe jackfruit has a wonderful sweet flavor, similar to pineapple or mango. Eat it raw or chop it up for a tropical fruit salad. It also tastes yummy after being left to chill in the fridge.
Looking for ways to cook jackfruit seeds? You can boil or roast them and add herbs and spices. You can also use jackfruit seeds to make a variation on classic hummus. The seeds are a source of protein.
Eating Unripe Jackfruit
Unripe jackfruit is popular – especially among vegetarians and vegans – as an excellent meat substitute. Make it into jackfruit bacon or jackfruit jerky, or add jackfruit to chilis, stews, or curries.
The stringy, meatlike texture of jackfruit works nicely with BBQ sauce: jackfruit can even replace beef or chicken in your next burrito!
Want more spicy ways to enhance jackfruit in your cooking? Check out these great spices, from turmeric to cayenne red pepper:
- Hot Mexican Chili Powder
- Curry Powder
- Ground Turmeric
- Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
- Ground Organic Black Pepper
Great Jackfruit Recipes
Vegan BBQ Pulled Jackfruit
If you’re a fan of meatless meals, you’ve got to try pulled jackfruit. It’s a scrumptious alternative to pulled pork for buns, burritos, and sandwiches. Our recipe uses Organic Smoked Paprika and Chipotle Chile Pepper to unleash the savory BBQ power of jackfruit.
Slow-cooked with tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses, and Unsalted Vegetable Stock, pulled jackfruit will keep you coming back for more. To learn more about making pulled jackfruit in lieu of pulled pork, watch our video with Camille Ford.
Pulled Jackfruit Tacos
Fixing a hearty Mexican-style meal? Include pulled jackfruit tacos! Marinating the jackfruit in coconut sugar, lime juice, and olive oil – along with Organic Ground White Pepper, Organic Ground Saigon Cinnamon, and other spices – makes it an absolute taste treat.
The accompanying Cider Pepper Syrup, with Organic Crushed Red Pepper and Organic Crushed Rosemary, gives this meal extra zest as you enjoy grilled, shredded jackfruit on corn tortillas.
More Jackfruit Recipe Ideas
There’s an endless selection of jackfruit recipes. With the right herbs and spices, jackfruit works beautifully in vegan nachos, stir-fry dishes, pot pies, and other recipes. It’s another wonderful way to add seasonal fruit and produce to your diet.
- The Secret To Vegetarian Pulled Pork
- 12 Mexican Inspired Vegetarian Recipes
- Tasty Plant-Based Alternatives For Taco Meat
- Vegan Game Day Recipes
- Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes
- How To Go Vegan
Other Delicious Fruits You Should Try In Your Recipes
- 7 Ways To Eat Dragon Fruit
- This Tropical Fruit Is The Star Of The Show
- Orange Recipes To Brighten Your Day
- Get Hoked On These Tasty Prickly Pear Cactus Recipes
- Pomegranate Season Guide: Benefits & Recipes
- For The Love Of Lemons
Save your favorite jackfruit recipes and organize your ingredients with McCormick Meal Planner. Make meal prep simple by creating a Flavor Profile, so you can store your favorite recipes and create grocery lists for easy shopping.