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close up of vegan taco with carnitas in it
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5 stars (19 ratings)

Jackfruit Carnitas

You won't believe how tender, yet crispy, and flavorful this vegan jackfruit carnitas is! It makes the best tacos with guacamole, diced red onion and fresh jalapeno slices.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 145kcal
Author: Nora Taylor



Wet Spice Mix

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • For serving: tortillas, guacamole, diced red onion, lime wedges, cilantro and sliced jalapenos


  • Drain and rinse the jackfruit from the can. Rinse very well if your jackfruit was packed in brine. Chop off the hard center core portions, if desired. I like the texture better with the tougher parts removed.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Now add the jackfruit and 1/2 cup of water, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes to soften the jackfruit.
  • While the jackfruit simmers, make the wet spice mix by stirring all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F at this time and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the lid and mash the jackfruit with a potato masher or two forks, to create a shredded texture. Add the wet spice mix and stir into mashed jackfruit, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Now add in the orange juice, lime juice and liquid smoke and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Spread the jackfruit onto the prepared pan, evenly, and bake for 15-25 minutes, until it's golden, crispy and even a bit blackened in some spots.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm in tortillas, burritos, bowls or wherever you desire with guacamole, diced red onion, sliced jalapenos and cilantro.


  1. For gluten free, use gluten free tamari instead of soy sauce and serve in corn tortillas.
  2. Leftover jackfruit carnitas keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and can also be frozen.
  3. Jackfruit itself is not incredibly filling, so you may want to serve it with a side of rice and beans. You could even stir in some drained/rinsed black beans at the end to add protein.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 351IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg