Gluten-Free, Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Tacos to Spice Up Your Summer (Recipe)

Morgan Casavant
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If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only pick one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? Personally, I’d have to pick tacos because there are so many different kinds!
As a gluten-free vegan, tacos are pretty much my fave. Since I love getting creative, my favorite tacos to make are these delicious BBQ jackfruit tacos – they’re sweet, savory, vegan, gluten-free and delicious.

What is Jackfruit?

You may or may not have heard the buzz around this odd-looking (and ridiculously huge) tropical fruit. Jackfruit has a texture similar to pulled pork, with a surprisingly savory taste.
A vegan’s dream, jackfruit is packed with good-for-you nutrients like magnesium, fiber, iron, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C.
This superfood can do amazing things for you – like strengthen your bones, improve your digestion, and give you glowing skin. Researchers have even declared jackfruit a “miracle” crop. The best part? Jackfruit works for just about every diet – it is gluten-free, vegan, cholesterol-free and low in calories!

Try these vegan, gluten-free BBQ Jackfruit Tacos for a nutritious, delicious summer meal:

These BBQ Jackfruit Tacos are perfect for summer because they’re creative, easy to make and a great “trick” for your meat-lovin’ friends. Served with crispy corn tortillas and topped with tangy pineapple salsa, you might just have to go back for seconds (and thirds).
Serves 4 people, with 2-3 tacos each.

BBQ Jackfruit Taco Grocery List

Before you start cooking, here is a master grocery list for you to get prepared:

  • 1 can young jackfruit in water
  • 1 7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 bottle sweet BBQ sauce
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 limes
  • 1 12-pack corn or gluten-free tortillas
  • Vegan mayo
  • Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 whole red cabbage
  • Vinegar (your choice of rice vinegar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar)
  • Olive oil

Now that you have your ingredients from the grocery, here’s how to make BBQ jackfruit tacos!

How to Make Pickled Cabbage

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups red cabbage

Boil vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium pot. Once boiling, add cabbage and turn on low heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Take off heat and let cool in a bowl for at least 20 minutes. To store leftovers, place cabbage (with the liquid) into an airtight jar and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Not a fan of pickled veggies? Don’t worry about it! Shred the red cabbage and add as a topping to your tacos. You might notice, however, the cabbage is a little bitter when eaten this way.

How to Make Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 whole jalapeno (remove seeds for less heat)

Dice pineapple, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro – and put in a large mixing bowl. Add the juice of the lime and salt then mix. You can store up this for up to 1 week in a covered container in the fridge.

How to Make Garlic Aioli

  • ¼ cup vegan mayo
  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves of garlic

Add all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

How to Make Jackfruit Taco “Meat”

  • 1 can young jackfruit in water
  • 1 7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup sweet BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper, to taste

For those who don’t love the heat: only add half the can of chipotle peppers, or skip them entirely.
Drain and rinse jackfruit and dry on cutting board. Cut off the dense core of the fruit and add the meat to a large skillet on medium-high heat with just olive oil, salt, and pepper.
While the jackfruit is browning, add the BBQ sauce, chipotle peppers (use the whole can, don’t drain), and water into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. After the jackfruit has been on the skillet for 4-5 minutes, or when it’s browned, add the BBQ chipotle sauce.
Let simmer on medium heat for 3 minutes and then use two forks in either hand to pull the jackfruit meat apart.

How to Assemble BBQ Jackfruit Tacos!

Now comes the fun part . . . you get to eat with your hands! Grab your tortillas and top with your shredded jackfruit, pineapple salsa, pickled cabbage, and aioli. Option to squeeze a little more lime juice on top.
Corn Tortilla Tip: Corn tortillas can be hard to work with sometimes. To toughen them up, throw a few in a frying pan in a single layer with a bit of oil on high heat until they are just a tad crispy. You still get the flex of a soft tortilla, but with the durability of a crunchy one!

Nutrition Facts on BBQ Jackfruit Tacos

This flavorful and colorful dish makes a perfect light lunch or dinner. For two tacos you’re looking at approximately:

  • 626 calories
  • 111 carbs
  • 8 g fat
  • 9 g protein

Aside from maybe apple pie and ice cream, I can’t think of anything as quintessentially “summer” as BBQ. Bring these tacos to your next summer party and watch your friends’ disbelief when you tell them that these savory, meaty tacos are completely vegan and gluten-free.

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Morgan Casavant

Morgan is a graphic designer and yoga instructor committed to inspiring compassion, balance, and centeredness - on and off the mat. She loves minimalism, the zero waste movement, and all the things working to protect the environment.

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