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A skillet of jackfruit carnitas on a white wood table with a red towel and limes.

Tasty Jackfruit Carnitas Recipe

Savory, crispy, Mexican inspired Jackfruit Carnitas will change your taco, burrito, bowl making game forever! This quick and easy recipe will blow your mind with its amazing depth in flavor and "meat" like texture.
Author: Kim @ DancesWithKnives
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Servings: 4


  • 2 20 oz cans of young green jackfruit in brine
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (more if needed to crisp up the carnitas at the end)
  • ½ medium white onion, small dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for spice)
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoon low sodium tamari (low sodium soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • 2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke


  • Drain the jackfruit well. Then shred the jackfruit. There are few different ways to do this.
    You can do this by cutting the hard core off the triangles and shredding the softer bits with a fork into what looks like pulled pork. Then chop the cores into finer pieces to match the shredded.
    You can also throw all the jackfruit into a large bowl and squeeze the jackfruit with your hands, which will shred the softer bits and leave the core. If you choose the squeezing method you have to pick out the hard cores that are left over and chop them into pieces just as you would with the first option. This is how I do it.
    When you complete this step drain the jackfruit again to remove any extra liquid.
  • Heat the oil at medium high heat in a large saute pan. Then add the onions and garlic to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Next add the cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to coat the onions well and continue cooking for about 1 minute.
  • Now add the jackfruit, brown sugar, vegetable stock, low sodium tamari, lime juice, and liquid smoke. Stir to combine and cook at medium heat uncovered for about 10-15 minutes. Check every few minutes and turn the jackfruit as needed. You want for the liquid to reduce and the jackfruit to turn into what looks like shredded pork.
  • When the jackfruit liquid has reduced to virtually nothing, turn the heat up to high and cook for 2-3 minutes to crisp up. Add a touch more oil if needed to get the carnitas more crispy.
    For extra crispy carnitas, you can also spread the jackfruit out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and put them in the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 15 minutes. I find that I can achieve the same results on the stove top. It's just a matter of preference.
  • Serve as a filling for tacos, burritos, bowls, and more! My recipe for Salvadoran Pupusas is fantastic using jackfruit carnitas as a filling!


*Make sure to use canned jackfruit packed in brine or water. 
*You can adjust the spices to your preference.
*The liquid smoke isn't necessary but will create a better carnitas flavor.


Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 824mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Keyword Carnitas, Jackfruit, Jackfruit Carnitas
Tried this recipe?Mention me on Instagram @dances_with_knives and add the hashtag #danceswithknives! Would love to see your yummy creations!