Carnitas Jackfruit Tacos


For her jackfruit tacos recipe, Jocelyn Ramirez, cookbook author and chef at Todo Verde in Los Angeles, uses cumin, chile flakes, and salt to capitalize on the pulled-pork texture of jackfruit, transforming it into a plant-based taco filling that tastes like carnitas. Don't turn the jackfruit too often while it cooks; give it time to develop a golden brown crust for the best texture and flavor. Served with tart, creamy avocado salsa and lemon wedges, the spicy, crispy seared jackfruit tacos are a satisfying vegetarian meal.

Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins


Avocado Salsa

  • 3 medium tomatillos, husks removed

  • 1 medium jalapeño, stemmed (seeded, if desired)

  • 1 medium Hass avocado, pitted

  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro stems and leaves

  • 3 to 6 tablespoons water, as needed

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • teaspoon ground cumin

Jackfruit "carnitas"

  • 3 (20-ounce) cans young green jackfruit in water, drained, rinsed, and squeezed dry

  • ¾ cup neutral cooking oil (such as grapeseed), plus more as needed

  • 5 tablespoons fresh orange juice, divided

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Additional Ingredients

  • 10 (4- to 6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

  • Pico de gallo, fresh cilantro leaves, and lemon wedges, for serving


Make the avocado salsa

  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Add tomatillos and jalapeño; cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.

  2. Place tomatillos, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, 3 tablespoons water, lemon juice, salt, and cumin in a blender. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds, adding up to remaining 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed until a pourable consistency is reached. Season with additional salt to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Make the jackfruit "carnitas"

  1. Using a knife, remove non-shreddable core from shreddable outer parts of jackfruit pieces; set aside. Remove any seedpods from shreddable parts, and add seedpods to pile of cores. Place shreddable jackfruit in a medium bowl, and shred with your hands into small pieces. Finely chop cores and seedpods until they are a similar texture to the shredded jackfruit; add to shredded jackfruit in bowl. Add oil, 21/2 tablespoons orange juice, cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper; toss to evenly combine.

  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Add jackfruit mixture; using a spatula, press into an even layer. Cook, turning and pressing occasionally, until seared and golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes, adding oil as needed. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice. Season with additional salt to taste.

  3. Place about 1/4 cup jackfruit mixture on each tortilla. Top with pico de gallo and cilantro. Serve with avocado salsa and lemon wedges.

    Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
    Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Make Ahead

Avocado salsa can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days.


Find canned young green jackfruit in water at South Asian markets or online at

Suggested Pairing

Rich, malty beer: Shiner Bock

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