Vegan Pulled Jackfruit Chili

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pulled jackfruit chili by active vegetarian

vegan + gluten-free

Whole food plant-based chili made with young jackfruit, kidney beans and fresh tomatoes. This version is simply the BEST we have ever made! Perfectly spiced and packed with plenty of plant protein and fibre. Can be made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker!

pulled jackfruit chili by active vegetarian

Lately, I have been seeing jackfruit included on menus of several plant-based restaurants here in Vancouver. Also, canned jackfruit is readily available in most health food stores and supermarkets these days so I thought why not share a recipe that incorporates this exotic plant and show you how you can easily prepare jackfruit at home and create a delicious dish that your whole family will enjoy. So that’s how this Pulled Jackfruit Chili recipe came to be.

pulled jackfruit chili by active vegetarian

What is Jackfruit

This interestingly shaped tropical fruit which is primarily grown in Asia belongs to the same family as figs and mulberries. While ripe jackfruit typically tastes sweet, unripe jackfruit – which is what we’re using in this recipe – tends to have a more neutral taste, and takes on spices and flavours well. 

One of the great qualities of jackfruit is its meaty and fibrous texture, which, when seasoned, works unbelievably well as a substitute for pulled pork, white fish and chicken. It’s also great in stews, curries and homemade crab-less cakes. 

Look for canned young green jackfruit packed in water or brine versus fresh jackfruit. It’s easier to find and use. 

Fresh jackfruit is usually only sold when ripe and is quite sweet so not an ideal choice for savoury dishes. However, it’s a very delicious fruit on its own and if you get a chance try it!

Why Jackfruit is a Great Choice? 

While most vegan and vegetarian meat-alternatives are soy-based, heavily processed and/or contain a lot of artificial ingredients, jackfruit on the other hand comes directly from nature.  

What are the Nutritional and Health Benefits? 

Jackfruit is a rich source of dietary fibre and therefore helps improve digestion, prevents constipation and supports the toxin cleansing process of the body.

Jackfruit is also abundant in potassium- an important mineral that helps maintains the sodium level in the body and assist with healthy electrolyte balance. Hence, jackfruit is often used in natural medicine to reduce high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.

As with most fruits, jackfruit is a great source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which can strengthen your immune system. A strong immune system can protect the body from many common diseases such as cough, cold, flu and other viruses.

Lastly, jackfruit is low in calories, cholesterol and gluten-free. 

Pulled Jackfruit Chili, v,gf

Whole food plant-based chili made with young jackfruit, kidney beans and fresh tomatoes. This version is simply the BEST we have ever made! Perfectly spiced and packed with plenty of plant protein and fiber. Can be made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker!
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Active Vegetarian


Tomato Base

  • 8 Roma tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 cup veggie broth or water
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 400 mL can young jackfruit, drained
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or water
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 2 cups cooked red kidney beans

Optional Toppings

  • Vegan sour cream
  • Diced avocado
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Fresh herbs cilantro, parsley chives


  • Begin by preparing the tomato sauce. Simple place all Tomato Base ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor equipped with an S blade and blend on high until smooth and sauce-like texture is achieved.Set aside.
  • Next prepare the jackfruit by shredding the pieces with your hands and discarding any harder pieces of the core.
  • In a large skillet or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or water over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Lower the heat as necessary.
  • Add the shredded jackfruit and cook for additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add a splash of water to keep it from sticking to the pan.
  • Now add the cooked kidney beans and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for about 20 minutes.
  • All done! Serve with vegan sour cream, chopped herbs, tomatoes and avocado, if desired.


Leftovers: This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days or you can freeze it for longer-term storage.
To make this recipe in the slow cooker: Reduce the veggie broth to 1/2 cup and brown the jackfruit and onions before adding to the slow cooker. Cook it on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. 
Pro Tip: Double the recipe ingredients so you have lots of leftovers- because let's face it, why cook twice when you can cook once? Right? 

Dedicated to your health & wellbeing, 

Other similar recipes you might enjoy:

This is white bean chilli recipe made by Active VegetarianThis is a pot portobello stew recipe by active vegetarian

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