Everything You Need to Know About Jackfruit (Plus Recipes!)

The tropical jackfruit is the latest health food trend sweeping the U.S. This endlessly versatile ingredient can be used as a fruit or even as a stand-in for meat, and we have the delicious recipes to prove it.

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Kale, avocado, quinoa...these health foods have all gained a cult following. Jackfruit is the newest addition to this group. Jackfruit is already popular in tropical regions and is now making its way to the United States in a big way.

Grown from a jackfruit tree, this large fruit has flesh that, when prepared correctly, has the same consistency as certain meats. This quality makes jackfruit especially popular in the vegetarian community, as it allows vegetarians to eat meat-lovers' favorites like faux pulled pork, chicken, and ribs.

Come dessert time, however, it's easy to transform the fruit (available in canned form if you're afraid to tackle the sometimes 25-pound monsters!) into sweet ice cream or pie filling.

Whether you prefer sweet or savory, here are some recipes to inspire you to give this trendy superfood a try.

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1. Jackfruit Carnitas

Clean Green Simple

Think outside the BBQ bun with these jackfruit carnitas. Traditionally made with pork, this Mexican dish is the best way to bring big flavor to your fiesta. Substitute jackfruit for pork, and no one will be able to tell the difference. Top your carnitas with all the fresh salsa and cilantro you like.

Get the recipe from Clean Green Simple

2. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

If we're being honest, pulled pork sandwiches are the reason we'd never be able to go vegetarian. We always crave this messy but oh-so-good dinner. That's why you can believe us when we say jackfruit is an acceptable substitute.

Get the recipe from BHG.com

3. Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip

Vegan Yack Attack

It's not game day until someone serves the buffalo chicken dip. This weekend, sneak your hungry snackers a healthy option with this tasty buffalo jackfruit spinach dip. Along with carrots, celery, and cucumbers, this dip is a guilt-free snack the kids will love, too.

Get the recipe from Vegan Yack Attack

4. Vegan Nachos

Dora Daily

Nachos will probably never be truly healthy, but every small step is worth a try. Make your mountain of tortillas, cheese, and beans slightly less guilt-inducing by switching out the meat for BBQ jackfruit. Smothered in queso and salsa, you'll never know the difference.

Get the recipe from Dora Daily

5. Jackfruit and Mushroom Gyro

I Love Vegan

Even Greek food is getting into the jackfruit trend. Wrapped in a warm pita and doused in tzatziki sauce, this healthy alternative tastes like the real thing. Finally, a vegan recipe for gyros!

Get the recipe from I Love Vegan

6. Jackfruit Ice Cream

Yes, you can use this trendy fruit as more than a meat substitute! Try it as the sweet swirl in this tropical ice cream recipe that's irresistible once it's sprinkled with shredded coconut.

Get the recipe from BHG.com

7. Grilled BBQ Jackfruit Pizza

Blissful Basil

Did someone say pizza? We will sink our teeth into just about any slice, but BBQ pizza has to be one of our favorites. For our vegan friends out there, we always make this jackfruit substitute recipe with hemp seed cheddar. Tasty and healthy? We couldn't ask for anything better.

Get the recipe from Blissful Basil

8. Banana Empanadas

Kitchen Confidante

Banana and jackfruit are a popular Filipino flavor combo. Try the two tropical fruits together in these empanadas, and you'll know why! The sweet pairing takes center stage (with just a touch of brown sugar) in the filling of these baked hand pies.

Get the recipe from Kitchen Confidante

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