Crispy Jackfruit Carnitas

This delicious recipe can be used in so many ways – tacos, bowls, burritos, enchiladas, salads, etc. Make extra and freeze for future use.



  • 3 cans (20 oz. each) canned young jackfruit in water (not syrup), drained
  • Avocado oil spray
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or sub regular paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ fresh navel oranges
    • Zest from one orange
    • 1 ½ juiced (about 2/3 cup juice)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus ½ of an additional lime for serving
  • 3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 bay leaves

Serving suggestions

  • Corn tortillas
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced jalapeños
  • Thinly sliced red cabbage
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Salsa


  1. After draining jackfruit, shred pieces coarsely into shreds that resemble shredded chicken or pork. Place shreds onto a clean kitchen towel and roll towel up, squeezing gently to extract additional water. (This will help to absorb more flavor from the marinade.)  Set aside.
  2. Combine the garlic, oregano, thyme, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, orange juice and zest, lime juice, tamari, and water in a mixing bowl.
  3. Spray the bottom of a large pot with oil spray and place over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent.
  4. Next, add the jackfruit, marinade, and bay leaves to the pot. Stir and reduce to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  6. Spray a non-stick baking sheet with oil spray and transfer the jackfruit to the sheet in a single layer, using two pans if necessary (this is important to get a nice crispy exterior). Spray the top with oil spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, mixing halfway. Check crispness starting at 20-minutes and watch closely until done to prevent burning or drying out.
  7. Squeeze ½ of a lime over and toss.
  8. Serve these jackfruit carnitas in corn tortillas with any of the above toppings. Or make a carnitas bowl by serving with corn, rice, beans. your choice of toppings.


Adapted from