Vegan Tacos

Jerk-spiced jackfruit and mango avocado salsa pack these vegan tacos with a big punch of flavor! They're bright, fresh, and fun to eat.

Vegan Tacos

When I flipped through the Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook by Nisha Vora, these jerk-spiced vegan tacos caught my attention right away. Combining jerk seasoning with ginger, tamari, and meaty jackfruit isn’t something I would have thought of myself. But wow, wow, wow, were these delicious! In the past, I’ve made vegan taco recipes with roasted sweet potato, black beans, a ground beef-like mushroom taco “meat,” and more, but this jackfruit filling is one of my new favorites. It has a fantastic hearty texture and bold, spicy flavor that’s perfectly accented by a sweet and juicy mango avocado salsa. I’m obsessed with these vegan tacos, and I think you will be too!

Vegan Taco Recipe Components

Vegan Taco Meat

The vegan taco meat in this recipe is a Jamaican Jerk-spiced jackfruit. If you’ve never cooked with jackfruit, it’s one of my favorite plant-based meat substitutes. Its stringy, hearty texture perfectly mimics shredded meat – think pulled pork or chicken tinga. As we made this filling, Jack and I couldn’t stop talking about how meaty it looked!

Canned jackfruit is bland on its own, so Nisha spices it up with a homemade jerk seasoning blend. With ingredients like cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne, the jerk spices are ones you likely already have in your pantry. This blend is a combination of familiar ingredients, but it’s aromatic, sweet, and spicy. Along with lime juice, tamari, and tomato paste, it makes the taco filling super flavorful, tangy, and juicy. We couldn’t get enough!

Vegan Tacos with Mango Salsa

Vegan Tacos Variations

  • InstantPot, or not. Nisha cooks the vegan taco meat in an InstantPot, but since I’m the only person left on the planet who doesn’t have one, I made made mine in a regular pot on the stove, and it came out great in just 20 minutes. I’m sharing the stovetop instructions in the recipe below.
  • Swap the salsa. The mango avocado salsa in this recipe is really delightful. The rich avocado tames the heat of the jackfruit, and cucumber adds a nice crunch. If you want to change things up, my mango or pineapple salsa recipes would be great too.
  • Add extra richness. If you love your vegan tacos with something rich and creamy on top, finish these guys with avocado slices, cashew sour cream, or a big scoop of guac.
  • Choose your favorite tortillas. Because I love the flavor of corn tortillas but appreciate the pliability of flour tortillas, I like to use tortillas made from a mix of corn and wheat flour. I’ll either buy this brand, or make my own. If you use regular corn tortillas, this vegan taco recipe is totally gluten-free!

Vegan Taco Meat

Vegan Tacos Serving Suggestions

Make this vegan taco recipe for a weeknight dinner, or use it for entertaining! You can cook the jackfruit up to three days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Then, mix up the salsa, reheat the jackfruit on the stove, assemble your tacos, and dig in!

If you’re looking for a side to round out your taco night, these vegan tacos would be fantastic with any of these recipes:

And don’t forget the margaritas! If you like yours spicy, check out this recipe, or for a fruity variation, try my favorite watermelon margarita.

Jamaican Jerk Vegan Tacos

What are you waiting for? Go eat tacos! Also, be sure to check out The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook. It includes SO MANY recipes that I want to make, like her Tofu Cauliflower Tikka Masala and her vegan Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cheesecake.

More Favorite Taco Recipes

If you love tacos, check out this post for more of my best veggie taco recipes! And if you want more jackfruit recipes, try my green chile taquitos or BBQ sandwiches next!

Then, find 85+ great vegan recipes here and more of my favorite easy dinner ideas here.

Jamaican Jerk Vegan Tacos

rate this recipe:
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves 4
These spicy vegan tacos are bright, fresh & fun to eat! You can easily prep the filling ahead of time, so they're great for entertaining. Adapted from The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook.

Ingredients

Mango Avocado Salsa

  • 2 cups peeled and diced mango, about 2 medium
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, diced
  • ¾ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Sea salt

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

  • teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Jackfruit

  • 2 (20-ounce) cans jackfruit in brine or water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 habanero, serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 12 corn tortillas, charred or warmed

Instructions

  • Make the mango-avocado salsa. In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, onion, cucumber, orange juice, lime juice, and cilantro and mix gently. Season to taste with salt.
  • Make the Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. Combine all of the spices together in a small bowl.
  • Prepare the jackfruit: Drain the canned jackfruit and lightly rinse under water, shaking off excess water. Use your fingers to remove any thick cores and pull the pieces apart so that it resembles shredded pork.
  • In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the the scallions and cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and chile pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add all of the Jamaican jerk seasoning, stir to coat, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until very fragrant.
  • Add the shredded jackfruit, coconut sugar, tomato paste, tamari, and lime juice. Stir well. Pour in 1/2 cup water and mix again. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve the jackfruit with the tortillas and mango avocado salsa.

 

13 comments

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  1. Susan
    07.03.2019

    Jeanine, you are not the only person on the planet who doesn’t have an instant pot – I don’t, either, and they have absolutely no appeal for me. Somehow, everything I would make seems to work just fine on the stove top, and my kitchen stays less crowded.

    • Karen
      07.08.2019

      I don’t have one either! *waves hand in air*
      I’m glad to see the recipe worked out fine with a regular pot. I’m always afraid to try insta recipes because I’m not sure how to adapt them to suit my regular speed of cooking. Can’t wait to try these YUM!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        07.10.2019

        in this case, I just cooked it a little longer! Her recipe cooked the jackfruit for 4 minutes, and I cooked mine on the stovetop for 20. Super easy to adapt.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2019

      ha ha, glad to have another fan of stovetop cooking 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Oh Jeanine! I am so floored by your post! Thank you so much for sharing my cookbook with your audience. It means so much to me! You made this recipe look SO beautiful. I’m totally in love with the photos and possibly even more in love with your suggestion to serve them with margaritas 😉

  3. Emily from rainbowdelicious.com
    07.04.2019

    These tacos look so good! I know what I’m making next taco tuesday!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2019

      I hope you love them!

  4. Lisa
    07.15.2019

    5 stars
    Delicious! Great flavor combination and without telling my family these were vegan they just assumed it was chicken. It was a little spicy for the kids but I can easily adapt next time. My first try with jackfruit and I’m a newfound fan!
    Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.19.2019

      Ha ha, I’m so glad everyone loved the jackfruit!

  5. Ada Orie
    07.18.2019

    This recipe is on my to do this summer. Thank you for the step by step instructions and your authentic feedback. I have never heard of jackfruit but plan to check it out. BTW-I do not have an instant pot either so you are not alone.

  6. April
    11.26.2019

    5 stars
    I was a little leary of this jack fruit but this was so so GOOD! I didn’t change anything.
    Thank you for sharing !

  7. Adam from Www.tunaszestrony.pl
    06.15.2020

    Well it is much inspirational, Spanish food in vegan style’ awesome. Muy bien tacos vegans ☺

  8. Priyanka
    09.21.2020

    5 stars
    Trying this recipe tonight….can’t wait to taste it. Thank you for such a wonderful vegan recipe that has jackfruit. I love jackfruit but only know 1 recipe to cook it. This will definitely add variety.
    Btw I bought an instant pot after a long time of contemplating its usefulness and finally after I bought it, its been used as a rice cooker in my kitchen. 😳

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.