Enjoy a hearty and meaty vegan chili with this Vegan Jackfruit Chili. It's 100% plant-based, delicious, ready in under an hour, and perfect for leftovers.
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If you're looking for a vegan recipe for meat-eaters, this Vegan Jackfruit Chili is for you.
Even though Chris has no problem eating more plant-based or eating meat substitutes, he didn't know that it was jackfruit in this chili and he assumed that it was shredded barbecue pork instead!
I mean, for real. I had to run off to the salon for the evening after making the chili so I just left it on the stovetop. Chris helped himself to it for dinner and commented on how he liked the "pork" in the chili when I got home.
And I pretty much achieved that feeling I'm always shooting for when developing vegan or vegetarian foods; achieving flavors that legit taste like their meat-bearing equivalent while still being completely plant-based and healthy.
So, roll up your sleeves, pour yourself a glass of wine (or beer!), turn on your favorite music, and get to cooking this easy vegan jackfruit chili recipe. Both you -- and any meat-eating family or guests -- will be so glad you did.
This jackfruit chili is ...
- Sweet & spicy
- 100% Vegan
- Ready in under an hour
- Popular with meat-eaters
- Super easy to store & freeze
It's pretty much a perfect hearty, plant-based fall dish... and one that is a perfect easy vegan meal for beginners. Don't take my word for it, though -- see for yourself!
This recipe ingredient looks long but don't fear -- it is made mainly with pantry staples and hearty veggies. Here is the ingredient list:
- Olive oil
- Green pepper
- Canned jackfruit
- Sweet potato
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Kidney beans, black beans, kidney beans
- Chili powder
- Smoked paprika
- Soy sauce or liquid coconut aminos
- Balsamic vinegar
- Cayenne pepper
And of course -- you will want all your favorite toppings: sliced green onions, avocado, diced red onions, black olives, vegan shredded cheese (or regular cheese), or vegan sour cream (or regular, or yogurt). Crumbled tortilla chips are delicious on top of chili, too!
Peppers-- If you don't have green peppers, you can easily substitute in red, yellow, or orange peppers.
Beans -- this recipe is super flexible on the types of beans you use. Use all of one kind of the beans I have listed, or try some other beans -- navy beans, cannellini beans, etc.
Where do you buy canned jackfruit?
Thankfully, it's getting easier and easier to find canned jackfruit in stores here in the states. I buy my jackfruit at Trader Joe's (it's super affordable there, too!), but you can often find it at other health grocery stores or Asian-grocery stores. If you'd rather buy it online or live somewhere remote, you can also buy jackfruit on Amazon.
Does jackfruit have a lot of protein?
This is the one downfall of jackfruit, in my opinion: it doesn't have a lot of protein (source).
Whereas it has more protein than most fruit, it doesn't have a lot of protein compared to meat or other plant-based protein rich foods.
So, in order to get more filling protein in my jackfruit meals, I like to add in other plant-based protein-rich foods, like beans!
How do you shred canned or cooked jackfruit?
There are two easy ways you can shred canned or cooked jackfruit. The first is to rub the pieces between your fingers, pressing firmly as the pieces of fruit shred off. The second is to shred them with two forks: just place the fruit in a bowl or large cup and break the pieces apart by pulling them opposite directions with the forks.
What does jackfruit meat taste like?
Cooked jackfruit meat itself is very mild and doesn't have a whole lot of flavor. Jackfruit has the texture of shredded chicken or pork
The fruit easily picks up the flavors of whatever dish you put it in. It's great in tomato or barbecue based dishes or even Mexican dishes where the meat substitute needs to absorb the flavors and seasonings of the dish.
How do you make this jackfruit chili?
Follow these few easy steps to make this delicious vegan chili:
- Heat up the olive oil over medium heat until the olive oil sputters when flicked with water.
- Add the onions and peppers to the hot olive oil and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onions are turning translucent.
- Add in the garlic and jackfruit and saute for another 2-4 minutes, continuing to stir, or until the jackfruit liquid evaporates.
- Stir in the sweet potato, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, spices, salt, soy sauce or liquid aminos, and balsamic vinegar.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the chili to a simmer.
- Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the chili for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, or until the chili has turned a darker red color and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Ladle the chili into bowls, sprinkle with your favorite toppings and serve hot!
How long does it take to cook this chili?
From start to finish, it takes about an hour to cook this chili.
Can you make this chili in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker?
Yes, you can make this chili in a pressure cooker. Just complete steps 1-5 on the saute setting of the cooker, turning the heat up and down as the recipe directs, and then switching to the pressure cooker setting for step 6.
For step 6, lock the pressure cooker lid on and cook the soup for 10 minutes at high pressure. Quick-release the pressure and then serve the chili!
Tools needed to make this chili:
Other hearty vegan recipes even meat-eaters will enjoy:
- Vegan Sweet Potato Hash Brown Burgers
- Healthy Blueberry Peach Crumble
- Creamy Avocado Black Bean Dip
- Garlicky Angel Hair Pasta
- Moroccan Chickpea Salad with Carrots
- Pressure Cooker Spiced Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Soup
- Air-Fryer Green Beans with Lemon
- Air-Fryer Sesame Kale Chips
Other healthy chili recipes to check out:
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!