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.
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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!
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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:
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Enjoy a steamy, delicious, and hearty bowl of vegan chili to satisfy your comfort food cravings while nourishing your body, too.
Adjust the level of cayenne pepper to your liking, or omit it entirely. Have all your veggies chopped and beans strained ahead of time, too, as the cooking will go fast!
Also, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce if making this gluten-free.
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 medium green pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1, 20 oz. can jackfruit, drained and shredded
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1, 14 oz. can unsalted diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1, 14 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1, 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1, 14 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on your taste (& optional!)
- Favorite chili toppings: crushed tortilla chips, green onions, black olives, vegan cheddar cheese, etc.
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven pot over medium heat until the oil sputters lightly when flicked with water.
- Add the onions and peppers and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onions start to turn translucent.
- Add in the garlic and jackfruit and saute, stirring frequently, for 2-4 minutes, or until the liquid from the jackfruit evaporates.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients (sweet potato through cayenne pepper) and stir well.
- Turn the heat up 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 sweet potatoes are cooked and the sauce is a darker color red.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings!
1. This chili lasts covered in the fridge for 5 days. It also freezes well in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Just defrost before rewarming gently (to prevent the beans from breaking up and getting mushy).
Amount Per Serving Calories 327Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1010mgCarbohydrates 61gFiber 11gSugar 19gProtein 15g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.