Runner recipes: Jumping jackfruit tacos


Destinee Sims

Once the jackfruit has been prepared, the sensory experience will be similar to that of eating traditional tacos.

Destinee Sims, Opinions Editor

We all know that cooking on a college student’s budget can be hard; making food that tastes good and has any quality nutrients seems even harder. In a world of rising prices, students need to learn to work with affordable ingredients. Runner Recipes has been created with the goal of helping college students find new affordable recipes that they can recreate themselves at home.

This is where jackfruit tacos come in; commonly used as a nutrient-packed meat substitute, it is a great alternative to traditional tacos. This recipe might seem strange at first, especially for those that don’t normally prepare jackfruit, but it is one cheap, customizable way to still enjoy tacos on a budget.


Prep time: approximately 30 minutes

Yields: approximately 10 soft tacos.



Approximately 1 lb of jackfruit. Trader Joe’s canned green jackfruit for $1.99 is recommended.

1 tbsp of olive oil

4 cups of water; broth seasoning cubes such as Better Than Bouillon can be added to help the jackfruit take on the flavor of meat if desired.

2 tsp chili powder

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp crushed red pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ dried oregano

¼ tsp black pepper

10 soft flour tortillas


Recommended toppings:

1 yellow onion, diced

Cilantro, finely chopped

1 tomato, diced.

Salsa or hot sauce of choice

1 cup shredded lettuce

Sour cream

Fresh lime juice

Cheese of choice

Rice of choice, with ½ tbsp of fresh lime juice cooked in

Destinee Sims
Prior to cooking, the jackfruit visually may look unappealing to some. Many compare the pre-cooked texture to pineapple and/or pork.


All spices can be substituted with pre-mixed taco seasoning as well. As the flavor intensity varies from brand to brand, make sure the jackfruit throughly coated and has been seasoned to taste.


In a small bowl, mix all of the spices together. The best way to ensure it mixes thoroughly is by using a fork.

Drain the canned jackfruit, then place it on a plate or cutting board. Each piece of jackfruit contains seeds, located with a thick “pod”. To remove the seed, tear away all of the soft jackfruit and edges. These will have a texture similar to canned pineapple; this will also make it easier to locate the tougher seed. As the seeds are removed, the jackfruit can be cut and/or shredded. The best texture comes from shredding it similar to pulled pork.

Add the freshly shredded jackfruit to a medium sized saucepan, along with the seasoning blend, olive oil, and water. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly.

Cook the jackfruit and spices on medium-high heat for approximately 20-25 minutes. The longer the jackfruit cooks without dehydrating, the softer and more like pulled pork it will be.

Destinee Sims
The jackfruit will begin to resemble traditionally seasoned meat, as the soft-cooked meat will take on the flavor of the seasoning it is prepared in.

While the jackfruit cooks, begin heating the tortillas on a warm pan. The tortillas can also be heated on a plate in the microwave; wrapping the tortillas in paper towels will help prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.

When the jackfruit has reached the desired softness, remove it from heat. Once it is cool enough to serve, it is good to go. Add the jackfruit to the tortillas, along with any desired toppings, and the results are affordable, meatless tacos.


Have a recipe that’s perfect for college students that you would love to share? Send it in to The Runner.