We bet these smoky jackfruit fajitas will be your new favourite quick and easy weeknight dinner (ready in under 30 minutes)! Jackfruit is the perfect filling for a vegan fajita, alongside strips of peppers and onion – these fajitas are beautifully smoky because of ancho chilli powder. Great served with a Mexican style salad.
🌟 Why this recipe works
- Fajitas are quick and easy – and who doesn’t like a quick and easy dinner? This Tex-Mex classic has been popular in the US and UK for a long time now and for good reason. A few ingredients and a quick, simple cooking process make fajitas accessible to everyone (and the flavours aren’t half bad either!). These smoky jackfruit fajitas are no different!
- Jackfruit experts – we’re self-proclaimed jackfruit experts. We cook with it all the time and we have a lot of popular recipes using it! Plus, we pulled together a list of 31+ of the best tinned jackfruit recipes out there.
- Classic fajitas ingredients – sure, we’ve replaced the traditional strips of grilled meat with strips of jackfruit (which have a great meaty texture by the way). But fajitas classically also contain stripped bell peppers (capsicum) and onion – these vegan jackfruit fajitas are no different. There’s also the all-important tortillas and you can add your favourite fajita condiments like guacamole, salsa or vegan sour cream.
- One pan – you’ll just need one pan to cook these jackfruit fajitas, so the washing up will be kept to a minimum!
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Jackfruit – this jackfruit fajitas recipe uses tinned jackfruit and here’s the important bit: it’s gotta be young jackfruit in water or brine (sometimes called green jackfruit). Be careful not to buy the ripe kind of tinned jackfruit that comes in syrup – it’s definitely not going to make a tasty vegan fajita filling! Young jackfruit doesn’t have much flavour, so it’s perfect for taking on the beautiful Mexican spices, but it does have a great meat-like texture. If you love jackfruit, try it in this vegan beef and broccoli recipe.
- Peppers & onion – essential fajita ingredients! They’re best sliced into strips (check the step-by-step instructions below to see what we mean), not only because it’s the traditional way, but also because it means they’ll cook quickly and evenly. We love when a fajita is packed with stripped peppers that still have a slight crunch to them – it’s super fresh and satisfying.
- Ancho chilli powder – or ancho chile, is a type of dried chilli pepper. They have a beautifully smoky, sweet flavour and aren’t too spicy at all. This is a key ingredient in this smoky jackfruit fajitas recipe because it adds the rich, smoky depth of flavour. It’s pretty difficult to replicate and we’re yet to find the perfect substitute, but if you’re looking to make this recipe without the ancho, smoked paprika will also bring the smokiness.
- Tortillas – you can’t wrap a fajita without the wraps! Whether it’s a traditional corn tortilla or a flour tortilla, they’re essential for making smoky jackfruit fajitas. They’re also usually vegan. Corn tortillas are also usually gluten free (be sure to check the ingredients to be safe though). If you get caught short without the tortillas, check out this vegan fajita bowl recipe!
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this article for exact measurements to make this smoky jackfruit fajitas recipe.
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for making these vegan smoky jackfruit fajitas. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. Put a glug of oil in a large frying pan and bring to medium-high heat. Add the jackfruit pieces and fry for 5-10 minutes until some of the moisture has cooked off and the jackfruit has started to brown slightly.
2. Sprinkle over the spices and give it a good stir.
3. Add the onion and garlic to the frying pan and continue to cook on medium-high heat for another couple of minutes, just to soften the onion slightly.
4. Throw the peppers into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until they’re hot but still have a nice crunch to them. Pour over the lime juice and season with salt.
5. Serve in the tortilla wraps and optionally add toppings like avocado, salsa and vegan sour cream.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Jackfruit seeds – some people love them, some people hate them. They can be tough if they haven’t been cooked long enough and the shape and texture aren’t the same as the jackfruit meat. If you fall into the hate camp, or you’re just not sure, be cautious and just remove them when you’re preparing the jackfruit. If you’re not to bothered, just leave the jackfruit pieces as they are. Either way, we’d also recommend this jackfruit curry recipe or this Jamaican curried jackfruit recipe which both use whole chunks of jackfruit and a long simmer time. That means the jackfruit seeds will soften during the long cooking process.
- Ancho chilli alternatives – we’re yet to find a great alternative to ancho chilli, let’s get that out of the way. If you can find it, we think it takes almost any Mexican-inspired dish up a notch, and it’s worth scouring your local supermarket or ordering online. If you want to try this jackfruit fajitas recipe without it, we think smoked paprika or chipotle chilli powder are the best options. Chipotle can carry more heat though, so be careful and maybe use a mix of both to ensure it’s not too spicy. Liquid smoke would be another way to add a big hit of smokiness to make the smoky jackfruit fajitas even smokier!
- Level it up with toppings – there are so many great toppings you can add to take these smoky jackfruit fajitas to the next level! We’re talking guacamole (or chopped/mashed avocado), vegan sour cream, salsa, refried beans, shredded vegan cheese, chilli flakes (or hot sauce!) or even lettuce.
Usually, yes! They’re made with flour, water, fat and salt and we’re yet to find a supermarket tortilla that isn’t vegan because the fat used is usually vegetable-based. It’s always best to check the ingredients though.
Usually, yes! They’re made with ground, dried hominy (corn kernels that have been treated to improve their nutrition), salt and water. It’s always best to check the ingredients to be safe.
No, but kind of yes, depending on how it is cooked. It naturally has a great meaty texture and absorbs flavours really well. That’s why we use it so often in our recipes and for these smoky jackfruit fajitas.
The fajita mix will freeze fine for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat thoroughly then wrap in fresh tortillas with your favourite toppings. Don’t freeze the fajitas wrapped up as the tortillas won’t defrost and reheat well with the filling in them.
🌮 More recipes to try
Easy Jackfruit Fajitas
- 500 g young jackfruit (2 x 400g tins, drained weight) – chopped into slices and seeds removed
- 3 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp cayenne powder
- ½ tsp mild chilli powder
- 2 tsp ancho chilli powder
- 1 onion – sliced into strips
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- 1 red pepper – sliced into strips
- 1 yellow pepper – sliced into strips
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- salt – to taste
- 8 tortillas – corn or flour tortillas are fine
- Pour a glug of oil into a large frying pan and bring to medium-high heat. Add the jackfruit pieces and fry for 5-10 minutes until some of the moisture has cooked off and the jackfruit has started to brown slightly.500 g young jackfruit
- Sprinkle over the spices and give it a good stir.3 tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp cayenne powder, ½ tsp mild chilli powder, 2 tsp ancho chilli powder
- Add the onion and garlic to the frying pan and continue to cook on medium-high heat for another couple of minutes, just to soften the onion slightly.1 onion, 3 garlic cloves
- Throw the peppers into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until they’re hot but still have a nice crunch to them.1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper
- Pour over the lime juice and season with salt.1 tbsp lime juice, salt
- Serve in the tortilla wraps and optionally add toppings like avocado, salsa and vegan sour cream.8 tortillas
- Use tinned young (or green) jackfruit in water or brine, not ripe jackfruit in syrup.
- Ancho chilli is tricky to replace, but try substituting smoked paprika if you don’t have it.
- Corn tortillas or flour tortillas can be used.
- The fajita filling can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Store the mix by itself, not already wrapped in the tortillas.