Plant-Based Chipotle Jackfruit Nachos Recipe

Nachos are a well-loved classic, often topped with meat, cheese, and other crowd-pleasing fixings. But what if you're vegan or simply eager to cut down on your meat consumption? These plant-based chipotle jackfruit nachos by recipe developer Tanika Douglas are a brilliant option. The recipe is not only packed with flavor, but it also may be cheaper to prepare than meaty nachos, with budget-friendly canned jackfruit starring as the key ingredient. Another standout feature of this recipe is its ease. "I adore making these nachos on a busy weeknight because with a preparation time of 45 minutes from start to finish, they're simple, but incredibly delicious," Douglas says.

The clever use of jackfruit as a meat substitute brings a delightful vegan twist to these nachos, mimicking the texture of pulled meat. "The bold flavors are what really makes this recipe a true favorite for me," Douglas says. "Combined with smoked paprika, chipotles in adobo, and tomatoes, the shredded jackfruit takes on incredible flavor — complemented by the zingy guacamole, aromatic cilantro, and spicy jalapeños that finish off the nachos." Whether served as a party appetizer or a satisfying dinner, these plant-based chipotle jackfruit nachos are ideal for sharing with friends and family. 

Gather the ingredients for plant-based chipotle jackfruit nachos

To whip up these plant-based chipotle jackfruit nachos, you'll need canned jackfruit, olive oil, white onion, garlic, smoked paprika, chipotles in adobo, crushed tomatoes, salt, black pepper, tortilla chips, vegan cheese, black beans, corn kernels, guacamole, pickled jalapeños, and fresh cilantro.

"Jackfruit is the most integral ingredient in this recipe, so it's important to opt for canned jackfruit in water, steering clear of sugar syrup varieties — which would add an unwanted sweetness to the dish," Douglas advises. However, other ingredients can be swapped without sacrificing the essence of the dish. Feel free to use regular paprika in place of smoked, or pinto beans instead of black beans. "If pickled jalapeños are tricky to source, fresh sliced jalapeños make an excellent alternative," Douglas adds. "Or, for those seeking a milder option, they can be omitted completely."

Step 1: Turn on the oven

Preheat the oven to 390 F.

Step 2: Prep a baking tray

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Step 3: Shred the jackfruit

On a cutting board, use two forks to shred the jackfruit.

Step 4: Heat up a skillet

Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.

Step 5: Add onion, jackfruit, and seasonings

To the hot oil, add the onion, garlic, smoked paprika, and shredded jackfruit.

Step 5: Let the mixture soften

Saute for 3 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Step 6: Add the liquids

Add the chipotle puree, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water.

Step 7: Simmer the mixture

Simmer the jackfruit mixture for 10 minutes until reduced, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Step 8: Place the chips onto the tray

Add the chips to the prepared baking sheet.

Step 9: Top them with cheese

Sprinkle 1 cup vegan cheese on the chips.

Step 10: Spoon on the jackfruit mixture

Add the jackfruit mixture.

Step 11: Add black beans, corn, and more cheese

Add the black beans, corn, and remaining 1 cup vegan cheese.

Step 12: Bake

Place the nachos into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Step 13: Garnish and enjoy

Top the nachos with guacamole, jalapeños, and cilantro, and serve immediately.

Can I make plant-based chipotle jackfruit nachos in advance?

These plant-based chipotle jackfruit nachos can be partially prepared in advance, so assembly is even easier when you're ready to eat. Most conveniently, the jackfruit mixture can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. "Simply follow the recipe until the jackfruit mixture is simmered, then allow it to cool before transferring to an airtight container," Douglas recommends. "Refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months. When you're ready to finish the nachos, simply thaw the jackfruit mixture, heat it on the stove, and proceed with layering and baking as directed."

Additionally, if you're using homemade guacamole, that can be prepped a few hours ahead and stored with plastic wrap directly touching its surface to prevent browning. While it's recommended to assemble and bake the nachos just before serving for the optimal crispy texture, getting these components ready ahead of time definitely allows for more efficient meal prep.

What is jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit native to southwest India. It's renowned for its hearty, fibrous texture, which is why it has become a popular plant-based meat alternative. Jackfruit's neutral taste also makes it an excellent canvas for absorbing various flavors, making it a versatile ingredient in savory dishes. "I prefer cooking with canned jackfruit over fresh for several reasons," Douglas explains. "First, the canning process preserves the fruit, making it available year-round. Second, the canned variety is convenient; it comes pre-sliced and ready to use, saving time and effort when I'm cooking."

Besides in nachos, the texture of jackfruit makes it an excellent candidate for vegan pulled "pork" sandwiches, tacos, or BBQ sliders. In Asian cuisines, jackfruit finds a place in curries, stews, and stir-fries, soaking up the spices. Additionally, jackfruit is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It's also cholesterol-free and high in potassium, making it a heart-healthy food option for blood pressure regulation.

Plant-Based Chipotle Jackfruit Nachos Recipe
No Ratings
Shredded and cooked with tomatoes and chipotles in adobo, jackfruit is the perfect vegan substitute for pulled pork in these cheesy, saucy nachos for a crowd.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
4
servings
vegan cheese nachos with jackfruit, guacamole, beans, and corn on baking tray
Total time: 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (15-ounce) can jackfruit, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅓ cup canned chipotles in adobo, pureed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 7 ounces unsalted corn tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded vegan cheese, divided
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup corn kernels, canned or frozen
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • ⅓ cup sliced pickled jalapeños
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 390 F.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. On a cutting board, use two forks to shred the jackfruit.
  4. Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.
  5. To the hot oil, add the onion, garlic, smoked paprika, and shredded jackfruit.
  6. Saute for 3 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  7. Add the chipotle puree, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water.
  8. Simmer the jackfruit mixture for 10 minutes until reduced, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  9. Add the chips to the lined tray.
  10. Sprinkle 1 cup vegan cheese on the chips.
  11. Add the jackfruit mixture.
  12. Add the black beans, corn, and remaining 1 cup vegan cheese.
  13. Place the nachos into the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  14. Top the nachos with guacamole, jalapeños, and cilantro, and serve immediately.
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