This delicious jackfruit bolognese recipe is a fun meat-free twist on a classic bolognese recipe. If you’ve been looking for jackfruit recipes, you’ll love this jackfruit pasta – it’s ready in 45 minutes and is a healthy vegetarian weeknight meal with a wonderfully deep umami flavor that you’ll love.
I first encountered the concept of a jackfruit bolognese when I was staying in Bali back in 2019 to do my yoga teacher training. I think I visited the same restaurant about four times in the month I was living there because I just could not get enough of the delicious, hearty vegan jackfruit bolognese they served!
Once I came home, I was on a mission to recreate that beautiful recipe. So, this jackfruit bolognese recipe was born!
This jackfruit bolognese is hearty, delicious, and a really fun way to cook a bolognese with a bit of a twist. If you want a more traditional vegan bolognese, try my lentil bolognese recipe (it’s got over 100 5* reviews!), or this tomato tofu pasta for an extra boost of protein.
Ingredients & Substitutions
The exact quantities of the ingredients you need for this recipe are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here, I’ve added a few notes on the ingredients you need, plus a few potential substitutions you could make if you can’t eat/find a certain ingredient.
- Vegetable Sofrita: Like many bolognese recipes, this jackfruit bolognese recipe uses a classic vegetable sofrita of diced white onion, carrot, and celery. This provides a delicious base of flavors to your dish.
- Garlic: I use one or two cloves of fresh garlic, minced, for this recipe. Adjust according to your own preferences.
- Jackfruit: You’ll need two tins of jackfruit for this recipe (410g | 15oz), drained. You should be able to find jackfruit in most major supermarkets nowadays – but if not, you can also order it online.
- Tomato paste: Use tomato paste to deepen the rich, tomato sauce for your bolognese.
- Chopped tomatoes: I use tinned chopped tomatoes (400g | 15oz tin) for this recipe. You could also use passata, crushed tomatoes, or tinned plum tomatoes broken down with the back of your spoon. You could even use a readymade plain tomato pasta sauce if you want to!
- Vegetable stock: I use vegetable stock cubes with boiling water added for most of my recipes. Feel free to use a premade stock if you prefer.
- Soy sauce: I know soy sauce isn’t necessarily a traditional addition for bolognese, but trust me! It adds a delicious umami kick to the otherwise mild jackfruit.
- Apple cider vinegar: A dash of vinegar can do wondrous things to tomato-based sauces, and it’s no different with this jackfruit bolognese. You can omit it if you don’t have any to hand, or white wine vinegar will also work.
- Seasonings: We use a blend of Italian seasonings, dried oregano, sage, bay leaf, and rosemary for this recipe. Optionally, you could also add some red pepper or chipotle pepper flakes at the end for some added spice!
How To Make Jackfruit Bolognese
Again, the exact step-by-step instructions and ingredient quantities will be in the recipe card at the bottom of this page. Below is an overview of making this recipe, plus some process shots to help you visualize how this recipe should turn out.
Step 1) Prepare the Jackfruit
Drain the jackfruit and on a chopping board, chop away the harder stalks from the jackfruit. You can either discard this or finely slice it and use it in the recipe.
Jackfruit chunks come with a firmer ‘stalk’ and then the pulled, flaky sections that you want for this recipe.
Step 2) Prepare the Vegetable Sofrita
To start, finely dice your onion, carrot, and celery. You can also mince your garlic and make your vegetable stock at this point so you have everything ready to go!
Heat your oil in a pan and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute over a low heat for 5-8 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Step 3) Add Jackfruit & Make The Sauce
Add your jackfruit to the pan, stir, then add the tomato paste, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and all seasonings. Stir it together to fully coat the jackfruit and vegetables in the sauce ingredients.
Then, take two forks and pull apart the jackfruit chunks into ‘pulled pork’ style strands. Don’t worry about getting every single strand – as the bolognese continues to cook, it will break down or you can gently help it with your spoon or fork.
Step 4) Add Tomatoes & Stock
Next, you can add in the chopped tomatoes and your stock, stirring everything together. Allow the jackfruit bolognese to simmer for 20 or 30 minutes until the liquid has absorbed into a thick sauce.
Taste and season to your preferences.
Serve with your pasta of choice and a (optional) sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cheese.
Storing Your Jackfruit Bolognese
If you have leftovers, here’s how to store and reheat it safely:
- Refrigerator: Store your leftover jackfruit bolognese in an airtight container for 3-5 days, reheating in the microwave or on the hob. For best results, store separately and cook your pasta from fresh when you’re ready to eat.
- Freezing: This jackfruit pasta recipe is also suitable for freezing. Freeze it in an airtight container for up to 4 months. Defrost your bolognese fully in the refrigerator before reheating.
This jackfruit bolognese is a delicious meal by itself. However, you could serve it with some crusty garlic bread, a simple side salad, or some roasted green beans to get some greens on your plate!
What Is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a species of tree in the fig family. It originated in southwest India but also spread to other parts of Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, capable of weighing up to 100 pounds and growing up to three feet long!
Jackfruit is a green, oblong shape with yellow bulb-like insides. When ripe, jackfruit has a similar taste to banana, pineapple, and mango. However, when unripe, jackfruit is more like potato and can be cooked to take on the taste of whatever spices you pair it with.
Where To Get Jackfruit?
I would recommend buying the tinned version of jackfruit as it’s much easier to handle. You should be able to buy tinned young jack fruit in any Asian supermarket, or some of the bigger supermarkets now that it’s more popular.
Always make sure you get tinned young jack fruit in water or brine – if you don’t get young jack fruit, it will be too sweet and probably tinned in fruit juice or syrup – not what you want for a bolognese!
How To Cook With Jackfruit?
For some of us, jackfruit is a new and kind of scary ingredient to cook with. It certainly looks a little alien!
Jack fruit is very easy to cook with, though. In this recipe, I recommend draining the tin and then cutting the ‘stalk’ part of the jackfruit chunks off. This leaves you the parts of the jackfruit that can easily be pulled apart into strands.
For another amazing vegan take on a classic bolognese, try my lentil bolognese sauce.
What’s The Best Pasta For Bolognese?
Spaghetti is, of course, the traditional choice for any bolognese recipe. However, I also love this recipe with rigatoni or any other tubular-shaped pasta. It would also be great with farfalle (bow-tie) pasta.
Other recipes you might like:
- 1 white onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tins of jackfruit, drained
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 tsp chipotle pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
- 225g pasta (your preference of shape!)
- Finely dice your onion, carrot, and celery, and mince your garlic.
- Drain the jackfruit from tins and chop the stalks away from the jackfruit so you're left with the 'pulled' sections. You could also finely slice the stalks and use these if you prefer.
- Heat your oil in a pan, and add your vegetables, sauteing for around 5-8 minutes on low heat until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add your jackfruit, tomato paste, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and herbs to the pan, and stir to fully coat the jackfruit and vegetables in the sauce ingredients.
- Take a fork and pull apart the jackfruit pieces into strands (resembling a “pulled pork” type of texture. Don’t worry if you don’t manage to pull apart every strand - you can continue to break down the jackfruit as the bolognese cooks.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and stock, stir, and allow to cook on a low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed into a thick tomato sauce.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Stir the cooked, drained pasta into the jackfruit bolognese.
- Remove the bay leaf, and serve with a sprinkle of chipotle/red pepper flakes!
The stalks of jackfruit are much firmer and tougher, but still edible. Some people prefer to discard this part of the fruit and just use the softer strands. If you would prefer to use the whole thing, though, you can finely slice the jackfruit and use the stalks too.
Jackfruit has a naturally mild flavor that takes on whatever ingredients you add to it, so lots of seasoning is a must here! Make sure you taste the sauce and adjust based on your preferences.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 957mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 7gSugar: 27gProtein: 9g