You know I looove jackfruit! I’ve put it on what I consider the best vegan pizza EVER. Now I’m turning it into a hella saucy jackfruit tinga for quesadillas or tacos! If tinga doesn’t ringa bell for you, it’s a Mexican dish usually made with chicken, tomatoes, and onion and served on tostadas. But you ain’t gonna find any birdies in this recipe! Jackfruit is a super versatile ingredient that’s become a go-to for my vegan cooking adventures. You can check out this blog post where I breakdown more about the fruit as well as which types you should (and shouldn’t) buy!
These jackfruit tinga quesadillas really turn up the flavas with a finger licking’ adobo chilli sauce. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of spice, you can still boogie with this dish! Plus the fiery roasted tomatoes add even more OOMPH that’ll make ya wonder where this recipe has been all your life.
Even better, the kickass tinga filling gets layered with refried beans and vegan cheese shreds. Then, it gets fried into the scrumptious quesadilla of your dreams with a bonus crispy cheese crust! But if you’re more of a taco person, you can make 10 of ’em with the same ingredients! And nope, you ain’t dreaming… both get topped with a chunky guacamole, too. Instructions for how to make the jackfruit tinga quesadillas, taco bake, or both are outlined below. Now, the real question is… which one is YOUR favorite? Leave a comment below and let me know if you’re #teamquesadilla or #teamtaco!
jackfruit tinga quesadillas or tacos
This savory tinga filling and chunky guac work perfectly in quesadillas or tacos! The real question is... which one's YOUR favorite?
jackfruit tinga filling
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 C yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chipotle powder or chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp vegan chicken flavored bouillon paste (such as Better than Bouillon)
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, chopped (include some adobo sauce)
- 3 C fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 C drained young jackfruit, in brine, pulled by hand into 1 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 C canned refried beans
- 3 C vegan mozzarella and cheddar shreds (3 C for quesadillas, if making taco bake halve this amount)
- 3/4 C loosely packed cilantro, chopped
- 4 x 10-inch soft tortillas OR 10 hard tacos *see recipe note
- 3 limes, wedges
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1/2 C red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 C tightly packed cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 C jalapeño, finely diced
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat the oven at 425°F.
In a medium pot over medium heat, add vegetable oil and white onion. Cook for 2 minutes until soft. Stir in dried oregano, chipotle powder, cumin, sea salt and vegan chicken flavored bouillon paste. Add garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Then add chipotle chilis, roasted tomatoes and sugar. Add jackfruit and cook until slightly reduced, about 3 to 4 more minutes.
Spread filling on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly caramelized and a little more dry. Once jackfruit is baked, cool the oven temperature to 200°F.
To assemble the quesadilla, on half of the tortilla add refried beans, cheese shreds, a heaping 1/2 cup of jackfruit filling and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Fold it in half and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Pan fry 1 or 2 quesadillas at a time in a non-stick skillet over medium for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Cover the pan with a lid so the vegan cheese melts on the inside. You may need to lower the heat.
For an extra crispy cheese crust, turn the heat back up to medium-high and sprinkle more vegan cheese shreds right on the non-stick skillet. Add the pan fried quesadilla on top of the vegan cheese shreds. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes trying not to move it too much. Add more cheese shreds to the skillet before frying the other side and fry the other side for 1 to 2 more minutes. The cheese on the outside should be brown and toasty. Keep the quesadillas warm in an oven at 200°F.
To make the chunky guacamole combine red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, freshly grated lime zest, sea salt, pepper and the diced avocado in a bowl. Gently stir so the diced avocados remain intact.
Serve the quesadillas with the chunky guacamole and a squeeze of lime juice.
To make the taco bake, repeat all the steps including baking the filling at 425°F. Once the filling is baked, let the oven cool to 350°F.
Add 10 hard taco shells to a baking dish or roasting pan. Spread a heaping tablespoon of refried beans, a 1/4 cup of jackfruit filling, cilantro and sprinkle vegan cheese shreds into each taco shell.
Bake in the oven covered with foil for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve the hard tacos with extra lime wedges and chunky guacamole.
If making both the quesadillas and hard tacos, double the jackfruit filling ingredient amounts above. Depending on the brand of jackfruit, if it’s not soft right from the can, you may need to boil it for at least 30 minutes.