Vegan Jackfruit Pernil

vegan jackfruit pernil in white bowl on marble background

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This Vegan Jackfruit “Pernil” is a take on the traditionally meat-centric Puerto Rican dish. Using jackfruit as “pulled pork,” this recipe tastes just like the real thing!


  • 3 20-ounce (560 g) cans of young jackfruit in brine (not syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons homemade sofrito*
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 2 teaspoons oregano 
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning blend*
  • ½ teaspoon Sazón seasoning blend*
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water 
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) vegetable oil, or other high-heat cooking oil


  1. Prepare the Jackfruit: Drain the jackfruit and rinse with fresh water to remove the excess brine. Dry the jackfruit with a clean cheesecloth, thin towel, or paper towels by squeezing as much water as possible from the fruit; Discard the liquid.
  2. Shred the Jackfruit: Remove the seeds or “pods” from the jackfruit, as these do not shred evenly and can have a bitter flavor. Shred the jackfruit apart using either a fork or potato masher; It should resemble pulled pork.
  3. Marinate: In a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil, sofrito, crushed garlic, oregano, black pepper, adobo, Sazón, smoked paprika, and water. Whisk until well-combined and the spices have dissolved. Add the jackfruit to the mixing bowl and mix well. Cover the bowl and have the jackfruit sit in the marinade for at least an hour in the refrigerator, longer if possible.
  4. Sear: Add ⅓ cup of oil to a large non-stick pan over high heat. Once the oil is warm, add the marinated jackfruit (and the leftover juices in the bowl, if any) to the pan. Pan-fry jackfruit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s best to let the jackfruit sit for 3-5 minutes at a time, in order to brown some of its edges and give it more of a realistic texture. 
  5. Serve: warm and as desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and are best reheated on the stovetop.


  • Sofrito can be bought pre-made at many Latin markets or in the “ethnic” aisle of a grocery store, however, homemade sofrito is much tastier and it’s fresh.
  • Sazón and Adobo seasoning blends can be found in some standard grocery stores, or your local Latin market. They can also be purchased online!