Go Back

Jackfruit Ropa Vieja

A vegan spin on everyone's favorite Cuban dish. To compensate for the lack of beef, created a savory tomato sauce and added in some shredded jackfruit and green bell pepper. The results did not disappoint!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban, Latino


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced longways extra thin
  • 1 box young, unripened jackfruit (or 2 15oz cans) without seasonings, not in brine if possible
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce unseasoned
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce vegan varieties are available in most stores
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • black pepper to taste optional


  • Begin by heating your oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until fragrant and transluscent. Once the onions are ready, add in the tomato paste and garlic, stir, and sauté another 2-3 minutes until again fragrant.
  • Next, add in the veggie broth, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, sugar, and black pepper. Stir, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer uncovered (remember to stir occasionally) for 30 minutes.
  • Add the jackfruit and bell pepper. If you are using a nonstick pot, you will want to shred your jackfruit before adding it in. Jackfruit is actually much easier to shred after it is cooked, but to avoid dragging forks along teflon, it is worth an extra minute to shred by hand and then throw in. Cover with lid and simmer an additional 15-30 minutes.
  • After the jackfruit has simmered and the peppers have softened, and if you haven't pulled your jackfruit already, go ahead and take two forks to shred it now.
  • That's it! I served mine today with Venezuelan Arepas by the Minimalist Baker (I'll link the recipe below), black beans, and fried sweet plantains! It was SUPER authentic, SUPER savory, and SUPER good!


After trying many brands, my absolute favorite is the Edward & Sons Organic Unseasoned Jackfruit Pieces. It can be found in many stores, often in the international aisle. Unlike many canned varieties, the fruit does not sit in a brine, so it does not come with a fermented, vinegary, or bitter taste. If you can find this brand, please try it! Otherwise, if you do use canned jackfruit, please be sure to drain and rinse before adding to the recipe. You may also find that you will need extra sugar, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and salt to cancel out the brine flavor. And no, this is not a paid ad!! 
Keyword jackfruit, ropa vieja, vegan