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Jackfruit nuggets are crispy, tender, juicy, and a delicious plant-based meat replacement! The easy recipe is vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free friendly. These meatless chicken nuggets can be baked, fried, or cooked in an air fryer. They make a fun after school snack for kids or game day appetizer!
Can you believe it’s not chicken?! These jackfruit nuggets are a delicious way to satisfy your fried food cravings. The tender, juicy jackfruit is coated in a crispy, crunchy breading that practically melts in your mouth. They are savory, satisfying, and a tasty comfort food snack.
What’s so great about this recipe? Unlike popular soy-based meat alternatives, these meatless chicken nuggets are made with familiar ingredients. The recipe uses pantry staples like flour, breadcrumbs, cornstarch, and spices. There are no weird preservatives or lab-made ingredients involved.
Since canned young jackfruit has a neutral flavor, it easily takes on whatever seasoning you pair it with. For this recipe, we’ll use a chicken-flavored blend of savory spices like onion, garlic, and nutritional yeast.
You can enjoy these vegan nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce, like ketchup, BBQ sauce, or honey mustard. They also pair well in salads, wraps, and sandwiches!
These jackfruit nuggets are:
- Vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free friendly
- Crispy, crunchy, tender, and juicy
- Kid-friendly & a fun after school snack idea
- Versatile (fried, baked, or cooked in an air fryer)
- A meatless appetizer for bbq or snack for game day
- Great with salads, wraps, and dipping sauces
What are jackfruit nuggets made of?
- Jackfruit: Jackfruit is a popular vegan meat replacement. Despite being a fruit, it is commonly used to replace chicken or pulled pork in savory recipes. It offers various health benefits, like being high in vitamins and minerals.
- Almond milk: Use unsweetened almond milk or any type of plant-based milk. If you aren’t dairy-free, feel free to use regular milk.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice, once combined with almond milk, is used to create homemade buttermilk for the batter.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour, also known as plain flour, for this recipe. If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour instead.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is starch derived from the corn grain. It helps make the breading thick and crispy.
- Breadcrumbs: I recommend using panko breadcrumbs, which are made from crustless white bread. The panko variety has a drier and flakier consistency, leading to a light and crunchy texture. You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
- Nutritional yeast: This ingredient has a cheesy, nutty flavor and it is loaded with B vitamins. Once combined with the breadcrumbs and spices, it all comes together to make the nuggets taste like chicken.
- Seasoning: We’ll use a delicious blend of garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika.
How to make breaded jackfruit nuggets
For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
First, drain and rinse the jackfruit in a mesh strainer. Transfer it to a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut off the firm, pointy tips of each piece (optional).
Next, prepare a line of three bowls for the buttermilk, flour, and breadcrumbs. Also, prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
In one bowl, combine almond milk and lemon juice. Whisk together and set aside. In a second bowl, combine flour and cornstarch. Whisk together and set aside. In a third bowl, combine breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. Whisk together and set aside.
Dip one piece of jackfruit into the flour, then buttermilk, and then breadcrumbs. Repeat one more time, evenly coating the entire piece of jackfruit. Transfer breaded jackfruit to the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the jackfruit is coated.
You can either bake, fry, or air fry the jackfruit nuggets. Read the instructions below for each option.
How to bake jackfruit nuggets
If baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the jackfruit across a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Generously spray the jackfruit with non-stick cooking oil. Bake for 25 minutes, gently flipping once halfway through, until golden brown.
How to make fried jackfruit
If frying in a pan, warm vegetable oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add a few pieces of jackfruit to the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes each side.
If air frying, add nuggets to the basket in a single layer. Air fry at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Ways to serve jackfruit nuggets
Serve these jackfruit nuggets on their own with your choice of dip, or incorporate them into a savory meal! Choose from the ideas below.
- Dip: Enjoy with ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, or sweet and sour sauce.
- Salad: Make a vegan chicken salad by adding the jackfruit nuggets on top. They pair well with ranch dressing, BBQ dressing, or buffalo hot sauce.
- Sandwich and wraps: Stuff the crispy jackfruit nuggets in sandwiches and wraps, just as you would with regular breaded chicken.
- Pizza: Use them as a crispy topping for pizzas and flatbread.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Can I use fresh jackfruit? No, be sure to use canned young jackfruit for this recipe. It should be canned in brine, not syrup. If it is canned in syrup, it won’t have a meaty flavor.
Can I use regular breadcrumbs? You can if that’s all you can find. However, I highly recommend using panko breadcrumbs. They provide a lighter, crispier, and crunchier texture.
What is the best cooking method? As mentioned, you can bake, fry, or air fry these jackfruit nuggets. In my opinion, frying in a pan is the best method. It creates the most delicious and flavorful nuggets.
How to store leftovers? I highly suggest using all of the jackfruit nuggets at once for the best results. However, if you have leftovers, you can keep them inside a sealed bag in the freezer. To reheat, bake in the oven or air fryer until warm.
More vegan meatless recipes
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- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 25 nuggets 1x
- Category: Appetizer, Dinner
- Method: Bake, Fry
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Crispy jackfruit nuggets are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free! These meatless chicken nuggets can be baked, fried, or cooked in an air fryer. The tender, juicy jackfruit is coated in a crispy, crunchy breadcrumb batter. They can be an after school snack for kids or meatless game day appetizer. Dip in ketchup, bbq sauce, mustard, and more! #jackfruit #meatless #veganchicken #nuggets #chickennuggets #meatfree #veganrecipes #vegetarianrecipes #gameday #appetizer
- 2 cans jackfruit, drained and rinsed*
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Jackfruit: Drain and rinse the jackfruit in a mesh strainer. Transfer jackfruit to a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut off the firm, pointy tips of each piece (optional).
- Buttermilk: In a bowl, combine almond milk and lemon juice. Whisk together.
- Flour: In a second bowl, combine flour and corn starch. Whisk together.
- Breadcrumbs: In a third bowl, combine breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. Whisk together.
- Prepare baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Assemble: Create a line of the flour, buttermilk, and breadcrumbs. Dip one piece of jackfruit into the flour, then buttermilk, and then breadcrumbs. Repeat one more time, evenly coating the entire piece of jackfruit. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat until all jackfruit is coated.
- How to bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously spray the breaded nuggets with non-stick cooking oil. Bake for 25 minutes, gently flipping once halfway through, until golden brown.
- How to fry: Warm vegetable oil (or any high-heat oil of your choosing) in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add a few pieces of jackfruit to the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes each side. If air frying, cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F in the air frying rack.
- Serve: Serve jackfruit nuggets with your choice of dip, like ketchup or BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
- *Use jackfruit canned in brine or water, not syrup. Rinse and drain the jackfruit thoroughly.
- Nutritional information is for baking or air frying the nuggets, not frying with oil.
- Serving Size: 1 nugget
- Calories: 35
- Sugar: 0g
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 1g
Keywords: jackfruit nuggets, fried jackfruit, meatless chicken nuggets
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These are very good! They were easy to make too! I did find though, that the amount of the breadcrumb mixture is good for one can of jackfruit, not two cans. But no big deal, just double the breadcrumb mixture for two cans. I had them dipped in bbq sauce. This recipe is a keeper and I’ll definitely be making them again!
Thanks so much, Patty! Interesting to hear you used the breadcrumbs for 1 can only. That’s helpful to know! 🙂