White Bean Jackfruit Chili

As the kiddos go back to school, I can’t help but think of vegan chili.  It tastes great on it’s own, or loaded up with vegan sour cream, scallions, avocado, or with a bit of shredded vegan cheese.  For the contrast in textures, I like a few crushed tortilla chips in mine.  

For this recipe, I chose to grill the tomatillos and jalapeño out on my gas grill; however, they can easily be roasted in the oven.  Grilling or roasting them deepens their flavors, and takes an average bowl of vegan chili up a notch.  I’ve included directions for how to do either method.  

I also used canned jackfruit packed in water, and hand shredded it–leaving a few chunks.  I added it at the very end and simmered it long enough to cook it through, but short enough to help preserve it’s texture.  

Also, you may wonder, why add garlic cloves and garlic powder?  The answer is flavor.  Fresh sautéed garlic offers a slightly sweet flavor, while garlic powder is assertive.  The garlic powder rounds out the flavor. For a variation, serve over tortilla chips and make vegan white bean jackfruit chili nachos!

White Bean Jackfruit Chili

8-10 large tomatillos, husks removed

½-1 jalapeño 

2 Tbsp + more for drizzling, olive oil

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ cup fresh cilantro

2 ½ cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

½-1 tsp garlic powder

2 14 ounce cans of jackfruit packed in water, drained and shredded

15 ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed


1. TO GRILL: Line a large grill-proof pan with non-stick aluminum foil.  Add tomatillos and jalapeño, and drizzle with olive oil.  I used a gas grill on HIGH and grilled 15 minutes–turning them over at the midway point (7 minutes in).  

TO ROAST: Set oven to BROIL on HIGH.  Line a large pan with non-stick aluminum foil.  Add tomatillos and jalapeno, and drizzle with olive oil.  When the oven is hot enough, BROIL until the tomatillos start to brown on top (~10 minutes).  Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool.

2. While the tomatillos are grilling or roasting, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, oregano, and a pinch of salt to a large, heavy pot or dutch oven.  Sauté over medium heat for 7 minutes or until onions are translucent.  

3. Add onion mixture, grilled/roasted tomatillos, grilled/roasted jalapeño, cilantro, broth, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder to a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Pour it back into the large, heavy pot or dutch oven.  

4. Add shredded jackfruit and white beans.  Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed (salt?).  Serve.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Julie says:

    How many servings does this make?

    1. Ugly Vegan Kitchen says:


  2. Travis says:

    Do you have to de-skin and de-seed the tomatillos?Thanks

    1. Ugly Vegan Kitchen says:

      No need. Leave the skin and seeds. The skin will become roasted or grilled, which adds complexity to the overall flavor. Later, you will blend everything together, so the skin and seeds will be completely incorporated.

  3. Linda says:

    Your recipe looks gorgeous! I followed all the directions precisely. The flavor would promising as I added each new element. However, when I added the jackfruit, it threw off all the lovely flavors you had going and completely altered the dish. I used Edward & Son’s UNSEASONED JACKFRUIT which came in a box with an inner pouch. Expiration date of 12/2019. It was very pinkish-brown and had a slight aroma, perhaps like vinegar. I have tried their canned jackfruit as well, and it looks as tastes the same. Your recipe, based on everything up until adding the jackfruit, was very tasty. I have ruined it with this jackfruit.
    Can you tell me what brand jackfruit you use, please? Yours is obviously white and resembled shredded chicken. Can you describe what you would expect packaged, unseasoned jackfruit to taste like?

    1. Ugly Vegan Kitchen says:

      O man! I am so sorry to hear your jackfruit threw it off course. I use Native Forest Organic Young Jackfruit packed in water. It comes in a 14 ounce can and basically tastes like nothing. It is diced in chunks and has to be manually shredded before using it. It can be grey or pinkish in color, but is generally pretty pale. I have never used boxed jackfruit that comes in a pouch, so I am unfamilar with how it tastes or would work. I wish I could give you more guidance there, but I hope this helps in the meantime.

  4. Linda says:

    Thanks for your speedy reply! I can assure you your recipe is tasty! I will remake it again without the jackfruit, first. I will then fully appreciate what it is supposed to taste like, and I know I will enjoy it. Then I will make it again, using Native Forest Young Jackfruit packed in water, as you recommend. I am ordering some now! : )

    1. Ugly Vegan Kitchen says:

      You are most welcome! I really appreciate your kind words. I felt really bad that the recipe wasn’t coming together for you, and hope it works out much better.

  5. Angela says:

    Your recipe looks wonderful. I have jackfruit in brine in a can, do you think this will work?

    1. Thank you so much! You could give it a shot. Maybe rinse it off before using it to tame some of the saltiness, just in case? Let me know how it goes.

  6. Linda Hearsch says:

    I posted previously on October 27, 2019, having had a poor end result due ENTIRELY to the choice of jackfruit I used. I am writing to tell you that I made this recipe again today and it was DELICIOUS using the Native Forest Young Jackfruit you recommended. This recipe is a keeper!

    1. I am so happy to hear this! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  7. Jennifer Crosby says:

    I was wondering if you have ever used fresh jackfruit. My neighborhood grocery store carries it. Wondering what the equivalent would be fresh to canned and how much longer would it have to cook?

    1. I have not used fresh jackfruit, but I know a little bit about it that may help you.

      When jackfruit is ripe, it is sweet and tastes similar to a mango. This recipe uses canned young jackfruit. Young jackfruit in the can is picked before its starch changes into sugar, so the flavor is neutral. With that in mind, if you did want to use it, make sure the fresh jackfruit is not ripe at all.

      One 14 ounce can of young jackfruit has about 1 cup of jackfruit chunks, so about 2 cups of fresh young jackfruit should work. I’m not sure how long it will take to cook, but try following the recipe and see how it goes. Give it a taste, and adjust from there (maybe an additional 10 minutes or more to simmer).

      If you give it a try with fresh young jackfruit, let us know how it came together. I wish I had more personal experience there to guide you. Hope this helps.

  8. Jen says:

    I am just finishing making this right now and it’s great. I opted for one can of jackfruit and 2 cans of beans, and did put in the rest of the container of broth I had (so equaled about 4 cups total), otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I think chili in general is usually better the next day and I can’t wait to eat leftovers of this!

    1. Wow, thank you so much!

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