This super fast Vegan Shredded Chicken comes together in just 10 minutes with 4 pantry ingredients and is incredibly versatile. Spice how you like and use it in any dish--it’s gluten-free and soy-free to boot.
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Hey Internet, I recently made a meatless crumbles recipe--a versatile ground beef replacement--so I figured it was time to make another. This one is vegan shredded chicken and it’s awesome.
It uses just ONE pantry ingredient and a few spices. It also takes just 10 minutes to make, and you can double or triple the recipe as needed easily.
The main ingredient? Young jackfruit. Also known as green jackfruit or unripe jackfruit.
It normally comes canned (although I’ve seen some vacuum sealed which is also fine). You do NOT want ripe jackfruit here because it’s far too sweet. Young jackfruit is neutral in flavor.
I’ll give you a trick below to get rid of that briny taste, as well as a trick to shred the jackfruit in under a minute.
I discovered using jackfruit as chicken right before starting this blog, with one of my earliest recipes: vegan chicken cucumber salad.
But I just shredded it and put it right in there.
This pulled jackfruit is cooked briefly on the stovetop to give it a GREAT lightly crispy texture on the outside, and a nice browning. It’s very easy to achieve.
Truthfully I decided to develop this because I was craving vegan chicken salad and didn’t feel like putting in a lot of effort. This was perfect because it’s delicious AND quick AND easy.
So, let’s get into the (vegan) meat of the recipe. Sorry, I had to (husband rolling eyes across the office we share).
What You’ll Need
So I already mentioned the main ingredient is young jackfruit in a can (or vacuum sealed). This UNRIPE jackfruit is perfectly edible, and perfect for savory dishes since it isn’t sweet like the more mature jackfruit you’d find fresh.
Canned jackfruit is available at Trader Joe’s, many health food stores, and online. You can also sometimes find it in Asian markets--I often find mine at H-Mart, a Korean supermarket with many locations.
To get the briny taste off you’ll really need to rinse the jackfruit well and I recommend discarding the smooth seeds. They’re edible, but not the best texture.
While you can spice these how you like, I recommend the following spices to make it taste like generic roasted/shredded chicken:
Poultry seasoning (an herb blend generally used on poultry, but it is vegan)
That’s it! That’s really all you need.
See my “Suggestions for Use” section below on ideas on how to use this delicious vegan shredded chicken.
Oh, and substitutions… I don’t really have any.
If you’ve tried jackfruit before and have been put off, I urge you to try this recipe. It only takes a few minutes of your time and you might find your new favorite meat replacement!
Tips on Making Vegan Shredded Chicken
- Whether your young jackfruit comes in a can or vacuum-sealed pack. Rinse it as well as you possibly can. You want to remove that briny flavor as much as possible (though the spices will help).
- Remove all seeds you can see or feel (they are smooth, firm knobs) and discard. They are edible, but the texture isn’t very pleasant in my opinion.
- Next, and trust me on this one, add your jackfruit to a clean kitchen towel (one that isn’t linty), close the edges so you have a ball, and rub it between your hands until all the triangular pieces of jackfruit are shredded. Remove the remaining seeds.
- If you don’t want to do the towel idea, you can shred them in a bowl with a fork, but make sure to dry them on a paper towel so they’re not dripping.
- If your jackfruit smells briny still (or you’re welcome to taste it, it’s not going to bite you), give it another thorough rinse and dry. You’ll be able to get it rinsed even better now that it’s shredded.
- Next, in a hot nonstick skillet (I love All-Clad Nonstick B1 Skillets as their coating is safe, non-toxic, and effective), add the jackfruit and cook over medium high heat for 1 minute.
- Now add the spices (add what’s indicated and whatever else you like if you know you’re using this for something else like taco meat), stir well, and cook for 2 minutes, undisturbed. Use a thin pancake spatula to help you flip them over and cook 2 more minutes, undisturbed.
- Serve immediately or let cool and store until ready to use.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Suggestions for Use
You can use this vegan shredded chicken in just about anything! Here’s a few ideas:
- In vegan chicken salad
- In tacos (spice with cumin, coriander, paprika, chili, red pepper, oregano, onion & garlic powder) or a taco salad (coming soon!)
- In any kind of salad, really
- Stir fry
- Pasta--it would go great with my vegan cajun pasta
- Vegan Chicken Soup or even in my Vegan Matzo Ball Soup
- In Enchiladas, Quesadillas, or Taquitos
- Vegan Buffalo Chicken dip (coming soon!)
- On pizza or sandwiches
- In pot pie (coming soon!)
Notice all those “coming soon” notes? I’ve given myself so many ideas!
More Vegan Meat Alternatives
I don’t really miss meat at all, and neither does my husband. But sometimes you want something that resembles something you used to eat. It may or may not taste exactly the same, but it can definitely satisfy that craving.
I hope you’ll check out one or two of these recipes, they’re actually some of the most popular on my blog!
- Vegan Philly Cheesesteak (my most popular recipe!)
- Vegan Drumsticks
- Lentil Mushroom Loaf (Gluten-Free)
- Vegan Gyros
- Vegan Brisket
- Instant Pot Seitan
- Vegan Meatballs (Gluten-Free)
- Meatless Crumbles (Gluten-Free)
- Vegan Chicken Nuggets
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants, who is vegan but occasionally misses the flavor of meat (but not the cruelty–he insisted I add that line).
This Vegan Shredded Chicken is:
- “Meaty” (hold the cruelty)
- Lightly crispy
- Chewy yet tender
- Low calorie
- and great for any dish, especially one that someone would normally use shredded chicken for.
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!