Plant-based meals Recipes

Vegan Jackfruit Chilli with mixed Beans

Written by Flavia Giardino

I have been experimenting with different vegan chilli recipes lately and this is my favourite combination by far. It’s a perfect dish to cook for special occasions or to include in your weekly meal plan preps. You can enjoy with a bowl of rice or quinoa, eat with a salad or in a wrap. The vegan chilli can certainly give a lot of variety to your weekly menu without having to spend too much time in the kitchen.

The star of the dish is the Jackfruit, which is a super nutritious ingredient, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, it works as a perfect meat substitute in this recipe. I first had jackfruit back in Brazil in a “‘veganised” version of one of our signature snacks called coxinha – which is a type of a chicken croquette. I was hesitant to try it at first because it looked a lot like chicken, but I am so glad I did!

For savoury dishes, it is best to get the unripe or young jackfruit as the ripe fruit is very sweet. I usually get the organic young jackfruit in a can and all I do is rinse it with running water while I separate the bulbs with my fingers giving it a shredded look.

Now, there are two secrets to this recipe. One is the fresh tomato sauce, which is my base sauce for almost all of my pot dishes. I don’t usually like the canned tomatoes as I find them too acidic, and I also prefer to cook with as many fresh ingredients as I can. What’s more, this sauce is pretty easy to make, as you only need to place all ingredients into a blender or food processor, season it to your liking and it’s ready to go.

The other secret is the raw cocoa powder, which you add to the chilli towards the end. You may find it strange, but cocoa powder is the perfect addition to any chilli recipe as it helps to balance the dish and deepen its flavour. But make sure you use raw or unsweetened cocoa powder and don’t overdo it.

I love having this chilli with some coconut yoghurt and guacamole. It makes all the difference!

Serves 6 servings

Vegan Jackfruit Chilli

10 minPrep Time

50 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

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Recipe Image


    Fresh Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs olive oil (optional)
  • The Chilli
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic bulbs (crushed)
  • 1 medium red capsicum (cut in thin slices)
  • 1 medium yellow capsicum (cut in thin slices)
  • 1 fresh red chilli (chopped)
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tbs of tomato paste
  • 1 tbs of maple syrup
  • 1 tbs of raw cocoa powder
  • 400g of young jackfruit (washed and separated into small bits)
  • 1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can of red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


    Fresh Tomato Sauce
  1. Dice the tomatoes and place it into a blender or food processor along with 1 half onion, 2 garlic bulbs, salt, pepper, maple syrup and olive oil (optional). Blend it untill smooth and set aside.
  2. The Chilli
  3. Using a large casserole pan, fry half onion with one table spoon of coconut oil until cooked.
  4. Add the crushed garlic (2 cloves) and the spices (cumin, corriander, chilli and paprika). Fry for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the red and yellow capsicum (cut in thin slices) and fresh chilli and let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring well.
  6. Now it's time to add the fresh tomato sauce and the tomato paste. Stir well and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the beans and jackfruit. Let it cook with the lid on in low heat for about 35 minutes.
  8. Now add 1 table spoon of maple syrup, the cocoa powder, salt and pepper and mix well. Cook for another 10 minutes in low heat.
  9. Turn the heat off and add the squeezed lemon juice over the chilli. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

About the author

Flavia Giardino

Journalist, wellness enthusiast + nutritional medicine student. I am constantly looking to expand my knowledge of the principles of life and living. After being diagnosed with several food allergies, I have changed my lifestyle completely and have been experimenting new plant-based recipes, which are featured in the recipes section of this blog.

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