This Jackfruit Recipe Is the Perfect Healthy Appetizer

Sara Angle
December 24, 2018

Need a healthy appetizer to serve up at your next get together? These jackfruit crab cakes from chef and nutritionist Lauren Egdahl are the answer you’ve been looking for!

Typical hors d’oeuvres are usually full of processed ingredients and don’t do much for you nutritionally. But a little creativity can go a long way when it comes to making healthy food look amazing and taste even better. Using jackfruit as the star ingredient, these vegan jackfruit crab cakes will blow your guests (and taste buds) away.

What is jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit with a slightly sweet taste but a meaty texture. Lately, it’s been gaining popularity in vegan and vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute due to it’s sinewy quality.

Jackfruits are the largest tree fruit in the world and can grow up to 100 pounds. Inside, it contains pods that can be eaten raw or cooked as well as edible seeds.

Nutritional benefits of jackfruit

Jackfruit doesn’t contain nearly as much protein as meat, but it does have around three grams of protein per cup—more than most fruits. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber and is low GI, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar. Research has shown that the jackfruit is high in carotenoids , a type of antioxidant that may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases .

How to eat jackfruit

The flesh of a jackfruit can be eaten raw or it can be cooked. One of the easiest ways to eat jackfruit is to buy it canned and then use in recipes that typically call for meat, like jackfruit BBQ, jackfruit tacos, jackfruit pulled pork, or our favorite—gluten free, vegan jackfruit crab cakes. See for yourself just how tasty they are!

Jackfruit “crab” cakes recipe


  • 1 14oz canned jackfruit
  • 6 tbsp veggie confetti, such as zucchini, bell pepper, and carrot (Whatever you have on hand will work—this is to add texture, color, nutrients, and flavor.)
  • 1 tbsp red onion, finely minced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • pinch salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp gluten free panko
  • Any other spices and herbs that you like to make it your own. Think: 1 tsp tamari + ginger/ 1/2 tsp harissa + pinch cinnamon/ 1 tsp bbq sauce/ 1/2 tsp chipotle in adobo)


  • 3/4 cup gluten free panko
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, untoasted
  • pinch salt (to taste)


  • Sliced Avocado
  • Lemon Juice
  • Edible Flowers

*An aioli, tahini, dip, or crema would also work great here as well!


1. Mince red onion and veggies for confetti.
2. Drain can of jackfruit and add to bowl, using hands to separate jackfruit into small pieces.
3. Mix coating ingredients in separate shallow bowl.
4. Add all other ingredients to jackfruit and mix thoroughly.
5. Let mixture sit at least 5 minutes to allow flaxseed to do it’s work as a binder.
6. Form jackfruit mixture into patty and roll in panko/sesame until fully coated.
7. Using an oil with high smoke point (avocado, sunflower seed, or coconut oil), coat skillet and heat to medium high heat.
8. Add jackfruit cakes and cook until golden brown on each side.
9. Remove and drain on paper towel, transfer to plate, finish with pinch of salt and desired garnish/ sauce.

* Jackfruit cakes can also be baked in oven at 425 degrees with light drizzle of oil, cooked 8 minutes on one side (nice and crispy), flipped and finished for another 5 minutes on other side.

Lauren Egdahl is a chef who got her start in NYC at a boutique catering company while getting her Masters in Nutrition and Integrative Health. After a Hawaiian wedding earlier this year, Lauren and her husband relocated to the quieter life in Denver, CO! There, they started their own company A Good Egg , and are sharing their love for great food with the fine people of the rockies.

Sara Angle

Sara is a content creator who has worked with outlets such as Outside Magazine, Well + Good, Healthline, and Men's Journal, and as a journalist at Shape and Self and publications in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Rome. She is also an ACE-certified personal trainer. She has a degree in communication with concentrated studies in journalism from Villanova University.

Outside of office hours, you can usually find her taking a dance class, trying out the latest fitness craze, or teaching and performing synchronized swimming with The Brooklyn Peaches.

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