A non-traditional take on the classic butter chicken dish. In the modern world, many of us have food allergies and can’t enjoy all the foods we used to. This recipe has the same creamy, flavorful taste and texture of butter chicken, but without the meat or dairy.

Vegan Butter Chicken with Jackfruit

It’s the first day of 2018 and I thought I’d start it off with a healthy, savory recipe. I was recently thumbing through an old notebook of half developed recipes I had begun working on and abandoned in the past, and thought this one was worth spending more time on. It was definitely a good decision.

If you’re a fan of butter chicken, or used to be before a dietary change, this just might be up your alley. There may not be any butter or chicken in this recipe, but the same flavor profile is there thanks to the magic of seasoning. Our ancestors sure have spoiled us by discovering a plethora of spices all around the world. Would food have the same level of enjoyment if it hadn’t been for them? We are certainly lucky for everything we have.

Vegan Butter Chicken with Jackfruit

I had originally intended for this to be a tofu based dish, but not being the biggest fan of that tofu taste, it required a bit of work. I had tried pressing the tofu, marinating it, cutting it in small bites, crumbling and then marinating it, but it seemed that no matter what method I went through with, I could still taste tofu. Suddenly I remember why I had abandoned this recipe for a year.

Since my goal is to make this dish as similar to the real thing as possible, so everyone in the family can enjoy it, the tofu taste wasn’t going to fly. That’s where my new pal, jackfruit came in to save the day. Jackfruit doesn’t have an overpowering taste to it, so it works well in this recipe. Not only that, but the texture is a nice substitute for chicken. I even used two forks to pull each piece slightly apart to give it more of a meaty texture. Not a necessary step, but I liked the end result better when I did it that way.

Vegan Butter Chicken with Jackfruit

This recipe makes 2-4 servings – probably more like two if you’re hungry. If you serve it with a hefty portion of rice and some bread on the side, you can maybe stretch it to 4 servings.

5 from 1 vote
Vegan "Butter Chicken" with Jackfruit
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Servings: 2
  • 1 Tbsp Sunflower Oil or other light tasting oil
  • 1 Large Onion sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic 1 Tbsp minced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger minced
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 ½ tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt*
  • ½ tsp Chili Flakes
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 can 400ml Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1 can 565g Young Green Jackfruit
  1. Heat oil in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 8-10 minutes until they start to brown. Stir often.
  2. Peel and mince garlic and ginger and add to the pan. Stir in spices and salt. Cook for a minute, then pour in the coconut milk and crushed tomatoes and stir.
  3. Chop your jackfruit into smaller pieces, then add to the pan, along with the coconut sugar. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Serve over rice.
Recipe Notes

*The amount of salt may have to be adjusted depending on your choice of crushed tomatoes. I've been using a can of crushed tomatoes containing salt every time I made this and found 1 tsp to work perfectly. If you use unsalted, keep that in mind and add more to taste.
**You can flake the jackfruit apart using two forks, pulling it in opposite directions to give it more of a meaty texture. An optional, but recommended step.

Vegan 'Butter Chicken' with Jackfruit #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

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Looks amazing, as usual! Say, where do you get your jackfruit? Thinking I should check it out, sounds magical! 😉

Catherine Brown

I’ve yet to try jackfruit, but this recipe looks devine!! All those wonderful flavors. I discover butter chicken AFTER I stopped eating meat and have always wanted to try it. I’m going to have to look for jackfruit now. Do you ever see it fresh? I’m not even sure what one looks like! 😉

Samantha H.

Yum! Indian food is one of my favorites. I’ve always been curious about jackfruit. It wasn’t a “thing” many years ago when I was a vegetarian. I’ll have to try it! Especially since I can’t eat most tofu these days.


Use of jackfruit reminds me of my hometown..this looks delicious..I’m sure the addition of coconut milk makes this rich in taste


I love Indian food and this recipe looks fabulous. I will have to give it a try next time I have vegan guests.

Sarah Anne Stubbs

What a great and healthy swap! I’ve seen so many jack fruit recipes but never for Indian food! This sounds yummy!


this looks amazing


Yes omg yes this looks amazing! Recently found a store that stocks young green jackfruit in Dublin so I’m definitely making this soon! Thanks for sharing I’m glad you didn’t abandon it!


I have never had jackfruit before, but i’ve been seeing a lot of great recipes (including this one) that uses it! I’m going to have to jump on board and try out some jackfruit!

Healthy foodie 101
Healthy foodie 101

I have to try this! I am eating mostly vegan food so I would love to try it. I have never seen jsackfruit where I live but maybe i can find it in the china town

Gloria Duggan

Totally love butter chicken. Have never tried jackfruit. Not sure if I can even get it here. I am going to have a look next time I go shopping…it has gotten me very curious indeed.


This sounds heavenly! Haven’t tried jackfruit before, I’ll have to get it a shot.


I love that your butter chicken has no butter and no chicken hahaha! Right up my alley. I could seriously go for a bowl of these right now. It’s 62F degrees and that’s wayyy too cold for this Miami girl. LOL


These photos are AMAZING!! Making me so hungry! I’ve only ever enjoyed jack fruit sweet and I’ve been wanting to try it savory. Can’t wait to try this recipe!!


I’m also not the biggest fan of that tofu flavour so this is such an intriguing way to have butter chicken without the chicken. I’ve not yet had jackfruit as a meat substitute but you’ve really encouraged me to try it out soon.


I love the texture of jackfruit and can definitely see how it would work as a meat substitute. I mean, it even looks like meat in the pictures!! Love it. 🙂

Alecia @ CSNY

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen jackfruit at the local Asian grocery store, they have everything else so they must have it! I’ll have to find out and give this a try

Rezel Kealoha
Rezel Kealoha

such a great idea to replace it with jackfruit! Right now I can’t stand the thought of eating meat, so it’s a good swap for me!

Serena Lissy

This sounds delicious! Now to figure out where I can find jackfruit in my town is going to be the challenge. Once in a while I get lucky at the Asian markets.


I’ve never tried jackfruit, but I’m also a meat eater. I’m going to try this recipe with chicken!


Jackfruit curry is definitely amazing. I’ve had some really amazing ones in Sri Lanka and Indonesia and looove eating it raw or dried. I can see it working really well with this recipe, such a cool idea to use jackfruit instead of chicken or tofu. If you’re still interested in trying it with some kind of tofu, I suggest using “tofu skin” instead of tofu. it’s the film that dries up on the top of soy milk when heated. Sometimes you can find it dried or deep fried in Asian stores, or just make your own. It doen’st have so… Read more »


I’ve never seen anything like this before! I bet this would be super yummy 🙂


This recipe sounds very interesting. It’s perfect for people on diets and vegans. Jack fruit is delicious. I always wondered what it would taste like in recipes similar to yours.


This looks too good for words! I’ve never had jack fruit before but I think I’m going to have to hunt some down to try!! Your pictures are gorgeous by the way =)

Burtons Bakes

Always been intrigued by the use of jackfruit..! This looks delicious, definitely got me craving curry now!


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Simon Trundle
Simon Trundle

Just made it…awesome. Bunged in some ground almonds to thicken but that’s the only tweak. Top recipe

Simon Trundle
Simon Trundle

New favourite recipe. Just added a bit of turmeric and some ground almonds to thicken…lush


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