Vegetarian “Chicken Wing” Dip with Jackfruit

Have you guys ever had jackfruit? A year or two ago I was at the grocery store and saw a package of pre-made, bbq style jackfruit that I just had to try. I thought it was really good, but I wanted to experiment with making my own creations with this fruit that has the texture and appearance of pulled pork or pulled chicken.

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You can find whole, raw jackfruit at many Asian supermarkets. This fruit is absolutely massive – usually the size of a large, oblong watermelon and can be rather messy to “butcher” at home. For this recipe (and others!), I take a shortcut and buy the young/green/unripe canned stuff that’s much easier to manage and allows me to whip up recipes in no time. Despite its name, this young/green/unripe jackfruit isn’t sweet the way you’d think of most fruits and it really takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with. Additionally, it’s fat free, has 0 grams of sugar and is rich in fiber.

I created this recipe because it has all the flavor of traditional chicken wing dip but without the meat and without the bottled ranch or blue cheese dressing. When I first became a vegetarian, I was all about the imitation meat substitutes. The more I have learned about nutrition, the more I have realized that “fake meat” is not the solution. While there are definitely exceptions, many “fake meat” options and many imitation dairy products are full of crappy ingredients. If you follow me on Instagram you probably know about my obsession with the Miyoko’s line of vegan dairy product alternatives which I would consider an exception! This brand has some amazing plant based products with awesome ingredients. The vegan butter is my favorite and absolutely AMAZING. I have even converted a slew of dairy lovers to the Miyoko’s butter! You could easily swap some Miyoko’s vegan cream cheese/vegan cheese for the dairy products I used in this recipe to make it vegan.

Vegetarian “Chicken Wing” Dip with Jackfruit

Makes 8 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
1 20 Oz Can of Young/Green/Unripe Jackfruit (~10 oz Jackfruit When Drained)
1 8 Oz Brick of Organic Cream Cheese or Organic Neufchatel Cheese, Softened
1/4 Tsp Dried Dill
1 Tsp Dried Parsley
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/3 Cup of Frank’s Red Hot
2 Oz – 4 Oz Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Optional: Scallions for Garnish

Instructions:

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, dill, parsley, onion powder and garlic powder. Tip: If you forgot to take the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften, zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds. If it is still not soft enough, microwave it for another 15 seconds!
    3. Open and drain the can of jackfruit. Using clean hands (this should be a given but I had to say it) or two forks, “shred” the jackfruit. You will begin to see strands and the the jackfruit will look like pulled pork. image3You may notice that the jackfruit has some  little pods that look like beans or seeds. These are fully edible, but you may remove them if you choose!image2
    4. Add the hot sauce to the softened cream cheese and herb mixture and mix well. Add the jackfruit and mix until everything is combined.image6
    5. Scrape the dip into an oven safe 8×8 baking dish or pie plate.
    6. Grate the cheese over the top of the dip creating an even layer. I use a grater like this with smaller holes as I feel like I can get ample cheesey coverage with less cheese. I personally used 2 oz of cheese for my dip, but up to 4 oz would be fine! Tip: If you don’t have a food scale and you purchased a standard 8 oz brick of cheese, cut the brick of cheese in half and then in half again. Each of the four pieces will be roughly 2 ounces!
    7. Bake the dip for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the dip is heated through.image5

I love serving this dip with cut up peppers, carrots, celery and of course corn chips. What are some of your favorite snacks and what healthier twists do you put on them?

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