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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Marsh

Papaya "Pulled Pork" Tacos

Fresh and Nutritious Papaya "Pulled Pork" Tacos Recipe

papaya pulled port taco

Hey everyone! September is here, and we're ending the month on a high note with a fantastic ingredient: papaya. This tropical delight isn't just sweet and delicious; it's also incredibly nutritious. Today, I'm sharing a fresh, simple, and oh-so-healthy recipe that showcases the goodness of papaya – Papaya "Pulled Pork" Tacos!

Why Papaya?

Papaya is the star of the show this month, and it deserves the spotlight. This fruit is like nature's candy, but with a nutritional punch. It's loaded with vitamin C to give your immune system a boost, and it's got papain, an enzyme that helps with digestion. Plus, it's rich in antioxidants to keep you feeling your best.

papaya pulled pork taco

The Recipe: Papaya "Pulled Pork" Tacos


  • 1 large ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and diced into small cubes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to your spice preference)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water

  • Juice of 1 lime

For the Taco Assembly:

  • 8 small whole wheat or corn tortillas

  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage

  • 1 cup diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

  • 1/2 cup diced avocado

  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

  • Vegan sour cream or yogurt (optional)


  1. Heat things up in your kitchen with a skillet over medium heat. Add some olive oil and sauté the finely chopped red onion and minced garlic until they become soft and fragrant.

  2. It's papaya time! Toss in those diced papaya cubes and let them sizzle for a couple of minutes until they start to get a little golden.

  3. Season your papaya magic with smoked paprika, cumin powder, chili powder, and a dash of salt and pepper. Give it all a good mix to make sure every piece of papaya is coated with that spicy goodness.

  4. Pour in some veggie broth (or water) and a squeeze of lime juice. Then, lower the heat, cover your skillet, and let the papaya simmer away for about 10-15 minutes until it's tender and bursting with flavor.

  5. Grab a fork and gently mash some of the papaya cubes to create that "pulled pork" texture. Taste it, and add a little more seasoning if needed.

  6. Time to assemble! Warm up your tortillas and load them up with the papaya "pulled pork." Then, pile on the shredded red cabbage, diced tomatoes, red bell pepper, and creamy avocado. Don't forget the fresh cilantro for that extra pop of flavor!

Health Benefits of Main Ingredients:
  • Papaya:

    • Rich in vitamin C, which supports the immune system.

    • Contains papain, an enzyme that aids digestion.

    • Provides fiber for digestive health.

    • High in antioxidants that help combat free radicals.

  • Red Cabbage (or Alternatives):

    • Low in calories and high in fiber.

    • Packed with vitamin C and vitamin K.

    • Contains antioxidants that promote overall health.

    • Can be substituted with green cabbage, kale, or spinach for a different flavor and texture.

  • Tomatoes:

    • Good source of vitamin C and potassium.

    • Rich in lycopene, an antioxidant associated with heart health.

    • Alternatives: Cherry tomatoes, diced bell peppers, or salsa.

  • Red Bell Pepper (or Alternatives):

    • Excellent source of vitamin C.

    • Low in calories and rich in antioxidants.

    • Provides a sweet crunch to the tacos.

    • Alternatives: Yellow or orange bell peppers, diced cucumber, or shredded carrots.

  • Avocado:

    • Healthy monounsaturated fats that support heart health.

    • High in fiber, potassium, and vitamins E, C, and B-6.

    • Creamy texture adds richness to the tacos.

    • Alternatives: Guacamole or mashed peas for a lower-fat option.

Tortilla Alternatives:
  1. Jicama Tortillas: Jicama slices can be used as a low-carb, gluten-free, and refreshing alternative to traditional tortillas. Simply slice jicama thinly and use it to wrap your fillings.

  2. Lettuce Wraps: Large lettuce leaves, such as iceberg or romaine, can be used to create taco wraps. They add a crisp, fresh element to your tacos.

  3. Collard Green Wraps: Collard greens can serve as sturdy, nutritious wraps. Blanch or steam the leaves briefly to soften them for easier wrapping.

  4. Whole Wheat or Corn Tortillas (as mentioned in the recipe): If you prefer a traditional option, opt for whole wheat or corn tortillas for added fiber and flavor.

Feel free to customize your tacos with these ingredient alternatives to suit your dietary preferences and health goals. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious meal!

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving, 2 tacos):
  • Calories: 320

  • Protein: 5g

  • Carbohydrates: 58g

    • Dietary Fiber: 9g

    • Sugars: 17g

  • Fat: 10g

    • Saturated Fat: 1.5g

  • Cholesterol: 0mg

  • Sodium: 400mg

  • Potassium: 625mg

  • Vitamin A: 35%

  • Vitamin C: 90%

  • Calcium: 10%

  • Iron: 15%

Suggested Servings:

This recipe makes approximately 4 servings (8 tacos in total). You can adjust the serving size based on your appetite or the number of people you are serving. These vegan papaya "pulled pork" tacos are a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy a plant-based alternative to traditional pulled pork tacos. Enjoy!

vegan papaya and tofu tacos

Alternative Option: Papaya and Tofu Fusion:

For a heartier, protein-packed twist on these Papaya "Pulled Pork" Tacos, consider combining the chunked papaya with crumbled firm tofu. This fusion not only adds a satisfying bulk to your tacos but also boosts their protein content. Simply crumble the tofu and cook it with the papaya and spices as described in the recipe. You'll have a filling, high-protein option that's perfect for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Additional Estimated Nutrition Facts for Protein-Based Option (per serving, 2 tacos):
  • Calories: 340

  • Protein: 13g

  • Carbohydrates: 58g

    • Dietary Fiber: 9g

    • Sugars: 17g

  • Fat: 10g

    • Saturated Fat: 1.5g

  • Cholesterol: 0mg

  • Sodium: 400mg

  • Potassium: 625mg

  • Vitamin A: 35%

  • Vitamin C: 90%

  • Calcium: 15%

  • Iron: 15%

Why I Love It:

These Papaya "Pulled Pork" Tacos are not only a burst of flavors but also a nutrient-packed meal. Papaya brings its sweet and tropical charm, while the colorful veggies and spices add a zing to every bite.

Whether you're a dedicated vegan or just looking to try something new, these tacos are sure to become a favorite. And with papaya as the star, you can enjoy a taste of the tropics right at home.

Enjoy this delicious recipe with friends and family! 🌮🥭🌱

Disclaimer: Always check for food allergies and dietary restrictions when serving this recipe. The provided nutrition facts are approximate and may vary based on ingredient brands and portion sizes.

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