Jamaican Roast Breadfruit is traditionally prepared on an open coal or wood fire, but this version is the foolproof and effortless method, using an oven. Learn how to prepare whole breadfruit so you can enjoy this vegan, gluten-free and versatile tropical fruit as a snack, appetizer, or side dish to your favourite Caribbean meals or just about anything!
Looking for more Jamaican side dish recipes? Then you have to try my tasty Jamaican Bammy, slightly sweet Hard Dough (Hardo) Bread, and this healthy Jamaican Steamed Cabbage or Jamaican Callaloo recipe.
Roasted breadfruit is a simple culinary pleasure that has so many uses. Although there are many ways to cook breadfruit, roasting it is my preferred method because it yields a slightly smoky flavour. And as it roasts, your kitchen will be filled with the warm and inviting smell of freshly baked bread, hence the name.
With this recipe, you will learn the history of this unique fruit, how to prepare it, and more! I even added an optional final step that includes frying the breadfruit. This tasty (although totally not necessary) variation is perfect for a healthier alternative to french fries (in my opinon). Either way, you are going to love this roasted breadfruit recipe!
Here’s Why You’ll Love this Jamaican Roast Breadfruit Recipe
- Easy to Prepare – with simple and straightforward instructions, it’s pretty hard to mess up this recipe. It just takes a little patience.
- A Healthy Treat – breadfruit is rich in complex carbs and low in fat. It is also naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- So Versatile – enjoy it roasted, fried, boiled, stuffed, mashed, or ground into flour. Eat it as a potato substitute, a healthy alternative to bread or transform it into a dessert. The possibilities are endless!
What is Breadfruit?
Breadfruit is a tropical fruit that flowers every 90 days. It is similar to jackfruit. Find breadfruit trees in tropical regions like the Caribbean islands, Southeast Asia, Hawaii, and the Pacific islands. The fruit is rich in starch and has an oval shape with lumpy skin.
History of Breadfruit in Jamaica
Breadfruit is native to the South Pacific but was introduced to the Caribbean islands during the 18th century by an English lieutenant named William Bligh. The fruit was intended to feed people who were enslaved because it was cheap and plentiful.
What Does Roasted Breadfruit Taste Like?
Roasted breadfruit tastes like nothing you’ve probably ever had it has a mild and starchy yet deliciously pleasing taste. The riper the fruit, the sweeter it tastes. So it can vary from tasting like bread-like to a buttery dense white sweet potato. The exact flavour depends on how ripe the fruit is and how it is prepared.
How Do You Roast a Jamaican Breadfruit?
Breadfruit is traditionally roasted over an open fire of charcoal or wood. However, for the sake of convenience, roasted breadfruit is placed directly on a rack of an oven preheated to 400°F (200°C) for at least 2 hours or until it is completely browned and baked through.
How to Prepare Breadfruit for Roasting?
Start by thoroughly washing the breadfruit to remove any sticky residue or sap. Score an “X” along the base of the breadfruit using a knife. Doing so allows the steam to escape as the breadfruit cooks. If your breadfruit comes with a stem, use a knife to cut around the stem and discard it.
Tips for Choosing a Mature (Fit) Breadfruit
Breadfruit can be consumed in all stages of its development, however, you would use it for different purposes at each stage. As the breadfruit ripens, it changes from a dark green to a yellow-tinted green.
Unripe – solid, dark green and bumpy. Prepare it like a potato and boil it.
Mature – soft, a more yellowish tone, nearly smooth, firm, and slightly sweet. Roast it and enjoy it like bread.
Overripe – very soft. You can eat it as is, or use it in a baked good recipe or smoothie.
Health Benefits of Breadfruit
- It is naturally vegan and gluten-free, making it a great option for most people, regardless of diet.
- Breadfruit contains complex carbs such as fiber, making it comparable to rice, potatoes, and bread as far as nutritional value.
- The fruit contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Blood glucose levels don’t spike after eating it so it’s great for people with diabetes.
- It contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and manganese, which support bone health.
What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)
- Knife – to score and slice the breadfruit.
- Large Skillet – if you plan to fry breadfruit.
Ingredients and Ingredient Notes
RECIPE INGREDIENTS, MEASUREMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE RECIPE CARD NEAR THE VERY END OF THIS BLOG POST.
- Mature Breadfruit – this is when the breadfruit reaches its peak flavour.
- Salt – optional
How to Roast Breadfruit In the Oven
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Then thoroughly wash and dry the breadfruit. Score an “X” along the base of the breadfruit using a knife (this will allow the steam to escape as the breadfruit cooks). If your breadfruit comes with a stem, use a knife to cut around the stem and discard it.
Place breadfruit in the oven on the center rack and bake for at least 2 hours – the cooking time will vary depending on the size and maturity. Optional: wrap the breadfruit in aluminum foil before placing it in the oven.
Once cooked (see notes below for signs of doneness) remove breadfruit from the oven using oven mitts, and allow it to cool enough so you can handle it. Then peel the breadfruit (discard skin), cut in half lengthwise, remove the heart/core, then cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and serve while hot.
Fried Breadfruit (Optional Step)
Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Working in batches, add the roasted breadfruit slices and fry until they are golden brown (approx. 2-3 minutes per side). Remove, drain excess oil, and serve while hot.
Recipe Substitutions and Tips
This recipe only requires two ingredients and one is optional but there are quite a few ways to prepare breadfruit. Here are some alternative methods:
- Boil – slice breadfruit, then submerge it in a large pot with water, and let it boil until the fruit is fork tender. This method is great for “mashed potatoes.”
- Grill – place breadfruit directly on the grill, stem side down at 400°F (200°C). Cover it, and after about 20 minutes, turn it periodically so it cooks evenly. Depending on the size of the fruit, it can take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Steam – add halved or quartered breadfruit into a pot with about 2 inches of water. Steam for about 20 minutes or until soft.
Serving Suggestions and Tips
- Roast breadfruit with Ackee and Saltfish – this is my favourite way to enjoy roast breadfruit. Eat it at breakfast time.
- Callaloo – for a filling vegan or vegetarian meal, serve it with a steamed veggie like Jamaican callaloo.
- Savoury stew – instead of roasting breadfruit, simmer it in a rich broth.
- Brown Stew Chicken or Brown Stew Fish – eat it as a side dish to either of these saucy, savoury entrees.
Recipe Notes and Tips for Success
- Raw, unripened breadfruit is inedible.
- Roast breadfruit within 1-2 days of getting it because it may overrippen.
- Refrigerate breadfruit for a day to prevent it from ripening too fast. The skin will turn brown but the fruit will remain firm. Its shelf life will be extended by up to 2 days if you keep the breadfruit damp (covered in wet paper towel) or I’ve seen some submerge the fruit in cool water in the refrigerator.
Can I Make this Ahead of Time?
Yes. See below for storage instructions.
Freeze cooked (but completely cooled) breadfruit in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Flash freeze it first in order to prevent freezer burn.
Allow frozen breadfruit to thaw overnight in the fridge. Then use it however you see fit!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you are in the United States or Canada, find breadfruit at your local Caribbean market or Asian grocery store.
Roast breadfruit in the oven for at least 2 hours. You will know it’s done when steam is coming out of both ends and it gives as you squeeze it. You can also do the knife test by gently inserting a knife where you scored the fruit. If it comes out easily, it is done!
Roasted breadfruit is low in calories but high in nutrition. Enjoy it as part of a healthy diet.
Interested in More Delicious Side Dish Recipes? Check These Out!
- Coco Bread
- Jamaican Festival Recipe
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Air-Fryer Greek Fries with Tzatziki
- Easy Jamaican Pigeon “Gungo” Peas and Rice
- How to Soak Fruit for Christmas Cake
- Jamaican Callaloo
- Jamaican Steamed Cabbage
- Jamaican Black Cake
I’d greatly appreciate if you left a star ★ rating (located near the top of the recipe card below), as well as leave a comment if you found this blog post helpful!
- Large Pan optional, for frying
- 3-4 pounds Mature Breadfruit
- Salt optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Then thoroughly wash and dry the breadfruit. Score a " X " along the base of the breadfruit using a knife (this will allow the steam to escape as the breadfruit cooks). If your breadfruit comes with a stem, use a knife to cut around the stem and discard.
- Place breadfruit in the oven on the center rack and bake for at least 2 hours – the cooking time will vary depending on the size and maturity. Optional: wrap the breadfruit in aluminum foil before placing in oven.
- Once cooked (see notes below for signs of doneness) remove breadfruit from oven using oven mitts, and allow to cool enough where you can handle. Peel breadfruit (discard skin), cut in half lengthwise, remove the heart/core, then cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and serve while hot.
- Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Working in batches, add the roasted breadfruit slices and fry until they are golden brown (approx. 2-3 minutes per side). Remove, drain excess oil and serve while hot.
- Breadfruit should be soft and easy to pierce with a knife, fork or skewer.
- Steam coming out of both ends.
- The breadfruit bounces back when squeezed.
- Has a smooth brown colour.
- The ” X ” opening at the bottom of the breadfruit has opened up.
Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.