If you haven't discovered hearts of palm yet, you are in for a real treat! These unassuming little veggies, usually found canned, are a really amazing gluten-free alternative to seitan or other wheat or soy-based plant protein. In this recipe for carnitas the hearts of palm are hearty enough to stand up to being long-simmered in a marinade, and they magically take on a texture that's similar to pulled pork. They're tangy, saucy, "meaty," and so delicious!

Hearts of Palm Carnitas [Vegan]



  • 1 14.5-ounce can of hearts of palm
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into strips


  1. Drain and rinse the hearts of palm. Use your fingers to shred the hearts of palm into thin strips. I would sometimes use a small paring knife to cut the outer portion if it was too firm, but the inner portion should be very tender.
  2. Whisk together all of the other ingredients, excluding the hearts of palm, into a small bowl.
  3. Sauté the sliced onion in the olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet until translucent. Stir in your hearts of palm shreds and then pour your marinade into the skillet.
  4. Allow the hearts of palm and onion to simmer in the skillet over medium heat until the marinade has been completely absorbed (20-25 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  5. Serve the carnitas in a warm tortilla with fresh avocado and tomato.