“As long as I’m back for make-your-own-taco night, I’m in.” (Spoiler: they are not back for make-your-own-taco night).

The Ruins (2008), directed by Carter Smith and written by Scott Smith (writer of the novel of the same name) is bleak. Really bleak. There is no point that we believe the Greeks or a “world phone” will come through. It’s a long, slow demise into the killer plants.

As unlikely as the premise sounds, The Ruins is legitimately terrifying. It’s frightening how quickly the characters slip from the safety of their mundane vacation and into the wild unknown. The film does some excellent work playing with body horror, a creeping, vining sense of dread, and the psychology of imminent doom.

It’s not the way you want your Mexican vacation to end. Mexican vacation is for pools, beaches, and tacos.


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So of course we are making tacos inspired by The Ruins. These are spicy, green, and entirely plant based. Traditionally, tinga is made with shredded chicken, beef or pork. Jackfruit is an excellent stand in for any type of shredded meat, and as it doesn’t have a strong flavor, it can absorb the flavor of whatever sauce you simmer it in. We often have it BBQ style in sandwiches or tacos.

For The Ruins however, I made a smokey green sauce. It’s very simple and made from few ingredients, but they balance each other out well. It’s tangy from tomatillos, spicy from jalapeños, herby from oregano. Garnish with anything lucious and green – avocado, green cabbage, lime. Cherry tomato flowers, optional.



Jackfuit Green Tinga Tacos

  • 1 pound tomatillos, quartered
  • 1 onion, sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 jalapeños, halved long ways
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • olive oil
  • 2 20 ounce cans jackfruit, drained and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Corn tortillas for serving. Avocado, shredded cabbage, lime to garnish. Quartered and seeded cherry tomatoes if you dare!

Toss the tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, and garlic with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and and roast at 400 for 40-45 minutes, stirring and scraping every 10 minutes or so, until mushy and charred. Transfer to a food processor and grind until smooth. The tomatillos are quite tangy, so add enough sugar to mellow and balance, about 2 tablespoons. Salt to taste.


Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan or wok, and sauté jackfruit until it is starting to brown. Add tomatillo mixture, oregano, and 2 cups vegetable broth. Mix well. Cook until stewy, stirring often, and gently mashing the jackfruit until stringy.

Serve with warm tortillas, lovely garnishes, Mexican-style red rice, and refried beans!


Need more horror-inspired recipes? See everything delectable dish in the Witchy Kitchen cookbook HERE and let us now your own recipes over Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!