BBQ Pulled Jackfruit is a dream come true for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else who loves BBQ but doesn’t want the health risks that come with it. Smoked meat is TERRIBLE for the body. It’s a carcinogen on par with smoking cigarettes, which kind of seems like karma to me. We kill the pigs, they kill us. But BBQ tastes amazing! Every vegan and vegetarian I know misses BBQ sandwiches.
Enter BBQ Pulled Jackfruit. It has a texture and flavor so realistic, it often fools meat eaters. Sweet, smoky BBQ with none of the cruelty, environmental damage, or health risks? Count me in!
Jackfruit is a seriously amazing meat substitute- probably my favorite alongside portobello mushrooms! (See them truly shine in my Crispy Portobello Baja Tacos!)
Fresh jackfruit is a large, spiny fruit native to Southeast Asia. I’ve never worked with fresh jackfruit before, I’ve heard it’s tricky! For this recipe, canned jackfruit does the trick. You can find it in Asian or Indian grocers, or at Trader Joe’s! Be sure it’s canned in brine or water- NOT juice.
Some of the ingredients are specialty items, but can be easily found on Amazon and shipped right to your door. Alternatively, most health food stores carry vegan worchestershire sauce and liquid smoke can usually be found at regular grocery stores near the hot sauce. I source the canned jackfruit from the local Indian market in LA. (Best discover EVER.) I attempted this BBQ Pulled Jackfruit recipe without the worchestershire and liquid smoke and it was nowhere near as delicious. A small jar of each will last a long time, consider it an investment in your taste buds!
I recommend doubling or even tripling this BBQ Pulled Jackfruit recipe. Trust me. It makes 4 large sandwiches, but you will want leftovers and the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit tastes incredible even when it’s served cold.
If you try this BBQ Pulled Jackfruit recipe, tell us all about it in the comments! And while you’re at it, post a photo of your deliciousness on Instagram with the tag #carrotsandflowers so we can admire your handiwork. It will make our day! 🙂
To save this recipe for later, pin the photo below!
For other yummy vegan sandwich recipes, check out our Chickpea Salad Sandwich or our Mac Daddy Vegan Breakfast Sandwich!
- 3 20oz cans of jackfruit in water
- 4 large vegan sandwich buns
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other cooking oil
- ½ cup tomato based bbq sauce, plus more for the sandwiches
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1½ teaspoons liquid smoke
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Avocado Slaw
- 3 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 large avocado, mashed
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 teaspoons organic sugar
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400. Open and drain the cans of jackfruit. Trim the tough core from the jackfruit pieces and remove the seeds. Cut the jackfruit into very small triangle shapes. This will help the jackfruit get the stringy, pulled texture.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high. Sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes until it becomes slightly translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the jackfruit, then add the vinegar, molasses, worcestershire, liquid smoke, and dry spices. Mix well.
- Pour the vegetable broth into the skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Cook the jackfruit until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring often and mashing the jackfruit pieces until the mixture becomes stringy and resembles pulled pork.
- On a lined or greased baking sheet, spread the jackfruit in an even layer. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then take the pan out and pour the bbq sauce over the jackfruit. Stir well until evenly combined and if desired, use a fork to shred the bbq pulled jackfruit even further. The smaller the pieces are, the chewier and more delicious they will be.
- Place the pan back in the oven for another 20 minutes and get to work on the avocado slaw. (Recipe below) Assemble the sandwiches with a large scoop of bbq pulled jackfruit, avocado slaw, and a drizzle of bbq sauce.
- For the slaw-In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Place the avocado slaw in the fridge to keep it cool until the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit is ready.
Can this be made with fresh jackfruit ?
Carrots and Flowers says
Hi Rebecca! We have never worked with fresh jackfruit before, I believe it would be much more labor intensive and may not taste as good. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out!
Can’t wait to try this. I’ve wanted to try Jackfruit, but have hesitated. I found it at Whole Foods last week and bought some so this weekend, with all my kids (who aren’t vegan) I’m using this recipe. Sounds yum!
Carrots and Flowers says
Hi Paula, that is excellent! Thanks for checking out our recipe. 🙂 I bet your kids will love this sandwich, it is a crowd pleaser for sure! Please let us know how it turns out!
Tip: you can skip cutting up the jackfruit and transferring to the oven by buying cans of young jackfruit in water, and just tossing the jackfruit first with spices to coat, then cooking the jackfruit in the pan, with the bbq sauce added, until the jackfruit starts turning brown. You can shred the jackfruit in the pan to make sure it gets all the saucy, spicy goodness 🙂
Thanks for the suggestion Marni! I’ve seen many other jackfruit recipes use that method but the baking is what gives our recipe the excellent chewy factor that makes it so special and so delicious. If you can spare the extra time, I highly recommend giving it a shot!
Just made this and it was amazing! One of my favourite vegan recipes to date. Can’t believe how authentic it tastes. Thanks 🙂
Looks yummy! I had a question though. The only place where I have encountered jackfruit is at Trader Joe’s and their’s is in brine. I saw another recipe somewhere that said to just rinse it and add less salt to a recipe. Do you know if this is true? Thanks. 🙂
Before Trader Joe’s started carrying the jackfruit in brine, I bought it at an Asian market in Brooklyn, and tried it both in brine and in water. I didn’t notice any difference at all. I just made it today with the Trader Joe’s jackfruit, and it came out FANTASTIC. (P.S. This method of baking, instead of just doing it in a pan as I’ve seen in most other recipes), is the way to go if you have the extra time, too, in case you’re wondering.)