Meet your new summer staple for cook-outs & parties. This vegan BBQ Jackfruit sandwich is delicious with a big juicy slice of pineapple.
Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
It’s about TIME I got a BBQ jackfruit recipe up on the blog. I feel like I’m not a true veghead without one. Forgive me?
Jackfruit came into the mainstream when everyone was like, WAIT HOLD UP, we can make vegan pulled pork sandwiches out of this shiz! It can be a bit challenging to find it fresh, but thank goodness you can pretty easily find cans of the oh-so-versatile green jackfruit for all your favorite jackfruit recipes. Let’s keep this love of jackfruit going strong because my love ain’t dying down anytime soon. BBQ jackfruit sandwiches now, jackfruit pizza/stir fry/bowls/everything else later.
What is Jackfruit?
If you’ve never heard of jackfruit, what rock have you been hiding under?! Kidding, kidding. For reals, let me fill you in: jackfruit is a type of tree that grows natively in parts of South Asia and produces the largest tree-borne fruit of any plant. Some jackfruits can get up to 80 pounds! That’s a lot of BBQ jackfruit sandwiches. 😉
Jackfruit is *magical* because when you cook the fleshy insides (sorry for that description), it very deceptively resembles pulled pork in texture. You can use the shreds in a variety of ways, such as seasoned on top of pizza, in bowls, in tacos, and so much more. But I’ve gotta say, these bbq jackfruit sandwiches are probably one of my favorite jackfruit recipes. Isn’t it amazing what plants can do? GO PLANTS.
Ingredients for Jackfruit Pulled Pork
The jackfruit and the BBQ sauce are the stars of our vegan pulled pork and do a lot of the heavy lifting, so the rest of this jackfruit recipe is pretty simple and made with ingredients you probably already have!
- Jackfruit. This recipe calls for 2 20-ounce cans green jackfruit in water. Most recipes will prompt you to remove the core as it doesn’t shred, which you can totally do if you choose. But it’s just as meaty and totally edible so to me it’s wasteful to cut it out just because it doesn’t shred, so I vote keep it!
- Onion. We’re using one whole diced yellow onion in this BBQ jackfruit recipe. Sweating the onion as the base of our jackfruit pulled pork adds some of the sweetness you’re looking for in a delicious BBQ recipe without adding sugar.
- Garlic. All good recipes start with garlic, and this BBQ pulled jackfruit is no exception!
- BBQ sauce. I used my homemade BBQ Sauce recipe, but you can totally use your favorite bottle of store-bought BBQ sauce in your pulled jackfruit
- Smoked paprika. For a bit of smoky goodness.
- Garlic and onion powder. While we do already have fresh garlic and onion, the powders add that boost of umami to our vegan pulled pork.
- Liquid smoke. If you don’t have it you can leave it out, but this totally adds that summertime backyard barbecue flavor to our BBQ jackfruit.
- Salt and pepper. Of course!
How to Make BBQ Jackfruit
This bbq jackfruit recipe comes together pretty easily and pretty quickly. It honestly has to be one of the most simple jackfruit recipes out there. Here’s how you make it!
- Drain and rinse jackfruit.
- Saute onion in a bit of oil in a medium skillet for about 5 minutes, then add your garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the jackfruit, BBQ sauce, and 1/2 cup water, stir, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Give it a stir, add more water if needed, then cover and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
- Shred the jackfruit until it resembles pulled pork, then add your spices, more bbq sauce if you’d like and mix
- Build your bbq jackfruit sandwiches by topping your buns with a scoop of bbq jackfruit, a big slice of fresh pineapple, and any other optional toppings you like!
As far as toppings go, I went with homegrown lettuce, avocado, vegan ranch, and grilled pineapple on a pretzel bun, but you can totally make it your own! Other great toppings that would be great with this bbq jackfruit could be coleslaw, fresh tomato slices, pickles, shredded carrots or fresh red onion.
I swear you’ll want to make these bbq jackfruit sandwiches for every summer cook-out this year! Serve them to vegans and meat-eaters alike, lay out all your toppings, let everyone build their own bbq jackfruit sandwich and watch everyone’s faces light up with amazement. Then drive to your nearest Trader Joe’s (or log on to Amazon) and buy 2394789 cans of jackfruit!
More Jackfruit Recipes
I can’t get enough of the shreddy goodness that is pulled jackfruit. It’s the perfect go-to for vegan-friendly summer barbecues. If you’re looking for more delicious jackfruit recipes, check out one of these:
- BBQ Jackfruit Tacos
- Easy Jackfruit Tostadas
- Easy Jackfruit Chicken Quinoa Bowls by Full of Plants
- Crispy Jackfruit Carnitas by Feasting at Home
- Easy Jackfruit Curry by Oh My Veggies
- Kentucky Fried Jackfruit by So Vegan
Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
Meet your new summer staple for cook-outs & parties. This vegan BBQ Jackfruit sandwich is delicious with a big juicy slice of pineapple
- 2 20-ounce cans green jackfruit in water*
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 cup BBQ sauce of choice**
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns (or gluten-free, if necessary)
- Optional toppings: lettuce, grilled pineapple, vegan ranch, cabbage slaw, avocado
- Drain and rinse jackfruit.
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat a little water or oil. Add onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add garlic; cook for another minute.
- Add the jackfruit, BBQ sauce, and 1/2 cup water. Stir and cover; turn heat down to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir again, adding more water if needed. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Using a potato masher or a fork, shred the jackfruit until it resembles pulled pork. Add smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Add more BBQ sauce if desired.
- Dress hamburger buns however you want with optional toppings and BBQ jackfruit.
*Most recipe will call for the core to be cut off and discarded, but I think that’s a waste. It won’t shred like the other pieces, but it still cooks and tastes just as “meaty.” I say, go for it!
**I used my homemade BBQ sauce recipe, but you could also use your favorite store bought sauce