This vegan pulled jackfruit with BBQ sauce makes a great plant based alternative to pulled pork. The flavours are smoky, savoury and rich, with the jackfruit bringing in an amazing texture. Serve it in sandwiches, burgers, and wraps, or add to salads for a flavourful lunch or dinner.
I often talk about my love for jackfruit, and there is a good reason for that. As this recipe shows, it's an incredibly versatile ingredient that's a great option for creating homemade meat alternatives. It's one of the first ingredients I discovered after going vegan, and still cook with it all the time!
Today, I'm back with a recipe that's a favourite of mine. And if you're like me - a huge fan of wholesome comfort food - I'm sure you will love it too! Prepare to have another delicious plant based meal added to your weekly dinner rotation.
Vegan pulled jackfruit with BBQ sauce
Yes, jackfruit is in fact a fruit. But its rise in popularity over the last few years is unsurprising: due to its neutral flavour when unripe, it's super versatile and can be used in a whole range of recipes. Ripe jackfruit has a distinctive sweet flavor, but the tinned variety is great for savory recipes.
For instance, here, we are making vegan pulled 'pork' using jackfruit. It's roasted lightly to add a crispier texture. Then, the pulled jackfruit is served in a savoury, smoky BBQ sauce. I seriously can't get enough of this sauce! It's ridiculously flavourful, and even vegan skeptics will love it served either in BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, or by itself.
I also added shiitake mushrooms to this recipe, which have a chewy, meaty texture that makes the final result even more realistic. They're cooked down together with onions and then added to the slightly crispy, tender jackfruit. Delicious!
Plus, this pulled jackfruit is very easy to make. No complicated ingredients are involved, but that definitely does not compromise on the flavour! You need around 30 minutes from start to finish, making this recipe ideal for lunch or dinner on a busy day.
What jackfruit variety should I use?
You have probably seen jackfruit in a lot of different forms. For a pulled jackfruit recipe, it's very important to use canned jackfruit in either water or brine. Don't buy jackfruit that's in a pre-made sauce. Ripe jackfruit will also not work.
This is because canned jackfruit in water/brine has a very neutral flavour, and simply absorbs whatever sauce you add to it. You will notice that it comes in pretty large chunks, but they're very soft and easy to turn into a shredded texture that's reminiscent of pulled pork.
Ingredients and substitutions
You need just simple ingredients to make exceptional BBQ jackfruit:
- Canned jackfruit, either in water or brine.
- Seasoning: cumin, garam masala and dried coriander. You can adjust the amount that you use depending on personal preference, and add other seasonings. For instance, paprika is great for a hint of spice.
- Apple cider vinegar. You can also use freshly-squeezed lemon juice for a hint of citrus.
- Sriracha. You can leave this out if you don't like spicy food.
- Soy sauce. If you want to make this pulled jackfruit recipe gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos.
- Coconut sugar. Any other sugar variety will also work. This is a great way to balance out the savory and spicy flavors of the other ingredients.
- BBQ sauce. You can use either homemade, or store-bought. If opting for the latter, make sure to check packaging as not all varieties are vegan.
- Onions and garlic. These are cooked in a frying pan or skillet to add a deeper and richer savory flavor.
- Shiitake mushrooms. You can also use oyster mushrooms, which have a similar 'meaty' texture.
- Tomato paste. Use a good quality variety to add a subtly sweet undertone to the dish.
How to make pulled jackfruit
Firstly, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Drain and rinse the jackfruit, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands or a fork to separate the jackfruit fibres. You can discard the seeds if you wish, but I usually keep them in as I don't find that they interfere with the overall flavor and texture of the result.
Now add the cumin, garam masala, dried coriander, apple cider vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, coconut sugar, and around half of the BBQ sauce. Stir together well, then transfer the jackfruit to the baking tray. Spread it out into a single layer, and bake for 20 minutes, until crispy.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the onions, garlic and shiitake mushrooms. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until fully softened.
When the jackfruit is ready, transfer it to the skillet/frying pan together with water, the rest of the BBQ sauce and tomato paste. Stir together well for a couple of minutes, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, and enjoy!
How to serve vegan pulled pork
There are so many different ways to serve pulled jackfruit! Of course, an all-time favorite is vegan pulled 'pork' sandwiches. Get any bread of your choice - for instance, you can use my vegan dinner rolls. Then, add a layer of lettuce, followed by the jackfruit, guacamole, vegan mayonnaise or sour cream, and any other vegetables of your choice.
Another great option is to serve the jackfruit in a wrap, or to use it to make vegan tacos. You can also add it to salads or nourish bowls with vegetables of your choice. It can definitely level up even a boring salad!
How to store and freeze pulled jackfruit
You can store BBQ pulled jackfruit in the fridge in an airtight container for up to around 3-4 days, reheating either on the stove or in the microwave.
This is also a freezer-friendly recipe. Store it in a large container for up to 3 months and reheat on the stove from frozen until fully thawed and warmed through.
More delicious jackfruit recipes
- Wild rice soup with jackfruit is perfect for a comforting and flavorful dinner.
- Make my jackfruit curry for a meal that's guaranteed to impress.
- Pot pie with jackfruit is great for special occasions and for sharing.
Let me know in the comments: have you ever tried making vegan pulled 'pork'? If you give this BBQ pulled jackfruit a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@ohmyveggies) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating.
- Conventional oven
- Baking tray
- Mixing bowl
- Frying pan or saucepan
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Drain and rinse the jackfruit, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands or a fork to separate the jackfruit fibres.
- Add the cumin, garam masala, dried coriander, apple cider vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, coconut sugar, and around a third of the BBQ sauce. Stir together well, then transfer the jackfruit to the baking tray. Spread it out into a single layer, and bake for 20 minutes, until crispy.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the onions, garlic and shiitake mushrooms. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until fully softened.
- Transfer the jackfruit to the skillet/frying pan together with water, the rest of the BBQ sauce and tomato paste. Stir together well for a couple of minutes, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, and enjoy!