Bourbon Mango Pulled Summer Squash Sandwiches

Bourbon Mango Pulled Summer Squash Sandwiches

Bourbon Mango Summer Squash
Most of my worst ideas come to me in the middle of the night. The cats will wake me up or something else will startle me out of my sleep, and suddenly I’m thinking that I should really just quit my job and sell macaroons for a living. Or that it would be a good idea to pepper my thesis with hair metal lyrics just to see if my advisor notices. (Yes, these are real ideas that I had–and in the hours between midnight and 7am, somehow those ideas seemed really good.) The idea for this recipe popped into my head during one of these times–vegetarian pulled pork sandwiches!

Bourbon Mango Pulled Summer Squash Sandwiches
When I woke up the next morning, I had to figure out a way to execute this idea. I thought that seitan would be a good substitute for pork, but I realized that they don’t sell it at our local grocery store and it hardly seemed worth it to drive to Raleigh just for that. So somehow the seitan became julienned summer squash. I found a recipe for Bourbon-Mango Pulled Pork that piqued my interest, so I adapted that using yellow squash and zucchini instead of pork to make Bourbon Mango Summer Squash Sandwiches. I was unsure of how this would turn out and as I made it, I started feeling more and more like this idea should have been shelved, like the macaroons and hair metal lyrics in my thesis. Luckily, apart from the end result being a little on the spicy side, this worked out just as I had hoped. It would make a great side dish too or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, burger topping.

I’ve reduced the amount of chipotle powder in this recipe–I made it with 1/2 teaspoon more and it was a little much for me. If you like a lot of heat, add 1/2 teaspoon to the sauce instead of 1/4.

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Bourbon Mango Pulled Summer Squash Sandwiches

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

35 minutes

Total Time

55 minutes




  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into large pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. bourbon or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder
  • 1 c. barbecue sauce
  • Olive oil mister or cooking spray
  • 1 lb. yellow squash, julienned
  • 1 lb. zucchini, julienned
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 6 hamburger rolls


  1. Puree chopped mango in a blender or food processor. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add puree, bourbon, and chipotle powder. Stirring frequently, heat until mango has thickened and darkened in color, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in barbecue sauce and remove from heat.
  2. Coat a large Dutch oven with olive oil spray and heat at medium-high. Add yellow squash and zucchini. Cook until softened, about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar and cook for 5 minutes, or until liquid evaporates. Add barbecue sauce mixture to Dutch oven; reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes (the amount of time depends on how thick your barbecue sauce is), stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Divide squash onto hamburger rolls and serve.


What a great idea! I didn't know how you were possibly going to pull this recipe off but it looks really good! I don't like too much chipotle powder either – just too smoky for me. I'd rather have jalapeno powder or maybe habanero instead. Idea – mango habanero pulled sandwiches!

This is such an awesome idea, especially now that we're just entering summer squash and zucchini season. I definitely need to try this recipe soon.

hmmmm that looks interesting (in a good way, not a 'oh crap thats nasty so i'll call it interesting' way) i've seen folks make 'pulled bbq with canned jackfruit, but never spaghetti squash! can't wait to try it for myself!

"Or that it would be a good idea to pepper my thesis with hair metal lyrics just to see if my advisor notices." —that is epic! You shoulda done it! 😀 (and it's 5pm! haha)

You mentioned in here that Seitan was a good idea but they didn't have it. Do you always buy premade seitan? Because you can buy gluten flour and make it yourself. It's not too hard, really. I know a lot of people are scared of it, haha.

But anyhow, pulled summer squash is an amazing idea! I definitely wouldn't have thought of that. This recipe totally intrigues me!

I’m newly vegetarian and from South Carolina where BBQ is king especially pulled meat sandwiches lol! I’m going to have to try this! Thank you for sharing!

I REALLY want to make this…but alas have no mango…do you think it could work with some canned applesauce (just pureed apples) in place of the pureed mango?

Hello! LOVED this recipe! So delicious. I am going to make it again today and I’m wondering are you supposed to peel the zucchini & squash?? Last time I peeled it but it didn’t say to. Thanks!

this recipe is sooo yummy! I was wondering if you (or anyone on this thread) has made it in the crockpot? I’m trying to thing what the best way to go about it would be! Thanks!!

I haven’t tried making it in a crockpot. I think it would work, but you may want to let the squash sit in a fine mesh sieve and sprinkle it with a bit of salt first so some of the liquid drains out–I’d be worried they might release a lot of liquid with the slow cooking and water down the sauce.

Ok, so 5 years after this was posted, but I tried it last night! It was a hit! My omni boyfriend said he like it a lot better than real pulled pork, which he’s not a fan of, and cutting the recipe in half was the perfect amount for 2 small sandwiches and one big one (meaning I can have a small sandwich for lunch today, too!).

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