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If you haven’t tried jackfruit as a pulled pork alternative before, you’ve gotta try this recipe for Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches. Vegan recipe and easily gluten-free.
Now that you’ve learned how to cook jackfruit, it’s time to make an epic jackfruit BBQ sandwich! We love these meaty pulled jackfruit style sandwiches with plenty of BBQ sauce and a grilled pineapple on top, but they are also great with coleslaw and pickles.
Growing up in Virginia, I ate a lot of pulled pork sandwiches. A staple for many neighborhood gatherings, I wanted my jackfruit version to be able to stand up to my childhood memories. Pulled jackfruit has a very similar texture to pork and like tofu, it takes on whatever flavor you add to it!
In this case, we’re making vegan jackfruit BBQ sandwiches using your favorite jarred BBQ sauce. While you can make your own, I’m relying on store-bought sauce for ease of preparation.
Here’s how to make it.
In my how to cook jackfruit post, I show you exactly how I prep jackfruit for use in pulled BBQ sandwiches like this one. If you aren’t sure how to prepare canned jackfruit, then you’ll want to head there first for step by step directions.
While you don’t have to prep the canned jackfruit before making this recipe, I do find that it makes for a better texture without any tinned taste that canned products can sometimes have.
The beauty of my how to cook jackfruit page is that I tend to prep 7-8 cans at once and then freeze the jackfruit for making sandwiches or jackfruit tacos later. If you’ve already done this, then remove the jackfruit from the freezer and let thaw completely.
If you are using jackfruit straight from the can, then you’ll want to drain and rinse well before using.
To create a shredded appearance, you’ll need to slice the drained and rinsed jackfruit from end to end to create strips.
If you’ve boiled it first as I recommend doing in my how to cook jackfruit post, then the jackfruit will already be shredded as it cooks down in the water.
For a more finely shredded jackfruit appearance, I recommend using a potato masher while the jackfruit cooks on the stove. You can also use your hands to pull the jackfruit apart after it’s drained and rinsed.
How to Make the Vegan BBQ Jackfruit for Sandwiches
To start, sauté an onion in a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until the onion is fairly soft and translucent.
Next, add in the jackfruit and cook another minute or two. From here, add in the BBQ seasonings. This technique is also highly adaptable, you can add in any seasoning you want depending on how you want to flavor the jackfruit. To create the BBQ profile, I’m using a combination of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and cumin.
Add in BBQ sauce of choice and cook until the mixture is very well-coated and thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring often. You’ll likely need more sauce than you think, I typically use 3/4 of a regular jar — but I also like things pretty saucy! As the jackfruit is pretty flavorless, your sauce is providing most of the flavor so make sure to choose a sauce you like!
Pile the jackfruit onto a bun with toppings of choice. This BBQ jackfruit recipe is similar to pulled BBQ pork, so I make it like I would a pulled pork sandwich.
I really like a grilled pineapple on top of the BBQ jackfruit, but my husband won’t even consider a jackfruit BBQ sandwich without slaw on top.
To make an easy vegan slaw, you’ll need the following:
To make the vegan slaw, stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined and season to taste with salt and pepper, as desired.
You likely don’t need directions for how to make a pulled jackfruit sandwich, but this is how I do it.
Toast the bun, then pile high with the cooked BBQ jackfruit and additional sauce. Top with your toppings of choice; slaw, grilled pineapple, pickles, anything that you like on your BBQ sandwich.
Eat! You are going to love this sandwich, it’s so incredibly good.
I consider a pulled BBQ sandwich classic picnic fare and therefore tend to pair it with similar foods.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. Rewarm in a skillet or the microwave before using.
While the texture of jackfruit is very similar to pork, and while you can season it the same way, I don’t think it’s helpful to make claims that it will taste the exact same as pulled pork. All that said, if you like the taste of BBQ pork then you will like this sandwich.
Healthy is always a relative term, and should be ‘compared to what?’ Compared to pork, jackfruit is very lean and pork is very fatty. As a dietitian, that’s a benefit for people who like the taste of jackfruit and want a healthier option. It is lower in protein than other plant-based meat alternatives or meat. Jackfruit is very low in sodium and contains 3g of fiber per serving, where as meat doesn’t contain any fiber.
Not much without the seasonings and sauce. Like tofu, jackfruit doesn’t have much flavor on it’s own and relies on the sauce and seasonings that you are using to cook it.
If you want your BBQ jackfruit to have a ‘burnt ends’ texture (very popular here in St. Louis), then you’ll want to add the finished sauced jackfruit to a baking pan and then bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until some of the ends have crisped up. This method produces a combo of wet and drier jackfruit ‘meat’.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches! If you haven’t tried this pulled pork alternative before, you’ve gotta try this recipe. Shredded Jackfruit with homemade BBQ sauce.
For the BBQ Jackfruit:
I love a grilled pineapple with these sandwiches as well! To do so, lightly oil a ring of fresh pineapple (or rinsed canned pineapple ring) and grill for 2-3 minutes per side.
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