When I first became vegan, I was not fond of jackfruit at all. Similar to tofu, at the time, it seemed slimy and disgusting. Of course, it had nothing to do with the jackfruit or the tofu; it was me. Obviously, I didn't know how to cook jackfruit or tofu, for that matter. But, as time progressed and I learned, I am now obsessed with both. And with all obsessions comes insanely good food like this BBQ jackfruit recipe.
WHAT IS JACKFRUIT EXACTLY?
Jackfruit, though commonly found in a can, is a high protein, high antioxidant fruit. Its bland flavor is the perfect texture and blank slate to absorb any marinade or spices. As a result, the jackfruit's neutral flavor allows me to transform it into shredded meat with various flavors.
Actually, jackfruit has the texture of chicken! I didn't say it tastes like chicken because obviously, I don't like chicken. But I love barbeque!
Making pulled BBQ jackfruit, however, and satisfies my love for barbequed foods! If you meal prep, take BBQ jackfruit to work for the week as a sandwich, in a bowl, wrap, or on top of a salad. Any way you like it; BBQ jackfruit is the bomb!
TRANSFORMING JACKFRUIT INTO PULLED BBQ JACKFRUIT
Jackfruit, when drained and removed from a can, looks like triangles of chicken. If you taste it, as it comes from the can, it is tasteless. In fact, jackfruit's bland flavor makes it the perfect sponge for absorbing flavors.
For me, the fun is transforming a can of jackfruit into incredible BBQ jackfruit that would fool any meat-eater. First, it is important to buy the jackfruit in water or brine.
One of the biggest mistakes people make, however, is buying jackfruit in syrup. Unfortunately, I have made this mistake, and I ended up throwing my whole meal away. And I hate wasting food. So, avoid that pitfall and buy jackfruit in water or brine.
Then, you rinse the jackfruit, put it in your food processor, and pulse until shredded.
Although many recipes suggest using the jackfruit as is, I beg to differ. Instead, I like to cook it first. Like my Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip, cooking the jackfruit first gives it a different texture and flavor.
For the jackfruit to get the right flavor and texture, my goal is for the jackfruit to absorb the onions and BBQ sauce's flavors.
BBQ JACKFRUIT RECIPE IS QUICK AND EASY TO MAKE!
Believe it or not, bbq jackfruit has very few ingredients, and it is simple to make. All you need is:
- 2 20 ounce cans of jackfruit in water or brine (not syrup)
- 1 large white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- BBQ sauce (I made my own; recipe below, or you can use any bottled brand you like)
- Buns (your favorite)
That's it! So, in a matter of 15 minutes, you can be eating delicious BBQ jackfruit sandwiches!
HOW DO I MAKE HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE?
Because I prefer to make my own condiments, when possible, I made my own BBQ sauce. Why should you make your own? The only way you can really know what is in the food you eat is to make it yourself, so I like to make it myself.
Of course, you can use your favorite BBQ sauce instead of making your own. But, if you are interested in making your own, this is what you need for healthier BBQ sauce:
HEALTHY BBQ SAUCE RECIPE
- White Onion, diced
- Organic Tomato Paste
- Tomato Sauce
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (I used Annie's)
- Dijon Mustard
- Cayenne Pepper
If you are looking for a store-bought oil-free BBQ sauce, I sometimes use Simple GIrl Organic BBQ Sauce. Also, there is a sugar-free one I like as well, but it is a Carolina BBQ sauce flavor, called Simple Girl Carolina Style BBQ Sauce.
Again, if you are looking for a shortcut to making your own BBQ sauce, you need to make sure you read the label to avoid oil and sugar following a low-fat or no sugar lifestyle.
COOKING BBQ JACKFRUIT WITH ONIONS AND GARLIC
To get the right texture and dry out the jackfruit, you need to cook it in stages and wait to add the BBQ sauce.
Once the jackfruit is shredded, start by sauteeing the onions and garlic in a large non-stick skillet. I use vegetable broth while cooking the onions and garlic, not only to avoid sticking, but as they cook, they carmelize.
Then, add the shredded jackfruit, and cook on medium-low, adding a little vegetable broth as it cooks, until the jackfruit is dried out. Although this may sound incorrect, you are adding vegetable broth, and as it cooks, the jackfruit dries out.
The final step, of course, is to add the BBQ sauce. However, the amount of BBQ sauce you add has to do with how much you want to add. In fact, we like it saucy, so I added more right before serving.
Another bonus to this easy BBQ jackfruit recipe is you can eat it immediately or make it ahead of time and reheat it when you want to eat. Since I meal prep, I cooked it beforehand, which in my opinion, lets the flavors go deeper into the jackfruit.
WHAT ARE SUGGESTED SIDES TO SERVE WITH JACKFRUIT?
Because I wanted a little salad with my BBQ sandwich, I topped my sandwich Coleslaw with Apples. The maple, dijon, and apple flavors in the slaw accompany the BBQ flavors. Since I made macaroni salad earlier in the day, I chose to serve it as a side dish.
Coleslaw with Apples Ingredients:
- Napa cabbage or white cabbage
- Purple cabbage
- Honeycrisp (or any sweet apples) + lemon juice
- Green onions
- Raw cashew
- Maple Syrup
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Liquid smoke (I used hickory flavor)
Also, I suggest these side dishes as well:
- AF Sweet Potato Fries
- Steak Fries Air Fried and Crispy
- Oven-Baked Fries Perfect Crispy Oil-Free and Garlic
- Oil-Free Smokey Scalloped Potatoes
- Vegan German Potato Salad with Smokey Coconut Bacon
IF YOU LOVE THIS BBQ JACKFRUIT RECIPE? TRY THESE VEGAN RECIPES:
- BBQ Tempeh Sandwich with Harvest Apple Maple Slaw
- Vegan BBQ Pulled Sweet Potato Sandwiches with Pineapple Slaw
- Greek Wrap Sandwich
- Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich with Seared Sriracha Tofu
- Red Lentil Curry Wrap
- Vegan Tempeh Reuben Wrap
- Roasted BBQ Cauliflower Panini Wrap
- Roasted Vegetable and Hummus Grilled Lavash Wrap
Now you know how to make BBQ Jackfruit, share this amazing BBQ Jackfruit Recipe with your family and friends.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂