Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich

This jackfruit BBQ sandwich tastes just like pulled pork, nestled on a bun with tangy coleslaw! Your friends and family won’t believe it’s vegan.

Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich

Have you had jackfruit? This jackfruit BBQ sandwich comes to you straight from seasoned cookbook author Mark Bittman, from his new cookbook Dinner for Everyone. And man oh man, is it incredible! Jackfruit pulled pork is starting to have a moment here in the US. And we think you could even fool your friends into thinking it’s pork. Honestly, we were a little wary of jackfruit at first. Fruit that seems like meat? But after tasting it, we’re 99.9% sure you’ll also be on the jackfruit BBQ train! Keep reading for more about Dinner for Everyone and this delicious jackfruit BBQ sandwich.

Related: Best Vegan Dinner Recipes | 28 Day Plant Based Diet Meal Plan

dinner for everyone cookbook

About the book: Dinner for Everyone

This jackfruit BBQ sandwich hails from the book Dinner for Everyone by Mark Bittman. Bittman is a leader in the food world, an acclaimed writer who’s challenged Alex and me to think about how what we eat affects our bodies and the planet. His latest book has a genius concept: he makes one recipe 3 separate ways: Quick and Easy, Vegan, and for Special Occasions. This results in 300 inventive and delicious recipes! The book is not exclusively vegetarian or vegan, but as noted has tons of veggie-friendly options.

Reading Bittman’s book Food Matters 10 years ago is what started us on the path of eating lots of vegetables today. So of course we wanted to try a vegan recipe from Dinner for Everyone! And this jackfruit BBQ sandwich is a showstopper.

Listen to Mark Bittman on our podcast: Because food matters with Mark Bittman

Canned jackfruit in colander

What is jackfruit?

So, what is jackfruit? Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that originated in India and is common in Southeast Asia. It’s now popping up all over the world as a plant-based meat alternative because the unripe fruit soaks up flavor and has a stringy, “meat-like” texture when cooked. We know it sounds odd, but you truly have to see it to believe it! Jackfruit is also packed with nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants.

Where to buy jackfruit? You can find jackfruit online or in your local supermarket; it’s sold fresh, frozen and canned. Important: use green jackfruit for this recipe (canned is best)! Do not buy ripe jackfruit, because it’s totally different! We mistakenly bought frozen ripe jackfruit, and it’s a yellow fruit that is packaged as the whole fruit, not “pulled”. Once we realized the mistake, we ordered canned jackfruit and made sure it was green. The green jackfruit is what has the shredded texture (see the photo above) and is exactly what you need for jackfruit BBQ. Ordering cans online can result in dented cans, so check your store first!

Order it! Canned Green Jackfruit

Jackfruit pulled pork in skillet
Here’s the pulled jackfruit ready for that barbecue sauce!
Jackfruit BBQ sandwich

How to make jackfruit BBQ pulled pork

So, how to make jackfruit BBQ? Here’s where Bittman shines: he’s created a barbecue sauce that’s perfectly balanced with sweet, tangy, savory, and a little boozy! It’s a sauce simmered with loads of ketchup, onion, garlic, cider vinegar, and a bit of whiskey. Hello, flavor! You’ll saute your green jackfruit a bit before adding the barbecue sauce, and then let it simmer for quite a while until the jackfruit takes on the boozy, tangy flavor. After tasting it, you’ll be amazed that it has almost the exact flavor and texture of pulled pork.

Here we’ve served the jackfruit BBQ on a bun with our easy vinegar coleslaw; you could also use our best creamy coleslaw or another favorite coleslaw recipe. It’s one of the most seriously satisfying meatless meals we’ve had in a while: and our toddler Larson could not stop eating it! Give it a try and let us know your thoughts on jackfruit!

Related: 13 Amazing Vegetarian Sandwiches

pulled jackfruit sandwiches

Get the book

Order it! The Dinner for Everyone cookbook by Mark Bittman

Jackfruit BBQ sandwich | Jackfruit pulled pork

Looking for plant based recipes?

Outside of this jackfruit BBQ sandwich recipe, here are some of our favorite vegan / plant based recipes:

This recipe is…

This jackfruit BBQ recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free (with a gluten-free bun), vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich | What is jackfruit?

Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This jackfruit BBQ sandwich tastes just like pulled pork, nestled on a bun with tangy coleslaw! Your friends and family won’t believe it’s vegan.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups organic ketchup
  • 1/2 cup scotch, bourbon, or other whiskey
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans green jackfruit in water or brine (here’s something similar to what we used)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 recipe Easy Vinegar Coleslaw or Best Creamy Coleslaw
  • 6 buns or ciabatta rolls

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the onion. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the ketchup, whiskey, vinegar, soy sauce, onion, garlic, chili powder, and paprika. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the sauce thickens slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. (Use right away or cool, cover and refrigerate for up to a week.)
  3. Rinse and drain the jackfruit in a colander, pressing down to extract as much water as possible. Run your hands through the pieces, pulling and separating them into shreds with your fingers.
  4. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the jackfruit and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp in places, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring once in a while, until the sauce has thickened and the jackfruit has absorbed some of the flavor, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the Easy Vinegar Coleslaw or Best Creamy Coleslaw.
  6. When you’re ready to eat, slice the buns or rolls. Divide the jackfruit among the rolls, top with the slaw and the top of the roll, and serve.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Jackfruit BBQ, What is jackfruit, Jackfruit pulled pork, Canned jackfruit, Pulled jackfruit

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Trish
    March 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Did you purchase the green jack fruit in brine or in water?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 11, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Ours was canned green jackfruit in water!

      • Reply
        Trish Matute
        March 11, 2019 at 12:45 pm

        thank you!

  • Reply
    denise
    April 3, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Suggestions for booze substitute?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm

      We think you could leave out the booze without sacrificing flavor! Let us know what you think.

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