This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

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 this vegan sandwich 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. (The other best meat-like texture: our “famous” vegetarian meatloaf.) 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 | Amazon

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

Jackfruit BBQ sandwich ingredients

For this vegan BBQ sandwich recipe, you’ll need many of the typical BBQ sauce ingredients, plus a few extra ingredients. To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Red onion
  • Garlic
  • Ketchup
  • Scotch or bourbon
  • Cider vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Spices
  • Green jackfruit in water or brine
  • Olive oil
  • Buns
  • Coleslaw (for topping)
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. Fantastic vegan comfort food, really.

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 (and serve with a side of pickled vegetables.) It’s one of the most seriously satisfying meatless meals we’ve had in a while! Our toddler Larson could not stop eating it! It’s especially perfect for impressing meat eaters with a vegetarian recipe. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts on jackfruit!

pulled jackfruit sandwiches

Can I omit the alcohol?

If you prefer cooking without alcohol, we think you can probably leave it out of this plant-based BBQ recipe without sacrificing on flavor. If you omit the scotch and love your BBQ jackfruit sandwich, please leave us a comment telling us how it tasted!

How to store BBQ jackfruit

Leftover BBQ pulled jackfruit can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. We recommend reheating the jackfruit in a skillet over low heat to prevent it from drying out.

Jackfruit BBQ sandwich

Get the book

Order it! The Dinner for Everyone cookbook by Mark Bittman

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.

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich | What is jackfruit?

Jackfruit BBQ Sandwich

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

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


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.


  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups organic ketchup
  • ½ cup scotch, bourbon, or other whiskey (or water for alcohol-free)
  • ¼ 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


  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 over medium heat. Cook at a steady simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the sauce thickens slightly, about 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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Jimmy says:

    I recently made jackfruit BBQ (not this recipe) in a slow cooker for dinner tonight. Was researching similar recipies and came across this one. Would it be possible to prepare this in a slow cooker instead of a skillet?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes, that should work!

  2. G. says:

    The BBQ Sauce tasted just like hot ketchup. Juk.
    I added brown sugar and honey to give it some taste.

  3. Cari says:

    Way too boozy. The whole thing tasted like scotch. My son said it tasted like wine…he is 5. Bummer. I think next time I would just buy a bbq sauce.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Thanks for letting us know! It’s possible that maybe your simmer was a little too low to cook out the alcohol? We’ve added a note about heat level and that you can substitute water for the scotch for alcohol free! And you could most definitely use a pre-made BBQ sauce too!

  4. denise says:

    Suggestions for booze substitute?

    1. Sonja says:

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

    2. Anonymous says:

      Curious how this went

  5. Trish says:

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

    1. Sonja says:

      Ours was canned green jackfruit in water!

      1. Trish Matute says:

        thank you!