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Vegan BBQ Pulled Pork
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4.71 from 17 votes

Vegetarian BBQ Pulled "Pork"

Jackfruit takes the place of pulled pork in this fall-apart tender and flavorful vegan sandwich.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Keyword: plant-based, vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Ashley


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (20-ounce) can green young jackfruit in water or brine*
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoke salt (optional but recommended)
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup barbeque sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 buns or slider rolls


  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender (5-7 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, drain and rinse the jackfruit in a strainer. Cut away the core of the jackfruit (the tough triangular tip) and discard, reserving the soft, stringy flesh (see here for a photo). If desired, remove the jackfruit seeds/bulbs (you can eat these, but some people don't like the texture). 
  • Mix together the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoke salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Add in the jackfruit flesh and toss to coat.
  • Add the seasoned jackfruit to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce and water. Pour over the jackfruit. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
  • While the jackfruit simmers, toast the buns.
  • Remove the lid from the skillet and shred the jackfruit with a fork. Continue to simmer with the lid off for 5 minutes, or until the barbecue sauce is mostly absorbed.
  • NOTE: You can either enjoy the "pulled pork" as is OR spread it on a baking pan and bake at 350F degrees for 20 minutes. Readers have reported this extra step makes the texture even more "pork" like.
  • Fill each bun with a mound of BBQ jackfruit and top with garnishes of choice (ideas: pickled red onions, cilantro, mini cucumbers, etc).


*Jackfruit Finding Tips: Trader Joe's now sells young green jackfruit in cans. Here's the kind I usually use, which you can find in 6-pack cases online (←affiliate link). Some cans of jackfruit are 14 ounces, but they're usually much more packed to the brim which jackfruit than the 20-ounce cans, so you can usually get away with using just one. In a pinch, you can substitute two (14-ounce) cans hearts of palm for the one can jackfruit—just keep in mind the finished texture will be a bit softer.