Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit

January 3, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

In my opinion, this is the closest that non-meat-eaters can get to barbecue pulled pork. The jackfruit's texture is a close imitation, and the vegan barbecue sauce makes the whole thing sweet and spicy and vinegar-y and just kissed with chili. Put it on a bun with some simple coleslaw, pickles, and a swab of mayonnaise (or veganaise), or layer it over rice with black beans and avocado. Regardless, you've got a feast that's a lot more low-maintenance than pulled pork—and vegan to boot.

Catherine Lamb

Serves: 6 to 8



  • 2 cans of young green jackfruit in water
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, or use the recipe below

Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste, or about half of a can
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon puréed chipotle peppers, optional
  • 1/4 cup water
In This Recipe


  1. For the Jackfruit: Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry the canned jackfruit. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the barbecue seasoning. Add the jackfruit and toss to combine,
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook until just beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the seasoned jackfruit and cook for 5 minutes, until it begins to get some color. Begin to break it up with the back of the spoon.
  3. For the Barbecue Sauce: In a medium skillet, add a tablespoon of neutral oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients (besides the water) and stir until evenly combined. Add the water and cook, stirring, until heated through.
  4. Add one cup of the barbecue sauce to the jackfruit and stir to combine. Use two forks to break up the jackfruit, pulling it apart into threads. Cook until warmed through. Serve topped with more barbecue sauce, avocado, coleslaw, and pickles, either on a bun, over rice, or in a tortilla for a simple burrito filling.

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Reviews (1) Questions (0)

1 Review

FrugalCat February 14, 2018
Here in South Florida, jackfruit actually grow on trees. But I don't think I am ready to commit to buying a 10 or 20 lb fruit. I wouldn't buy canned when fresh is available. Would anyone want to go in on a whole fruit with me?