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Vegan BBQ Jackfruit

Move over, pulled pork, there’s a new and plant-based friendly alternative in town and it is GLORIOUS.

This BBQ jackfruit is no joke. It’s smoky, it’s spicy, it’s got that subtly sweet barbecue taste, and is amazing in burrito bowls, burritos, gyros, sprinkled over nachos…you name it, it’s good.

This pulled BBQ jackfruit recipe is insanely good – jackfruit perfect resembles the texture of pulled pork, and the sweet yet smoky bbq sauce is the perfect accompaniment.

I first discovered jackfruit in a curry when I was in Indonesia. My scuba diving instructor took me to this tiny little local restaurant in the back of a local market (the kind of place where, as a tourist, you’d probably never even look unless someone took you there), and the smiling old lady behind the counter would load up a paper bag with the things she had cooked that day.

We had crispy tofu, green beans and garlic, spicy tomato tempeh, a host of fantastic curried greens and veg. That’s when my mind was blown. At the time, I still ate meat – but my instructor was a vegetarian.

“Um, did the lady put pork in mine?” I asked.

He grinned – “No, that’s jackfruit.” You wouldn’t know it. Jackfruit is the perfect vegan substitute for anyone looking to recreate that unique texture pulled pork has.

This BBQ-style pulled jackfruit recipe is so good – I love pairing mine with hummus, some home-cooked chips, and fresh salad all loaded into a flatbread. Heaven!

To make this recipe, you’ll start by draining the tin of young jackfruit (young jackfruit is essential – and make sure you buy it in water or brine, not syrup!). Then you’ll want to cut off the tougher stalk ends – if you want, you can slice these thinly and still use them. They just don’t shred for a pulled pork consistency.

You’ll then heat your olive oil in a large pan, and add chopped onion and garlic. Once cooked, you’ll add the spices, and then the jackfruit.

Then you’ll stir in the BBQ sauce mix of maple syrup, soy sauce, tomato puree, and apple cider vinegar to give the jackfruit a little acidic kick.

Once everything has melded together and the liquid has been absorbed, you’ll bake the jackfruit to get it deliciously crispy on the edges.

Done! This BBQ jackfruit is awesome in buddha bowls, burritos, gyros with fries and hummus, tortilla pizzas – the options are endless!

What does jackfruit “meat” taste like?

Jackfruit on its own is pretty tasteless and fairly similar to banana or pineapple in terms of density and texture. What makes jackfruit so great to cook with is that it absorbs whatever spices and sauces you cook it with – making it perfect for use in curries, spicy BBQ sauces, and any other flavour-packed recipes.

Where can I buy jackfruit?

Jackfruit is very popular these days, so most supermarkets do stock it (check the world food aisle if you can’t find it in the ‘health food’ aisle. Alternatively, your local asian grocers should stock it – when I first cooked with jackfruit back in 2018, it was less popular, and I ordered mine online from The Asian Cookshop.

Other recipes you might like:

What can I substitute in place of jackfruit?

If you can’t find jackfruit in your supermarket, any other meat substitute will work great in this recipe (most supermarkets have vegan ‘pulled pork’ or soya protein pieces readily available these days).

Alternatively, using potatoes or squash could be a great substitution for this recipe – it will result in a very different texture, but will still taste great!

Pulled bbq jackfruit

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Smoky yet sweet BBQ pulled jackfruit


  • 1 tin young jackfruit
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 0.5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper to season


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2. Drain the tin of jackfruit and remove the stalk ends, leaving just the part of the fruit that pulls away easily.

3. Finely chop your onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic, cooking on a low heat for 5 minutes

4. Add in the spices and cook for another minute

5. Add the jackfruit, maple syrup, tomato puree, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar, and stir.

6. After 3 - 5 minutes, start to pull apart the jackfruit chunks with two forks. It should shred easily. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes until the liquids have been absorbed.

7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and empty the jackfruit mix onto it.

8. Bake the jackfruit for 15 minutes - it should be a little crispy on the edges when removed.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 408mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g

Nutritional infomation isn't always accurate.

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