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Easy BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

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Soft and juicy pulled jackfruit is gently roasted and coated with a gorgeous BBQ sauce that is sure to convert even meat lovers to this vegan pulled pork alternative. Because of the innate ability to soak up flavors, unripe jackfruit paired with its string like texture makes a fantastic pork substitute. You’ll never miss pulled pork again.  

Pulled Jackfruit on a Grey Plate with a Fork and a green herb on top

If you haven’t heard of it yet, jackfruit is becoming more and more popular as a plant-based meat alternative. Perhaps you’ve already encountered BBQ jackfruit pizza, jackfruit tacos or even Jamaican jerk jackfruit on menus are at stores.

There is a reason everyone is joining in the jackfruit scene. Why is it becoming such a popular choice for vegans and those interested in eating ethically?

Jackfruit Pulled Pork on a Baking Tray

Why Jackfruit is Good for Vegan Pulled Pork

Young, unripe jackfruit has a stringy meat like texture that works perfectly for vegetarian pulled pork. Since it has a great ability to soak up flavor, its an ideal pork substitute.

Though ripe jackfruit has more of a sweet flavor, unripe jackfruit is rather neutral, like potato, which makes it optimal to use in savory dishes.

Another wonderful thing about jackfruit is that because it doesn’t have a very strong flavor, it’s able to soak up any other flavoring, such as your favorite sauce or spice.

Ripe Jackfruit

The jackfruit tree can produce up to three tonnes of fruit per year.  Even a small jackfruit weighs about 10-15 pounds with large fruits growing up to 100 pounds! This gigantic fruit is full of nutrients and calories, which could keep millions from.

Researchers say  this miracle fruit could replace staple crops under the threat of climate change as a sustainable solution because it is easy to grow, pest and drought resistant.

In case you were also hoping for a nutrient-dense vegan pulled pork, you won’t be disappointed. Jackfruit  is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber and it also contains substances that have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

If you’re interested in other plant-based meat alternative options, you are going to love my find of the year: Tempeh Vegan Taco Meat.
This is hands down the best vegan taco meat I’ve ever tried perfect for vegan tacos.

Pulled Jackfruit Garnished with Fesh Parsley with a Fork

How to Make Pulled Jackfruit

Jackfruit pulled pork is really easy to make, and only requires a handful of ingredients.
Start off by gathering the following:

  • Olive oil;
  • Yellow onion;
  • Jackfruit (canned in brine, or fresh and unripe);

IMPORTANT: Do not use jackfruit canned in syrup!

  • Garlic;
  • Water;
  • Vegan BBQ sauce (or use one of your favorites);
  • Smoked paprika;
  • Garlic powder;
  • Mustard powder;
  • Salt and pepper.

Ingredients for Vegan Pulled Pork, Jackfruit, Spices in Spoons, Onion, Garlic and BBQ Sauce

Start off by heating your olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sautée for about one or two minutes.

If you’re using canned jackfruit, drain it and add it to the pan along with minced garlic. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. If you’re using fresh jackfruit check out how you can prepare it.

Go ahead and preheat your oven to 400 F or 200 C. Then add water, vegan BBQ sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder and mustard powder and let it cook for 10 more minutes or until the water is mostly adsorbed.

Jackfruit in a Skillet

Next, spread the jackfruit across a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Break it apart with a potato masher, spoon or fork until it looks pulled. Altogether, roast it for about 10 minutes and then turn your oven to broil and roast for five more minutes until some of the strands are a bit burned on top.

Then, enjoy with a nice fresh salad like Vegan Coleslaw.

TIP:  Feel free to add a bit more BBQ sauce before serving.

Pulled Jackfruit on a Baking Tray with a Wooden Spoon

Why This Recipe Works

  • Pulled Jackfruit is a healthy and nutritious alternative to pulled pork.
  • You only need a handful of ingredients to make it.
  • It’s totally versatile! Use it as a filling for a sandwich, a topping on pizza or even on a salad. Your options are endless.

Simply and easily feed a crowd! Consider adding this as a dish in a baked potato buffet along with this amazing Vegan Bacon Recipe.

Or try it as a filling for a wrap or taco night for friends. What a great way to feed a bunch of hungry mouths.

Pulled Jackfruit on a Baking Tray

What Goes with Jackfruit Pulled Pork?

There are many ways you can use the delicious, savory flavor of pulled jackfruit. Here are a few ideas:

Use it as a Filling

Try filling up tacos, tortillas, wraps and sandwiches with it. Partner it with lots of crunchy veggies or even a fresh salad, like in this delicious and juicy vegan pulled jackfruit sandwich.

Use it as a Topping

Create custom made salads with a smoky twist. Try your own rendition of a BBQ pulled jackfruit Buddha bowl. Crunchy pizza would also be a perfect base for this recipe.

Stews, Chilis and Soups

If you find yourself in the unlikely situation of having leftovers of vegetarian pulled pork, try throwing it in to your favorite stew, taco soup, or even something like my Vegan Slow Cooker Chili.

This is also a great way to feed a family or group of friends! Another bonus is if you still have too much you can always freeze it for later.

Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw

Cook’s Tips

  • This jackfruit pulled pork can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can freeze it an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months.
  • Add more water if your pulled pork looks too dry. If you added too much water, you can always evaporate the excess letting it cook it for a minute or two longer.
  • Use it as a filling for tacos, tortillas, wraps and sandwiches (try vegan pulled pork sandwich) or as a topping for pizzas, Buddha bowls, stews, soups and chilis.

Recipe Variations

  • Add ½ teaspoon cornstarch to create a saucy consistency for your taco meat. Mix the starch into the seasoning and add a few tablespoons of water before adding the mixture to the skillet.
  • Avocado oil or other neutral oils can be substituted for olive oil. If you don’t want to use oil, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the skillet instead.
  • You can use this pulled pork rub instead of the spices used in the recipe. I would omit brown sugar, since the BBQ sauce already contains it.
 

 

Print
5 from 2 votes

Easy BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

Soft and juicy pulled jackfruit is gently roasted and coated with a gorgeous smoky BBQ sauce that is sure to convert even meat lovers to this delicious vegan pulled pork alternative.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword jackfruit pulled pork, pulled jackfruit, vegan pulled pork, vegetarian pulled pork
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 228kcal
$8

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 14 oz or 400 g jackfruit in brine, NOT syrup, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup water
  • 2/3 cup vegan BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and sautée for one or two minutes, then add the drained jackfruit and minced garlic. If you’re using fresh jackfruit check out how you can prepare it. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 C.
  • Add water, vegan BBQ sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder and mustard powder and let cook for 10 more minutes or until water is mostly adsorbed.
  • Spread the jackfruit across a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Break it apart with a potato masher, spoon or fork until it looks pulled. Roast for about 10 minutes, then turn the broiling on and continue to roast for five more minutes until some of the strands are a bit burned on top. If desired, add a bit more BBQ sauce before serving.

Notes

Cook’s Tips

  • This jackfruit pulled pork can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can freeze it an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months.
  • Add more water if your pulled pork looks too dry. If you added too much water, you can always evaporate the excess letting it cook it for a minute or two longer.
  • Use it as a filling for tacos, tortillas, wraps and sandwiches (try vegan pulled pork sandwich) or as a topping for pizzas, Buddha bowls, stews, soups and chilis.

Recipe Variations

  • Add ½ teaspoon cornstarch to create a saucy consistency for your taco meat. Mix the starch into the seasoning and add a few tablespoons of water before adding the mixture to the skillet.
  • Avocado oil or other neutral oils can be substituted for olive oil. If you don’t want to use oil, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the skillet instead.
  • You can use this pulled pork rub instead of the spices used in the recipe. I would omit brown sugar, since the BBQ sauce already contains it.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 462IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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