BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw

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Baking sheet filled jackfruit pulled pork sandwiches

I know what you’re thinking.

What the who is that?

It’s BBQ jackfruit – aka the ticket to reclaiming your favorite BBQ sandwich.

Hubba. Hubba.

Mixing bowl filled with homemade BBQ seasonings

This recipe was inspired by the talented folks at FuD – a vegan eatery in Kansas City.

When we were still Midwest dwellers I had the chance to eat at FuD several times and was most drawn to their faux meat dishes using jackfruit.

I’d seen jackfruit in Asian stores before and was intimidated by the way it looked. However, I had no idea that its texture lends itself to mocking meat and absorbing just about any flavor you throw its way.

In other words, it’s a vegan’s dream food.

Pouring BBQ sauce into a pan of jackfruit

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 ingredients (give or take a spice) and 30 minutes!

The only ingredient this recipe requires that’s likely not lying around your pantry is green jackfruit, which can be found at practically any Asian market and on Amazon.

NOTE: Just be sure it’s young green jackfruit in water, not brine or syrup and most certainly not ripe jackfruit. This is key to achieving proper flavor and texture.

Sauté pan filled with our easy jackfruit jackfruit pulled pork recipe
BBQ Jackfruit in a pan ready to be made into gluten-free vegan sandwiches for dinner

The process is so simple.

Drain and clean jackfruit.
Toss with BBQ spices.
Saute.
Add BBQ sauce.
Simmer.
Voila!

BBQ jackfruit in just 30 minutes that will fool any carnivore into thinking they’re eating pulled pork. This stuff is legit.

Spoon in a mixing bowl of vegan Avocado Slaw

To add more flavor and texture to the mix, I include a quick avocado veggie slaw that’s easily prepared while the jackfruit is simmering.

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw for a gluten-free vegan dinner

And for even more healthy fats and some protein, roasted salted cashews – because who doesn’t want a giant handful of cashews on anything they’re eating? (Shush, Rhonda – just shush.)

This BBQ jackfruit sandwich is legit! It’s:

Smoky
Hearty
Tender
Big in BBQ flavor
Crunchy from the slaw
Satisfying
& Simple

Even the novice can make this sandwich. All that’s left to do is sit back and watch your friends marvel at what they’re eating. I’ll never scorn the jackfruit again.

Baking sheet filled with our BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw and Roasted Cashews

More Jackfruit Recipes

If you try this sandwich, let us know! Take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers!

Holding up an amazing BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich topped with Avocado Slaw and Roasted Cashews
Sliced BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches on a baking sheet

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw

Simple, 30-minute BBQ jackfruit sandwiches that will fool any meat lover! A crunchy, cool avocado slaw and roasted salted cashews add even more texture and flavor. The perfect vegan substitute for pulled pork.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Baking sheet with Vegan BBQ Jackfruit sandwiches
4.89 from 204 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 (sandwiches)
Course Entrée
Cuisine BBQ, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2 Days

Ingredients

BBQ JACKFRUIT

  • 2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit in water (NOT in syrup or brine*)
  • 1/4 cup BBQ seasoning (For 1/4 cup or ~45 g BBQ seasoning, use 2 Tbsp brown sugar + 1 tsp paprika + 1 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp pepper + 1/2 tsp chili powder)
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce (ensure it’s vegan // plus more for topping)

AVOCADO SLAW (optional)

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 lemon or lime (juiced)
  • Salt + pepper (to taste)
  • Water (to thin)
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage + carrots (Trader Joe’s has a great cruciferous veg mix)

FOR SERVING

  • 4-6 whole grain vegan buns (GF for gluten-free eaters)
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews (or roast on your own*)

Instructions

  • Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry jackfruit. Chop off the center “core” portion of the fruit and discard. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Mix together BBQ seasoning and add to jackfruit. Toss to coat.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1-2 Tbsp oil of choice and seasoned jackfruit (use more oil, as needed, if increasing batch size). Toss to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes to achieve some color.
  • Add BBQ sauce and thin with enough water to make a sauce. Stir and reduce heat to low- medium and cook covered for about 20 minutes (up to 35 minutes on low for a deeper flavor).
  • Remove lid and stir occasionally. TIP: For finer texture, use two forks to shred the jackfruit as it cooks down.
  • In the meantime, make slaw by adding all ingredients except vegetables (avocado through salt + pepper) to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Thin with water until a thick sauce is made, then add veggies and toss to coat. Set in the refrigerator until serving.
  • Once the jackfruit has been properly simmered, turn up heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 more minutes to get a little extra color/texture (a tip I learned from Namely Marly!). Then remove from heat.
  • Place generous portions of slaw on the bottom buns, top with generous serving of BBQ jackfruit, and cashews. Serve with extra BBQ sauce!
  • Leftover jackfruit keeps for up to a couple days in the fridge, though best when fresh.

Video

Notes

*If you cannot find young jackfruit in water, we would recommend using young jackfruit in brine and rinsing thoroughly.
*To roast your own cashews: Toss 1/2 cup cashews in a bit of oil and sea salt and spread on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until roasty, fragrant and slightly golden brown.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with avocado slaw and roasted cashews and without buns.
*Loosely adapted from Blissful Basil.

Nutrition (1 of 5 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 193 Carbohydrates: 27.8 g Protein: 4.6 g Fat: 8.7 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 5.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1371 mg Potassium: 290 mg Fiber: 7.5 g Sugar: 8.4 g Vitamin A: 4013 IU Vitamin C: 11.35 mg Calcium: 74.49 mg Iron: 1.28 mg

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  1. Elizabeth says

    We Loved this! I omitted the Chili Powder and used Sweet Baby Rays for the BBQ sauce and it was mild and sweet – the kids loved it. My husband added Crispy Friend Onions to this for an added crunch. We served on Brioche buns (we’re not GF) that I toasted quickly on broil. We had lots of slaw left over but will likely add some raisins and eat on it’s own. The dressing is delicious.
    Will definitely make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum, brioche buns and crispy onions sound extra delicious! Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth! xo

  2. D.E. Johnson says

    I found a package of frozen jackfruit at my local supermarket. Can I use frozen for this recipe? I assume I should let it thaw out first(?) :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, as long as it’s young (green) jackfruit, not ripe, we think that would be fine!

  3. Moira Nelligan says

    any suggestions for substituting dried jackfruit in this recipe? I just bought a big bag and I would love to put it to good use, besides just snacking on it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Moira, hmm, we’re not sure! Usually dried is ripe (sweet) vs. green and we wouldn’t recommend using that.

  4. Christina says

    I whipped this up tonight and am SO glad! I loved everything! I did make one alteration – I cut up the jackfruit as suggested but threw the cores in and cooked it up with the rest. It doesn’t shred like the other parts of the jackfruit, but it adapts the flavors and cooks up just as nicely when chopped :)

    Thank you for this recipe!

  5. Anne says

    Have you found a way to give the jackfruit additional flavor? I’ve tried several versions and different jackfruit products, but every time we only taste the BBQ sauce. Maybe this is one meat substitute that is actually too bland? (I tried a “naked” shred, and it was the most tasteless thing I’ve ever eaten.)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anne, we find simmering it in whatever sauce you’re using helps it soak up flavors well. We have a few jackfruit recipes on the site that might be helpful to reference!

  6. Amelia says

    The slaw is amazing!!! Had a leftover veggies, jumped them up fine and added the avocado dressing. Outstanding!

    The jackfruit was pretty good too!

  7. Haydee says

    I made this recipe yesterday & we loved it! Although I added a bit of vegan mayo & truffle hot sauce to the slaw. I also added caramelized red onion & sliced avo on top the open faced sandwiches. My husband said I “Knocked it out of the park!”

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo yum! Thanks so much for the great review and for sharing your modifications, Haydee. So glad you both enjoyed!

  8. Gabby says

    Made this a couple times and my usually meat-loving partner adore them! I do however make a few changes. I add beans to the mix for extra protein (increasing the BBQ sauce and seasoning accordingly for the extra volume). We also found the slaw a little too acidic so I opt for topping them with arugula and pickled red onions.

  9. Margie says

    I need to make this ahead of time and freeze it. I noticed one comment for that below and the answer was that you hadn’t tried freezing it but thought the texture might not be as good after freezing. Just wondering if you or anyone has actually tried freezing it since that time and if it was successful.

  10. Katie says

    I used jackfruit from Trader Joe’s that came in brine and just rinsed well. I also didn’t bother patting it dry. I shredded it ahead of putting it in the pan and chopped the “core” of the pieces finely rather than wasting it. This turned out absolutely delicious! I ate it in a taco but am also going to try the slaw next time.

  11. Kristina says

    Has anyone tried reheating this? I made this for a work function and will need to reheat it in the oven once needed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kristina, you can reheat the jackfruit filling on the stovetop or in the microwave. Hope that helps!

  12. Christine Drummond says

    Hi there, I wanted to let you guys know that I work at a high school and we teach students culinary. Every school year we have a sandwich competition with the students in class my student and I chose to make the bbq jackfruit sandwich, we omitted the cashews and named it ” Pulled Borg ” LOL. We were the only vegan sandwich out of 39 sandwiches and made it to 4th place. All the judges were meat eaters , so she was very excited :)

  13. Laurie says

    This was a hit last night – so easy and very satisfying. The avocado slaw was OUT OF THIS WORLD! I will be making it again and again.

  14. John says

    I followed the recipe using fresh jackfruit and cooked them for 30 minutes, however, it tasted sour and stringy. I don’t know what pulled pork tastes like as I’ve never had it but this didn’t taste nice. Mostly I tasted the BBQ sauce and some tough strings.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! Thanks for sharing your experience and honest feedback, John. We haven’t tried this with fresh jackfruit so we think that might have had an affect on the taste!

  15. Skye says

    Can someone tell me if the can of jackfruit is ok to have Lime juice in it, That seems to be the only one I can find. Or, if you can show me a can of what you are all using I would greatly appreciate that.

      • Monica says

        I’ve made this a handful of times and it’s always even better than I remembered! I find that BBQ sauce is pretty salty so I don’t add salt to the rub. I’ve used honey in the slaw or a whole avocado, both are incredible. I’ve added a can of chickpeas to stretch 1 can of jackfruit and it changed the flavor and texture a bit, but is still good. Walnuts can replace cashews. The original with a bit less salt is the best!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Amazing! Love how flexible this recipe has been for you, Monica. Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications!

  16. Gene says

    I’ve made this a ton of times, including the Avocado slaw. I like to add Cayenne to the seasoning mix, and liquid smoke when I add the BBQ sauce.
    This recipe ROCKS!! Thanks so much for making it :)

  17. Anna says

    This website has become my go-to for 85% of my cooking. I love your recipes and they rarely fail me. I’ve made this recipe several times and it’s a keeper. Now I’ve been asked to make this for the vegans at my friend’s wedding. I’ll be getting there around 9:30 but we won’t be serving dinner until probably 5:30-6pm. Given that it’s at her future sister-in-laws house I thought making it ahead and freezing it. I’ll probably take it out first thing and the morning and leave it out on the counter someplace and eventually reheat it however I can. Do you think it could freeze well? I haven’t tried yet but I have enough time to test it.
    Thanks for all your beautiful recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Anna! Thank you for sharing that! We think the texture after freezing wouldn’t be as good. But perhaps test with a small batch first?