Rock your next summer get together with vegan BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches. They’re hearty, savory, and filling for a hungry crowd. Jackfruit is, well, a tropical fruit with a neutral taste that has a similar texture and appearance to pulled pork or chicken. Sauté it in a savory-sweet sauce like BBQ and pile high on top of buns for an easy sandwich.

The large, spiky, green fruit (about the size of a large watermelon) can be found fresh at Asian markets, but many conventional stores carry it canned (like Trader Joe’s) or frozen, since it can be sticky and messy to prep from scratch at home. This recipe calls for the canned version of jackfruit. Drain it, rinse it, and then use two forks to pull it apart so it’s shredded.

The texture of jackfruit (it looks like artichoke hearts but is firmer) is such a believable dupe that your meat-eating friends will have a hard time being able to tell you what’s different. The BBQ sauce is also effortless to make and pairs well with the jackfruit. A tangy veggie slaw is an ideal topper for that bit of added crunch.

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches

(Makes 8 slider-sized sandwiches)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water, more as needed
  • 28 ounces canned jackfruit, drained and rinsed, then shredded
  • 6 ounces prepared vegetable slaw
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond milk (or your favorite dairy-free milk)
  • 1-2 teaspoons organic, vegan-friendly sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 slider-sized buns

Instructions:

1. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for several minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, mustard, cayenne, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and water to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you want to thin the sauce slightly, add a tablespoon or two of water.

3. Add the jackfruit to the pan and turn the heat to low. Allow to cook for several minutes.

4. In a bowl, mix the remaining apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, milk, sugar, and salt and pepper to combine.

5. Pour the mixture over the vegetable slaw in a bowl, and toss.

6. Remove the jackfruit from the heat, and add to the buns. Top with a few forkfuls of the slaw and serve immediately.

Looking for more recipes? Check us out on Pinterest!

(Recipe and photos via Patricia Conte / Brit + Co)