Carolina BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

Jackfruit has become one of the trendiest vegan meat replacements in 2017, and to be honest, it’s been fun!  We’ve been making BBQ, tacos, and more.

You may have never heard of Jackfruit before, but that’s probably normal because it’s not a fruit you would see in a grocery store on a regular basis or ever!  I even worked at Whole Foods Market for a summer and I only saw a fresh jackfruit one time.  It is a VERY large fruit that sort of reminds me of a 30-50 pound avocado with a lighter color skin.

Normally, you would cut open the fruit and eat it ripe, but for the vegan meat replacement recipe, you would buy it canned and unripe before it becomes sweet.  When it is young and unripe, it doesn’t really have a distinct taste, and like tofu it can take on the flavor of the sauce that it’s mixed with.

I buy mine canned at Whole Foods–and you can find it with the other canned fruits like canned pineapple or peaches.  If you don’t have a Whole Foods, you can check your local Asian markets or buy it on Amazon! When you open the can, you’ll notice that the jackfruit looks kind of like a white piece of cut pineapple.  But once you cook it, you can pull it with forks and it will look like pulled chicken or pork, which makes for a great meat replacement.

I’ve made this Minimalist Baker recipe several times, and it’s really good!  I wanted to make my own BBQ recipe, though, because growing up in South Carolina, BBQ meant a mustard based vinegar sauce.  I use her recipe for the avocado slaw because I love the crunch and the touch of sweetness it gives to the sandwich.

I brought this sandwich to a cookout this past weekend and it got approval from both vegans and meat eaters.  I hope you enjoy this is as much we do!

Carolina BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
Avocado Slaw (from Minimalist Baker):
  • 2 cups coleslaw mixture
  • ½ ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, juced
  • salt & pepper to taste
Caramelized Onions:
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 3 small/medium onion, peeled and quartered
Jackfruit BBQ:
  • 2 cans of jackfruit
  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup Blackstrap Molasses
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 pinches smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • 1 pinch sea salt (we used smoked sea salt we got from our trip to Asheville, NC to add to the smokey flavor)
  • Vegan buns
  • dill pickles for topping
  1. Combine all ingredients for the avocado slaw until well combined.
  2. Store in the fridge.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat.
  4. Add the onions, and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring often so they don't burn.
  5. Reduce heat to low-medium, and allow to cook until caramelized (another 15-20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  6. While the onions are caramelizing, drain and rinse the canned jackfruit.
  7. Add all BBQ sauce ingredients in a medium pan and heat on medium-high until slightly boiling.
  8. Reduce heat to low/medium and add jackfruit.
  9. Stir and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes.
  10. Using two forks, "pull" the jackfruit apart like you would if you were pulling chicken or pork.
  11. Stir and make sure the sauce gets into all the pieces of the jackfruit.
  12. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so.
  13. To assemble, toast buns, then add slaw, BBQ, onions, and pickles. Enjoy!


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