BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches with Caraway Coleslaw

This is a delicious plant-based take on BBQ pulled pork sandwiches in WAY less time than it takes to cook pulled pork. The substitute used here is jackfruit, which is a funky-looking fruit native to southwest India. Best to use canned young jackfruit for this application though because it is the most tender and pork-like. You can find it canned at many grocery stores nowadays, and especially in health food stores. Prepare to be surprised at how much the taste and texture of this sandwich resembles pulled pork! Watch how I make these sandwiches in this video.


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Use organic ingredients when possible


2 x 14 oz (398mL) cans young green jackfruit in water or brine

2 tsp organic coconut sugar or organic brown sugar

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp each sea salt and black pepper

2 tbsp avocado oil

½ yellow or white onion, diced

¼ cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving (see recipe below)

½ medium red onion, thinly sliced for topping

Pickles, sliced (one per burger for topping)

4 burger buns, split (optional to toast or grill)


½ head of a regular green cabbage (about 6 cups once sliced)

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

2 tsp caraway seeds

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Drain the jackfruit, and if it is packed in brine rinse it under cold water. Dry it thoroughly then prune it by removing any hard, dense pieces (this is the core, similar to a pineapple). Place the pruned jackfruit in a bowl and using a fork or your hands, pull the jackfruit pieces apart so it looks like pulled pork. Add the coconut sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper (if using), sea salt, and black pepper to the bowl. Toss everything together to coat the jackfruit.

Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the avocado oil then the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is slightly translucent. Add the spiced jackfruit and sauté for an additional 5 minutes to get a good sear on the edges, pouring in a splash of water if it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan too much.

Add the BBQ sauce and enough water to thin the mixture into a sauce (¼ cup more or less). Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often so nothing sticks to the bottom, so that all the flavours can infuse into the jackfruit. Add more water if the mixture gets too dry. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more BBQ sauce or spices as desired.

While the jackfruit mixture is simmering, prepare the coleslaw. Cut the cabbage into the thinnest strips you can or shred in a food processor or using a mandolin and place in a large serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and oil. Mix in the caraway seeds, sea salt, and black pepper. Pour over the cabbage and toss well. (Make-ahead: You can refrigerate the coleslaw, covered, for up to three days.)

To serve the sandwiches, top the buns (toasted or not) with the pulled jackfruit mixture, extra BBQ sauce, sliced red onions, sliced pickles, and coleslaw. Serve extra coleslaw on the side.



1 can (156mL) tomato paste

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ to 1 cup vegetable broth or water

1 tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or coconut seasoning sauce

2 tbsp organic coconut sugar or organic brown sugar

2 tbsp dark or amber maple syrup

3 tsp prepared yellow mustard

½ yellow or white onion, grated

2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced

¼ tsp ground chipotle pepper or cayenne, to taste

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/8 to ¼ tsp liquid smoke (optional – for an added smoky taste)

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Add all of the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer over low heat. Continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking, adding more water if the mixture becomes too thick. Cover saucepan with a lid, if needed, to avoid splatters. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

The sauce will keep covered in the refrigerator for about 1 month.

#vegan #plantbased #sandwich

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