Recipes for Life

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Barbecue Jackfruit Sandwiches

The largest tree fruit, the spiked jackfruit can be nearly three feet in length and weigh over 120 pounds. A native of India, the jackfruit is in the same family (Moraceae) as the fig, mulberry and breadfruit. The distinctively flavored, golden flesh and large seeds of the jackfruit are both edible.

The flesh is rich in Vitamin B6, and also contains Vitamin C and potassium. The flesh can be eaten raw but is also frequently cooked into traditional curries and side dishes. The fibrous part of the fruit can be used as a meat substitute in dishes such as this barbecue sandwich recipe. Similar in texture to pulled pork, this tasty vegan sandwich filling is a great way to feed a crowd. Whether you share that it’s simmered jackfruit and not traditional pulled pork is up to you! 

These sandwiches pair nicely with vegan cucumber potato salad and vegan avocado slaw -- either served as a side, on the sandwiches or both!

Prep time:

20 minutes (hands on time)

Cook time:

1-2 hours on the stovetop (or 4 hours on low in the crock pot)


For the barbecue sauce:

To prepare the jackfruit:

*Canned jackfruit can also be used. 



Step 1. Make the Barbecue Sauce

Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in the saucepan over medium-low heat.

Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir frequently until tender and just turning golden.

Whisk in the tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, paprika, chili powder, cumin, quality salt, and pepper.

Raise heat to high heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Step 2. Prepare the Jackfruit

Rinse the jackfruit and place on a cutting board. Coat your fingers and the blade of the knife with a little oil as the fruit contains a latex like substance that can be very sticky. Gloves and an easy to clean cutting board can also be useful.

Cut the fruit in half or into 2 inch thick slices. 

Removed the smooth bulbs (which contain the seeds) and set aside for another use.

Place the fibrous part of the jackfruit (which resembles an artichoke heart) into a bowl and shred with your fingers or two forks. 

Drain and rinse jackfruit if using canned. 

Heat two tablespoons coconut oil in the skillet and add the jackfruit.

Saute for a few minutes.

Then, add the water and cover.

Simmer until it begins to soften. 


Step 3. Simmer and serve

Place the softened jackfruit into the pot of barbecue sauce and simmer until thickened.

Alternatively, place into a crock pot and simmer on low for 2-4 hours.

Serve on toasted buns with avocado slaw or sliced avocado.