Looking for a plant-based shredded BBQ option? Look no further than BBQ jackfruit! It looks just like real deal shredded BBQ, it’s loaded with BBQ flavor and it’s so easy to make. Use as a meatless option in your favorite BBQ recipes!

Remember my hearts of palm BBQ sandwiches I made? After posting that so many of you said you have used jackfruit to make bbq as well! I knew I had to dig into it more and give it a try. It’s texture is comparable to shredded meat, even more so than hearts of palm so it works great as a meat alternative.

To say I’m excited about sharing this BBQ jackfruit recipe would be a huge understatement. I have been brainstorming and working on developing this recipe for a couple months now and it’s finally here!

Bowl of BBQ jackfruit in a bowl, resting on a folded kitchen towel. A wood spoon is on the side of the bowl.

What is Jackfruit?

If you want the full breakdown check out this jackfruit 101 post to learn more about this awesome fruit that is making waves in the plant-based food space! I’ll give you the cliff notes here:

  • Jackfruit is super sweet when it’s ripe but when it’s unripe it has a mild flavor that takes on the flavors of the dish.
  • The texture of jackfruit is similar to shredded meat which makes it a great plant-based meat alternative.
  • It’s low in calories but high in antioxidants, fiber, potassium and vitamin C. It doesn’t have a lot of protein so be sure to pair it with higher protein foods for a full meal.

BBQ Jackfruit Ingredients:

  • 1 can green/unripe jackfruit packed in water
  • olive or avocado oil
  • vegetables – onion and garlic.
  • seasonings and spices – paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper.
  • BBQ saucemake your own or use store-bought.

I love this recipe because it’s layered with flavor! You start by sautéing the onion and garlic. Then you add the jackfruit along with the spices – it’s almost like a dry rub base! Lastly, you’ll mix in the BBQ sauce and you’ve got flavor on flavor on flavor!

Bowl of BBQ jackfruit in a bowl, resting on a folded kitchen towel.

Serving & Storage Suggestions

I love eating this on a bun like a pulled pork sandwich! Highly recommend topping it with coleslaw and pickled onions. This would also be delicious as BBQ tacos or wraps. You can’t go wrong!

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. I wouldn’t recommend freezing as the texture would change when frozen and thawed.

More Plant-Based BBQ Recipes You Might Enjoy:

If you try this bbq jackfruit be sure to leave a comment and star rating letting me know how it turns out! Your feedback is super helpful for me and other EBF readers who are planning to try the recipe. 

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Bowl of BBQ jackfruit in a bowl, resting on a folded kitchen towel. A wood spoon is on the side of the bowl.

BBQ Jackfruit

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Diet: Vegan


This BBQ jackfruit looks just like real deal shredded BBQ and it’s loaded with BBQ flavor. Use as a meatless option in your favorite BBQ recipes! 


  • 1 14 oz can green/unripe jackfruit packed in water
  • 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (store-bought is fine)*


  1. Drain jackfruit and break apart pieces by hand until shredded.
  2. Heat a medium/large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil. Once hot, add onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper and stir occasionally so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. While onions and garlic are cooking, combine BBQ spices (paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt) in a small bowl.
  4. Add shredded jackfruit and spices into the skillet. Toss well to combine. Turn heat to low and let jackfruit cook for 1-2 minutes with the spices before adding BBQ sauce. Coat jackfruit in the sauce and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until jackfruit is warm throughout. Serve warm.


*For store-bought BBQ sauce I like Annie’s and Simple Girl.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 307
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Sodium: 554mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: BBQ jackfruit, vegan, barbecue, jackfruit

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Recipe rating

    1. Jazz
      February 24, 2021 AT 7:38 am

      It was so bland and so spicy at the same time

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 24, 2021 AT 3:48 pm

        So sorry you didn’t love this recipe. Did you change anything?

    2. Ronnie
      January 27, 2021 AT 12:34 pm

      You forgot to use the cayenne 😉

    3. Brenda
      May 2, 2020 AT 1:40 am

      Delicious, even my non-vegan husband enjoyed it!

    4. Katharine Forsyth
      February 15, 2020 AT 9:53 pm

      Just made this tonight – my first time making jackfruit. I had jackfruit loaded fries at a vegan cafe a while ago, and it was so YUMMY that I became obsessed with making my own.

      It turned out pretty well! Maybe a bit spicy for me, but that’s probably personal preference. Next time I’ll leave out the chilli powder and paprika. I also left out the onion as I don’t like it.

      I found I had to cook it longer than the recipe said, as some bits weren’t as soft as they should be after the few minutes you suggest. I left it cooking on a very low heat for another 15 mins or so. Otherwise, I’d say this is definitely a win!

    5. Helen Scoville
      June 30, 2019 AT 12:29 pm

      So does one can serve 2?

    6. Joan Tichenor
      June 13, 2019 AT 3:46 am

      I made this tonight. So delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 14, 2019 AT 9:24 am

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Joan! Thanks for letting mw know.

    7. Simran
      June 4, 2019 AT 10:33 pm

      Absolutely Great Jackfruit Recipe. It’s the real tongue tickling preparation.

    8. Ellen
      May 15, 2019 AT 1:11 am

      So, based on what I read about Jackfruit online I decided to give it a try. It took me about 4 hours to cut it up and separate the edible part from the rest of it. There was about 2 lbs of edible fruit and about 20 lbs of waste. Then it took another hour to cook it and make the “pulled pork” barbecue. I’m not seeing how people think this tastes like pulled pork. the only thing even suggestive that this is pulled pork is the texture and the barbecue sauce. The flesh of this fruit is so stringy and fibrous that you cannot break down the fiber no matter how long you chew it. After chewing, chewing and chewing you finally have to just swallow the fiber that is not broken down or spit it out. This may be acceptable for people who are accustomed to swallowing their food only half chewed but it does not work for me. I would describe the taste as fruity. To me it definitely does NOT taste like pork or any other kind of meat. Even if I could get past that fibrous texture, it was WAY too much work to extract the fruit. I ended up throwing it away and getting my money back. This fruit was expensive.

      1. Taza
        May 13, 2020 AT 4:04 pm

        Gee, Ellen, it’s so odd that you would make a recipe, *not* follow the directions, & then be upset that you didn’t like the end result!

        And, yes, the texture and the flavors of the sauce & seasonings is what makes this recipe a wonderful *vegan alternative* to meat BBQ.

      2. Karen
        May 19, 2019 AT 2:20 am

        Hi Ellen,
        I have made the same mistake myself. These recipes do work really well with jackfruit in a can (i get the brined and not sweet cans). This isn’t stringy either. We can buy for about a dollar a can here. It never really tastes like pork but i do find smoked paprika along with the suggested spices gives a yummy savoury mix i put in tacos.
        Hope that helps

    9. Nathalie
      April 22, 2019 AT 5:47 am

      I love your spice mix! I make my jackfruit using your recipe, but after the pot I spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet and put it under the grill for 10-15 minutes (my grill isn’t super strong, keep checking to make sure your jackfruit doesn’t burn). That way you get some crispy and caramilised bits along with all the warm and gooey bits! Really finishes the recipe in my opinion. Serve with some coleslaw on flatbread or a buttered and toasted hamburgerbun….yum! Bon appetit!

      1. Tara
        June 5, 2019 AT 5:34 pm

        Incredible!! I didn’t have an onion so I had to omit that but otherwise the spice mix was delicious. I ate both servings for dinner. 🤤🤤🤤

      2. BeRandy
        June 3, 2019 AT 9:18 pm

        You’ve got the right idea… Also in addition I squeeze the water out as well. Much like vegetarian meats I like to dry then it in the oven and let them rehydrate in the sauce for improved texture.

    10. Holly
      October 23, 2018 AT 8:32 am

      I saw a woman on instagram post a pic for this and I mistakenly thought it was jackfruit mixed with meat. I didn’t realize there was no meat at all!

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