BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches



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These BBQ jackfruit sandwiches are loaded with BBQ flavor and the texture of shredded jackfruit makes for an amazing shredded meat substitute.

Who would have thought that jackfruit (the massive tropical fruit) would make such a delicious shredded BBQ sandwich?!

Turns out, it’s the perfect plant-based shredded meat substitute because it’s texture really does look and feel like shredded meat… even more so than hearts of palm BBQ, IMO.

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Jackfruit bbq sandwich topped with cabbage.

What is Jackfruit?

If you want the full breakdown, be sure to 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.
You'll find pre-packed jackfruit either near the tofu and tempeh in a cooler by the produce or in a can near other canned fruits and veggies.  
Olive oil, bbq sauce, jackfruit, onion, garlic, brown sugar and spices measured out to make bbq jackfruit sandwiches.

Here’s What You Need For These BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

  • jackfruit – you’ll just need one can of green/young jackfruit that is packed in water. Make sure that it’s the green (or young) variety because ripe jackfruit is sweet! I haven’t tried this recipe with fresh jackfruit.
  • olive or avocado oil – to sauté the onion and garlic in.
  • vegetables – onion and garlic to add a delicious, savory flavor base to the shredded jackfruit!
  • seasonings and spices – all the BBQ spices including paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper.
  • BBQ sauce – you can use my homemade BBQ sauce recipe (highly recommend) or store-bought.
  • Sandwich buns and slaw – feel free to use whatever buns you like. I usually look for a whole grain burger bun. For the slaw, I highly recommend my vinegar slaw. It’s mayo-free and so dang good!

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!

Side by side photos of a bowl of jackfruit, and a skillet with jackfruit cooking in bbq sauce.

Serving & Storage Suggestions

I highly recommend eating the BBQ jackfruit on a bun, just like a pulled pork sandwich. Coleslaw and/or pickled onions make for a great crunchy topping! BBQ jackfruit can also be used for BBQ tacos, wraps or even a BBQ bowl. You really can’t go wrong!

For storage, I recommend keeping any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. I wouldn’t recommend freezing as the texture will likely change when frozen and thawed.

Wood cutting board with bbq jackfruit sandwiches being assembled.

What to Serve With These BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

These sandwiches will pair with just about any side dish! Here are some of my favorites:

More Plant-Based BBQ Recipes You Might Enjoy:

3.89 from 45 votes

BBQ Jackfruit

These BBQ jackfruit sandwiches are loaded with BBQ flavor and the texture of shredded jackfruit makes for an amazing shredded meat substitute.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1 14 oz can green/unripe jackfruit packed in water
  • 2 teaspoons olive or avocado oil
  • cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • ½ Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce, (homemade or store-bought)
  • burger buns and coleslaw, for topping


  • Drain jackfruit and break apart pieces by hand until it's shredded and resembles pulled meat.
    Bowl of jackfruit.
  • 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.
  • While onions and garlic are cooking, combine BBQ spices (paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and cayenne pepper) in a small bowl.
  • 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.
    Bowl of bbq jackfruit. A wood spoon is in the bowl and dish towel is beside the bowl.
  • For sandwiches, serve warm on a bun with coleslaw.


  • Store-bought BBQ sauce options: I like Primal Kitchen and Annie’s BBQ sauce. 


Serving: 1portion (no bun) | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ jackfruit
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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!

  2. 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. 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.

    2. 5 stars
      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. 🤤🤤🤤

  3. 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. 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

    2. 4 stars
      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.

  4. 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. 5 stars
    Love this version of BBQ jackfruit! I make it in a cast-iron skillet, and put it under the broiler for 5-7 minutes at the end to gently char everything.

    1. So glad you loved this recipe, Taza! Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it.

  6. Can this be made with jackfruit in brine? New to working with jackfruit and didn’t realize we got it in brine!

  7. 4 stars
    Personally, I will alter the bbq spice ratio next time I make this, but everyone loved this recipe. Huge success!

  8. This was really good. My family enjoyed it very much.This was my first time working with jackfruit and it was so easy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yay! Happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe, Erica. Thanks so much for the review. I really appreciate it!

  9. 5 stars
    Made both the jackfruit and coleslaw. Delish, it instantly became a favorite. Even shared the recipe with others. Advise to prep the jackfruit in advance, at least a few hours so that it is complete dry, this make a big difference in texture.

  10. 5 stars
    So delicious! Made this for dinner and my family didn’t even know it wasn’t pork! Made homemade buns for it as well as the cole slaw topping and a side dish of your avocado corn salad. It was a hit!

    1. Ahh! I am so happy to hear that this recipe was enjoyed by you and your family, Becca. Thank you for being here! I appreciate your star rating + review, I appreciate it!

  11. 5 stars
    It’s actually a cool and useful piece of information about Jackfruit. I’m satisfied that you shared this useful
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    Thank you for sharing.