Jackfruit is a fruit that grows on trees of the same name, and it's native to South and Southeast Asia. It's pretty common in the cuisine of India, Bangladesh, and nearby countries. Boasting a bunch of health benefits and a wide variety of uses, jackfruit is considered a miracle crop in the region where it grows abundantly.

In the United States, it's hard to come by fully ripe jackfruit, so we usually find it canned in its unripe, green form. Unripe jackfruit pretty much lacks any flavor, but this isn't a bad thing; it absorbs whatever you put on it. Also, it looks oddly like pulled pork. Obviously, the logical conclusion is to use it as meatless BBQ, so CofC Spoon had to try it out. Here's a BBQ jackfruit recipe you're sure to love, whether you're vegetarian or not. 

BBQ Jackfruit

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:25 mins
  • Total Time:30 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 4 cans young green jackfruit
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce + extra for buns
Abi Scott
Abi Scott

Step 1

Open jackfruit cans, rinse and drain the fruit, and put aside in bowls. Measure out all your BBQ spices.
Kristen Kornbluth
Kristen Kornbluth

Step 2

Toss the jackfruit in the spices in a large bowl or pot.
Abi Scott
Abi Scott

Step 3

Put olive oil in your pan, heat it up, and dump all the jackfruit in. Cook on high for about 5 minutes until you get some caramelization.
Abi Scott
Abi Scott

Step 4

Add BBQ sauce and water to thin it out. Cook for 20-25 minutes on medium-low heat.
Abi Scott
Abi Scott

Step 5

Before serving, cook on high for 2-3 minutes for extra caramelization.
Kristen Kornbluth
Kristen Kornbluth

Step 6

Serve with coleslaw and buns or white bread.
Kristen Kornbluth
Kristen Kornbluth

We served it alongside BBQ pulled pork to get a full comparison. The appearance of the BBQ jackfruit was spot-on, but the mushy texture gave it away as not being the real thing. The flavor was great, though, thanks to the seasonings, BBQ sauce, and coleslaw. This is definitely recommended if you want to shake it up at your next barbeque and offer a meatless option.

Kristen Kornbluth

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.