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


  • 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
chili, meat, pork, sauce
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
  • Step 2

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

    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.

    cereal, granola, corn, rice, muesli
    Abi Scott
  • Step 4

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

    meat, pork, chicken, rice
    Abi Scott
  • Step 5

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

    Kristen Kornbluth
  • Step 6

    Serve with coleslaw and buns or white bread.

    cake, chocolate
    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.