Pulled Jackfruit in Spicy BBQ Sauce

Not for me. That’s been my response (until now) to jackfruit, the trendy meat alternative that has even omnivores talking.

But now, I get it!

Jackfruit, as you may know, is an enormous fruit (like a huge spiky watermelon) that’s commonly found in tropical climates. Indigenous to India, jackfruit is rich in fiber and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, B6, and C. The unripened version is used in savory dishes, and once cooked, the result is this amazing string-like texture that shreds beautifully for vegan versions of meaty meals.

Although many pulled jackfruit recipes are cooked in a commercially-prepared BBQ sauce, that doesn’t work for me. Since those sauces are almost always made with cane syrup or high fructose corn syrup, I was not on board until recently, when I stumbled on a way to make a robust BBQ Sauce without any added sugar. Now I am totally joining in on all the jackfruit fun!

So, yep, I get it now. And seriously – if you struggle with the challenge of serving meals in a mixed household (and even if you don’t) this is a must-try!

Happily, you can find unsweetened jackfruit (in brine) at Trader Joes, which makes prep work simple.

I think you’ll find this delectably-finger-licking Pulled Jackfruit in Spicy BBQ Sauce perfect for a tailgate or family celebration. Just double it for a crowd. It’s simply FANTASTIC topped with mustard, pickles, and my Sweet and Creamy Cabbage and Apple Slaw!

One caution – if spicy isn’t your thing, tone down the BBQ Sauce…less chipotle or chili powder, and/or smoked paprika.



Spicy BBQ Sauce

1 cup + 3 tablespoons water
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup  + 2 tablespoons raisins, packed
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pulled Jackfruit

1 onion, diced
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 20-ounce can green jackfruit (in brine), drained and rinsed (available at Trader Joe’s)
1 cup Spicy BBQ Sauce (recipe above)
generous salt and pepper, to taste


Place all Spicy BBQ Sauce ingredients in a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), and process until smooth. Reserve 1 cup for this recipe, and refrigerate remainder of the sauce for another time.

Add onions and 1/4 cup of water to an Electric Pressure Cooker. Using Sauté or Brown setting, allow the onions to soften for a few minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper, and more water if needed, and continue sautéing for another minute. Press Stop (or Cancel) when garlic becomes fragrant.

Drain and rinse jackfruit, and add to the pressure cooker, plus 1 cup Spicy BBQ sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the timer for 10 minutes.

While pressure cooker is cooking the jackfruit, preheat (traditional) oven to 425 degrees.

Once the pressure cooking is complete, allow to sit for about 8 minutes, and then use the quick release method to release remainder of the pressure, if any. When valve drops, carefully remove lid.

Using a fork or potato masher, shred the jackfruit (until it resembles pulled pork). Carefully move the BBQ jackfruit mixture onto a nonstick roasting pan, distributing evenly. (It’s fine to leave behind some of the liquid.) Bake in traditional oven for 15 minutes. Then stir mixture around on the baking sheet to redistribute, and continue baking for another 8 to 15 minutes or until it looks kind of like pulled pork.

Remove from oven, and serve hot over toasted sprouted whole grain Ezekiel tortillas or English Muffins, along with your favorite toppings, (My favorite is with mustard, pickles, and Sweet and Creamy Cabbage and Apple Slaw.)

Copyright © Vicki Brett-Gach | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

3 thoughts on “Pulled Jackfruit in Spicy BBQ Sauce

  1. Pingback: Sweet and Creamy Coleslaw | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

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