How to make a vegan BBQ pulled pork-style sandwich from canned jackfruit

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Have you heard the buzz about canned jackfruit?

The first time we tried making canned jackfruit into vegan pulled pork, we were skeptical. Needless to say, we were hooked after the first bite. We even fed a table of vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters and everyone agreed: canned jackfruit makes one hell of a vegan pulled pork recipe!

Simulated meat products tend to get a bad rep for being riddled with wheat gluten and soy, two common ingredients most health nuts are trying to avoid these days. For vegetarians, the likeness to meat can be a turn off. On the flipside, many meat lovers question why they would substitute the real thing for mock meat.

Here are a handful of reasons why this canned jackfruit pulled pork recipe is the exception. It’s dairy, soy, and gluten free (not including the bun). It’s low in fat, contains zero refined sugar, and above all else it’s delicious! Oh yeah, and it’s cheap! A can of jackfruit in brine only costs a few dollars. Good luck trying to get that kind of deal at the butcher.

Be sure to buy your canned jackfruit in brine and not syrup. We can’t stress this part enough. The kind in syrup will not work for this recipe. You can usually find both kinds of canned jackfruit at your local Asian market or in some bigger stores with an ethnic section. Chances are you already have the vegan BBQ spice rub ingredients on hand. So let’s get started!


1 can of jackfruit in brine

½ yellow or white onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp ground mustard

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp olive oil

¼ cup water

2 tsp maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse the jackfruit, and remove the hard center pieces. Set aside.

In a large skillet or saucepan, cook the onion and garlic over low heat with a splash of oil until the mixture becomes fragrant and the onions become translucent.

Combine all the dry spices in a large bowl and toss the jackfruit until evenly coated. Add to the onion and garlic mixture and heat for a few minutes to toast the spices.

Mix the wet ingredients together and add to the pan. Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes, until softened. Use a fork to break up the jackfruit into stringy pieces.

Transfer the mixture to a cookie sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes or until the mixture becomes slightly tough and dry.

Serve on gluten free bread or sandwich rolls. This recipe will make 2 large sandwiches, or 4 smaller ones. 

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Recipe adaptation and photo courtesy of