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Vegan BBQ ‘Pulled Pork’ That Will Make You Forget It’s Not The Real Thing

Oh, hey, jackfruit!

jackfruit ”pulled pork” sandwich
Chelsea Kyle

BBQ season is prime time for cookout menus loaded with pulled pork, grilled chicken, and ribs. But if you’re sticking to a plant-based diet, classic barbecue food can be hard to replace. With these pulled jackfruit sandwiches topped with a sweet and sour cole slaw, you for sure won’t feel like you’re missing out on any of the summer fun. 

This tropical super fruit tastes like a killer mashup of a banana, a pear, and a mango. When slowly cooked in a homemade barbecue sauce, the flesh of this fruit resembles the texture of pulled pork, making it the ideal vegan-friendly swap in sliders, tacos, or these delish sammies. It also packs a punch of dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.

We like our “pulled pork” topped with a sweet and sour cabbage and red onion slaw dressed with lime juice and honey, and piled high onto rolls with plenty of avocado. Even your meat-eating fam will be convinced by this you-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan barbecue classic.

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Yields: 8 servings
Total Time: 3 hours 20 mins

8-oz can tomato sauce

2 tbsp.

packed brown sugar

2 tbsp.


1 tbsp.

chili powder

Kosher salt and pepper


large cloves garlic, finely chopped


14-oz cans young, green jackfruit in brine or water (not syrup), rinsed

2 tbsp.

fresh lime juice

1 tsp.



small red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced


rolls, split and toasted

Sliced avocado, for serving

1/2 c.

fresh cilantro leaves

  1. In slow cooker, combine tomato sauce, sugar, molasses, chili powder, 3/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir garlic and 13/4 onions and into sauce along with jackfruit. Cover and cook on High until very tender, 3 to 4 hr.
  2. Ten minutes before serving, whisk together lime juice, honey and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Thinly slice remaining onion quarter and toss with lime juice, then toss with cabbage. 
  3. Using two forks, gently break up jackfruit. Divide jackfruit among rolls and top with avocado. Fold cilantro into cabbage slaw and spoon on top.  
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