Jackfruit Pulled Pork

You’ll love this easy jackfruit pulled pork recipe! It’s a Kansas-City style pulled pork that’s shockingly vegan! It’s easy to make with this slow cooker recipe. Pulled jackfruit is cooked in a slightly sweet BBQ sauce, then pan-fried to create a caramelized flavor. See tips on where to buy canned jackfruit. Vegan BBQ sandwiches are delicious and best when served with savory-sweet coleslaw.

Some Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Jackfruit sits between two hamburgers buns with BBQ sauce drizzled over the edges. There are tater tots and a bottle of beer behind it.

What does Jackfruit Meat Taste Like?

Jackfruit has a texture that’s stringy, especially after it’s cooked. There is a tangy, sweet flavor to jackfruit, but it’s just neutral enough that by cooking it with added spices and flavorings (like BBQ sauce), most of the natural jackfruit flavor becomes more subtle.

Watch this video of folks at a KC Royal’s game home opener trying BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork!

Vegan Jackfruit Pulled Pork Recipes

If you’re into flaky, savory meat piled high on a bun, you’ve come to the right place. But let me clarify, the meat I’m talking about doesn’t come from an animal. This meat comes from a fruit, a jackfruit in particular.

If you haven’t worked with a vegan pulled pork jackfruit recipe before, check out some of these jack fruit recipes:

We love all the easy jackfruit recipes! Of course, today we’re talking about Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Jackfruit. All I can say is…bring it on!

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Young Green Jackfruit in brine
  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Liquid smoke
  • Nutmeg
  • Water
  • Fresh cranberries optional
  • Green pear
  • Olive oil optional

Ingredient Spotlight

A glass bowl holds several pieces of canned jackfruit.

What is Jackfruit?

Jackfruit comes from a tree in the mulberry tree family. The jack tree produces large, bright green fruit with fibrous meat that is rather neutral in flavor. Finding and cooking the entire fruit can be expensive and time-consuming. I recommend using canned jackfruit because it’s easier and more affordable. Look for young green jackfruit in the brine and avoid jackfruit in syrup because its texture and taste are not suitable for savory recipes where you’ll be using it to replace meat. Jackfruit has a flaky texture when cooked, making it a great meat substitute. It’s also low in carbs and provides plenty of nutritional value. You can find canned jackfruit in health food stores, the international section of some grocery stores, and online.

How to Make Jackfruit Pulled Pork

  1. Place the drained jackfruit in a slow cooker and turn to high heat.
  2. In a bowl combine the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, nutmeg, and water. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the fresh cranberries and chopped pear to the jackfruit, pour the sauce over the top and stir to distribute evenly.
  4. Place the lid on and cook for about 10-15 minutes on high. Once it starts to simmer, turn the heat to low and cook for four hours.
  5. Optional: Place 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place batches of the finished BBQ Pulled Jackfruit and cook until browned on the edges. Turn and cook on both sides. Place in a serving dish and repeat until you’ve browned all of the jackfruit.

How to Make Jackfruit Pulled Pork Tasty!

If you’re overwhelmed with the idea of how to cook jackfruit, rest assured, it’s easy. Especially since we’ll be using canned jackfruit. Vegan jackfruit recipes are easy thanks to the wider availability of canned jackfruit. I can buy jackfruit in a can at Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, and Chinese grocers in our area.

So, let’s get on to how to prepare jackfruit. You’ll see the ingredients list below, or you can look at the photo directly below this paragraph. There aren’t a lot of them, so look closely.

For canned jackfruit recipes, simply drain the green jackfruit, put everything in a crockpot, set the temperature, and run like the wind.

The ingredients to make BBQ jackfruit on a white counter top, including canned jackfruit, brown sugar, a pear, cranberries, and more.

I prefer to “blacken” the finished jack fruit BBQ by heating some oil up in a skillet and placing batches of the cooked jackfruit in the pan and cooking it until it’s caramelized in spots.

This creates a very flavorful finished jackfruit barbecue dish. But it’s entirely optional. The slow cooker BBQ pulled jackfruit is fine straight from the crockpot as well.

The ingredients in a slow cooker to make BBQ jackfruit. There's a bowl of BBQ sauce and a sliced pear beside it.

Serve the BBQ jackfruit sandwich recipe on a bun for the best jackfruit burger ever! This recipe is a real show-stopper and if you’re trying to impress your ominovrious friends, I recommend a double batch. Also, serving some cole slaw on the side is a nice touch as well.

I love serving a jackfruit sandwich on a bun or even toasted sourdough bread!

Slow Cooker BBQ Jackfruit

I know we’re all looking for easy and delicious recipes. This jackfruit bbq pulled pork sandwich combines the best of an easy vegan recipe with a simple list of ingredients, that results in a delicious, savory vegan sandwich that can be served for a special dinner or even as leftovers for lunch the next day.

But jack fruit BBQ style is also healthy too. If you haven’t tried jackfruit before you may be wondering if it provides any nutrition. Learn more about jackfruit and how it’s loaded with Vitamin C, protein, calcium, potassium, iron, and more!

In addition, I added a pear and cranberries to this recipe for natural sweetness and additional phytonutrients.

And besides, BBQ jack fruit recipes are also:

  • Easy
  • Healthy
  • Satisfying
  • Fun for vegans and non-vegans alike
  • Oh-so-tasty
  • BBQ

You had me at barbecue jackfruit sandwich. Can I get an amen?

More Jackfruit Recipes

A vegan barbecue sandwich sits next to tater tots, sauce, and more "meat" filling.
This super easy vegan recipe is prepared in a crockpot and results in the most delicious Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Jackfruit ever. Jackfruit is a perfect plant-based substitute for pork. We pile the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit on sandwiches. SO good!

Jackfruit Pulled Pork

Enjoy this easy to make Jackfruit Pulle Pork on a bun with coleslaw on the side. You'll be so surprised how closely it mimics the other stuff!
3.8 from 5 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 192kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

  • 2 20 oz cans Young Green Jackfruit in brine drained
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries optional
  • 1 firm green pear chopped
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons olive oil optional

Instructions

  • Place the drained jackfruit in a slow cooker and turn to high heat.
  • In a bowl combine the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, nutmeg, and water. Stir to combine.
  • Add the fresh cranberries and chopped pear to the jackfruit, pour the sauce over the top and stir to distribute evenly.
  • Place the lid on and cook for about 10-15 minutes on high. Once it starts to simmer, turn the heat to low and cook for four hours.
  • Optional: Place 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place batches of the finished BBQ Pulled Jackfruit and cook until browned on the edges. Turn and cook on both sides. Place in a serving dish and repeat until you’ve browned all of the jackfruit.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

* Use a gluten-free bun to make this sandwich gluten-free
Nutrition Facts
Jackfruit Pulled Pork
Amount Per Serving
Calories 192 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 148mg6%
Potassium 338mg10%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 315IU6%
Vitamin C 8.5mg10%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2016 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

14 Responses to Jackfruit Pulled Pork

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRebecca @ Strength and Sunshine Reply

    O I love bbq jackfruit! I’ve never made it in the slow cooker, but why not!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I know! It makes it SO much easier. It’s great either way. 🙂

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTAMRA REYNOLDS Reply

    Can this be frozen?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Tamra. I have never frozen it, but that wouldn’t stop me from trying. I do’t see any reason why it couldn’t be.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCeleste Reply

    using a crockpot and then having to brown in a skillet? whats the point?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for Marlytosha

      for flavour you uncultured swine

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNathan Cox Reply

    Any good tips on how to use fresh jackfruit instead of canned?

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKassi Reply

    Can you use boxed jackfruit?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      The only boxed jackfruit I’ve used is already flavored. Is the kind you’re looking at plain? If so, it should work in this recipe.

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTerrell Moore Reply

    Do I have to use pear? Can I sub apple or no fruit it?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Terrell, I have never tried an apple with this recipe, but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try it! The skin of an apple can be a little thicker when it’s cooked, which is one reason I prefer pears. However, if you don’t have any pears handy, I would add some sliced apple (with the skin removed…but eat the skin because that’s where so many of the nutrients are)!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDottie Reply

    made the full recipe of BBQ jackfruit in slow cooker – it turned out WONDERFULLY! I didn’t have cranberries but that sounds like a great addition. It’s only me and my husband so after letting it cool I scoop up half and put in freezer bags and into the freezer for a nice treat next week. It freezes well with no loss of flavor. TIP: flatten BBQ in freezer bag before freezing. Great recipe.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Dottie. So glad you liked this recipe. Love your freezer tips. Thanks!

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