You can make delicious jackfruit sandwiches with a creamy homemade coleslaw in just over 30 minutes! This recipe is perfect for barbecues and quick weeknight meals.
- Diet-friendly: vegan optional (just use vegan mayo!), vegetarian, soy-free, gluten-free optional (just use a GF bun), nut-free
- Texture: Shredded jackfruit has a great texture that makes it a perfect pulled pork or chicken substitute
- Easy to customize: Choose your favorite BBQ sauce or make homemade
- Quick & easy: Ready in just over 30 minutes!
Canned jackfruit, also known as "green young jackfruit" canned in brine or water. Fresh jackfruit and jackfruit canned in syrup doesn't work here.
BBQ sauce: I love using my vegan sweet BBQ sauce but any store bought will work.
Coleslaw: Use half of a small white cabbage combined with shredded carrots or save on time by using a coleslaw mix.
Step by step instructions
Prep the jackfruit
Drain off the liquid/brine from the can. Rinse the jackfruit to remove any brine flavor.
I like to use a scissors to cut each jackfruit pieces into 3-4 smaller pieces. It Even though it breaks down as it cooks, this part is essential to make sure you don't have big pieces of core.
The core and seeds are edible and I leave them in.
Make the jackfruit
- Sauté onions and garlic until softened.
- Add jackfruit and vegetable broth.
- Cover and simmer.
- Add BBQ sauce and simmer until flavorful and thickened.
Make the coleslaw
I usually make this while the jackfruit is simmering.
- Slice half a white cabbage into thin strips. Cut in half to make smaller as needed.
- Whisk together the "sauce" in a small bowl.
- Mix together the slaw sauce, cabbage and shredded carrots. Gently toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to eat.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Toppings: I like keeping it simple with coleslaw and pickles. Tahini coleslaw is a great option if you don't like mayo-based slaws.
- Although it's a great texture substitute for pulled pork, jackfruit is low in calories and protein, so it may not fill you up as much. I always serve it with a hearty side to make it a more satisfying meal.
- Side ideas: Make it a picnic style meal with a fresh fruit salad, broccoli salad and vegan mac and cheese. Black bean salad is a good protein option.
- Make it smoky by adding ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke to the simmering jackfruit. You can also just choose a smoky BBQ sauce.
- Make it spicy by adding ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce to the simmering jackfruit.
You can usually find canned jackfruit at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or a local co-op (that's where I found it). You may be able to find it at your local Asian grocery store. You can also buy it online.
Refrigerate leftover jackfruit and coleslaw in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat jackfruit on the stove or in the microwave with a splash of vegetable broth.
Yes, it freezes well. Let cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Looking for more easy meals?
Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Coleslaw
For the Jackfruit
For the Coleslaw
- ½ head green cabbage or 14 ounces coleslaw mix
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup vegan mayo regular mayo works too
- 2 tablespoons whole seed mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon white sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the Sandwiches
- 4 medium burger buns
- 1 teaspoon vegan butter
- pickles for topping (optional)
- Drain cans of jackfruit. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cool water. Cut jackfruit into smaller pieces with a scissors, until it is mostly shredded. I use all parts of the jackfruit, including the seeds and core.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, drizzle in the olive oil. Add diced onion to the hot oil. Sauté until softened, around 6-8 minutes. Add in minced garlic and sauté a minute more, until aromatic.
- Add in shredded jackfruit and vegetable broth. Cover with lid and let simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Uncover the pan. If any large pieces of jackfruit remain, use a potato masher to break them down. Add in the BBQ sauce, stirring to fully cover jackfruit.
- Cook jackfruit uncovered over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula to prevent sticking. The jackfruit is done when the sauce is thickened and the jackfruit is no longer watery.
- Slice half a white cabbage into thin strips. Cut in half to make smaller as needed. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with shredded carrots.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar and salt.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage and shredded carrots. Gently toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegan butter. Once melted, place burger buns on the skillet to toast the insides. Heat for 1-2 minutes, or until golden.
- Assemble sandwiches with coleslaw, jackfruit, pickles and extra BBQ sauce as desired. Enjoy!
- Jackfruit: Cans of green young jackfruit come in a variety of sizes. Anywhere around 14 ounces will work. Fresh jackfruit and jackfruit canned in syrup do not work.
- BBQ sauce: I use homemade BBQ sauce but any sweet BBQ sauce works well.
- Salt content: You can cut down on salt content by using homemade BBQ sauce or a lower sodium BBQ sauce, by thoroughly rinsing/draining the jackfruit, and using a reduced sodium vegetable broth. Nutrition facts are calculated using store bought sauce. Nutrition calculations vary widely based on which ingredients you use.
- Check out my "BBQ Jackfruit 2 Ways" video on YouTube for more tips & tricks.