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BBQ Jackfruit with Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Transitioning to a plant-based diet or trying to cut down on meat? Try this BBQ Jackfruit with Homemade Barbeque Sauce.

Jackfruit has an eerily similar texture to pulled pork and naturally pairs perfectly with homemade barbeque sauce.

Cooking with jackfruit always intimidated me for some reason. I've seen it fresh at farmers markets in Miami for years and I've had it in smoothies, but I remained skeptical of the canned version sold in stores. Now that I've tried it and seen how easy and delicious it is, I just wish I tried it sooner!

Jackfruit are native to southern India and grow well in other tropical areas. Jackfruit are the world's largest tree-borne fruit and can weigh up to 100 lbs (!). As the fruit matures, the flavor changes. You will likely only see "young" jackfruit in stores because this is when it is most versatile for cooking. Immature jackfruit has a dense, meaty texture with subtle flavor and absorbs spices and sauces very well. As jackfruit matures, the flavor sweetens and develops a tropical taste similar to a mix of banana and pineapple, ideal for smoothies.

Notable Nutrients

per 100 g young jackfruit (about 2/3 C)(1)

  • Fiber - 3g (10% RDA)

  • Potassium - 300 mg (10% RDA)

  • Vitamin C - 13 mg (16% RDA)

  • Magnesium - 36 mg (10% RDA)

  • B vitamins

  • Iron

  • Copper

RDA = Recommended Daily Allowances as set by the National Institute of Health

Jackfruit is well-known for it's anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-diabetic properties. Jackfruit has also been shown in multiple studies to have anti-cancer effects, partially due to the presence of phytonutrients such as lignans, isoflavones, and saponins (2).

Phytonutrients are compounds in plants known to have health benefits, but the recommended amounts are yet to be established. Plants produce these phytonutrients to protect themselves from bacteria and disease. These antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds help plants stay healthy, then when we consume them, help us stay healthy as well.

Now that I have hopefully convinced you of the nutritional value of jackfruit, here is the can just as easily use pre-made barbeque sauce (opt for one with ingredients you recognize, organic if possible, and no corn syrup) but I think it's more fun (and nutritious) to make your own!

Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Makes 1.5 C


  • 1 15 oz can organic diced tomatoes

  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 C)

  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1/4 C distilled white vinegar

  • 2 tsp each: chili powder, smoked paprika, ground mustard, garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 4 tbsp maple syrup

  • 3 tbsp molasses

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce* (I used the Annie's vegan version)

  • 2-4 tbsp water, as needed


  • heat avocado oil in pan on medium heat, add in chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until it starts to brown

  • add in spices and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently

  • add in all remaining ingredients except for water, stir to combine and cook for 8-10 minutes

  • carefully transfer to blender and blend until smooth, adding water by the tablespoon until it reaches your desired consistency (I added 2 tbsp)

  • store in an airtight container in the fridge

* can sub for coconut aminos or tamari if you don't have it, just test the saltiness before adding the sea salt

BBQ Jackfruit

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 can young jackfruit, drained

  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 C BBQ sauce


  • drain jackfruit and pull apart/squeeze pieces until it's shredded (see photos below)

  • heat avocado oil in pan on medium heat, add onion and cook for 5 minutes

  • add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes

  • add coconut sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently

  • add jackfruit and BBQ sauce and stir to coat, cook for 8-10 minutes

Serve on a bun with shredded lettuce or cabbage, or in a bowl with your grain of choice and raw veggies. I made mine with a purple cabbage slaw (recipe coming soon!), sliced radishes, short grain brown rice, and fresh cilantro.


Xx, Kara


(1) Ranasinghe, R A S N et al. “Nutritional and Health Benefits of Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.): A Review.” International journal of food science vol. 2019 4327183. 6 Jan. 2019, doi:10.1155/2019/4327183

(2) Baliga M. S., Shivashankara A. R., Haniadka R., Dsouza J., Bhat H. P. Phytochemistry, nutritional and pharmacological properties of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. (jackfruit): A review. Food Research International. 2011;44(9):1800–1811. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2011.09.001.

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