JackFruit BBQ Recipe

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Jackfruit BBQ recipe is a great dish for plant based diets, Vegetarians, or anyone who just wants to try something new and off the beaten path! Jack Fruit BBQ

I think most of y’all are going to be completely blown away by today’s recipe. Not only is it the easiest barbecue you’ve ever made, but it’s also stunningly delicious – and made with a fruit. If you’ve spent most of your life steeped in Southern food culture (like myself) you probably have no idea what to expect from a BBQ JackFruit Sandwich – and you may be glancing up at that picture over and over just wondering how something that looks so much like pulled bbq can be anything else! Well, as an old dog, I confess that it’s nice to learn a few new tricks every now and then so I’m going to pass this one on just in case some of y’all would like to expand your horizons, too. 

Why make Jackfruit BBQ?

It is healthy to have more plants in our diet to help with digestion.  But if you are not a vegetable or fruit fan it can sometimes be daunting because you just don’t know where to start.  But I tell you what, Jackfruit is the best tasting fruit you never heard of.  So if you already eat plant based or if you are willing to try it check out this Jackfruit BBQ.   

What does It Taste Like?

It doesn’t taste like fruit.  It tastes like… Pork!  I promise, I am not yanking your train. You are going to be blown away.

But it is important that you get the right kind of jackfruit. 

What kind of Jackfruit do I get?

You want it to say “Young, Green”. Either both or one of those descriptors is fine. Young jackfruit is not sweet and easily adapts to any flavor sauce you cook it with.  You also want to make sure it is in either water or brine, not syrup. I have always managed to find Jackfruit in water so that is my preference. 

Where do I find It?

If you have an Asian market near you they will most likely have a ton of it on their shelves. Other health food grocers may have it as well (such as Whole Foods, etc). You can also buy it online at places like WalMart.com, although my local WalMart does not carry it in the store.

How do you make it? That is the super easy part. Let me show you! 

How To Make Jackfruit BBQ Step by Step

Couldn’t be easier!

Ingredients for Jack Fruit BBQ

You’ll need: A can of young jackfruit in water or brine, your favorite BBQ sauce, and some buns. 

Jack Fruit Draining

What Does It Look Like?

This is what Jackfruit looks like. Sometimes it will be more white in color, sometimes more pale yellow, but often like this, which is kind of a chicken color to me. Pour out your can and drain it well. I usually take my hand and press it a bit to remove a little extra liquid. 

Jack Fruit in a Skillet

Place this in a medium to large skillet and use your fingers or a spatula to mash it up a bit. In doing this, it will separate into meat looking strands as pictured. Doesn’t that look like meat? It’s amazing!

Stirring Jack Fruit BBQ

Place this on medium to medium high heat and cook for about five to ten minutes, stirring often, to get more of the water cooked out of it. 

Adding Sauce To Jack Fruit BBQ

Add in your BBQ sauce. The amount is up to you. I usually add about a cup. 

Jack Fruit BBQ

Stir that up and continue cooking until heated through, then serve! 

Jack Fruit BBQ

Does it taste like BBQ? Yes, it sure does. To me, there a slight juicy burst to the last part of the bite that is reminiscent of eating pineapple in terms of texture, but the flavor itself is bbq all the way!  I hope you get to try this soon. It will definitely fool some folks! 

Jack Fruit BBQ

Jack Fruit Barbecue Sandwiches

Jack Fruit BBQ is a great dish for plant based diets, Vegetarians, or anyone who just wants to try something new and off the beaten path!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barbecue, jackfruit
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 307kcal


  • 14 oz can young green jackfruit in water or brine
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce


  • Drain jackfruit in a colander. Place in large skillet over medium high heat. Chop up with spatula or chopper* and stir often for 5-10 minutes until more water is evaporated.
  • Add in enough bbq sauce to taste- I usually add about a cup. Stir and continue cooking until heated through. Serve on buns and enjoy!


*You can also just moosh it up with your hands as you put it in the skillet.


Calories: 307kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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  1. I’ve had a can of the young green jackfruit on my pantry shelf for a while and now I’m going to try it! I don’t know why I’ve been hesitant but if you say it’s good, then I’ll try it ! Thank you !

  2. I own your Southern Plate cookbook and really enjoy it! Tonight I’m cooking your country casserole for the first time. We are looking forward to eating it! Thank you so much for the recipe!
    I had an idea, since there is just my husband and I, I made one recipe and put half in a zip lock bag and put that in my freezer. I’m cooking the other one half of the recipe tonight but it’s in a 9×9 dish not the 11×13 dish. This way we won’t eat leftovers for several nights.

  3. Wow! So glad to see this post! I have followed you for several years, adjusting your recipes to our vegetarian lifestyle. Haven’t eaten meat, fish or chicken for 30+ years. Just recently went a step further and eliminated eggs and cheese. Seasoned cooked brown lentils work well in tacos or Sloppy Joes to replace the meat. Another good sub is Butler Soy Curls especially in place of chicken. I use your Dinner In A Dish recipe often, in fact last night. Just use all veggies! Yum! I also want to thank you for sharing your walk with our Father!

  4. Whoa! You just blew my mind! Must try this. Bet some Fire and Ice Salad would be great with it.

  5. I am trying to eat more plant based foods and less meat – this is something I really want to try!
    Thank you for your amazing website – you are a blessing!

  6. I have never in my life even heard of JackFruit, but will sure try to find some and try it.
    The pictures look just like a chicken BBQ sandwich. This would be a real easy way to make BBQ! Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Hey Trish! I made her taco meat while she was visiting recently using beef tvp granules. Have you ever tried those? This is a link to just let you know what they look like. They are very lightweight, shelf stable, and puff up a good bit so a little goes a long way. https://amzn.to/2ZEQfgd You could also use Jackfruit. Jackfruit with taco seasoning would make an excellent burrito!

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