Recipe by Morgan Avery

In this recipe, we are essentially making our own BBQ sauce and cooking the jackfruit in it. I love this because it eliminates the need for store-bought BBQ sauce which is loaded with sugar. However, feel free to add more homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce for serving.​
The recipe is super versatile, easy, and doesn’t call for too many unusual ingredients. Slap it on a bun with some cole slaw for a traditional BBQ experience, tuck it into some tacos, pile it on nachos, put it on a crust for the ultimate BBQ pizza, top a salad with it, and roll it up in lettuce wraps.

Makes 4 servings

2 cans jackfruit (young/green, in water)*, drained and rinsed
​2 TBSP coconut or avocado oil
1 medium red onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste), optional
2 tsp liquid smoke
2 TBSP tomato paste
4 TBSP tamari or liquid aminos (soy sauce alternatives)
3 TBSP pure maple syrup
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
Optional: additional store bought BBQ sauce, if desired for serving


In an Instant Pot or on the stove, start by sauteing the onion with the oil. Once it begins to soften and turn translucent, add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and the drained and rinsed jackfruit. No need to chop it up before cooking. 

After mixing these ingredients together, add the remaining ingredients: optional chili paste, liquid smoke, tomato paste, tamari, maple, and apple cider vinegar. Toss to completely combine.

  • Instant Pot: Secure the lid, and set manual pressure cook timer for 5 minutes. When the timer is up, let the pressure naturally release.
  • ​Stove top: Turn heat to a simmer, cover, and stir occasionally. Cook until the jackfruit softens and begins to fall apart (I think about 20-25 minutes but will depend so use the texture as your guide)

Preheat your oven to 425 F.

Now that the jackfruit is cooked, you should be able to use your utensil to break the pieces apart. The jackfruit will begin to resemble shredded pork. The seeds look similar to garlic cloves and can remain intact or you can break those up too. 

Evenly spread the jackfruit mixture across a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, then by lifting the edges of the parchment paper, or using a utensil, toss the jackfruit around again. Let it bake for another 5-15 minutes, or until the texture of the jackfruit is to your liking. This last step should dry out the jackfruit and give it a charred look and feel. Amazing!

Serve immediately, and pile high on a bun, tortilla, nachos, or pizza. I sometimes like to add just a little store bought BBQ sauce, and then pile on some cole slaw.

Recipe Notes:
*Canned jackfruit can always be found in Asian grocery stores, and in some supermarkets. Be sure to get the green/young jackfruit. Trader Joe’s sells it too.
*If you are serving the jackfruit another time (like a party), save the last step (the oven) for just before serving. 

Morgan is a plant based personal chef based on the Seacoast offering meal prep, cooking lessons, retreat services and workshops. She is an accredited health counselor and nutritional therapist, with a plant-based professional cooking degree from Rouxbe Cooking School. She is a passionate animal advocate and environmentalist, and can be found at or @morganaveryco on Instagram.

Categories: Recipes


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