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Make jackfruit ‘pulled-pork’ sliders for your vegan barbecue

Jackfruit Sliders 14

Let me introduce you to these vegan barbecue jackfruit “pulled pork” sliders, the future star of your summer cookout.

Do I sense a double take? I bet you took one look at that sandwich and thought, “Why is she showing me a vegan sandwich full of meat?” But that’s the surprise: These little babies are 100% vegan, and ready to wow the whole family.

Jackfruit Sliders 20

While it looks shockingly like meat, the base for this sandwich is actually green jackfruit — a huge, bizarre-looking tropical fruit native to India and Southeast Asia. And it has taken the vegan world by storm.

By “huge and bizarre,” I mean that a single jackfruit can grow up to 3 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds –the weight of a petite adult. But I digress. Jackfruit didn’t knock the socks off of vegans everywhere because of its size, however impressive it might be.

The magic of jackfruit lies in its unripe flesh: Its texture and consistency are remarkably similar to that of shredded meat.

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When it comes to vegan substitutes, mock meat can be strange and terrifying to untrained taste buds. Teaching an old dog new tricks can be hard, as the saying goes, so sticking with all-natural vegetable substitutes is best when you’re trying to convince people of the joys of veganism.

MORE: How to make vegan deviled “eggs”

The texture of jackfruit is the perfect substitute for a vegan rendition on barbecue pulled pork. And the nice thing about working with green jackfruit is that it is more or less flavorless, so it takes on the flavors of whatever seasonings you use.

After packing in the smoky, sweet, and tangy barbeque flavors of barbecue sauce, you won’t know the difference between these jackfruit sliders and their non-vegan counterpart.

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These sandwiches are such a fun way to enjoy vegan food at a barbecue or cookout. You can make the barbecue sauce and jackfruit filling several days in advance and reheat it as needed. The coleslaw is quick and easy to make day-of.

Although jackfruit doesn’t usually grow in this part of the world, it’s becoming easier to find in the canned section of grocery stores (I got mine at Trader Joe’s). If jackfruit is hard to come by in your area, though, this recipe would work equally as well with artichoke hearts. And if you’re pinched for time, you can use store-bought barbecue sauce rather than the homemade recipe I provide below.

Bonus: Check out our recipe for beer-battered fried pickles as a great side for these sliders.


Vegan jackfruit pulled pork sliders

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, sunflower seed, canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 1-pound cans of green jackfruit, shredded
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (homemade with recipe below, or store-bought)
  • Vegan coleslaw
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Jackfruit Sliders 1

Barbecue sauce

  • 1 teaspoon light oil (vegetable, sunflower seed, canola and grapeseed work well)
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 3–5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha (optional)

Jackfruit Sliders coleslaw

Start by making the barbecue sauce. Sauté oil, shallots and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until they begin to brown.

Add the apple cider vinegar to deglaze pan, then add remaining ingredients for the barbecue sauce and bring to low boil.

Keep in mind that some liquid smoke varieties are stronger than others, so the amount you use here depends on preference. One teaspoon works well for me.

Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken. Set aside.

Jackfruit Sliders barbecue sauce

Vegan coleslaw recipe

  • 1-1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (any type of sugar works)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

While your barbecue sauce cools, make the coleslaw.

In small bowl, mix vegan mayo, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.

Pour the dressing over shredded cabbage and carrots, and mix until dressing is evenly distributed. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while you make the jackfruit.

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How to prepare the jackfruit “pulled pork”

Drain, rinse and dry the jackfruit. Shred the jackfruit into smaller pieces using your hands. If you feel any pieces of hard core, discard them.

Pulled Jackfruit

Sauté the oil and jackfruit in large frying pan or cast-iron skillet until jackfruit begins to brown. Add barbecue sauce and stir until well-combined.

sauteed Jackfruit

To assemble sandwiches, layer slider buns with jackfruit mixture and then coleslaw. If you like extra sauce, add a layer of barbecue sauce to the tops and bottoms of the buns.

Vegan jackfruit "pulled pork" sliders with coleslaw

Ingredients

Vegan jackfruit pulled pork sliders

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, sunflower seed, canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 1-pound cans of green jackfruit, shredded
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (homemade with recipe below, or store-bought)
  • Vegan coleslaw
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Barbecue sauce

  • 1 teaspoon light oil (vegetable, sunflower seed, canola and grapeseed work well)
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 3–5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha (optional)

Vegan coleslaw recipe

  • 1-1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (any type of sugar works)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

1. Start by making the barbecue sauce. Sauté oil, shallots and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat until they begin to brown.

2. Add the apple cider vinegar to deglaze pan.

3. Add remaining ingredients for the barbecue sauce to the pan and bring to low boil.

4. Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken. Set aside.

5. While your barbecue sauce cools, make the coleslaw. In a small bowl, mix vegan mayo, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.

6. Pour the dressing over shredded cabbage and carrots, and mix until dressing is evenly distributed. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while you make the jackfruit.

7. Drain, rinse and dry the jackfruit. Shred the jackfruit into smaller pieces using your hands. If you feel any pieces of hard core, discard them.

8. Sauté the oil and jackfruit in large frying pan or cast-iron skillet until jackfruit begins to brown.

9. Add barbecue sauce and stir until well-combined.

10. To assemble sandwiches, layer slider buns with jackfruit mixture and then coleslaw. If you like extra sauce, add a layer of barbecue sauce to the tops and bottoms of the buns.

Did you try this recipe? Let us know your thoughts! Tag us on Instagram @gratefulandco and #wearegrateful!

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