Whole30 BBQ Jackfruit – meaty, tender jackfruit cooked, pulled and tossed in a quick, sugar free homemade BBQ sauce naturally sweetened with dates! Gluten Free + Vegan + Sugar Free
First off – thanks to everyone who filled out my 2019 Reader Survey last week! I’ve been going through all your answers and making notes. Again – thanks so much for that! If you haven’t seen it yet and you’ve got a few minutes to spare you can still take it by following this link here.
While I am still reading through everything I did happen to notice a lot of requests for more vegetarian recipes which is kind of perfect for this BBQ Jackfruit. In fact, this recipe checks off a few different criteria today so I’m really excited to share it with you.
✔️Made in 30 minutes or less
Let’s get to it!
Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
It all starts off with this Whole30 BBQ sauce. Instead of using sugar or molasses to create that sweet, tangy flavour typically found in BBQ sauce we’re going with nature’s candy: dates!
Add your pitted dates to a small bowl with hot water and let them soften for a minute or two before blending the water and dates together in a blender of small food processor until smooth.
Tip: If your blender is struggling to blend up just the dates and water alone add the tomato sauce to the blender to help get things moving.
Once blended simply add your date mixture along with the remaining ingredients to a small sauce pan. Mix and simmer. When it’s hot you can taste and season – add more salt and spice as you see fit. Let the BBQ sauce continue simmering as you move on to preparing the jackfruit.
Start our by sautéing the onions in oil for about 5-7 minutes to cook and soften. While the onions are cooking, drain and rinse the jackfruit. Make sure you use young jackfruit in brine – it’s sometimes sold in syrup so just keep an eye out when purchasing.
Once the onions have gone soft add the jackfruit to your skillet, mix and continue cooking another 5-7 minutes to soften the jackfruit. As it cooks the jackfruit will soften and become easy to pull apart. Using a wooden spoon or spatula begin mashing up the jackfruit into pieces.
Finally, stir in the prepared BBQ sauce and mix well to combine. Once more, taste and season as needed. Top with chopped cilantro or fresh green onion slices and that’s it!
To keep this meal Whole30/paleo friendly serve in a sweet potato or in a salad bowl. If you’re not bothered about keeping it grain free go ahead and pile it onto some bread for a pulled “pork” sandwich and enjoy!
Jackfruit is a tropical, fig-like fruit that grows in tropical areas of Southeast Asian, Brazil, and Africa.
While it is a fruit it’s not very sweet with a fairly neutral taste. That neutral taste paired with it’s meat-like texture makes it a great ingredient to use as a healthy, faux-meat substitute – especially when paired with a good sauce.
It’s a very low calorie food that contains no saturated fat or cholesterol and is also a great source of fibre and potassium.
Where to buy canned jackfruit?
I’ve been seeing them more and more stocked in health focused grocery stores and random vegan markets like Trader Joe’s Sprouts and Whole Foods. If you’re not sure where to buy jackfruit – Amazon is always a good bet <<affiliate link.
If you live in the UK I’ve seen this stocked in Sainsbury’s and Tesco (not the local stores).
Can I use fresh jackfruit in this recipe?
I have never personally used fresh jackfruit so I’m afraid I can’t give advice on how to cook with it.
Don’t forget to #asaucykitchen on instagram if you try this Whole30 BBQ Jackfruit! We love seeing what you make! You can also post your pictures to my facebook page!
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 4 medjool dates, pits removed
- 1 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cans cans young, green jackfruit in brine (NOT syrup)
- Place the pitted dates in a small bowl with hot water. Let sit for about 2 minutes to soften. Pour the dates and water to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Tip: If you blender is having a hard time blending that small amount, add the tomato sauce to the blender to help get things moving.
- Add the blended dates and remaining sauce ingredients to a small or medium sauce pot and whisk together over a medium low heat. Taste and season as necessary. Let simmer and stir occasionally as you prep the jackfruit.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion is soft.
- While the onions are cooking drain and rinse jackfruit.
- Add the rinsed jackfruit and continue stirring and cooking another 5-7 minutes. The jackfruit will soften and become easy to mash and pull apart. Use a wooden spoon to break up the large chunks.
- Pour in the prepared BBQ sauce and stir, coating everything in sauce.
Keep refrigerated up to four days.