Barbecue Jackfruit Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw

Thanks to a smoky, tangy, gently sweet sauce, these barbecue jackfruit sandwiches taste satisfyingly meaty (feel free to double the sauce to toss with smoked or braised pork shoulder as well). An herby, creamy slaw adds a layer of richness and crunch, while a double dose of quick-pickled red onions and pickle chips provide puckery punch.

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 2 (20-ounce) cans young green jackfruit in brine (such as Trader Joe's)

  • 1 medium red onion

  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/3 cup water, divided

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, divided

  • 3 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage (from a small cabbage)

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 large scallions, thinly sliced on an angle (about 1/3 cup)

  • 3 teaspoons spicy brown mustard, divided

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2/3 cup ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce plus 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce

  • 4 potato sandwich rolls, split and toasted

  • Dill pickle chips, for serving


  1. Rinse jackfruit under cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off jackfruit core and discard. In a medium bowl, shred jackfruit using your fingers, and set aside.

  2. Finely chop half of the onion, and set aside. Thinly slice remaining onion half. Bring 1/2 cup of the water, 1/2 cup of the vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Add onion slices, and return to a simmer over medium-high. Remove from heat. Let stand until ready to use.

  3. Stir together cabbage, cilantro, mayonnaise, scallions, 2 teaspoons of the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 2 teaspoons of the mustard in a medium bowl; set aside.

  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add chopped onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown around edges, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds. Add cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender.

  5. To the onion mixture in the blender, add ketchup, chipotle chiles and adobo sauce, and remaining 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar. Process until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Return mixture to the large skillet and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, until flavors meld, about 4 minutes. Add shredded jackfruit; cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through, about 3 minutes.

  6. Drain pickled onion slices. Divide jackfruit mixture evenly among bottom buns; top with desired amount of cabbage slaw, pickled onion slices, and pickle chips. Cover with tops of buns and serve.

    BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
    Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
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