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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

BBQ Jackfruit Burrito Bowl

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This pulled BBQ jackfruit burrito recipe in a bowl is simply incredible and bold in flavor. Made with tender jackfruit, hearty beans, rice, fresh vegetables, and comforting spices, this recipe is a perfect healthy option for meatless weeknight dinners!

bbq jackfruit served in a white bowl with burrito fixings

When I’m craving something fresh, exotic in flavor, and simple to prepare, I always come back to this incredible BBQ jackfruit recipe. The texture of this recipe is perfect for those who are craving something hearty and nutritious, but want to skip out on the meat.

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This recipe is a true classic that is perfect by itself in a bowl, with tortillas, nachos, or in a burrito. If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan meal option that is filled with an array of tasty ingredients, then you’ve come to the right recipe.

You won’t believe it, but this BBQ jackfruit tastes like a vegetarian-friendly or vegan pulled pork! It’s so simple to make, and is super versatile too!

What Is Jackfruit?

A sibling of the fig tree, jackfruit is a a tropical fruit grown in regions such as Asia, Africa, and South America. Very similar to the texture of meat, jackfruit is frequently used as an alternative to meat in plant-based recipes.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Jackfruit?

It takes about 25 minutes to cook jackfruit! You can cook it either on the stovetop in a pan or in the oven, but for this recipe, I cooked it in the oven. See directions below on how to cook jackfruit in the oven.

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

bbq jackfruit recipe ingredients
  • Oil: I used olive oil for this recipe, but any neutral oil will work!
  • Onion: Red onion was used for this recipe, but yellow onion would also work.
  • Molasses: Used as a sweetener in this BBQ recipe, molasses gives the sauce its flavor.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is highly recommended for this recipe, but you can use garlic powder if needed.
  • Ginger: A knob of ginger is preferable, but ground ginger will work in a pinch.
  • Red wine vinegar: Tangy and used for the sauce, you’ll want to make sure you have this. If you don’t have red wine vinegar, you can substitute with equal parts red wine and white vinegar. To avoid alcohol, then you can substitute with white vinegar and grape juice.
  • Mustard: Dijon mustard has a nice tang that adds a depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Spices: Chili powder, paprika, and smoked paprika give these jackfruit carnitas a warm heat without burning your mouth!
  • Tamari: This umami-flavored sauce is used for the BBQ sauce and can be substituted with coconut aminos or soy sauce.
  • Liquid smoke: Essential for barbecue, liquid smoke is what gives BBQ jackfruit its rich and smoky flavor.
  • Tomato paste: Gives the sauce a nice acidity and richness.
  • Water: Used to thin the sauce!
  • Jackfruit: The main ingredient in this recipe, I used canned jackfruit. Canned jackfruit can be found at most local markets or online grocery stores.
  • Beans: Refried pinto beans were what I used for this recipe, but you can use almost any type of bean. Refried black beans would work great as well.
  • Rice: Brown basmati rice to give these BBQ bowls their burrito-styled qualities.
  • Avocado: Highly encouraged and used as a garnish!
  • Carrots: Fresh carrots give this recipe extra nutrition and texture.
  • Cabbage: Red cabbage is delicious paired with BBQ jackfruit. The combination is crunchy and sweet.
  • Lime: Fresh lime to give this jackfruit recipe its bright flavors.
  • Seasoning: Salt and pepper — use liberally!

How to Make BBQ Jackfruit – Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Add oil, onion, molasses, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and red wine vinegar to a pan. Cook and stir often, about 20-30 minutes.

onions sauteeing in a pan

Step 2: Next, add mustard, spices, tamari, liquid smoke, tomato paste, and water to the onion mixture and simmer for five minutes. After that, add the sauce to a blender and blend.

sauce for burrito bowls in a pan

Step 3: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In the meantime, add two drained cans of jackfruit to a roasting tray and break it up with a potato masher. Pour the bbq sauce on the jackfruit and mix until combined.

jackfruit on a baking sheet

Step 4: Cover the tray with foil and bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for another five minutes. Once the bbq jackfruit is cooked, then mash with a potato masher.

jackfruit carnitas on a baking sheet fresh out of the oven

Step 5: Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine julienned carrots, julienned red cabbage, lime juice, and oil. Mix to combine.

carrots and cabbage in a bowl

Step 6: Finally, assemble the jackfruit bbq burrito bowls. Assemble ¼ of the jackfruit mixture, ¼ of the refried beans, ¼ cup rice, ¼ of the cabbage mixture, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, add a smashed avocado on top and enjoy.

bbq jackfruit served in a white bowl with burrito fixings

Is This BBQ Jackfruit Recipe Healthy?

Absolutely! Jackfruit pulled pork is one of the best substitutions for meat because it has a similar texture and feel to meat, but is much healthier for you! These jackfruit carnitas burrito bowls are:

  • High in Fiber: Almost 13 grams of fiber per serving!
  • High in Plant Protein: Each burrito bowl has 9 grams of protein per serving. For even more protein, double up on the amount of beans you add to this dish.
  • High in Vitamins: This recipe is packed with A, C, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium!

Do You Need To Cook Canned Jackfruit?

You can eat canned jackfruit either raw or cooked. Just rinse the brine off the jackfruit prior to eating it!

What Does BBQ Jackfruit Taste Like?

Barbecue jackfruit tastes just like traditional BBQ! Shredded jackfruit absorbs flavors very well which makes it perfect for meatless recipes.

Recipe FAQS

Is this recipe kid-friendly?

The kids seriously loved this recipe! Jackfruit has a really mild, sweet flavor and a great texture for kids. My daughter was intrigued by jackfruit and loved the fact that we put “fruit” in our burrito bowls! You can also turn the jackfruit carnitas filling and burrito bowl toppings into a taco bar (with some corn or whole wheat tortillas) where the kids can make their own tacos!

Can I use store bought BBQ sauce?

This recipe gets its amazing flavor from the custom BBQ sauce recipe below, but you can save some time by using a bottled barbecue sauce. I like to use the organic brand from Whole Foods.

How do I store the leftovers?

Once cooled, transfer the jackfruit leftovers to an airtight storage container and keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Ways to Serve Jackfruit – aka Vegan Pulled Pork

  • In Burrito Bowls: Just like this bbq jackfruit recipe, you can use jackfruit carnitas in burrito bowls with any toppings you like!
  • As a base for tacos, burritos, or nachos: Use instead of the meat in a variety of Mexican recipes!
  • As a topping for Salad: Jackfruit makes a hearty and healthy addition to any salad, and is perfect for lunch.
  • As a side dish: Serve jackfruit pulled pork with just about any vegan or vegetarian main dish. Mac & cheese, pizza, pasta, or Mexican dishes all pair well with jackfruit.
  • As a topping for Pizza: I love adding jackfruit as a topping for this BBQ pizza recipe!

Tips for Making The Best Jackfruit Carnitas Burrito Bowl

  • Instead of brown basmati rice, you can use quinoa, regular brown rice, wild rice, or plain basmati rice.
  • When ready to reheat this recipe, simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
  • Be careful when transferring the sauce to the blender. Carefully transfer the sauce to the blender or allow the sauce to cool beforehand – otherwise it will splatter!
  • Make sure to wash the jackfruit after you remove it from the can to get rid of the briny flavor! Alternatively, if you can find young green jackfruit packed in water, I would buy that since it’s not briny at all.
bbq jackfruit served in a white bowl with burrito fixings

More Mexican Recipes For You To Try!

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bbq jackfruit served in a white bowl with burrito fixings
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

BBQ Jackfruit Burrito Bowls

This pulled BBQ jackfruit burrito recipe in a bowl is simply incredible and bold in flavor. Made with tender jackfruit, hearty beans, rice, fresh vegetables, and comforting spices, this recipe is the perfect healthy option for meatless weeknight dinners!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 416kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoon tamari
  • 2 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • cup tomato paste (plus 1 tbsp tomato paste)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 15oz cans jackfruit
  • 1 15oz can refried pinto beans
  • ¾ cup cooked brown basmati rice
  • 1 avocado smashed
  • ½ cup carrots julienned or chopped
  • ½ cup red cabbage julienned
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Add 1 tbsp oil, red onion, molasses, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and red wine vinegar to a sauce-pan and cook over low-medium heat. Stirring often, cook for 20-30 minutes, until sticky and caramelized.
  • Add Dijon mustard through water to the onion mixture and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Add 2 drained cans of jackfruit to a roasting tray, and break it up with a potato masher. Pour the bbq sauce on the jackfruit and mix to incorporate.
  • Cover the roasting tray with foil and bake it covered for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake it for another 5 minutes.
  • Once cooked, with a potato masher, mash well until finely pulled.
  • In a bowl, combine ½ cup julienned carrots, ½ cup julienned red cabbage, ½ tsp lime juice and ½ tbsp oil. Mix to combine.   
  • Assemble your bowls! Add ¼ of the jackfruit mixture, ¼ of the refried beans, ¼ cup rice, ¼ of the cabbage mixture and season with salt / pepper to taste. Add the smashed avocado on top and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Tips for Making BBQ Jackfruit
  • Instead of brown basmati rice, you can use quinoa, regular brown rice, wild rice, or plain basmati rice.
  • When ready to reheat this recipe, simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
  • Store this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 4 days.
  • Be careful when transferring the sauce to the blender. Carefully transfer the sauce to the blender or allow the sauce to cool beforehand – otherwise it will splatter!
  • Make sure to wash the jackfruit after you remove it from the can to get rid of the briny flavor! Alternatively, if you can find young green jackfruit packed in water, I would buy that since it’s not briny at all.
Adapted from AllPlants

Nutrition

Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 8.9g | Fat: 12.7g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Sodium: 611mg | Potassium: 793.7mg | Fiber: 12.7g | Sugar: 9.7g
This BBQ Jackfruit Burrito Bowl recipe is guaranteed to satisfy vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike! It's super flavorful, hearty and satisfying!

Posted In…

Mexican Recipes ·

Mexican flavors are perfect for easy one-pot, kid-friendly dishes like my cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole. With smart swaps, you can create a healthy version of a Mexican favorite: “guacamole” with about half the calories and 3x the protein!

Like Chipotle? You’ll love my ultimate sofritas and burrito bowls! These recipes are so easy to remix to add your own style (or use up some leftovers).

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