Slow Cooker Pulled Not-Pork Jackfruit BBQ, Carolina Style

Carolina Style Jackfruit BBQ from In Johnna's Kitchen

I make my original KC-style BBQ Pulled Not-Pork Jackfruit often, it’s a favorite dish not only in my home but in the homes of several other friends. It’s tradition around here in KC that our sauce is tomato-based, usually ketchup and molasses.

But every once in awhile I meet someone who prefers Carolina BBQ, a more vinegar-y sauce.  Or someone challenges me to make this dish without a bottled BBQ sauce. It happens, no kidding!

Carolina Style BBQ Pulled Pork

Even though the bottled sauce I use, Organicville BBQ Sauce,  is pretty healthy by the standards of what I see on the grocery story shelves, some folks would just rather do it all themselves.  Because they have extra hours in the day, hours that I somehow misplace.  Not one to turn down a challenge, here’s what I came up with.  And I kinda like it.  Don’t tell the KC BBQ police I’ve admitted to liking a more vinegar-based sauce, ok?  I live here after all and it’s hard enough in these parts explaining that I don’t actually eat pork.

Carolina BBQ jackfruit sandwich

Oh, one more tidbit.  The bread on the sandwich shown here is Gluten-Free Bread 2.0 from Elana’s Pantry.  It’s gluten-free, gum-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and delicious!  Not only that, it’s super quick to make.  I doubled the recipe and baked it in a full-size loaf pan.  I only had brown flax seeds, so the color may be different than if I had the golden flax meal the recipe called for.  I also used weird alien eggs with double yolks one of our young hens is laying and it still worked well.  I would say this is a pretty forgiving recipe for folks who are challenged by gluten-free break baking.  That would be me!

I’d love it if you would take a moment to share with me in the comments if you eat slaw on your BBQ sandwiches or not.  Let the debate begin…

Slow Cooker Pulled Not-Pork Jackfruit, Carolina Style

Slow Cooker Pulled Not-Pork Jackfruit, Carolina Style


  • 2-14-16 oz. cans Jackfruit, young green in water, (exact weight varies by brand)
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. coconut sugar (or brown sugar if you prefer)
  • 1 T. Braggs aminos or Tamari gluten-free soy sauce (use coconut aminos if soy-resistant)
  • 1 T. smoked paprika
  • 2 t. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 t. Aleppo pepper flakes or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t. mustard powder
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper


  • Drain cans of jackfruit and rinse well. Slice onion thinly. Place in slow cooker. (I have used a small 3 quart slow cooker and also a large, standard sized slow cooker. Both worked just fine.)
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients, including water and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine then pour over jackfruit and onions in crockpot. Stir well to coat jackfruit.
  • Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Using a slotted spoon, lift jackfruit and onions out in small batches. Separate onions out into a serving dish. Using two forks on a large cutting board, shred the jackfruit and return to the liquid in the slow cooker.
  • Serve on a bun or sliced bread, adding a few of the onions on top of the jackfruit.
  • Leftovers store well and easily reheat in the microwave.

I’m sharing this at Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays.  Drop by for a visit, there are lots of terrific recipes there!



  1. says

    Great post (love your sense of humor!) and photos, Johnna! I do not eat slaw on my barbecue sandwiches, but hubby ONLY wants to eat his barbecue sandwiches that way. Usually I don’t like the NC vinegary style, but sometimes it does hit the spot. I can’t wait to make the jackfruit barbecue for my own support group next month. (I made it for the vegetarian group in October.) I think I’m going with the original version though … for their first time. 😉


    • says

      Thanks, Shirley! I prefer the original version, too, but this was a nice change of pace. The leftovers were great in quesadillas. And thanks for chiming in on the great slaw debate. I think we will all just have to agree to disagree with Mr. GFE. :)

    • says

      Hi Michele! Thanks for your comment. I most often use a 3 qt. slow cooker but any size will work. I made it in a standard slow cooker (5 qt.) at a retreat and it worked fine.

  2. Sophie says

    I tried this recipe and I believe it has way too much apple cider vinegar. Its all I can taste, i couldn’t stomach it. Next time i think I will cut back to 2tbl spoons instead, And add some chili powder.

  3. Gigi says

    I can hardly wait to try your recipe! Thank you! I’m a “Carolina Girl.” I stopped eating pork 14 years ago & I’ve been a vegan for a year. I’ve been looking for the vinegar pulled pork vegan version recipe instead of the tomato based one. Oh yes, I will of course go all the way with this Carolina version and have slaw with it.

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