Jackfruit Sloppy Joes

Here’s a vegetarian take on a staple of school cafeteria menus around the United States. Sloppy Joes are traditionally made with ground beef that is cooked in a sweet and tangy sauce, and then served on a burger bun. As the name suggests, these can be quite messy sandwiches.

Tonight, rather than beef, we used Jackfruit! The flesh of this fruit, when sliced and cooked (somewhat) closely mimics the texture of pulled pork or chicken. Because of that, if you don’t feel like a sandwich, this would go very well over a southern style polenta or a jalapeno cheddar cornbread!

Time: 30 Minutes


  • 1 large can of Jackfruit (hopefully, one day, I’ll use fresh jackfruit, but for tonight, it’s canned)
  • For the sauce:
    • Ketchup
    • Worcestershire Sauce
    • Water
    • A little Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Brown Sugar (and a little black strap molasses if you’re feeling frisky)
    • Spices (I used cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg)


  • Combine all of your sauce ingredients into a sauce pan, and start to simmer. The sauce should start out liquidy (roughly equal parts water and ketchup and less of everything else).
  • Drain the water out of your can of jackfruit, and slice it on a large cutting board until it looks a little like pulled pork.
  • Heat up some oil in a pan, and add your sliced jackfruit. Cook until it starts to brown a bit.
  • Add your sauce (should have turned a bit darker and thicker by now), and let everything cook together for a bit. If you’re going the sandwich route, now’s a good time to start toasting your buns.
  • When the sauce is no longer liquidy and nicely coats the jackfruit, you’re done!
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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