Image Picture of a pizza topped with barbecue sauce, plant-based meat substitute jackfruit, vegan mozzarella, sliced jalapeños, pineapples chunks, and sliced red onion
Easy Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Pizza is a must-make recipe for Friday night or any night. Photos by Meghan Rodgers

Earth-Inspired Eats

Easy Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Pizza

By Meghan Rodgers

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September 8, 2020

Pizza nights are the best nights.

Around my house, we eat pizza at least once every week or two. Some nights it’s because we’re too busy with activities to take time to cook, and other nights it’s because there’s a new series on Netflix that we just can’t seem to pull away from. We love our pizza, and nothing will get between us and a cheesy, saucy, crazy delicious pie.

Not even being vegan.

We’re not entirely vegan, but my husband and I try to commit to the lifestyle unless absolutely no other options.

Lazy vegans, you might say.

Aspiring vegans, I say!

Since discovering vegan shredded mozzarella, staying vegan has been THAT much easier. Pizza just isn’t pizza without a thick layer of melty goodness—you know what I mean?

This Easy Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Pizza recipe is a can’t-miss for pizza lovers (and I mean, who isn’t?). The vegan mozzarella blends perfectly with the sweet smokiness of barbecue sauce. Add those spicy jalapeños and crunchy red onions for a pizza worthy of a party. It’s a pie full of sweet, spicy flavor and way better than anything we ever had delivered!

Bonus! No need to make separate pizzas for your family or friends—this one is honestly so good, even non-vegans will love it. (Don’t you love when that happens!)

Jackfruit
In case you haven’t tried this trendy food yet, jackfruit is the perfect plant-based substitute for that savory, hearty texture you might get from meat. But note: a full-grown jackfruit can weigh up to 100 pounds! That’s why, I buy it canned. It comes in nice little portioned out servings that don’t require all afternoon to prepare. Just empty the can, shred, and you’re done.

If you do want to tackle the entire fruit, however, this exotic piece of produce is much easier to find in mainstream American supermarkets than it once was. Smaller fruits have been bred, so you may find one weighing in around 20 pounds, or so. Still, the spiky green specimens and sheer mass are more than a little off-putting.

And that’s before you cut open the fruit.

Once opened, get ready for a wave of milky, hard-to-remove sap and slippery fibrous pods with every cut.

Like I said—unless you want a full-on adventure, just go with canned.

 Picture of a pizza topped with barbecue sauce, plant-based meat substitute jackfruit, vegan mozzarella, sliced jalapeños, pineapples chunks, and sliced red onion

Pro Tips

  • Barbecue sauce is delicious, but don’t add more than a thin layer or your crust could get soggy.
  • Lots of barbecue sauces are vegan, so you can probably find a delicious local brand. If not, Sweet Baby Rays Original barbecue sauce and lots of others are available.  
  • If you have the time, and you like tender veggies, precook your toppings. You’ll add more depth of flavor. Just sauté for a few minutes with a splash of cooking oil. 
  • Add fresh herbs, like cilantro, last so they stay pretty and flavorful.
 Picture of a pizza topped with barbecue sauce, plant-based meat substitute jackfruit, vegan mozzarella, sliced jalapeños, pineapples chunks, and sliced red onion

Easy Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Pizza

Ingredients

1 ready-made pizza crust (just make sure it’s vegan if that’s a concern of yours)
1-20 ounce can of young jackfruit, drained and rinsed
8 ounces of your favorite vegan bbq sauce
6 ounces vegan cheese
2 ounces pineapple tidbits or chunks
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin (seeds removed for less heat)
pepper
small bunch of cilantro (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Empty jackfruit into a medium bowl and use a masher or two forks to “break apart” chunks until jackfruit resembles pulled pork. Add about half of the bbq sauce to the mixture and stir to coat.
3. Lay out your pizza crust and evenly spread remaining bbq sauce on top.
4. To assembled: Top saucy pizza crust with pulled jackfruit, vegan cheese, red onions, pineapple, and jalapeños. Finish with freshly cracked pepper.
5. Place in oven and bake for about 10 minutes, then broil for an additional 3 minutes—just watch carefully as to not burn the crust!
6. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before slicing. Top with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

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Meghan Rodgers is a media professional and writer covering travel, food and the environment. Find her writing on the food blog EverybodyCraves and her website, MeghanRodgers.com.