BBQ Jackfruit Pulled "Pork" on Collard Greens

Looking for some bbq this Memorial Day weekend, but without the meat? Shredded jackfruit marinated in bbq sauce provides a pulled pork alternative to vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking to switch things up. Jackfruit is packed with vitamins and fiber. It's also low in calories. Cook it on a pizza stone right on the grill!

Jump to Ingredients List

This pizza came to be after our neighbors dropped off a head of collard greens. The obvious go-to with collard greens is pork, but we don't eat that. I remembered coming across a vegan substitute using jackfruit and was curious to try it out. It was somewhat difficult to find the canned jackfruit--enough so that I might recommend purchasing it online. No luck at Vons, or the nearest Whole foods (what they had was already flavored). We finally found the unflavored, canned green jackfruit at a vegan specialty store. Overall, I wouldn't say that the jackfruit actually tasted like pork, which I consider a positive attribute. It mostly tasted like the bbq sauce with a very slight sweetness, a nice layer of greens and tomatoes underneath, and plenty of cheese on top.

(UPDATE: Trader Joe's totally has the canned jackfruit in brine!) 

For the bbq "pork," I went off the Jackfruit Pulled Pork Recipe here. If you're making this for one pizza, I would recommend halving Karissa's recipe. If you're making this for two pizzas, or you want leftover, then proceed as she advises. (My amounts will reflect enough for one 12 inch pizza.) I made some slight changes based on what I don't like about BBQ sauce, which is sweetness and smoke flavor (and I'm not a huge fan of paprika). If you like sweet and smoke, I included these ingredients as "optional." Note that you will need 2 20oz. cans of brined jackfruit to complete the recipe she provides. You may also want to note that I didn't marinate the jackfruit in the refrigerator and it turned out fine. Would it have been better marinated? Maybe. If you have an extra hour, check it out!

Time :  1:30*  (if skip the marinating step)

*You can make everything the day before. The jackfruit in bbq sauce still tastes great after a few days in the fridge. 

BBQ Sauce - 30 minutes to simmer down. 10 min. to prep. 

-Start the Collard Green Sauce with the BBQ Sauce, then turn it off when the liquid is gone. You can shred the jackfruit while the BBQ Sauce is cooking and prep the cheese, if you're using the dairy version.

(Optional: Marinate Jackfruit in BBQ Sauce for one hour)

Cooking Jackfruit "Pork" w/ BBQ Sauce - 30 min. 

-Preheat the oven or gas grill just before starting this, or at least 45 min. before you intend to put the pizza in (if using a stone).

Pizza Cooking Time: 8 min at 500°F with 10-15 minutes to prep

Shortcut Note: To save time, you can buy Upton's Natural Bar-B-Que Jackfruit at Wholefoods (and likely other health or specialty stores) or via this link on Amazon. Personally, I'm picky with spices and wanted to be able to manage them. Reviews of Upton's are mixed, and the manufacturer recommends adding additional sweetener or hot sauce, if you feel you need it. Perhaps the same should be advised of the BBQ sauce recipe below too. :) 

The Crust

If you plan to make my sourdough cornmeal crust, you can see my post on asparagus pizza for more about making sourdough. Anymore, I tend to make my dough a day ahead, put it in the refrigerator after starting the second rise, then take it out maybe 6 hrs. before I intend to use it. (This is a cool weather estimate; on a hot day, I might do something more like 2-3 hrs.) You could also use any pre made dough or crust for this pizza. 

The BBQ Sauce

Add the garlic and olive oil to a saucepan. Let the garlic cook a minute, then throw in the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Then turn the sauce down and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Collard Green Sauce

Add the garlic and olive oil to a saucepan. Once the garlic starts to cook, add the tomatoes. Then mix in the cut collard green leaves. Let the collard greens cook down until not much liquid left. Season.

The Jackfruit

Drain and rinse a can of jackfruit, then cut off what is left of the core, or the corner on each triangle. (See the Ultimate BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork recipe for pictures.) Then pull apart or shred the rest of it so it looks sort of fleshy. I took out the seed pods because the ruined the "pork" illusion for me.

When the BBQ sauce is done, stir in the Jackfruit and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often until starts looking porkish.

While Karissa recommends marinating the jackfruit for an hour in the bbq sauce and then cooking it, I didn't do this and was perfectly happy with the result. 

Start by dusting the peel or other cooking surface with plenty of cornmeal. Then stretch out your dough.

For assembly, know that this will be a tall pizza. Layer on the collard green sauce close to an inch thick. Add some cheese, then layer on another good inch of bbq jackfruit. Cover with the rest of the cheese, then add a tad more jackfruit on top. Sprinkle with a chopped shallot, if you'd like. 

Note on Cooking on Gas Grill: If you're using a stone, make sure to give the oven or gas grill plenty of time to heat up. I like to give the stones at least 30 minutes at temp (many advise an hour). When cooking on the grill, manage temperature by opening the lid. I wait for the temp to get just above 500°F before sliding in the pizza. If it's edging up toward 550°F, I make sure to leave it open for a few seconds. The closer to 500°F, the quicker I try to slide it in. If the temperature is still above 500°F when you close the lid, adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

Then cut and enjoy!

Sourdough Cornmeal Crust

-1/2 cup sourdough starter 

-1/2 cup cornmeal

-1/2 cup white-whole wheat flour (TJ's) 

-1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or 2 cups if you'd rather not use the white-whole wheat)

-1/2 tsp. salt

-olive oil to grease bowl (1 tsp or so)

Collard Green Sauce

-1 Tbsp. olive oil

-1-3 cloves garlic 

-3 large Roma tomatoes

-10 collard leaves, or about 2 cups destemmed and chopped

-salt and black pepper (to taste)

-red pepper flakes (to taste)

BBQ Jackfruit "Pork"

-1 can brined jackfruit 

-1 Tbsp. olive oil

-2 cloves garlic (minced)

-1 cup pureed tomatoes

-1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

-1 Tbsp. black strap molassas

-1/2 tsp. salt

-1/4 tsp. chili powder

-1/8 tsp. cumin

-1/4 tsp. cayene powder

-1/8 tsp. mustard powder

-1/8 tsp. black pepper

(-optional: 1/2 tsp. paprika)

(-optional: 2 Tbsp. maple syrup)

(optional: dash of smoke)


-4 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

-2 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese

-Collard Green Sauce

-BBQ Jackfruit "Pork"

-1/2 shallot (sliced)

Other Toppings to Try

-bbq pork

-Daiya vegan cheese for a 100% vegan pizza



Special Equipment

-Robin & Field's Pizza Blade

-pizza stone and peel