Vegan Smoky BBQ Jackfruit Ribs

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Vegan Smoky BBQ Jackfruit Ribs

This recipe shows you how to make your own delicious vegan BBQ ribs. Made from a combo of seitan and jackfruit and coated in sauce, you won’t be able to resist

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What is jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tree fruit found in places such as Bangladesh and Malaysia.

The fruit is dense and coarse, giving it a meaty texture, and so vegan jackfruit recipes are now very wide ranging.

As a raw fruit, it has a sweet taste like mango but when cooked, it surprisingly has a texture that resembles pulled pork.

The fruit is high in vitamin A and is a great antioxidant.

What is vital wheat gluten?

Used to make seitan, another good meat alternative, vital wheat gluten is powdered gluten.

Although it has the appearance of flour, it contains virtually no starch, so it’s not quite a flour.

In this recipe, the combination of both the vital wheat gluten and jackfruit creates the perfect dough for forming a rib rack shape.

Is BBQ sauce vegan?

Some are and some aren’t.

This sweet sauce is usually vegan, but there may be a few exceptions to some brands out there. There are some ingredients to look out for in this popular condiment: honey, anchovies and flavouring.

Anchovies are undoubtedly not vegan, but honey can be a tricky one, and we’re often asked ‘is honey vegan?’

Most vegans avoid honey because of the exploitation of bees in the farming process.

Of course, there are many vegan BBQ sauces out there. Heinz Original Barbeque sauce is vegan (although their Texas Style BBQ sauce is not as it uses anchovies) and so is Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ sauce (although their Tennessee Sweet Whiskey Glaze does contain honey).

So when it comes down to choosing a BBQ sauce for your jackfruit ribs, be sure to check the ingredients!

Cooking tip

To get ahead, the ribs can be made and steamed up to 5 days before glazing and cooking.

They can also be frozen at this stage, well wrapped, for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly overnight before cooking.

This recipe can make 2 large racks of ribs, enough for 4 servings.

Total Time: 2 hours

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Calories: 570

Servings: 4


Total Time: 2 hours

Calories: 570

Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • For the seitan
  • 90 90 ml cold water
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp onion powder
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp paprika
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp Bouillon powder
  • 67.5 67.5 g vital wheat gluten
  • 2.75 2.75 g nutritional yeast
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp natural, smooth peanut butter
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp garlic powder
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp smoked paprika
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp black pepper
  • 0.25 0.25 tin young green jackfruit in brine, drained
  • For the glaze
  • 60 60 ml BBQ sauce
  • To serve
  • corn on the cob
  • vegan coleslaw
  • extra BBQ sauce, for dipping


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and place all the seitan ingredients – except the jackfruit and vital wheat gluten – in a food processor. Blend until combined.
  2. Place the drained jackfruit chunks in a frying pan and add a few tablespoons of water.
  3. Gently simmer for 5 minutes, or until the jackfruit starts to fall apart when pressed with the back of a spoon and all the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the vital wheat gluten and jackfruit to the mix in the food processor and pulse until well combined. This should make a soft, very moist dough.
  5. Divide the dough in half and place each portion onto a large sheet of foil. Shape each portion into rough rack shapes and score lines on each rack to resemble the individual ribs.
  6. Wrap in the foil. It doesn’t need to be too tight but make sure it is well sealed.
  7. Transfer to a baking dish and pour in enough water to come halfway up the wrapped packages.
  8. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes, topping up the water as necessary.
  9. When the ribs have steamed, remove them from the oven and increase the temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Unfold the foil so that the ribs are exposed.
  10. Pour over the BBQ sauce and return to the oven for another 30 minutes or so, until bubbling and sticky. Check every so often towards the end of cooking to prevent them from burning.
  11. If you want to cook them on the BBQ, simply remove the foil completely after steaming and place the individual rack of rib portions on a hot BBQ. Baste liberally and regularly with the sauce while cooking, until sticky and slightly charred.
  12. Serve your vegan BBQ ribs with some corn, vegan coleslaw, and some extra BBQ sauce for dipping, and enjoy!

Each 365g serving provides:

11g Fat, 1.3g Saturates, 45g Sugars, 5.5g Salt.


Are you ready for a sizzling feast? You need to see more of these vegan BBQ recipes!

Written by

Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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