If I had to choose only one vegan burger to rule them all, it would be this jackfruit burger! It has a meaty texture and is loaded with flavor, only it's made with wholesome ingredients.
On top of that, the patties are super versatile—you can grill, fry, or bake them, there are no limits here! Enjoy it with vegan brioche buns, lettuce, tomatoes, and vegan mayo or BBQ sauce.
Jackfruit is a tropical tree fruit grown in Asia, Africa, and South America. When it's ripe, it's yellow in color and has a strong fruity odor and a sweet taste.
However, "young jackfruit" aka unripe jackfruit, has a neutral flavor with a unique texture similar to shredded meat, making it a popular meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian recipes.
That's why it's the star of today's recipe—a flavorful jackfruit burger that's meaty but still wholesome enough so the flavor isn't too intense.
- Canned jackfruit: It's important to use young green jackfruit canned in brine, not syrup or other flavorings. You can find it in most big grocery stores that have an international section. If not, it's readily available in most Asian stores.
- Black beans: To make this recipe easier, use canned black beans. Other beans such as kidney or pinto beans can also work.
- Red onion: Any type of onion can work here, but I like to use red onions since they're sweeter and have a milder flavor.
- Whole wheat flour: Not only does it bind the ingredients together and helps with the texture of the jackfruit burger, but it also adds extra fiber and nutrients. It's a win-win! For a gluten-free option you can use chickpea flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour.
- Hot sauce: For adding a spicy kick to the jackfruit patties. Any type of hot sauce will work, or use chili powder instead.
- Spices: I'm using onion and garlic powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika. If you don't have smoked paprika, you can substitute it with ½ teaspoon regular paprika and ½ teaspoon liquid smoke.
How to make this jackfruit burger
Drain and rinse the jackfruit and black beans. Add them to a lint-free towel and gently press to dry out.
Add them to a food processor, alongside the spices, red onion, and liquid smoke (if using). Pulse the mixture until the ingredients are broken down and well incorporated, but not mushy. Stop and scrape the sides as needed.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the whole wheat flour. Either using clean hands, or a spatula, mix until the flour is fully incorporated.
Using ⅓ cup, scoop from the mixture and form a ball, then press with the palm of your hand to flatten. Repeat until all of the patties are done.
To pan-fry, heat a cast-iron skillet or a frying pan over medium heat. Add 1-2 teaspoon olive oil and let it heat until sizzling.
Add the jackfruit burger patties and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Let them rest on a paper towel to soak any excess oil.
Serve with your favorite fix-ins like vegan burger buns, lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion!
- Oven baked: Preheat oven to 400°F (200ºC). Layer a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and add the patties. Optionally, brush with oil for more browning. Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until golden brown.
- Air-fried: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200ºC). Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick spray and place the patties in a single layer with space in between. Cook for 13-15 minutes, flipping at 10 minutes.
- Grilled: These patties are perfect for grilling because they hold their shape really well, and are not as fragile as some veggie burgers can be. Preheat your grill and brush the surface with oil. Add the burgers and close the lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip. If they're browning too quickly, reduce the heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes further, or until well charred. Remove from the grill and enjoy!
- Make sure to dry the jackfruit well after rinsing. You don't want to add any excess moisture to the patties, as this can make them fall apart. Use a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel to dry the jackfruit and black beans very well.
- Don't over-process the mixture! Pulse the ingredients just until broken down, but don't blend them into a puree.
- Add any spices you like. Feel free to add any of your favorite seasonings and/or fresh herbs. Parsley or cilantro will be delicious in this jackfruit burger and will bring a pop of fresh flavor.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free all-purpose flour. You may need to adjust the amount depending on the brand of gluten-free flour you're using.
No, canned young jackfruit has a neutral taste and is slightly acidic and salty from the brine. Its main role is to provide that stringy texture and chewiness you usually get from meat.
The spices play a huge role, as they're what gives most of the flavor to this jackfruit burger.
This burger is savory, smoky, a little spicy, and packed with umami flavor. The texture is really what makes it unique—it's meaty and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
If your patties are too thick, they won't cook as well on the inside and may remain mushy.
Try shaping the mixture into smaller patties so they cook through completely.
Yes! You'll need to shred the jackfruit using a fork or your hand, then add it to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mash using a potato masher. This won't give you the same results and the mixture will be chunkier, but the patties will hold together.
To take this jackfruit burger to the next level use it alongside my homemade vegan BBQ sauce, or my Korean BBQ sauce. For the cheesy element, feel free to add a slice of vegan cheese or a few tablespoons of my vegan cheese sauce.
If you're serving these patties without the burger ingredients, try them alongside my summer blackberry salad.
Let the patties cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container and cover with a lid. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze, transfer patties to an airtight container, layering parchment paper between each one to prevent them from sticking. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.
More Vegan BBQ Recipes
- If grilling is your game, these tender vegan steaks made with seitan are the answer!
- For something extra filling, the BBQ seitan sandwiches boast 46 grams of protein per serving!
- Don't forget the sides. Grill up some vegan elote (Mexican-style street corn) smothered in creamy goodness!
- A BBQ isn't complete without dessert! These lemon bars or chocolate chip oat flour cookies are always crowd-pleasers.
- 1 14-ounce can young jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (~1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup red onion, diced (~1 small red onion)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, or 1⁄2 teaspoon regular paprika + 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- Prepare the jackfruit by rinsing under cold water, draining, and patting dry with a lint-free towel.1 14-ounce can young jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
- Transfer the prepared jackfruit to a food processor, add the black beans, onion, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, liquid smoke (if using), salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. Pulse the mixture until the ingredients are broken down and well incorporated but slightly chunky still, scraping down the sides as needed.1 15-ounce can black beans, ½ cup red onion, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Use a spatula to combine. The texture should be moist but hold together when pinched between fingers. If it’s too wet, add a tablespoon more flour and mix again.¼ cup whole wheat flour
- Use ⅓ cup per patty, roll into a ball, then flatten with the palm of your hands to ¼-½ inch thick.
- If cooking on stovetop, preheat a large nonstick pan medium heat. Add a little oil as needed to prevent sticking.
- Cook burgers for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- If baking, preheat oven to 400°F (200ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place patties evenly spaced on baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes per side.
By air fryer:
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F (200ºC).
- Place patties in the air fryer basket in a single layer with space in between. Cook for 13-15 minutes, flipping at 10 minutes.
- Serve patties on buns with desired toppings and enjoy!
- Fridge: Let the patties cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container and cover with a lid. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
- Freezer: To freeze, transfer patties to an airtight container, layering parchment paper between each one to prevent them from sticking. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.