Best Vegan Ribs Recipe (2024)

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The best vegan ribs made with tender meaty jackfruit, wheat gluten and all the traditional smoky barbecue spices. These meatless ribs are sure to impress even the pickiest meat eaters, a must make on your griddle, in the oven or your outdoor grill! No oil recipe.

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High Protein Vegan Ribs!

They are real, they are a thing, they are totally legit! 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, all the big barbecue days can bring it.

I mad a seitan and jackfruit based recipe that unbelievably resembles tender ribs on every level. The jackfruit really helps bring the ideal shreddable texture together and keep the moisture at a perfect level.

What is seitan?

A high protein food made from vital wheat gluten with a chewy and stringy texture that resembles meat (vegan steak, chicken, or turkey anyone?). When mixed with jackfruit it delivers magical texture and flavor. The sietan ribs “dough” can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to grill and slather with bbq sauce.

What is jackfruit?

A large, versatile tropical fruit with meaty texture.

When eaten ripe it has a sweet taste much like a mango and pineapple but then picked green it makes a fantastic meat substitute as it picks up whatever flavors you season it with. It should not be confused with “durian” a smaller fruit similar in shape but with a strong pungent odor.

These Ultimate Barbecue Jackfruit Ribs Are:


smoky, savory & sticky

tender meaty texture

high in protein

super easy to make

caramelized at the edges

meatless, cruelty-free, not made from baby pigs

ultimate party food alongside vegan mac and cheese

they taste amazing


What to Serve With

  • Olive oil mashed potatoes
  • Lemon roasted broccoli
  • Vegan creamed spinach
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Butternut squash Mac and cheese
  • Rice pilaf + green apple coleslaw
  • European potato salad
  • Tomato cucumber salad
  • Potato pizza
  • Classic vegan potato salad
  • Mushroom leek pasta
  • Creamed Peas
  • Pickled Red Onion
  • Vegan Ramen.

P.S. As always, if you make this recipe please come back here to rate in the comments below.

watch how to make the best vegan ribs

Best Vegan Ribs Recipe (7)

4.96 from 25 votes

Best Vegan Ribs

The best barbecue vegan ribs made with tender meaty jackfruit, wheat gluten and all the traditional smoky BBQ spices

Print Recipe

Prep Time:10 minutes mins

Cook Time:1 hour hr 5 minutes mins

Total Time:1 hour hr 15 minutes mins


  • 20 oz canned green jackfruit (packed in water not syrup)
  • 1.25 cups vital wheat gluten + more as needed
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes , or to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic , grated
  • 3/4 cups water (or low sodium vegetable stock)
  • 3 tbsp tamari or coco aminos
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce + more for dipping
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 1/3 cup fresh chives , for garnish
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional, only if you want a very smoky flavor)
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste (1/2 tsp each)

US Customary - Metric


  • Preheat your oven to 375”F

  • Drain and rinse the jackfruit very well then boil it with the bay leaves and a pinch of sea salt for about 20 minutes until softened. Drain and mash with a potato masher or shred with a fork. Discard any tough parts.

  • In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients together then add the shredded jackfruit, tamari, water (or vegetable stock) and a pinch of sea salt. Mix well until a dough forms and use your hand to knead it for a good 5 minutes until the dough holds together nicely. Add a little extra sprinkling of wheat gluten if the dough seems too wet or a little more water if it feels to dry.

  • Shape the dough down into a rectangle loaf about one inch thick then slice in half crosswise.

Grill & Oven Method:

  • Preheat a seasoned cast iron griddle over medium flame. Grill the ribs for about 3 minutes on each side until nice grill marks form.

  • Meanwhile line a 5 x1 0 rectangle shaped baking dish with parchment paper. Spread a thin layer of barbecue sauce over the bottom and place the grilled ribs on top. Spread the top with a thin layer of barbecue sauce and cover the pan with aluminum foil (or a lid) and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

  • Use a pair of kitchen tongues and carefully flip the ribs. Brush with more barbecue sauce on top and bake uncovered for another 20 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes.Using a sharp serrated knife to cut the ribs alongside the grill marks and serve on a bed of mashed potatoes with extra sauce and garnished with the fresh chives.

Easy Oven Baked Method:

  • Alternatively you can skip the grilling step and bake the ribs in the oven.

  • Spoon some BBQ on the bottom of the pan, place the ribs on top and brush with more BBQ sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.Allow to cool and set for a few minutes before slicing with a sharp knife.

Bone In Method:

  • Soak bamboo sticks, popsicle stick or cinnamon stick in warm water for 20 minutes.

  • After shaping the rib mixture into a rectangle push the soaked bones through the dough about one inch apart.

  • Spread some sauce in the bottom of the pan and place the rib rack on top. Spread more barbecue sauce over the top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.

How to Reheat the Ribs:

  • To reheat the ribs preheat a cast iron griddle or fire up the grill. Cook the ribs on medium low flame for a few minutes on each side until warmed through.Remember to brush with more BBQ sauce while grilling. This method will add extra smokiness to the ribs and nice charred grilled marks.



Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1527mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 1270IU | Vitamin C: 4.6mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 4.3mg

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: vegan ribs

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 444kcal

Author: Florentina

Jackfruit Recipes

Best Vegan Ribs Recipe (2024)


What do you soak ribs in to make them tender? ›

  1. 34 cup soy sauce.
  2. 14 cup Worcestershire sauce.
  3. 2 tablespoons dry mustard (I also use prepared)
  4. 2 12 teaspoons salt.
  5. 1 tablespoon black pepper.
  6. 12 cup wine vinegar.
  7. 1 12 teaspoons parsley.
  8. 13 cup lemon juice.

What is the secret to tender ribs? ›

Select a lean rib and cut off the visible fat. We like our ribs lean, tender, and beautiful. Cook them low and slow. Two pounds or less will take 4 1/2 hours at 225 degrees F.

Which is healthier tofu or seitan? ›

However, while seitan is an excellent plant-based protein alternative, tofu is a complete protein (seitan lacks the amino acid lysine). Unseasoned tofu is typically lower in sodium than store-bought seitan, which can be processed with salt, sugar or other flavors added.

Is seitan healthy to eat? ›

Is Seitan Healthy? In many ways, yes, seitan is quite a healthy option. The seitan nutrition facts are hard to argue with: notable amounts of protein, iron, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. This combination of macro- and micronutrients can result in some pretty impressive health benefits.

Why do you put apple cider vinegar on ribs? ›

The trick is so good, she says, she sometimes does it even with really fresh, beautiful ribs. Essentially, the vinegar solution "cleanses" the meat and makes the flavors shine through without any "gamey" flavor.

What does apple juice do to ribs? ›

Apple juice adds to the apple flavor of the rib sauce. It also creates steam inside the foil pack so the ribs don't dry out. If you don't have apple juice you can use orange or pineapple juice, stock/broth or just plain old water.

Should you soak ribs in apple cider vinegar? ›

Soak ribs in apple cider vinegar for two hours. Remove from vinegar, pat dry, and coat ribs with rub evenly on all sides. Place meat-side up in a shallow baking dish, add enough water to coat the bottom of the dish, and wrap tightly with foil. Cook for 3 hours at 300 degrees F.

Do ribs get more tender the longer you cook them? ›

You can get very juicy ribs by cooking them at 135 degrees, but making them tender takes two or three days. At 160 degrees, you get tender ribs in 10 to 12 hours. At 170 to 180 degrees, the meat is noticeably dryer, but the cooking time is a more manageable 6 to 8 hours.

How do you get ribs to fall off the bone? ›

Drizzle the butter with honey and Vinegar Sauce. Place each rack of ribs over the butter meat side down. Season the bone side with additional rub and wrap the foil tightly around the ribs. Place the ribs back on the pit for an additional 2.5 hours or until the meat is “fall-off-the-bone” tender.

Do ribs get more tender the longer you boil them? ›

The longer simmering time helps break down the connective tissue and skin and brings out the tenderness and flavor. The key to this method is to simmer, not boil. If you boil the meat for an hour it can lead to prematurely cooking of the ribs and you'll end up with awful, tough meat.

What do vegan ribs taste like? ›

The taste is meaty with a subtle smokiness and very little trace of the soy in the ingredients. Without the marinade, there isn't much flavour, but you wouldn't eat ribs without marinating them or adding a spice rub. After all, as we vegans always say – it's not the meat that tastes good, it's what you flavour it with!

What is seitan made of? ›

Seitan is a plant-based meat substitute made out of wheat gluten. It's made by rinsing prepared wheat dough to remove the starch, leaving a sticky mass of protein that can be flavored, cooked, and used in a number of dishes.

What is vegan brisket made of? ›

The Ingredients and Substitutes

Vital wheat gluten: This makes up the base of the vegan meat substitute. You can't replace it. Water: For more flavor, use vegan beef broth or vegetable broth. Seasonings: You'll need onion powder, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast for a savory, umami flavor.

What is plant-based chicken made with? ›

Although components vary, certain materials are commonly used in meat and meat-free chicken products. These include water, wheat flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and other spices. The main difference is that plant-based chicken is usually made from soy protein and wheat gluten instead of animal flesh.

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