Homemade Vegan BBQ Sandwiches

I have been dying to create this recipe for a while now since it popped into my head months ago and planned for it onto my calendar. I was so super excited (like, spirit fingers excited) when it all came together perfectly…I love me a good gluten-free vegan recreation of a favorite! Now that I am really trying to eat a more “clean” diet, I have begun to find sheer delight in making everything I can from scratch–I am even now canning the canned beans and am learning the art of cooking dried beans. So making a BBQ sauce from scratch made perfect sense and then to combine it with chopped up Hearts of Palm to recreate a shredded BBQ “pork” sandwich–I knew a winner was created.  Hearts of Palm has become a personal favorite as a great base with recipes like this and this so I knew I was on the right track.

BBQ Hearts of Palm Sandwiches Sandwich this barbeque pulled hearts of palm “meat” between a gluten-free vegan hamburger bun and you have yourself the most perfect summer sandwich on earth. Ever. Of all time. Exaggerating a little? Maybe.

BBQ Hearts of Palm SandwichesIf you do not have a local bakery that makes amazing allergen-friendly buns, I suggest a few things. First, check your grocery store for Shar products. They have really cool gluten-free vegan ciabatta rolls that work perfectly for this recipe. If you don’t have access to that, Shirley of Gluten-Free Easily put up an awesome round-up for tons of ideas for gluten-free hamburger and hot dog buns. You can find that post here distributing out all of the links here. Not all of them aren’t vegan but there are a few that are.

Homemade Vegan BBQ Sandwiches
These vegan BBQ sandwiches tastes so much like the real deal, even your carnivore friends won't miss the meat.
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of Hearts of Palm (drained and pulsed several times in a food processor)
  • Recipe for homemade BBQ sauce (see below) or use 1½ c. store-bought BBQ sauce of choice.
  • 4 gluten-free/vegan hamburger buns
  • Toppings of choice
  1. While the BBQ sauce is simmering, add the chopped up hearts of palm into the saucepan. Stir together until completely coated and heated up (approx. 2-3 minutes).
  2. Slather onto rolls of choice and enjoy with the toppings that suite your preference (I used shredded red cabbage and lettuce).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 128 Fat: 2g Unsaturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 24g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 276mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 4g
I actually ended up eating this for lunch however I skipped the bun and threw it into a salad and it was so good, I wish I had made more. The perfect companion to fresh veggies, the possibilities are endless.

Homemade BBQ Sauce 

Homemade BBQ Sauce
  • ½ small yellow onion, minced
  • ½ jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • ⅓ c. tomato paste
  • ½ c. water
  • ¼ c. red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ⅛ tsp. liquid smoke (start with half of that, taste and add more as you see fit)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat sauté the onions and jalapeno until lightly golden.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the saucepan and whisk together until completely combined.
  3. Bring to a simmer over low heat and allow to cook for 10 minutes, continuously stirring.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 278 Fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 64g Sugar: 48g Sodium: 227mg Fiber: 6g Protein: 5g
Do you recognize those pickles below? They are from this recent post of my Easy Pickled Veggies recipe. Hip hip hooray everyone for cameos. Never eat a sandwich without a pickle. That is my motto for life.

Homemade Vegan BBQ Sandwiches 4

I guarantee you that even the meat eaters will be asking for seconds so Happy BBQing friends!






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  1. I’m in awe of not only this recipe, but how you were able to stack three sandwiches on top of each other like that!!

  2. Keep on working, great job!

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  3. I am new to using Hearts of Palm…where can I find it? Whole Foods? These sandwiches look delish!!

    • Do you have a Trader Joes nearby? I get mine there. Or yes, Whole Foods should have them or even just your local grocery store does in the canned veggies section :)

  4. Thanks for the recipe, very tasty sandwich. The heart of palm is an excellent idea !

  5. Wow, this looks amazing! You are so ingenious to use heart of palm to replace pulled pork! And that BBQ sauce simply looks delicious! I must try!!!

  6. that is some fine balancing work! i’ll take a dozen of these for this weekend please!!

  7. YUMMY, Cara! I’ve never used heart of palm this way, but I have used jackfruit, which made for fabulous vegan barbecue, and I think their structure/texture is very similar. I’d love to try it!

    Thanks so much for the mention of my gluten-free hamburger, hot dog, and sandwich roll roundup! I loved having your rolls included, of course. There are actually six recipes of the 30 that are vegan or have a vegan option. :-) I’m partial to my Brazilian Un-Cheese Rolls which are included and are completely vegan with no subs needed. 😉

    Have a wonderful 4th, dear! xo,

    • You are the best Shirley! I cannot wait to try your Brazilian Rolls–they look and sound so good (my mouth is watering now, thanks). ha Happy 4th friend! xo

  8. Wow, I will absolutely be making these for the 4th! I bought some hearts of palm for salads, but didn’t love them. Now I can put the rest to good use!

    • I’m not a fan of eating them by themselves either Megan. They are the perfect foundation to add flavors to however and I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! xo

    • A friend of mine gave me the incredible idea to use hearts of palm in place of crab meat in my favorite crab cake recipe. It is SO YUMMY!!!!

  9. I agree 100 percent with your motto for life.

  10. hippymomelizabeth says:

    F- Bomb girl this looks delicious and yes I have been putting barbeque sauce on much of my food lately… The pics look great, the burger, the pickle, the colors every element I would want in my body…Keep posting you sexy thang!:)Peace-onelove

    • Will you begin every comment from now on saying F-bomb? haha. I loved it. Hope you are doing well friend! xo

  11. Janet Paula says:

    Looks like a great recipe. But, before I make the BBQ sauce, I’d appreciate knowing how much I should use of fresh produce since I never have the dry stuff in the house and always have plenty of fresh vegetables. How much fresh garlic to substitute for 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and how much onion for the 1/4 tsp. onion powder. Thanks a lot.

    • You can just use 1-2 garlic cloves when you are sautéing the onions and jalapeno and that is it really :)

  12. These look awesome! What a perfect way to celebrate the 4th of July. Thanks for sharing this recipe, and I hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  13. MMmm, looks so good! I’m always interested in trying new BBQ sauce recipes and looks like a perfect combo with pulled jackfruit! Well done! :)

    • Jackfruit is definitely next on my list–I’ve yet to try it. I’m too hooked on hearts of palm for the time being but now you have me wanting to explore the fruit :) xo

  14. O.MI.GOSH!!!!!


  1. […] If there were an award for most enthusiastic blogger (and maybe there is one), I would give it to Cara Reed of Fork and Beans. The amount of love and pure joy she infuses into every recipe and post practically jumps off the screen. And if that weren’t enough, she is the queen of taking childhood favorites like powdered sugar and chocolate-covered donuts, chocolate teddy grahams, and chocolate turtles, and veganizing them without compromising any of the nostalgia of the originals. Not only is there plenty of dessert and chocolate on her blog, but all of Cara’s recipes are also gluten-free. Recently, she’s even recreated more adult, savory favorites like spicy “tuna” sushi and BBQ sandwiches. […]

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