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Guest Recipe: Tom's Smokey Jackfruit Vegetarian Burgers

Guest Recipe: Tom's Smokey Jackfruit Vegetarian Burgers

With the warmer weather approaching, the BBQs of Britain will soon be breaking free from their long winter hibernation to once more feed a hungry nation. Up and down the land, gardens and backyards will be filled with smoke-heavy air and the sound of gently sizzling food.

Such is the Great British summer that barbecues tend to be impromptu and spontaneous; thrown together at the last minute when the sunshine and warmth collide to make the perfect conditions.

I like to keep the ingredients for these vegetarian Jackfruit burgers in my house at all times so that I can throw together a batch of these deliciously succulent patties at a moment’s notice. Jackfruit is a common ingredient in Southern and South East Asia where it is used in a variety of sweet and savoury recipes. With a texture similar to pulled pork or shredded chicken, its neutral taste makes it a great carrier for other flavours. I buy it cheaply in tin cans where it is already prepared and ready for use.

Some grated halloumi cheese adds some moisture and necessary fat to these juicy burgers, while ground oats help to bind the mixture together – meaning that these burgers are gluten free. 

While you can press them by hand into burger patties, I like to use a burger press to compress the mix into shape. I get 12 decent sized burgers from these quantities, freezing any leftovers to use at a later date.

  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 8-12 Minutes
  • Total Time: 53 - 57 Minutes

Serves: 12

Category: Vegetarian,Healthy Eating,Dinner


  • 2 x 400g tins Young Jackfruit in Water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2tsp Dried Sage
  • 1tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1.5tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1tsp salt flakes (½ tsp table salt)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 225g Vegetarian Halloumi
  • 2 Eating Apples
  • 150g Oats
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp English Mustard


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Finely dice the onion and gently sweat in the oil with a pinch of salt for five minutes until they have softened and turned translucent. The salt will help draw moisture out of the onions.
  2. Drain the Jackfruit in a colander and gently flake apart with your fingers. Crush the garlic and add to the onions with the dried sage, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Add the apple juice and the flaked Jackfruit to the pan and stir everything together. Pop a lid on and allow to simmer away for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. After 25 minutes, the liquid should have mostly evaporated and the Jackfruit will be tender. Flake any larger pieces apart with a fork before tipping the contents of the pan into a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and allow to cool on the side.
  4. Peel and core the two apples and coarsely grate. Wrap the grated apple in a few pieces of kitchen paper and gently squeeze to remove some of the liquid. Coarsely grate the halloumi cheese and mix this through the grated apple.
  5. Blitz the oats in a food processor until you have a fine powder.
  6. When the Jackfruit has cooled, add the grated apple, halloumi, ground oats, egg and English mustard. Use your hands to gently bring the mix together, ensuring everything is evenly combined. 
  7. Divide the mixture into twelve equal portions and form into burger shapes. I like to use a burger press to do this, stamping out the mixture between two discs of greaseproof paper. If you want to do this by hand, I recommend using two pieces of greaseproof paper about the size of a saucer to avoid the mix sticking to your fingers. When the burgers are all shaped, place on a baking tray and allow to firm up in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
  8. You can cook the burgers in a preheated oven (200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6) for 12 minutes, under a moderately hot grill (4-5 minutes each side) or on a BBQ for 4-5 minutes each side. The can also be fried in a little oil over a medium heat – again 4-5 minutes each side. The Burgers will be bronzed and golden when ready.
  9. Serve in burger buns with lettuce, slices of tomato, mayonnaise and mustard. Any leftover uncooked burgers can be frozen to be used at a later date.

Tom Frizell-Shackley is a food writer, recipe developer and freelance PR consultant, based in the North of England. He lives with his partner, son, three spaniels and four rescued ex-battery chickens. Since 2019, he has published recipes and kitchen tips for his Kitchen Notes food blog.