BBQ “Pulled” Veggie Sandwich

September 23, 2013

Oops! I totally meant to post this last Wednesday and actually have a post on Friday, too, but life happens, ya know?  I was in a wedding on Friday, which put the bachelorette party on Wednesday and the rehearsal on Thursday – couple that with the fact that I let pretty much everyone from out of town stay at my house, and you can see I had a stressful few days, despite having an extra long weekend.  So, forgive my absence? I promise it will only happen sometimes.

“Pulled” Veggie Sandwich

Lately, Josh and I have been making a list of meaty foods I don’t remember ever having eaten.  Because I stopped eating meat at 11, I never got around to trying a lot of the more grown up foods.  Plus, it’s just been so long that even if I had, there’s no way I’d remember.  For some reason, a few of these items make Josh very, very sad.  On the top of that list? Pulled pork.

“Pulled” Veggie Sandwich

Frankly, pulled pork has had a weird allure for me that most meat doesn’t have, because it’s cooked for forever in BBQ sauce.  I professed my love of BBQ sauce last week, so it should be no surprise that I’m using my homemade sauce on pretty much everything.  I wasn’t about to start eating adorable piggies because I love BBQ sauce, so I did what any veggie loving vegetarian would do – I shredded a huge pile of veggies, cooked them in my favorite sauce, and made the most delicious sandwich ever.

BBQ “Pulled” Veggie Sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 8

  • 1 large zucchini (~2 c shredded)
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 tsp EVOO or nonstick spray
  • 1⅓ c barbeque sauce
  • 2 tsp no beef bouillon (like by Better than Bouillon) or vegetable bouillon
  • ⅓ c ketchup
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Peel and shred the zucchini, turnip, sweet potato, and carrots using a large cheese grater.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and drizzle with oil or spritz with nonstick spray.
  3. Add the veggies and the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook until the veggies are soft (at least 20 minutes). Remove the lid and cook until there is no excess liquid.
  5. Serve on hamburger buns (I used Udi’s Gluten Free) with cheese, pickles, or your favorite sandwich toppings.

If you don’t have any bouillon, skip and add a splash of soy sauce for a bit of an umami flavor.
The turnip can be swapped our for a Yukon potato if you prefer.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 110 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 24g Fiber: 2g Protein: 1g


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    Holly Dec 20, 2015

    Can this be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated? Want to try it for Christmas Eve supper for the vegetarians in the family but would need to make it a day ahead. Thanks, sound delicious.

      Kelly Dec 20, 2015

      Yes, this can be made a day ahead. Go easy on the sauce and add more when you reheat. Hope it’s a hit!

    Jen Nov 17, 2015

    Can you make without liquid smoke? And do you have a recipe for the BBQ sauce?

      Kelly Dec 08, 2015

      Apologies for my very slow response!! You can leave out the liquid smoke, but it will definitely impact the flavor. For me, I love smokey flavor so when I’m imitating meat recipes, I’m normally really looking for the smokiness one would have if they were making BBQ pulled pork or chicken (well, I’ve never actually had those, but the smokiness I imagine is there :)). If you want more subtle smokiness, you could add a few shakes of smoked paprika towards the end of cooking. Here is the BBQ sauce recipe I used when making this. I did also use liquid smoke in that. Liquid smoke is relatively inexpensive, can be found in most grocery stores, and is normally accidentally vegan — it’s made by collecting condensation created from burning wood chips. I highly recommend giving it a try, but I know the frustration of buying an ingredient you think you’ll only use one time 🙂

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    […] in love with barbeque sauce.  I’ll stuff it in a quesadilla, flavor my enchiladas, or make a shredded veggie sandwich.  No shame in my B-B-Q sauce game (sorry for that, so sorry).  It’s probably also not a […]

    Pamela B Oct 20, 2013

    Wow, this is good. Tried it in half of a leftover homemade waffle = heaven!! Turnip adds an acidic flavour. My only question – you gave calorie info, but what was the serving size? How many is this supposed to feed?

      Kelly Oct 20, 2013

      Oops! Forgot that info. This made about 4 cups for me, and I beleive the calorie count is if you split into 8 servings. Glad you liked it — i never wouldve thought to put this on a waffle.

        Pamela B Oct 20, 2013

        Thanks for the info. I wouldn’t have thought about the waffle either, but had went to a food truck with a waffle and pulled pork, it was sweet and savory, and delicious! I recommend it!

    Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens Sep 23, 2013

    Kelly … this looks SOOOOO good! But what I’m even more excited to try is it over mac ‘n cheese! Awesome suggestion!
    Hope you had a blast at the wedding (and all the festivities leading up to it! :D)

      Kelly Sep 24, 2013

      Thanks, Gretchen. It was ridiculously amazing combo, hope you try it!

    Nikki Sep 23, 2013

    Have you ever tried (or been able to find) jack fruit for similar pulled bbq style? I’ve always wanted to try it.
    I miss bbq so much 🙁 I need to make this.

      Kelly Sep 23, 2013

      They sell it on amazon, but it is ridiculously priced. My local Indian restaurant has it on their buffet, but it is not shredded or cooked any special way (and kind of has no flavor on its own). I prefer to stick with more readily available ingredients, even if you end up sacrificing on texture.

      Kelly Sep 23, 2013


    cleaneatingveggiegirl Sep 23, 2013

    Awesome idea! I am obsessed with all things bbq sauce-related right did you know?? 😉

    Em @ Love A Latte Sep 23, 2013

    What a brilliant idea! This meal just screams comfort-autumn-delciousness! Hope the wedding was a blast! 🙂

      Kelly Sep 23, 2013

      It was very comforting! I piled some of the left overs on mac and cheese — even more comforting and delicious 🙂 The wedding (and all of it’s festivities) was a lot of fun, thanks!