Let's give the McDonald's Cult Classic a VEGAN MAKEOVER!
To be honest, I never really liked the McRib, I found it kinda weird and gross and definitely overhyped. I mean, I like it on paper, who could argue with it, but it was always not that great. But then again, McDonalds isn't all that great to begin with, even before going vegan I only ate there maybe once a year and it was usually out of desperation or drunkenness.
But that being said, THIS version of the McRib is without a doubt super dang tasty! I made a bunch of leftovers and me and my girlfriend subsisted on them for a couple days, and we never got burnt out. I even ate some of the McRib patties cold straight from the fridge and dunked them in BBQ sauce! It was that good!
McRib 3 Ways!
In this recipe, I'm giving you THREE options. One is to make your own Seitan Jackfruit McRibs, and if you've never made Seitan, I implore you to give it a try. It's a lot easier than it looks and it's super rewarding! Plus once you master it, you can make not only McRibs, but really any vegan meat you want! It opens up a whole world of possibilities! Chick'n, Pastrami, Deli Slices, literally anything!
The second is to simply use some Beyond Sausage Brats or Impossible / Beyond Meat to form some McRib patties. This is a much easier and quicker option, but I really do think making it with the Seitan is worthwhile if you have the time and access to ingredients!
And the third option, and so far, my favorite way to cook these, is on a charcoal grill. We're also gonna do a mash up of the previous two recipes and infuse some jackfruit into the Impossible meat mixture, as well as add a zip zappin aioli. By far the best way to make a McRib! In fact, let's start off with this options since it's my favorite.
For this, all we need to do is steam a can of jackfruit, then blend that into our Beyond or Impossible meat mixture. We're gonna make a dry rub for it, and then grill it on the BBQ, brush on some BBQ sauce of course, and then serve it up with some onions, pickles and an aioli!
Here's a HANDY DANDY video followed by the recipe!
Makes about 6 McRibs
24 oz. plant-based meat (like Impossible or Beyond)
14 oz. can of jackfruit (not in the syrup or the sweet kind!)
Dill Pickle Slices
1 Onion (sliced pole to pole)
BBQ sauce (recipe for scratch BBQ sauce below)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
(rough estimates as I made this to taste)
1/2 - 3/4 cup vegan mayo
3 cloves garlic (minced)
Lemon juice to taste (I used 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp)
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the dry rub by combining the ingredients. Adjust to taste and set aside.
Prepare the aioli the same way. I recommend starting off conservative with the lemon juice and adjust to your taste.
Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Add it to a steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. Once steamed, chop up roughly. You can discard the seeds and tough bits, but I just chop them up or smoosh them with my fingers.
Combine the jackfruit with the plant based meat thoroughly.
To form your patties, weigh out about 6 oz. of the jackfruit / meat mixture per patty. Use some parchment paper so they don't stick to the surface, and form your patties with your hands. Make sure you have a hoagie roll nearby so you can shape them to the same length and width of the roll.
Place your patties in the fridge while we fire up the grill.
Fill a chimney with coals and light a tumbleweed starter or some old newspapers to get the chimney lit. Once coals are ashed over, dump them into one half of your BBQ kettle, so we'll have a hot area and a cooler area on the grill.
Let the grill heat up, then clean it with a brush. Dab a paper towel with some oil and use some tongs to grease up the grill.
Get your patties and season them liberally with the dry rub. Lightly press the seasoning into the patties.
Add your hoagie rolls to the cooler side of the grill, then add your McRib patties to the hotter side. Keep an eye on your rolls and make sure they don't burn, remove them once they're nicely toasted. Cook the patties for about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip them. Once flipped, brush on as much BBQ sauce as you like. Then flip again after another 3-4 minutes, and brush the other side with BBQ sauce. You can repeat this process as much as you like, but I found that just once on each side was perfect.
Remove patties from grill, then dress the bottom bun with some of the aioli, add the McRib, top with onions and pickles, more aioli, and then the top bun.
jackfruit seitan mcrib
This recipe was definitely inspired by a few folks. First was the Wicked Healthy guys. I really dug how they braised their seitan and that might be my new favorite way to cook seitan from now on. Not only do you not dry out or make the seitan tough, but the braising liquid infuses more flavor too! Check out their Website and YouTube for some really amazing recipes! The other recipe that inspired this was this Jackfruit Ribs recipe by Sarah's Vegan Kitchen. Adding Jackfruit into the seitan mix really helps with the texture!
That being said, these McRib patties are a lot more delicate before braising, so handle them with care! I recommend using some wax or parchment paper when kneading on the cutting board and when forming the patties. And when you flip them halfway through braising, make sure you do so carefully so they don't break apart. Once they have been fully cooked through they are a lot less delicate.
As for the ingredients, you should be able to find most of them in a typical grocery store, especially if you have access to a Whole Foods or Sprouts etc. Vital Wheat Gluten is absolutely necessary for Seitan so you really can't substitute it.
The Beefless Broth and Mushroom Seasoning really help to boost the UMAMI flavor of this recipe, so I highly recommend them too. I can only find the beefless broth online, the mushroom seasoning should be at your local Asian market, or online as well!
Click HERE for the Beefless Broth.
Click HERE for the Mushroom Seasoning.
And I do recommend making some BBQ sauce from scratch! If you want to use the Vegan Honey in the BBQ sauce like me, click HERE for the Vegan Honey recipe as well.
Here's a handy dandy video as well!
If you are interested in recommendations for Kitchen Gear, Spices & Pantry Items, or what I use for my Photos and Videos, please click HERE!
This post contains affiliate links, at no additional cost to you! Anything I earn will be put back into making recipes and videos for y'all. Thanks buds!
for Jackfruit Seitan Ribs
Makes about 6 McRib patties
6 hoagie rolls
Dill pickle slices
BBQ Sauce (if not making BBQ from scratch)
If using Beyond Sausages instead, simply sub the Seitan Jackfruit for 2 packages of Beyond Sausages (Brats).
14 oz. can of Jackfruit (drained)
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
(makes 2 cups, use half for braising)
1 Tbsp mushroom seasoning
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp vegan honey (or syrup, agave)
1 Tbsp sriracha
1.5 cups beefless broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp onion
3/4 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
3 Tbsp vegan honey (or syrup, agave)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 heaping Tbsp chipotle in adobo
1 tsp vegan worcestershire
3 Tbsp white vinegar
Combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce and set aside.
If you are using Beyond Sausages, simply take the sausages, and using 1 1/3 sausage, form a patty that's the shape and diameter of your hoagie roll. Skip to step 14.
Drain your jackfruit and steam in a steamer basket for 12 minutes.
While your jackfruit is steaming, combine all the ingredients for the dry mixture in one bowl, and all the ingredients for the wet mixture in another bowl. Transfer the wet mixture to a measuring cup. You should have about 2 cups of the wet mixture.
Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once your jackfruit is steamed, mash it with a potato masher until it is finely shredded. You can take out the seeds and tougher parts if you like, but I didn't find this necessary.
Combine the shredded jackfruit with the dry mixture. Then add half of the wet mixture (should be about 1 cup).
Stir the seitan mix first with a wood spoon, and then once it's combined, knead in the bowl with your hands. This type of seitan will be looser and wetter than typical seitan, but if it's so wet it won't stick together, add a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten at a time and knead in until it forms a ball.
Take the seitan dough out of the bowl and knead with your hands for a minute or so on a cutting board lined with wax or parchment paper. Flatten the seitan to the thickness of a McRib and divide into 6 equal portions. I found a scale useful for this and divided them into roughly 3.5 ounce patties.
Shape the seitan pieces into McRib patties. Use your hoagie roll as a guide for the length and width of your patties. Make sure to do this on top of the wax or parchment paper as well to prevent sticking.
Once all your patties are formed add them to a lightly greased baking pan. Cover them in the rest of the wet mixture to braise.
Bake them at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes, flipping halfway through. If after the first 25 minutes your braising liquid has mostly evaporated, add some water so they don't dry out. The patties will still be delicate so flip and handle with care!
Once your patties are cooked through, heat up a skillet with a bit of oil.
Brush your patties with some of the BBQ sauce and grill for about 2-3 minutes. Then flip them and brush with more sauce. Grill for another 2-3 minutes. Some charring is not only natural but encouraged! That's flavor!
Once your patties have been grilled on both sides, brush with some more BBQ sauce, add to a toasted hoagie roll with pickles and onions, add more sauce if you want, or anything else your heart desires and DIG IN!!