Imitation BBQ Pulled Pork From Banana Peels Recipe -- Gluten Free Vegan and Frugal Meat Substitute

You ever hear about something on the internet and it sounds so incredibly wacky and bizarre that you just have to try it to see if it works? Sometimes it comes out amazingly well (like cauliflower alfredo sauce) and sometimes it comes out so incredibly vile (like those cauliflower lemon bars, don't even ask).
A few weeks ago in a vegan eating Facebook group, I saw someone post about imitation pulled pork made from banana peels. Now I was intrigued, as it wasn't the first time I have heard of using banana peels in cooking; I even have a banana peel chutney recipe here on this blog. I didn't attempt to make it right away as I hadn't purchased bananas in a while, and when I do the bananas tend to be overripe which leaves the skin too sweet, but when I finally did buy bananas and they ended up being too green for me, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to test out this recipe.

So first of all, why eat banana peels? Well, according to this and many other places, they are a good source of nutrients and have other medicinal benefits. They've actually been used traditionally in recipes across the globe, mainly in Asia and South America. Secondly, it reduces waste and saves money.
But a bigger reason? Why not?

And lastly? Because people who don't eat meat are often looking for non meat substitutes, so why not diversify and find more options for that, especially one that is gluten free, legume free, and allergy friendly?

So, how was it?
My honest opinion as a meat eater was that, unlike what I was hoping, the banana peel didn't have the texture I thought it would have, as something touted as a "pulled pork" substitute. When I cooked it long enough so it didn't have the underripe banana taste, the texture wasn't as stringy as I thought it would be, but it was still a pleasant experience to eat.
However, it could be if I used bananas that were "just ripe" and not actually underripe I wouldn't have had this issue, so I'll experiment again.
As for taste? Once I cooked it enough so the underripe taste went away, it actually was pretty tasteless and just absorbed the sauce that I added to it. It made quite the tasty sandwich; the first few times I had it, it was in a bun with some cabbage salad. The rest of them I ate with sliced raw onion and avocado, and it was superb. Next time I want to try it with my vegan cheese sauce. So don't go in expecting meaty, but do go in expecting to enjoy it. Because it is yummy. Quite.

I got basic instructions on how to do this from this YouTube video.

PS I would suggest scrubbing the peels quite well because of pesticides, as they don't generally expect you to eat the peel.

Imitation BBQ Pulled Pork From Banana Peels Recipe -- Gluten Free Vegan and Frugal Meat Substitute

Peels from 3 green or greenish bananas
1 onion
Garlic powder
1/2 cup water
BBQ sauce

1. Take your banana peels and scrape off the soft flesh on the inside with a fork. The riper it is, the more soft flesh there'll be. With my green bananas there was nearly nothing to scrape off.

2. Cut off both ends of your banana peel, the stalk and also the black end.

3. Run a fork up and down your banana peels lengthwise, shredding the peels into narrow strips.

4. Chop and saute an onion until starting to lightly brown.

5. Add your banana peels, a little garlic powder, and a little salt. Mix a few times then add half a cup of water.

6. Cook on a low heat, covered, mixing often, until you like the taste and texture of your banana peels.

7. Add BBQ sauce to your pan, and cook it down a bit, mixing often, allowing the peels to absorb the flavors.

8. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings. Suggested toppings include raw onions, cole slaw, pickles, fake cheese sauce, etc...


Feel free to use other sauces instead of barbecue sauce, such as teriyaki sauce, chili, etc... and play around with this idea.

Have you ever heard of cooking with banana peels, specifically banana peel "pulled pork"? Does it sound like something you'd try? What's your favorite topping for pulled pork sandwiches? If you've tried imitation pulled pork from banana peels, what did you think of it?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I've heard of people eating banana peels, but not that it had become a thing on the internet. Printed out the recipe and will try it...I wonder if plantains would be good? (We can get them here now, and the skins are thicker than banana peels.)

    Also found and printed the recipe for cauliflower lemon bars...because...because...I just have to.

  2. In my country, all produce imported from overseas get fumigated. Bananas are all imports so I wont be eating banana peels.

  3. What an interesting idea! I don't know if I'll be trying this or not, as we have some pretty resistant/traditional eaters around here. If my vegetarian daughter were here, I would definitely make some for her and I to try!

  4. I made this just today. Turned out so good! Thank you for sharing tasty, and healthy, recipe ideas! (I have pics but I don't see where I can upload them)

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