A sheet pan of vegan eggplant pulled pork

How to Make Vegan Eggplant Pulled Pork + Tostada Recipe

If you’re searching for a fun recipe to spice up your life, then this one is perfect for you! It is chilorio eggplant pulled “pork.” The eggplant pork is spicy, smokey, and slightly sweet. I love preparing it on a tostada, which I share how to make in the recipe, but it’s also delicious turned into a sandwich! If you’re craving something with unique flavor, give this vegan eggplant pulled pork recipe a try, I am confident you will be pleased!

A close up look at the eggplant pulled pork

What is chilorio?

Chilorio is a Mexican pork dish. It is generally made by slow-simmering pork. Then it is broken up, fried in lard, and cooked in chile sauce. The sauce is usually made from re-hydrated dried chiles, onions, garlic, cumin, and oregano.

Holding the shredded vegan meat with a pair of tongs

But, does this eggplant pulled pork ACTUALLY taste like REAL pulled pork . . . ?

So, I’m not going to sit here and spew out lies. It doesn’t taste or feel EXACTLY like real pulled pork. However, if you are looking for a fun, cruelty-free, delicious substitute, you will enjoy it! It’s not SUPER chewy like real pork. It does have a bite to it, with a little bit of chew, but not to the extreme of real pork. It also doesn’t have a fatty, meat-like flavor. The pulled eggplant is pretty much going to taste like whatever you jazz it up with. In this case, it tastes like slightly sweet, smokey chile peppers.

I prepared the eggplant pork on tostadas! One is topped with avocado, pickled red onions, and crumbled vegan mozzarella. The other is topped with pickled red onions, crumbled vegan mozzarella, chipotle aioli, and cilantro!
TOSTADAS: I topped one with avocado, crumbled vegan mozzarella, and homemade pickled red onions. I topped the other one with crumbled vegan mozzarella, homemade pickled red onions, chipotle aioli, and fresh cilantro.

Feel free to cook the eggplant pulled pork in a different sauce!

The vegan eggplant pulled pork would taste INCREDIBLE roasted with a delicious BBQ sauce. Then I would most definitely pile it into one of my homemade burger buns with coleslaw for a classic BBQ vegan pulled pork sandwich. Ugh, that sounds so good right now!

A close up look at one of the tostadas

Watch me make the vegan eggplant pulled pork and tostada in action!

If you make any of my recipes, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!

A sheet pan of vegan eggplant pulled pork

How to Make Vegan Eggplant Pulled Pork + Tostada Recipe

Author Chef Summer Storm – garden grub
This is a chilorio pulled eggplant recipe. It is a vegan version of a Mexican pork dish that is slow-cooked in chile sauce. I then serve it over a tostada and garnish it with a few other tasty ingredients, like homemade pickled red onions!
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Rest Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 3 cups


  • Paper towel


Quick Pickled Red Onions

Pulled Eggplant

  • 2 firm medium-large eggplants
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Chile Sauce

  • 4 dried ancho chiles
  • 1/2 cup reserved ancho chile cooking water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, medium diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic cloved, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For 1 Pulled Eggplant Tostada You Will Need

  • 1 Tostada
  • 1/2 cup eggplant pulled pork
  • 1/4 of an avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegan mozzarella, crumbled into tiny bits
  • 1 tbsp quick pickled red onions
  • A couple fresh cilantro leaves


Quick Pickled Red Onions

  • Place the sliced red onions into a jar.
  • Add the water, vinegars, sugar, and salt into a small saucepot. Stir and bring the mixture up to a boil.
  • As soon as the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat, and let the liquid cool down for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour the hot liquid into the jar of sliced onions. Cover the jar, shake/tip it well, remove the lid, and let it marinate at room temperature until it is completely cooled down. ***They're technically ready in 15 minutes, but they taste better the longer they marinate! I prefer to make this recipe a day ahead!
  • Once the liquid has cooled down to room temperature, cover the jar and place it in the refrigerator.

Pulled Eggplant

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the very top hard piece of the eggplants off and discard them. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise.
  • Line a large sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper and grease it lightly with the olive oil. Then, place the eggplants inside/face down onto the sheet pan.
  • Place the pan in the oven and roast the eggplants for 30 minutes.
  • Straight from the oven, place the eggplants into a large, heat-safe bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator until the eggplants are cool enough to handle with your hands. Wrapping the bowl with plastic wrap makes it easier to peel the eggplant's skin off later on.
  • Peel off the eggplant's skin and discard them. Remove and toss all of the seeds from the eggplant as well.
  • With your hands, shred the remaining eggplant into very fine, short pieces.
  • Take a couple paper towel sheets and squeeze out about 75% of the moisture from the pulled eggplant. You will need to repeat this step with new paper towel about 5 times or so, as the paper towel will become wet very quickly. When done, place the pulled eggplant in a large bowl and set it to the side.
  • Move on and make the sauce. Alternatively, you can make the sauce while the eggplant is roasting to save yourself some time!

Chile Sauce + Finish the Pulled Eggplant

  • In a small saucepot, add the ancho chiles and just enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, turn the heat off, and cover the pan. Let the ancho chiles soak, covered, for 15 minutes. If they are floating, flip them over and push them down halfway through. ***DO NOT dump out the cooking water- you need some of it for the sauce!
  • Remove and discard the stems from the ancho chiles. Add the chiles into a blender along with 1/2 cup of the chile's cooking water and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend this under extremely smooth.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Pour the sauce over the pulled eggplant and stir extremely well.
  • Spread the pulled eggplant evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Place it in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes, stirring it well halfway through.

How to Assemble the Tostada

  • Place down your tostada. Top it with the eggplant pulled pork, then the sliced avocado, crumbled vegan mozzarella, pickled red onions, and cilantro leaves!
Keyword eggplant pulled pork, vegan eggplant pulled pork, vegan eggplant recipes, vegan pulled pork
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


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  • NewbieVegan

    5 stars
    I love eggplant and I never would have thought of using it this way until I tried your recipe. I’m floored. It’s amazing! I’m definitely adding this one to my favorites, thank you!

  • Luke

    3 stars
    This sauce is fantastic but the eggplant was a bit of a downer to put it on. It looks really good but texture is pretty soggy and the eggplant itself didn’t add much flavor.

    That said this would probably taste amazing with oyster mushrooms, seitan, jackfruit, etc. so I’m excited to try again. Thanks for the recipe!

    • garden grub

      Hey Luke!! Sorry to hear you weren’t a fan of the eggplant! I think it makes for a unique swap for meat, but I totally understand it’s not for everyone! I’m happy you enjoyed the sauce and hope you give it a try with a different meat alternative! 🙂

    • Linda

      5 stars
      I couldn’t get my Eggplant to Shred like the picture. 🙁
      BUT! The sauce was awesome. Authentic in flavor. I think my eggplants were also too small because I had at least half the sauce left after adding it to the Shredded Eggplant. Kudos to me! I’ll just make some more Eggplant tomorrow and try again! Thanks for the recipe.

      • garden grub

        Hi Linda! Sorry to hear you had problems shredding your eggplant! But I’m glad you enjoyed the sauce! I hope your second time around with the dish was better 🙂

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