Pulled pork is the gift that keeps on giving. Turn those leftovers into an 8-inch circle of delight with a Pulled Pork Quesadilla!
After two marathon weeks of recipe testing and video shooting for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork and Instant Pot Pulled Pork, we were left with enough leftover pulled pork to open a barbecue stand.
If you’ve ever experienced a similar influx of leftover pulled pork, then you know sometimes you need to make something with pulled pork besides sandwiches.
My answer: Pulled Pork Quesadilla.
Tender pulled pork, black beans, and green chiles folded in a crispy tortilla and bound with melty cheese, this pork quesadilla is a tasty culinary mashup that will breathe new life into your dinner routine.
Although quesadillas can be used as a joke to describe someone’s lack of cooking ability (e.g. it was my roommate’s turn to make dinner and she cooked us CHEESE QUESADILLAS), when cooked thoughtfully, they can be a fast, healthy, and truly delicious dinner!
In fact, during my first year of marriage, I cooked so many different versions of quesadillas that I suspected the universe had endowed me with a tortilla-centric purpose in life. (Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas and make-ahead Breakfast Quesadillas are still two I make regularly).
Leftover pork quesadillas are so easy and yet make so much sense.
- The black beans will help stretch your leftovers and provide important health benefits like fiber and whole grains.
- Canned green chiles add instant spice that’s a lovely pairing with sweet barbecue flavors.
- And the cheese melted inside a golden, toasted tortilla? There’s a reason kids (and honest adults) go crazy for it!
Don’t miss the Steak Fajita ‘Dillas in The Well Plated Cookbook. The fajita-inspired filling cooks in the oven, hands-free!
5 Star Review
“This was so easy and SO GOOD. Great combination of flavors and it gave our leftover pulled pork new life. Thanks!”
— Maddie —
How to Make an Easy Pulled Pork Quesadilla
The next time you have a batch of leftover pulled pork (or the next time you need an excuse to cook a great big batch of it!) a pork quesadilla is what to make.
This Mexican pulled pork quesadilla filling takes all of 5 minutes to stir together (seriously!) and you can freeze it for future fast dinners if you please.
- Pulled Pork. Whether it’s from your favorite local barbecue joint, homemade, or Costco, pulled pork makes a tasty base for a protein-packed quesadilla.
- Black Beans. Rather than making the ‘dillas with pork alone, I like to add a can of black beans to the filling. It stretches servings, black beans are nutritious, and they give the quesadillas a Mexican flare.
- Tortillas. You can use any size you like! I prefer the taco sized (8-inch) folded in half because they are easier to flip, but you can also use two that are stacked with the filling in between.
- Canned Green Chiles. You’ll always find a can of these in my pantry. They’re a fantastic, convenient way to add both moisture and flavor to everything from the Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas in my cookbook to Green Chile Chicken Burgers.
- Cilantro + Red Onion. A hit of freshness and color.
- CHEESE! For the best results, grate it yourself (prebagged cheeses are coated with a starchy substance and thus don’t melt as easily).
- Place the pulled pork and filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir to combine.
- Place a tortilla in a lightly oiled skillet. Sprinkle cheese on half, then add your filling.
- Add more cheese atop the pork.
- Fold tortilla in half and cook on both sides until the tortilla is golden and the cheese is melted. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover filling for up to 5 days. Cook the quesadillas just before serving.
- To Reheat. Heat quesadillas in a nonstick skillet over medium heat to warm the filling and recrisp the outsides. You also can play around with reheating quesadillas in the oven on the upper-third rack at 375 degrees F. Flip them over halfway through.
- To Freeze. Leftover filling can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Meal Prep Tip
The next time you make pulled pork, set aside 1 ½ cups for quesadillas.
In addition to making a killer quesadilla filling, you can use this recipe for pulled pork burritos, tacos, or a hearty burrito bowl. Or, try adding it to this Mexican Salad.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Mixing Bowls. Durable, glass stackable mixing bowls with 10 different sizes, and dishwasher safe.
- Non-Stick Skillet. A reliable non-stick and PFOA-free skillet.
- Cutting Board. Non-porous surface with drip-catching edges, this is used everyday in our house.
The Best Instant Pot
Use this tool to cook your BBQ pulled pork FAST. Watch a step-by-step of Erin making the recipe HERE.
Never will I ever be too old for quesadillas. I hope this pulled pork spin livens up your weeknight dinners, the way it does for us.
Pulled Pork Quesadilla Video
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FOR THE FILLING:
- 1.5 cups leftover slow cooker pulled pork or your favorite BBQ pulled pork
- 1 15-ounce can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 medium red onion finely chopped
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles in their juices
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro*
- 2 cups shredded cheddar pepper jack, or Monterey jack cheese (I used cheddar)
- 8 8-inch flour tortillas
- Nonstick spray canola oil, or butter, for grilling the quesadillas
- Homemade BBQ sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce
- Nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Chopped green onions or cilantro
If you’d like to keep your quesadillas warm between batches, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
To a large mixing bowl, add the pulled pork, black beans, red onion, green chiles, and cilantro.
Stir to combine.
Assemble the quesadillas and cook: Warm a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the skillet with nonstick spray or lightly brush with olive oil. Lay a tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over half. Top with ½ cup of the pork mixture.
Sprinkle an additional 2 tablespoons cheese on top, the fold the tortilla over the cheese to create a half moon. To cook 2 quesadillas at the same time, slide the folded quesadilla to one side of the skillet with the straight edge running down the middle, then cook a second quesadilla beside it (the open sides of the quesadillas will point away from each other).
Cook quesadillas on both sides until the tortillas are golden and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 6 minutes total. If desired, transfer cooked quesadillas to a clean baking sheet and place on the lower rack of the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.
Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and let rest 1 to 2 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve hot with a drizzle of BBQ sauce (I like to warm the sauce first), Greek yogurt, and green onions or cilantro as desired.
- *If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can simply omit it.
- TO STORE. Refrigerate leftover filling for up to 5 days. Cook the quesadillas just before serving.
- TO REHEAT. Heat quesadillas in a nonstick skillet over medium heat to warm the filling and recrisp the outsides. You also can play around with reheating quesadillas in the oven on the upper-third rack at 375 degrees F. Flip them over halfway through.
- TO FREEZE. Leftover filling can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Serving: 1of 8Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 17gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 49mgPotassium: 131mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 413IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 286mgIron: 2mg
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