Pulled pork is the gift that keeps on giving. Turn those leftovers into an 8-inch circle of delight with a Pulled Pork Quesadilla!
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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Pulled Pork Quesadilla
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.
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