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

Crispy Pork Quesadilla with leftover pork

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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.

leftover pork Mexican 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!

TIP!

Don’t miss the Steak Fajita ‘Dillas in The Well Plated Cookbook. The fajita-inspired filling cooks in the oven, hands-free!

pulled pork quesadillas on a plate

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.


The Ingredients

  • 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.

How to Make Quesadillas Crispy

Making sure the tortilla turns golden at roughly the same time the cheese melts is critical for a crispy quesadilla (If you’ve ever eaten a soggy quesadilla, you know it’s not the same!).

  • Use Medium Heat. If the heat is too low, the tortilla won’t crisp; if it’s too high, the tortilla will burn before the filling is hot and the cheese is melted. Go for something in between and adjust as you go.
  • Go Light on the Oil. You only need a little bit to toast the tortilla. If you use too much, the tortilla can become soggy. I prefer to use a nonstick skillet coated with a little bit of cooking spray or butter.
  • It’s OK to Peek. Periodically, use a spatula to lift up the quesadilla and check its progress. You’ll need 5 to 6 minutes total to grill the quesadilla over medium heat. Later batches tend to cook more quickly than earlier batches.
  • 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).

The Best Cheese for Quesadillas

The best cheese for quesadillas is something that melts easily and complements the flavor of the other ingredients.

  • Cheddar. Sharp cheddar complements the pulled pork. Since it is fully flavored, it’s an excellent option when you really want to taste the cheese or get away with using less.
  • Pepper Jack. For those who like a spicy quesadilla.
  • Monterey Jack. A mild white cheese that is well loved for quesadillas because it melts beautifully.
  • Mix It Up! Can’t decide? Try a blend of several cheeses and create the quesadilla of your dreams.

The Directions

pulled pork quesadilla ingredients
  1. Place the pulled pork and filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mexican pulled pork quesadilla filling
  1. Stir to combine.
spread quesadillas with leftover pork
  1. Place a tortilla in a lightly oiled skillet. Sprinkle cheese on half, then add your filling.
pork quesadilla with cheese
  1. Add more cheese atop the pork.
pork and black bean quesadilla
  1. Fold tortilla in half and cook on both sides until the tortilla is golden and the cheese is melted. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • 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.

A BBQ Pulled Pork Quesadilla on a Plate

Leftover Ideas

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.

What to Serve with Pulled Pork Quesadillas

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.

leftover pork Mexican quesadilla
Crispy Pork Quesadilla with leftover pork

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Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

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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Crispy Pork Quesadilla with leftover pork

Pulled Pork Quesadilla

5 from 4 votes
Use your leftover pulled pork in this perfect Mexican pulled pork quesadilla recipe! It wows with black beans, chiles, and melty cheese.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins

Servings: 8 quesadillas

Ingredients
  

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

FOR SERVING:

  • Homemade BBQ sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Chopped green onions or cilantro

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • *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.

Nutrition

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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Thanks to its versatility and ease, you can do so much with pork. Here are some of my favorite pork recipes:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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48 Comments

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  1. This was so easy and SO GOOD. Great combination of flavors and it gave our leftover pulled pork new life. Thanks!5 stars

    1. This is exactly what we need. Can’t wait to try them as my pulled pork quesadillas have been lacklustre at the best. Leave it to Erin to figure this out for me.

  2. I made these for lunch and they were delicious and very filling! I had a tomato and some corn that I needed to use, so I threw those in as well and they were a great addition!5 stars

  3. I have been trying to make this recipe ever since you emailed it out and FINALLY got to tonight. It was everything I hopped it would be and more!!
    I’m a southern girl living in the north west and I need ways to get more bbq pork in my life lol We dipped ours in Carolina bbq sauce which was heavenly. Thank you for this amazing recipe! ❤️5 stars

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