These pulled pork quesadillas are one of my favorite recipes to make with leftover pulled pork. Patty and I will often slow-roast a pork shoulder and make carnitas tacos (check that out next). The carnitas recipe makes more than enough pork for a few meals, so it’s actually a huge bonus to get two totally unique recipes from a single source of protein.
My pulled pork quesadillas are made with layers of roasted peppers and red onions, Monterey jack cheese, seasoned pulled pork, and green onions. They’re cheesy, creamy, and a little smokey thanks to the pork seasoning and seared veggies. All you need are a few sides of sour cream, chunky salsa, and homemade guacamole for a delicious meal or sharable app.
How to Make Quesadillas
Pan Frying Quesadillas
I like to pan-fry my quesadillas folded in half. It makes for the easiest flipping and handling. Start with the largest pan or skillet you have and melt a small pad of butter. Once melted, place a burrito tortilla flat on the pan and arrange toppings on half of the tortilla. Fold over the other half and press down firmly with a spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. The key is to allow the cheese to melt before flipping so the sides adhere and don’t spill out.
If you’re preparing several quesadillas for a crowd, it may make a little more sense to bake/broil them all at once. This eliminates the need for cooking several batches and it’s also a little more hands-off. Spray the bottom side of each tortilla with cooking spray, placing the oil side down on the sheet pan (you can alternatively brush with butter or olive oil).
Place toppings on half of the tortilla and fold over the other half. Bake in a preheated oven at 500°F for 3-4 minutes per side. You can also use the broiler for a crispier finish. Just note, you will only need 1-2 minutes per side! Watch carefully because they burn fast.
Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder
This recipe involves slowly roasting the pork for 4-12 hours depending on the cooking temp and size of the pork. A 3-5 pound boneless, skinless pork shoulder or pork butt is more than enough and will take about 6-8 hours to cook on low cook mode in a slow cooker.
|Weight (lb)||Low Cook||High Cook|
|3-5 lb||6-8 hours||4-6 hours|
|6-8 lb||10-12 hours||6-8 hours|
Note: Shoot for an internal temp of around 200 °F. Pork will be very tender and easily shred at 200 °F. Anything less, 145 °F for example, will be very tough pork.
You’ll Also Love
- BBQ pulled pork sliders
- Pork carnitas tacos
- Carne asada tacos
- Sesame beef tacos
- blackened fish tacos
- Skillet fajitas
- Sheet pan fajitas
Delicious pulled pork quesadillas layered with roasted peppers and onion, Monterey jack cheese, green onions, and seasoned pulled pork.
- 3–4 pound skinless, boneless pork shoulder or butt
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 white onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2–3 cups pulled pork
- 8-ounce bag Monterey jack or cheddar jack cheese
- 3 burrito sized flour tortillas
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for cooking
- 1–2 tablespoons butter, for cooking
- Hot sauce, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream for serving
For the pork
- Remove pork from the packaging and rinse with cool water. Pat dry with a paper towel. If the meat contains the fat cap (firm white fatty layer), see note below on removal.
- Combine paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper (to taste) in a small bowl and mix. Rub pork all over with dry rub. Place in a slow cooker and pour pineapple juice and optional beer over the pork. Add in chopped onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6-8 hours, or high heat setting for 5-6 hours (until the meat easily pulls apart/shreds with two forks). Shoot for an internal temp of 200 °F.
- Remove pork from the slow cooker and place on a large platter. Shred using two forks into small stringy chunks. Season all over with salt and pepper. You can optionally sprinkle with some additional paprika/cumin or taco seasoning of your choosing.
For the quesadillas
- Heat oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Cook the peppers and onions until tender and golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. If you’re using leftover pork, now is a great time to heat it up in the pan.
- Melt a small pad of butter in the same pan. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Place a tortilla flat in the pan and arrange toppings on one half of the tortilla. Start with a thin layer of cheese, then peppers/onions, pork, green onion, and more cheese.
- Fold over the other half of the tortilla and press down firmly with a spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden. Always allow the cheese to melt before flipping so the quesadilla doesn’t fall apart. A large spatula works best.
- Cut into 2 or 4 slices and serve with guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream.
If you’re preparing several quesadillas, it may make a little more sense to bake/broil them all at once. Spray the bottom side of each tortilla with cooking spray, placing the oil side down on the sheet pan (you can alternatively brush with butter or olive oil). Place toppings on half of the tortilla and fold over the other half. Bake on 500°F for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping halfway through. You can also use the broiler for a crispier sear. Just note, you will only need 1-2 minutes per side! Watch carefully to prevent burning.
Removing fat cap: I would recommend using a serrated knife to shave the fat cap off. Pork shoulder contains enough fat to render juicy tender meat. You don’t have to completely remove all fat, but it allows the spices to penetrate the meat.
Internal temp: Shoot for an internal temp of around 200 °F. Pork will be very tender and easily shred at 200 °F. Anything less, 145 °F for example, will be very tough pork.
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