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Leftover Pork Carnitas Quesadillas

Perfect for using up those leftover carnitas! Using only 4 ingredients this Carnitas Quesadillas Recipe comes together fast, perfect for lunch or busy weeknights!

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two carnitas quesadillas cut into pieces on a wooden cutting board with garnishes nearby

Using Leftovers to make Carnitas Quesadillas

Carnitas are a great and commonly made meal options for families, they are easy, delicious, and cheap! And more likely than not you will have some leftover!

So today I am sharing a great way to use up those leftover carnitas!

I love being able to stretch out that meal you made, and these quesadillas are the perfect way to do that.

Typically I will make these pork quesadillas for lunch the next day but they work just as perfect for a fast dinner option too!

photo focused on a single carnitas quesadilla sitting in between other pieces on a cutting board.

So first thing is first, you need carnitas! I recommend making my popular Crockpot Carnitas Recipe! It is really simple and makes a large batch!

(Or for extra flavor make my Slow Cooker Chipotle Pineapple Carnitas)

Once you have the Carnitas made these quesadillas take very little effort!

two pieces of carnitas quesadillas stacked on top of each other showing the pork and cheese on the inside

How to make Pork Carnitas Quesadillas

For this recipe you will need:

  • Flour Tortillas: Burrito size is what I use but a regular taco size will work too, you’ll just use less filling
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: I like to grate mine fresh for a block, it melts better that way but you can totally use what you have. You can also use a cheddar blend here like a ‘Taco’ or ‘Mexican’ cheese blend
  • Leftover Carnitas: For two I figure you will need about 1 cup of leftovers but this can definitely be made with more or less than that
  • Fresh Salsa/Pico de Gallo: I think that a fresh salsa tastes best here but you can definitely use a jarred salsa as well, my only advice drain out and extra liquid!

Now you have what you need, now you will have quesadillas ready to eat in no time.

If the carnitas are not already warm you will want to warm them slightly. In a microwave safe container, warm up the carnitas about 2 minutes so they are no longer cold (they will continue to heat on the skillet so they don’t have to be hot).

Warm large skillet over medium heat.

Times for cooking will vary depending on types of skillets used (like a heavy bottomed cast iron vs. thin aluminum skillet) Any type works but just note that some heat up faster than others. (I personally like to use my cast iron for making quesadillas.)

Prep quesadillas by sprinkling cheese evenly over the two torillas. Then add carnitas and salsa overtop the cheese on one half of each tortilla.

Now one at a time add the prepped tortilla to the warm skillet. Cover with a lid and cook 3 to 5 minutes, checking every so often to make sure the bottom of the tortilla isn’t getting too dark or burning.

tortilla in a large skillet with melting cheese, carnitas, and fresh tomato salsa

Once the bottom of the tortilla is brown and crispy and cheese is melted fold the cheese half over top the carnitas half with a spatula and carefully transfer to a cutting board to be cut.

Cook other quesadilla the same way. A note about the second quesadilla. Because the skillet is likely to get hotter as the first one cooks the second quesadilla might take less time to cook.

Cut and serve immediately with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole! You can also personalize each quesadilla if you like, I personally like adding pickled jalapeños to mine!

stack of 3 carnitas quesadillas on a wooden cutting board

Looking for more ideas on what to do with Carnitas? Check these out:

Or if you like Carnitas Quesadillas check out out these other recipes you might like:

two pieces of carnitas quesadillas stacked on top of each other showing the pork and cheese on the inside

Carnitas Quesadilla

Yield: 2 quesadillas
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

Perfect for using up leftover carnitas! Using only 4 ingredients Carnitas Quesadillas comes together fast, perfect for lunch or busy weeknights!

Ingredients

  • 2 flour tortilla, burrito size
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup leftover carnitas
  • 4 tablespoons fresh salsa/pico de gallo, extra liquid drained

Instructions

  1. If the carnitas are not already warm you will want to warm them slightly. In a microwave safe container, warm up the carnitas about 2 minutes so they are no longer cold (they will continue to heat on the skillet so they don’t have to be hot).
  2. Warm large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Prep quesadillas by sprinkling cheese evenly over the two torillas. Then add carnitas and salsa overtop the cheese on one half of each tortilla.
  4. One at a time add the prepped tortillas to the warm skillet, cover with a lid and cook 3 to 5 minutes, checking every so often to make sure the bottom of the tortilla isn't burning.
  5. Once tortilla is brown and crispy and cheese is melted fold the cheese half over top the carnitas half with a spatula and carefully transfer to a cutting board to be cut. Cook other quesadilla the same way. Cut and serve immediately.

Notes

Times for cooking will vary, different skillets (like a heavy bottomed cast iron vs. thin alumimun skillet) will make a difference in how long the quesadilla cooks. (I personally like to use my cast iron for making quesadillas)

A note about the second quesadilla. Because the skillet is likely to get hotter as the first one cooks the second quesadilla is likely to take less time to make.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole! You can also personalize each quesadilla if you like, I personally like adding pickled jalapeños to mine!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 1201mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 20g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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