Easy leftover pulled pork tacos recipe (Carnitas)

Easy leftover pulled pork tacos recipe (Carnitas)

Taco night is a regular dinner in my house and these leftover pulled pork tacos aka leftover pork carnitas are a family favorite.

Pulled Pork Tacos on a table top.

It was a trip to Chicago in September of 2014 where I discovered the best tacos I have ever had.

The pulled pork had been slow roasted to perfection…tender and so full of flavor.

Paired with black beans, crumbled queso fresco, pico de gallo and fresh avocado, this delicious meal disappeared quickly.

Perfect to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, this easy recipe fits the bill for a neighborhood Mexican celebration.

What could be better than pulled pork tacos and my Original Margaritas? Maybe you’d prefer my Silver Elderflower Margarita!

What is are carnitas?

Carnitas means braised or roasted pork served shredded in small pieces, often as a filling in tacos, burritos and quesadillas. It is a Mexican dish that 

Carnitas are flavored with a variety of herbs and spices like dried chili pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic, and onion. The pork is slowly simmered until it is fall-apart tender.

How to make leftover pork tacos

Anytime we slow roast pork tenderloin, I make sure we make enough for a quick meal the next night.

The pork seasoning mix also works well to make shredded pulled pork sandwiches for the big game the next day.

When you have lots of leftovers, there is always plenty for Taco Tuesday.

As long as you have your favorite toppings, Mexican night is always a winner!

Make sure you have a selection of soft tacos as well as crispy corn shells for options and picky eaters.

Chop up fresh tomato and avocado and drain a can of black beans.

Serve it with my Jasmine Rice with black beans and cilantro with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

What kind of pork should I use?

I like the lean cut of pork tenderloin but pork butt, pork shoulder or pork loin works for this recipe. 

Just follow your favorite recipe whether it’s made in the over or slow cooker and make sure you purchase a big enough piece so you have plenty of leftover meat.

A bowl of rice with black beans next to pork tacos

While I love crunchy taco shells, my children prefer the softness of flour tortillas. So I make sure I have plenty of choices on hand.

Have you ever tried corn tortillas?

They are just as delicious topped with juicy pork.

This simple recipe also works well served on tortilla chips.

I’ve been known to whip up a big batch of pork nachos on game days.


I root for the Buckeyes and with football season right around the corner, this is the perfect appetizer to feed a crowd.

Just arrange your tortilla chips, top with shredded pork, black beans and add your favorite nacho fix-ins like sour cream and chopped red onions.

What are the best toppings for pork tacos?

Leftover pork as a main ingredient is a great way to build a taco. Here are some of our favorite toppings that please the whole family.

Purple onion

Asian slaw





Black beans

Pico de Gallo

Sour cream or Mexican crema

Peach salsa

What sides can I serve with pork tacos

There are many easy sides that you can serve with pork tacos. Here are some ideas:

  • Rice: This is a classic side dish that goes well with pork tacos. You can make it with white rice, black beans and cilantro.
  • Refried beans: Refried beans are another classic Mexican side dish that pairs well with pork tacos.
  • Guacamole: Guacamole is a great side dish for pork tacos. You can make it with ripe avocados, lime juice, salt, and other seasonings.
  • Salsa: Salsa is another great side dish for pork tacos. You can make it with fresh tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and lime juice.
  • Corn on the cob: Grilled corn on the cob is a delicious side dish that pairs well with pork tacos.
A plate of pulled pork tacos on a platter.

Other delicious recipes using pork





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Easy leftover pulled pork tacos recipe (Carnitas)

Ali Randall
Taco night is a regular dinner in my house and these leftover pulled pork tacos aka leftover pork carnitas are a family favorite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4


For Leftover Pork Tacos

  • Leftover pulled pork
  • Taco shells and tortillas
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • Pico de gallo or diced tomatoes
  • Crumbled queso fresco or your choice of cheese
  • Two avocados, sliced

To make the pork see NOTES below

  • 1 3-pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 McCormick slow cookers BBQ pulled pork seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Place the leftover pork in a baking dish filled with 1/4 cup water covered with foil and warm in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pork from the oven and shred using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the liquid and keep warm in the oven.
  • Fill the warm taco and tortilla shells with the meat mixture and add black beans, pico de gallo, sliced avocado and queso fresco.
  • Store any pork leftovers in an airtight container or freezer bags and refrigerate or freeze for later.


  • To make the pork from scratch, place the raw pork in a glass baking dish. Preheat the oven to 250°F.  In a bowl mix together the seasoning packet, ketchup, vinegar and sugars. Pour the mix over the pork tenderloin and add the half cup water to the bottom of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil tightly and bake for 3 hours.
  • You can usually find queso fresco in the dairy section of your grocery store near the refrigerated tortilla shells.
Keyword Leftover pulled pork tacos recipe
 Pulled Pork Tacos aka Pork Carnitas | www.homeandplate.com | Taco night is a regular dinner in my house and these pulled pork tacos aka pork carnitas are a family favorite.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #homeandplate. I’d love to see what you cook!

13 thoughts on “Easy leftover pulled pork tacos recipe (Carnitas)”

  • I love pulled pork and black beans together. These tacos will be a huge hit at my house for sure.

  • Ali,I love the ‘cook a meat once, use it multiple ways’ method, and do that with a massive pork shoulder (why do they call it a Boston Butt?) when I make Kalua pig. I’ve never thought to use pulled pork in tacos, though. Clever idea! I enjoyed deep dish pizza in Chicago and didn’t enjoy getting my iPhone lifted at the science museum, but missed out on the tacos.Thanks for sharing them!

    • Pulled pork makes for great nachos too. So yummy. Loved Chicago and can’t wait to visit again.

  • I love all the toppings you put on these – the cheese and the avocado and the salsa… for me, tacos are all about the toppings!

  • You’ve just made me VERY hungry! I actually have half a wheel of queso fresco in the fridge, so I’m making these for sure!

  • Mmmmm….those look so good! I love pork carnitas and slow roasted meat which cooks while I’m not looking (and makes the house smell great) is my favorite.

    • Annamarie – The best part about walking in is smelling dinner cooking. This is a great recipe with plenty of leftovers.

  • Beautiful photos and recipe. We love slow cooked pork shoulder at our house and this will be one of the entrees prepared. Thanks.

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