Taco night is a regular dinner in my house and these leftover pulled pork tacos aka leftover pork carnitas are a family favorite.
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 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.
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.
Pico de Gallo
Sour cream or Mexican crema
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.
Other delicious recipes using pork
Easy leftover pulled pork tacos recipe (Carnitas)
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.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #homeandplate. I’d love to see what you cook!