11 Easy Recipes to Make with Leftover Carnitas

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If you have ever cooked a pork carnitas recipe, you know that the delicious shredded pork always brings rave reviews. But after you have served the carnitas, what do you do with the leftovers?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to waste them! There are so many creative recipes for leftover carnitas! From tacos and enchiladas to soups and salads, here are some of my favorite recipes for creative ways to use leftover carnitas that you’ll want to try!

instant pot carnitas on baking sheet

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Recipes for Leftover Carnitas

1. Tacos

Heat carnitas in a skillet and serve in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings. Some great toppings ideas for tacos are diced onions, cilantro, salsa, and lime wedges.

chicken carnitas on flour tortilla

2. Burrito Bowl

Layer cooked carnitas, rice, black beans, salsa, cheese, and lettuce in a bowl. Burrito bowls are so easy, and the whole family can customize their own bowls, which is always a plus if not everyone has the same favorite fresh toppings.

3. Quesadilla

Quesadillas are such great comfort food! The creamy melted cheese and savory carnitas are a mouth-watering combination!

Place carnitas and cheese on a flour tortilla and fold in half. Cook in a greased skillet until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve the quesadilla with sour cream and salsa or your favorite toppings. 

4. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This easy recipe is a great option for a quick meal on busy nights. Especially if you use microwaveable sweet potatoes!

Bake the sweet potatoes and stuff them with the reheated juicy pork carnitas and your favorite toppings. Sour cream, green onions, green chiles, and salsa verde are great topping options.

5. Salad

Top a bed of lettuce with carnitas, black beans, corn, and your favorite salad toppings. Try toppings like red onions, lime juice, or orange juice, and crispy tortilla strips for an easy meal with tons of flavor!

6. Fried Rice

This is one of my favorite ways to use carnitas when I have lots of leftovers. Heat cooked carnitas in a skillet and add cooked rice, eggs, and vegetables. Stir until everything is combined and heated through. 

7. Street Tacos

I already mentioned tacos, but street tacos are different. They are typically smaller, made with corn tortillas, and have fewer toppings.

Normally street tacos are topped with something like pico de gallo and a squeeze of lime and nothing else. To make these pork tacos, heat carnitas in a skillet and serve in small corn tortillas with a squeeze of lime and your favorite toppings.

8. Nachos

This is a great option for leftover carnitas meat. Especially if you don’t have a ton left and you’re making a meal for your whole family. Nachos can be piled high with so many other ingredients, the leftover pulled pork can just be a garnish if you need to make it go a long way.

Place the carnitas, cheese, and black beans on tortilla chips and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Top with your favorite nacho toppings and serve. 

9. Enchiladas

Enchiladas are in my top five favorites of leftover carnitas recipes for me! Place carnitas, cheese, and your favorite enchilada sauce in a tortilla. Roll up and place in a baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and cheese and bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. 

You can easily use the leftover carnitas in place of chicken in this white chicken enchilada recipe.

10. Soup

Soup is a delicious way to use leftover pork carnitas! You can just throw together simple ingredients with your leftover meat mixture for an easy and fast meal! Use carnitas instead of chicken in this chicken tortilla soup recipe.

Heat carnitas, black beans, and vegetables of your choice in a pot with chicken broth. Simmer until vegetables are tender and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the soup with a squeeze of lime.

11. Chili

Instead of white chicken chili, use the leftover pork carnitas to make a big batch of comforting chili. The meat will add even more flavor to this tasty recipe and is a great way to stretch those leftovers.

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  1. Thank you for this article on using leftover Carnitas. I slow cook a shoulder about every two weeks, and ran out of ideas.
    I have a question for you about using the pork as a substitute in the WHITE CHICKEN CHILI recipe which is a Crockpot method which calls for uncooked chicken to cook for 4 hours. Since the Carnitas is already cooked, when do I throw that in?

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