Turn leftover pulled pork into a plate full of incredible Pulled Pork Enchiladas. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo, or an easy weeknight dinner.
It’s time to talk about something serious. Cinco de Mayo. As a Mexican American from central Arizona we love to celebrate this day with all things food. Festive food. I’m talking salsa, guacamole, tacos, taquitos, burritos, fajitas, flautas, machaca, quesadillas, you name it. And of course all of the enchiladas in the world.
And you know who makes the best enchiladas? My mom. And when my mom and our smoked meat get together for a party it’s all sorts of deliciousness happening for dinner. And the last time my mom visited from AZ we happened to have some leftover pulled pork laying around (because who doesn’t?) and decided to put it to good use by making enchiladas with my Mama’s Basic Red Chile Sauce.
But don’t fret. If you’re not up for making the homemade sauce, you can totally buy a store-bought enchilada sauce (that’s what we usually do. Just don’t tell my mom!).
Some people seem to think there’s some secret technique behind making enchiladas, or that it’s some complicated process. Well there’s no secret, and it’s not complicated.
How to make Enchiladas with Leftover Pulled Pork
When making any kind of enchiladas it’s important to keep in mind your corn tortillas. Depending on the tortillas you buy they can easily crack in the process of rolling your enchiladas. This is because they’re pretty dry right out of the package making them easy to tear. This is why it’s helpful to soften them first. And everyone will have their own method of softening the tortillas so that they don’t break.
Growing up my mom used to have a pot of hot oil that she would dip the tortillas in before placing the filling and rolling them. I didn’t love having that excess oil in the dish (though it did make them extra delicious), so we started softening them up in extra warmed enchilada sauce instead. Just make sure the sauce is warmed, this will help the tortillas soften.
- Dip your dry tortilla into the sauce to get it wet all around, then place it on a plate, stuff a couple tablespoons of the filling, and roll them up, just like so.
- Then roll them up with your filling and place inside your baking dish like little soldiers side by side, and top with the remaining sauce and any additional pulled pork and a big handful of shredded cheese.
- Pop that bad boy in the oven until melted and warmed through (around 20 minutes), and you’ve got yourself an enchilada dish for smoked food lovers.
Wine Pairing for Enchiladas
My go-to for enchiladas is usually a fruity and easy drinking red like Malbec or sometimes Carminere. I’m not looking for anything with tannins or too much complexity. Just like one would reach for a Pacifico or Corona with their Mexican-American dish of choice, I’m looking for a simple and refreshing wine for my hearty meal.
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*This post was originally published in April 2017 and was updated January 2022 with new photos and added clarity. The recipe remains the same.*
Smoked Pulled Pork Enchiladas
- 3 ½ cups homemade red chile sauce or one store-bought 28 oz can
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup onion diced
- 3-4 cups leftover smoked pulled pork (3 for the filling 1 for the top, optional)
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese more or less depending on how cheesy you want them
- Cilantro for garnish (about ¼ cup)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat up red chile sauce in a large skillet to get warm.
- Heat a separate large skillet to medium heat and coat with a tablespoon of oil then add onions. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, just to get them started, and then add the pulled pork to heat up. Add about ½ cup of the red chili sauce to the pork mixture and mix together.
- To soften the corn tortillas – take the tortillas, one by one, and dip them into the warm red chile sauce to coat them (see photo above in the post), then place them on a plate. This will help soften the tortillas so they don’t break up when you roll them. It also helps infuse the tortillas with sauce.
- Next, add the pork/onion filling to each tortilla – layer a couple tablespoons of the pork mixture then top with about a tablespoon of cheese. Roll the tortilla and layer the rolls on a 12×8″ baking dish seam side down, in one layer.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas until the dish is packed.
- When the tortillas are all layered, add the remaining 1-cup of pork and remaining red chile sauce to the top. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Garnish with cilantro.