Leftover Pulled Pork Tacos
These incredibly easy pulled pork tacos put your leftovers to great use! The perfect way to spruce up taco night.
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These Tacos Are Making Us Rethink Our Primary Use of Pulled Pork
Whenever we cook up a pork butt, we end up with SO many leftovers. And though pulled pork is great on its own—or popped onto a bun—it’s nice to change things up once in a while.
These tacos are a perfect way to do just that. They’re smoky, tangy, sweet, sour, and a little spicy.
And to really balance things out, the crisp fresh toppings cut through the richness of the fatty pork!
Every bite is a treat. You’re going to love these ones, my friend!
What to Put On Pulled Pork Tacos
Specific measurements included in recipe card below
- Leftover pulled pork. Whether your pork was smoked, done in a slow cooker, or an Instant Pot, it’ll work.
- Leftover pulled pork sauce. If you have any of the sauce leftover—whether it be a Carolina vinegar base or a Texas BBQ style—have some on hand for when reheating the pork on the stove. You only need a bit.
- Flour tortillas. I like using the little street taco variation for these, but any flour tortilla goes.
- Salsa. I like to use a nice smooth salsa here, but a pico de gallo will work.
- Sweet onion. White onion is typically used to top the more authentic Mexican tacos. I opted for sweet. You could go either way.
- Corn. Since corn is in season right now, I’m all about using the corn off the cob. It’s so sweet and snappy! But cooked frozen corn will work in the off-season.
- Apple. This is to add a smidgen of sweetness, and well…pork and apples go so well together! It just made sense.
- Red cabbage. Quick-pickled red cabbage brings a nice briny sour note to each bite, and my quick-pickling method for this recipe takes no time at all.
- Hot peppers. Any will work, and use as many or as little as you wish! I used serrano and fresno.
- Queso fresco. This is a great cheese to crumble over pulled pork tacos. Cotija will also work.
- Garnishes. Cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lime juice!
- I like to roughly chop the pulled pork before reheating it. The smaller pieces just sit in the taco better, and it offers up a better bite.
- If you prefer your tortillas heated up and crisped, you can definitely give them a quick run on a hot pan prior to making your tacos. With pulled pork tacos, I prefer a soft pillowy shell.
- Queso fresco has a softer and milder flavor, and it’s just fresher than cotija since cotija is aged. But you can use cotija. A lot of people ask if feta can replace cotija and honestly, no. Keep your feta for your Mediterranean meals! If you’re really in a pinch, use shredded cheddar.
- Fresh salsa is best (this is currently my go-to recipe). If you can’t make your own, opt for a fresh batch from the refrigerated section at the supermarket.
How to Make Pulled Pork Tacos With Leftover Pork
- Before preparing or chopping anything, get your red cabbage in a vinegar soak. Pop the shredded red cabbage into a small bowl and pour in some apple cider vinegar—just enough to cover the cabbage! Then set it aside. Now go prep your ingredients and chop your veggies.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the chopped pulled pork to it and let it heat up. Stir in about 1/4 cup of the sauce you used for your pulled pork and cook the pork just enough for it to heat through—about 5 minutes.
- Place a serving of pork into a tortilla, then top with salsa, apples, onions, corn kernels, hot peppers, crumbled cheese, and finally, the quick-pickled red cabbage.
- Serve the tacos with fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
What to Serve With Pulled Pork Tacos
- Tacos go great with a side of these Honey Lime Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes.
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice is always a fab go-to as well.
- And to wash it all down? A Classic Margarita. Always.
Useful Tools for This Recipe
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Cast iron skillet
- Measuring cups + spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Pot (to boil corn)
Have You Made This Recipe?
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More Must-Try Taco Recipes for Taco Night
- Baked Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
- Shrimp Tacos + Mango Habanero Salsa
- Healthy Breakfast Tacos
- Instant Pot Ground Turkey Tacos
Leftover Pulled Pork Tacos
- 3 cups roughly chopped leftover pulled pork
- 1/4 cup leftover sauce from your original pulled pork (optional) This works well with the usual Carolina vinegar-based sauce or Texas-style BBQ sauce; use your discretion for any other sauces you might have used. I wouldn't suggest using leftovers from an East-Asian inspired pork recipe for these tacos.
- 1/2 cup fresh salsa
- 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup (give or take) Apple cider vinegar, or just enough to cover the cabbage to soak it
- 1/2 cup minced/finely diced sweet onion
- 1/2 cup minced/finely diced apple
- 1/2 cup cooked corn, preferably from the cob during corn season
- 1-2 hot peppers of your choice, thinly sliced or diced Not into spicy? Omit the peppers.
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco, give or take This depends on how much you want to use. Add more if you wish!
- 6 small soft shell flour tortillas
- Fresh cilantro and lime wedges, to serve
Quick-Pickled Red Cabbage:
- This should be your first step before starting anything else. Thinly slice the red cabbage and pop it into a small bowl. Fill the bowl with apple cider vinegar just enough to cover the cabbage; set it aside.
- Cook the corn. If it's on the cob, set it aside to cool when done and carefully carve down the cob to release the kernels; set them aside in a bowl.
- Cut up your peppers, apple, and onion, crumble your cheese, and place everything into little individual serving bowls so folks can build their own tacos.
Leftover Pulled Pork:
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. While it heats, roughly chop your pork into smaller pieces.
- When the pan is hot, bring the heat down just a tad and pop the chopped pulled pork into it. Stir in about 1/4 cup of the sauce you used for your pulled pork (if you have any left, if not, don't worry about it) and cook the pork just enough for it to heat through—about 5 minutes.
- With tongs, transfer a serving of pork into a tortilla, and then top it as you wish. I like mine with all of it! First the salsa, then the apples, onions, corn kernels, hot peppers, crumbled cheese, and the quick-pickled red cabbage.
- Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and lime wedges!