Cheesy on the inside and crispy on the outside, Leftover Pork Quesadillas are the perfect solution for busy day dinner. Start with leftover pork chops, tenderloin or roast, then add in more flavor by tossing in sausage, peppers, onions, seasonings – and, of course, lots of cheese. You’ll have a mouthwatering dish that you’ll make over and over again, like I do!
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Left Over Pork Chop Recipe
- What to do with Leftover Pork Chops
- Leftover Pork Chop Quesadillas Ingredients
- How To Make This Leftover Pork Chop Recipe
- Quesadilla Variations
- Serving Suggestions
- FAQ Leftover Pork Chops
- More Favorites from A Well-Seasoned Kitchen
- Leftover Pork Chop Quesadillas
Why You’ll Love This Left Over Pork Chop Recipe
Here are a few reasons why I know you’re going to love these quesadillas:
- Flavor. Meaty sausage, pungent onion, sweet peppers and Mexican seasoning perfectly compliment the pork flavor and result in a well-balanced dish bursting with flavor.
- Texture. The combination of cheesy and crispy textures creates a delightful eating experience.
- Ease of preparation. These quesadillas are a convenient and quick dinner option, perfect for busy days. Using leftover pork chops saves time – and reduces food waste!
- Versatility. You can customize the fillings to your and your family’s tastes, or to what you hace on hand.
- Reduces food waste. These quesadillas are a creative and flavorful way to repurpose leftover pork chops into a new and exciting dish!
What to do with Leftover Pork Chops
One night when my husband Robert and I were camping in our Airstream trailer, I created these super quick and easy Leftover Pork Quesadillas for dinner. We had arrived late at our campsite (just outside Cincinnati – read about our traveling adventures on that trip here) and didn’t finish setting up until after 7 pm, so I wanted a meal that I could quickly create with leftovers. And, we had just had pork chops the night before. So, quesadillas seemed like the perfect idea. Crispy on the outside, full of flavor on the inside, these Leftover Quesadillas will be your new go-to for easily and creatively using up leftovers.
Leftover Pork Chop Quesadillas Ingredients
Here’s what I put in these pork quesadillas. Note that this recipe is extremely flexible; you can use just about any leftover protein – pork, steak, chicken, shrimp, etc. I’ve even used chopped vegetables.
- Olive or vegetable oil
- Yellow or red onion
- Green, red or orange bell pepper
- Mexican seasoning
- Cooked pork loin chops (can also use leftover pork tenderloin or pork roast)
- Cooked breakfast turkey sausages
- Flour tortillas
- Sharp Cheddar cheese
- Tomato-Mango Salsa (or purchased salsa), for garnish
- Additional optional garnishes: sour cream, nonfat yogurt, chopped avocado, chopped cilantro.
Can This Recipe be Made with Leftover Pork Tenderloin or Leftover Pork Roast?
Yes, this recipe can be made with any type of leftover cooked pork – or any leftover protein for that matter!
How To Make This Leftover Pork Chop Recipe
These quesadillas are so quick and easy to prepare, you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes:
- Prep onions and peppers.
Peel, cut off root end and slice 1/2 a large yellow onion into 1/4-inch wide slices. (Can also use red onion.) Cut the top and bottom off of 1/2 a large green or red bell pepper. Remove the core and seeds, then slice into 1/4-inch wide slices.
- Cook onions and peppers.
In a large, flat bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add sliced onion and bell pepper; sprinkle with a coating of Mexican seasoning and cook, stirring frequently, until soft.
- Add pork and sausage.
Stir in chopped cooked pork and turkey sausage and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stuff quesadillas – first layer of cheese.
Place tortillas side by side on a cutting board. Sprinkle 1/4 of cheese on half of each tortilla.
- Add pork-onion mixture.
Spoon pork filling on top of cheese, dividing evenly between the 2 tortillas.
- Add second layer of cheese.
Sprinkle remaining Cheddar cheese on top of filling.
- Fold tortillas; cook.
Fold tortillas in half around filling; brush one side with oil. Reheat the same large skillet (no need to clean it out) over medium heat. Add stuffed tortillas, oiled side down and side-by-side in the pan. Cook until until lightly browned on the bottom, around 3 to 4 minutes. Flip tortillas over and continue cooking until lightly browned on the other side, around another 3 to 4 minutes
- Slice and serve.
Cut each tortilla in half or thirds and serve.
Here are some suggested variations you can try:
- Make them more Southwestern. Spice things up with some diced jalapeños, green chilies, black beans, corn kernels, diced tomatoes, black beans, and/or cilantro.
- Make them Mediterranean. Along with the leftover pork, use feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs such as basil. parsley, and/or oregano.
Feel free to get creative with your own favorite ingredients. Quesadillas are incredibly versatile, and you can customize them to suit your tastes. You can use just about any leftovers in this recipe – pork, steak, chicken, shrimp – even chopped vegetables!
I recommend serving these quesadillas with some or all of these garnishes:
- Tomato-Mango Salsa (or purchased salsa)
- Sour cream
- Nonfat Greek yogurt
- Chopped ripe avocado
- Chopped cilantro
FAQ Leftover Pork Chops
It’s easiest to shred pork when it’s freshly cooked, or warm. So, with chilled leftover pork chops, you have a few choices:
– Chop into 1-inch pieces, place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a few times until shredded.
– Or, place chops in a skillet with around 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or broth, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the chops are warmed through. Remove from heat. Use to forks to shred the meat: insert forks into middle of a chop (with backs of forks touching) and pull the forks in opposite directions. The meat should fall apart into shreds. If it doesn’t easily come apart, cut the chop into smaller pieces and try again.
Refrigerated cooked pork will last three to four days, according to the USDA.
Refrigerated cooked pork will last three to four days, according to the USDA. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
If your leftover pork chops are dry and/or tough, chop and reheat on low in a few tablespoons of chicken broth for around 10 minutes. Then add to onion-pepper mixture (per recipe instructions).
- 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided use
- 1/3 large yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green, red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Mexican seasoning
- 2 cooked pork loin chops (around 1/2-inch thick), chopped
- 2 cooked small breakfast turkey sausages (like Jimmy Dean), chopped
- 2 8-inch flour tortillas
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided use
- Tomato-Mango Salsa (or purchased salsa), for garnish
- Additional optional garnishes: sour cream, nonfat yogurt, chopped avocado, chopped cilantro
- In a large, flat bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
- Add sliced onion and bell pepper; sprinkle with a coating of Mexican seasoning and cook, stirring frequently, until soft.
- Stir in chopped cooked pork and turkey sausage and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place tortillas side by side on a cutting board. Sprinkle 1/4 of cheese on half of each tortilla.
- Spoon pork filling on top of cheese, dividing evenly between the 2 tortillas.
- Sprinkle remaining Cheddar cheese on top of filling.
- Fold tortillas in half around filling, and brush one side of tortillas with oil.
- Reheat the same large skillet (no need to clean it out) over medium heat. Add stuffed tortillas, oiled side down and side-by-side in the pan. Cook until until lightly browned on the bottom, around 3 to 4 minutes. Flip tortillas over and continue cooking until lightly browned on the other side, around another 3 to 4 minutes..
- Cut each quesadilla into wedges (3 or 4 wedges per quesadilla) and serve with any or all of the recommended garnishes.
- Category: main dish, leftovers, quick and easy
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Southwestern
- Serving Size: 1 quesadilla (excl. toppings)
- Calories: 680
- Sugar: 2.6 g
- Sodium: 1071.9 mg
- Fat: 41.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 11.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 34.8 g
- Fiber: 1.3 g
- Protein: 40.4 g
- Cholesterol: 113.7 mg
Keywords: pork, leftovers, quick and easy