13 Ways to Use Pulled Pork Leftovers When You're Sick of BBQ Sandwiches

Pulled Pork


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Pulled Pork

Cookout Conundrum

Forget giant zucchini and overflowing baskets of tomatoes — mountains of leftover pulled pork are the real bumper crop of summer. Pork shoulder is just about the perfect meat to prepare for a crowd since it's cheap, easy to make, and everyone loves it. Considering it seems practically impossible to make less than eight pounds at a time, there are always going to be leftovers. But when everyone is picnicked out and sick of buns and barbecue sauce, how to repurpose it can be a real chore. 

This summer when you find yourself with a dozen servings of shredded pork in your fridge and no plans for it, here are some creative ways to use it up so it doesn't end up in the trash.

Food Photos - Various Entrees, Appetizers, Deserts, Etc.

Pulled Pork Nachos

Nachos are one of those things that everyone loves, but sometimes you don't think to make it at home. Leftover pulled pork makes it a super quick meal that's great for weeknights because there's no real cooking involved, just a quick trip in the oven to melt the cheese. This recipe includes canned black beans and barbecue sauce, but you can top your nachos however you like, including leaving off barbecue sauce and going straight for salsa and guacamole instead. 

Recipe: Tastes Better From Scratch

Tater Tot Nachos
Jestin Korsgaard/istockphoto

Memphis BBQ Pork Totchos

If you're looking for something even more over the top than nachos, how about some totchos? They're just like nachos, but instead of melting everything on top of tortilla chips, you load up tater tots instead. It's decadent, filling, and a fun treat. 

Bonus: This recipe makes use of any leftover coleslaw you might have from your pulled pork feast, as well.

Recipe: All Recipes

Close-up of a homemade Cuban sandwich on a wooden board

Chef John's Cuban Sandwiches

You don't have to use Cuban roast pork in Cubanos because leftover pulled pork is just as good. All you have to do is layer it with sliced deli ham, sliced pickles, Swiss cheese, and plenty of mustard, then press it while the outside of the bread gets toasty and crunchy. Cuban bread is the best of course, but supermarket French bread will suffice if you don't live in Southern Florida.

Recipe: All Recipes

Shepherd's Pie

Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie

We'll forgive this recipe for using the name "shepherd's pie" when there's no lamb involved because it's so delicious. Pulled pork, frozen veggies, and barbecue sauce are topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. The result is a filling and comforting casserole that'll make you forget you're eating leftovers at all.

Recipe: The Black Peppercorn

Related: Delicious Savory Pies From Around The World

Fried Eggs and Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Pulled Pork Hash

Pulled pork for breakfast? You bet. It's great in any kind of skillet, omelet, or scramble you like, but it's especially good in this hash with sweet potatoes and eggs. While this one's pretty simple with only onions, you can add peppers, mushrooms, cheese, or anything else leftover in your fridge. Cracking the eggs directly into the hash is an ingenious way to add eggs without dirtying another pan.

Recipe: Babaganosh

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Indonesia instant fried noodle with toppings sesame seeds and peanuts.
Radianti Umasangaji /istockphoto

Pork and Peanut Dragon Noodles

Stir fried noodles are a great way to use up leftover pulled pork, and this popular Dragon Noodle recipe is a good place to start. It uses cheap ramen noodles (minus the seasoning) mixed with a three-ingredient savory, spicy, and sweet sauce. Just skip the ground pork the recipe calls for and use your pulled pork in place of it. Feel free to bulk it up with bell peppers, broccoli, bok choy, or a fried egg on top. 

Recipe: Budget Bytes

Chili With Beans

Leftover Pulled Pork Chili

A meat-heavy dish like chili is a great way to use up a ton of leftover pulled pork. This recipe calls for four pounds of the stuff, but you can easily cut the recipe in half. Besides swapping beef for pork, it's got all the other classic chili flavors from onions, peppers, cumin, and beer. If your leftover pork has been smoked, that's all the better since it'll infuse the chili with that smokiness as well.

Recipe: Smoked BBQ Source

Related: Chili Casserole and Other Creative and Unexpected Chili Recipes

Fried Rice with Fried Spiced Ham

Leftover Pork Fried Rice

Anything can go into fried rice, including pulled pork, and no matter what you put into it, everyone loves it. This recipe includes eggs, carrots, ginger, and green onions along with your leftover meat. Make the rice up to a couple days ahead of time — you actually want the grains to dry out and get less sticky for perfect fried rice.

Recipe: Chef Donna at Home

Banh mi sandwich. Classic Japanese Vietnamese or Thai cuisine favorite. Variety of sandwiches made w/ beef broths, rice noodles, pork, chicken, tofu, scallions, mushrooms, cilantro, peanuts, bean sprouts, eggs, peanut & chili pepper sauce.

Pork Banh Mi

Banh mi are Vietnamese sandwiches, and they're a great way to change things up after you've had enough barbecue sauce. The tart pickled vegetables, refreshing cilantro and cucumber, and rich, spicy mayonnaise all perfectly complement the pork. Though the recipe calls for roasted pork, your pulled pork will work just as well. 

Recipe: All Recipes

Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew with Pork and Chicken

Brunswick stew is a Southern specialty that's a great way to use up leftover barbecued meats, including pork and chicken. It's got a brothy tomato base that's seasoned with garlic, onions, worcestershire, and sometimes even barbecue sauce. Lima beans and corn are traditional ingredients, as are the handfuls of pulled pork you'll put into it. Feel free to skip the chicken and just double down on pork if you have tons of leftovers.

Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Quesadilla with sauces

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

We all know we can throw leftover pulled pork into a taco and call it a day, but taking a little extra time to turn it into a hot, gooey quesadilla is so much better. This recipe is still really simple: just mix the pork with black beans, onions, cilantro, and canned diced chiles, then assemble the quesadillas with plenty of cheese in the pan. Make sure to get them nice and crisp on the outside, and then dip in salsa, guac, sour cream, or even barbecue sauce. 

Recipe: Well Plated By Erin


30 Minute Posole

Using pre-cooked pork in Mexican posole cuts the cooking time down while still giving it a rich, meaty flavor. While this quick recipe uses chili powder, if you have dried chiles at home, go ahead and soak them in hot water, then puree them before adding to the soup as well. Don't skimp on the fresh toppings like lime, cilantro, and even onions and shredded cabbage.

Recipe: Budget Bytes

Bucatini alla ciociara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leftover Pulled Pork Ragu

Shredded pork really incorporates well with a thick tomato-based pasta sauce. Red wine, carrot, celery, and onions add depth of flavor to a sauce that tastes like it cooked a lot longer than 40 minutes. The recipe calls for bucatini, but you can use any shape of pasta you like. 

Recipe: Inside the Rustic Kitchen