Pulled pork enchiladas is a hearty Mexican enchilada casserole. Make this recipe for a dinner of perfectly tender carnitas enchiladas!
After you’ve spent the time to make an authentic carnitas recipe, you’ll need lots of ideas for using that amazing pulled pork. This enchilada casserole is just one delicious way to use leftover carnitas meat.
If you’re a fan of pulled pork, cheesy casseroles and delicious Mexican food in general, then pulled pork enchiladas is a dish that will be perfect for you!
Pulled pork enchiladas
I make this dish often, not only because when I make carnitas I have a LOT of leftover meat, but also because enchiladas freeze beautifully. Casseroles like this are great to have on hand for unexpected guests, or to give to friends who are in need of a meal. Like, to new parents, a family with someone in the hospital, etc.
3 cooking options for carnitas
I have 3 ways for you to make the pulled pork, so use whichever method works best for you.
My authentic carnitas recipe starts on a stovetop, and finishes cooking in the oven. That recipe takes about 3 hours to make.
The quickest way is making pressure cooker carnitas in an Instant Pot. Making the pork in a pressure cooker only takes 90 minutes!
The most hands-off method is making slow cooker pulled pork. That’s a set it and forget it recipe, perfect for busy people. Making those carnitas takes 6 hours on high heat, or 10 hours on low.
Carnitas enchiladas recipe video
The pulled pork enchiladas are simple to assemble. If there’s anything people sometimes have trouble with, it’s rolling the enchiladas.
I’ll walk you through how to roll enchiladas below, but watch the video in the recipe card to see it in action.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Pulled pork – This is a Mexican casserole recipe, but if you’re really in a pinch and don’t want to use carnitas meat, you could shred any type of pork, like smoked pork shoulder.
Other meat options: Don’t feel like pork? No problem! Use shredded barbacoa or chicken. Sometimes I use rotisserie chicken when I make green chicken enchiladas and it still has authentic Mexican flavor.
If you’d like to use ground beef, I highly recommend making this beef enchilada casserole. It’s probably the simplest enchilada casserole ever, because there’s no rolling involved; everything is layered into the casserole dish.
The best cut of pork to use for pulled pork is a boneless shoulder roast, also known as pork butt, or Boston butt. A bone-in roast will also work, but requires a longer cook time.
- Enchilada sauce – I like enchilada sauce so much, I have 3 different recipes for it.
My favorite version is authentic enchilada sauce, but it does take quite a while to make because the vegetables are roasted. The flavor is amazing, though!
If you’re short on time, make my recipe for quick red enchilada sauce, or use your favorite brand of store-bought enchilada sauce.
Although traditional pulled pork enchiladas are made with red sauce, you can certainly make them with green enchilada sauce.
- Rice – Not everyone likes rice in their enchiladas, but to me, it’s the easiest way to have an all-in-one meal! You’ll need to have the rice cooked before assembling the enchilada casserole though. If you’d like to make the dish without rice, that’s fine too.
Assembling pulled pork enchiladas
- Make the pulled pork carnitas, enchilada sauce, and rice. All of these components can be made up to 5 days in advance, and longer if you freeze them.
- Make the filling.
Pretty self explanatory; just mixing the filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Roll the enchiladas.
Once you know how to roll enchiladas, this dish becomes quick and easy. Rolling is the hardest part, but there is a method to making sure your carnitas enchiladas stay together.
- Warm the tortillas. Warm tortillas are much easier to roll than cold ones. You can fry each side in a skillet for about 30 seconds, or heat the entire batch at once using the microwave or oven.
- Place filling down the center of each tortilla, being sure not to overfill them. You only need 1/3 cup of filling for each pork enchilada. Any more than that and the tortillas will likely tear.
- Wrap the sides of the tortilla toward the center. Roll one end of the tortilla all the way over the filling and tuck it in. Roll that section all the way to the other end of the enchilada.
Assembly and recipe notes
- Avoid sticking – Start by placing some enchilada sauce into the bottom of your casserole dish. This helps prevent the tortillas from sticking.
- Like saucy enchiladas? Feel free to use extra enchilada sauce on top. Another option that some recipes call for is to dip the tortillas into enchilada sauce before rolling them up.
- Cover the pan until the final 15 minutes of cook time. I find this to be the best method for super cheesy topped enchiladas. Otherwise, the cheese will either stick to the foil as it melts, or if you don’t cover the pork enchiladas, the cheese will burn.
- Cool the casserole before freezing. This is really important, because you don’t want to freeze the carnitas enchiladas until the filling is cool. Otherwise, you’ll end up with ice crystals forming inside of your tortillas. They’ll still be edible, but freezer-burned food lacks flavor… no bueno.
As written, this recipe yields 12-14 carnitas enchiladas, or 6-7 servings of 2 pulled pork enchiladas each. Because rice and pinto beans are in the filling, you really don’t have to serve anything else with this meal. This is just another reason to love it.
If you’d like to serve a complete Mexican-themed dinner, make some horchata and serve churros with chocolate sauce for dessert! Enjoy. 🙂
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This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking July 18, 2013, was last updated with new content on Dec. 28, 2021.
Carnitas Pulled Pork Enchiladas + Video
- 4 lb carnitas (See Note 1)
- 15 oz pinto beans drained
- 2 cups cooked rice (See Note 2)
- 7 oz can chopped green chiles
- 1 cup Cotija cheese part skim milk cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion (1 medium onion)
- 12 flour tortillas (or corn or wheat tortillas)
- 28 oz red enchilada sauce (See Note 3)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- cilantro leaves chopped
- queso fresco crumbled
- cotija cheese crumbled
- Preheat oven to 400˚F
- Grease the inner bottom and sides of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or oil. Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce evenly across the bottom and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pulled pork, beans, cooked rice, green chiles, cheeses and onion.
- Evenly distribute the filling between 12-14 tortillas, placing it in the center of each. Roll them up (watch my video for helpful tips and instructions) and place them side by side over the enchilada sauce in the dish.
- Top rolled enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce and distribute 2 cups of cheese evenly over the top.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to avoid the cheese from sticking. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and place enchilada casserole back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and enchiladas are heated through. Remove from oven and allow enchiladas to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- Use my recipe for authentic carnitas, or use other cooked pulled pork.
- 1 cup of uncooked white rice yields 2 cups of cooked white rice.
- Either my red enchilada sauce or store-bought red enchilada sauce may be used.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
These were delicious! I used green enchilada sauce instead of red because that was what I had. Thank you for a great recipe!
So happy you enjoyed this one Paula!
Thanks Kevin, really appreciate the true touch of a cook.
Thank you so much for giving this one a try!
Thanks Kevin. Really appreciate it
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed this one.