Most pork comes in at a bargain price, and bonus: leftovers from various cuts may need very little finessing to be as marvelous as the first meal.
Here’s your resource for creative ideas to refashion your pork leftovers, excluding Ham, which has its own link at the bottom of the page. Some types of pork, like pork butt or sirloin are easy, other cuts, especially the leaner ones, like pork loin or the odd rib or chop can be more of a challenge to reheat. If tough or dry, simmer it gently with water or stock until you get luscious shreds, then use.
With any leftovers you have, look at them in a new way; as a building block for marvelous meals; as a shortcut, especially for meals that rely on an already cooked ingredient. All you need is the inspiration & maybe a recipe.
Think of the recipes you’ll use as “guides” not something set in stone, especially since the amount you have leftover might not exactly match an amount in a recipe. Once you have a leftover ingredient to start with, scale recipes up or down, substitute and make do.
rule of thumb – in, over & under:
To stretch a small amount of leftover pork (and many times, food made with pork, like pulled pork) serve in, over or under something.
If you’re starting out with something large, like a loin or sirloin roast, or a pork butt, you may have plenty of leftovers to work with. If you’re looking at an odd pork chop, a rib or two, or a bit of pork tenderloin, you’ll need of recipes that use just a small amount of pork.
Here are some ways to get creative, from everyday simple to more of a project. I’m sure barely scratched the surface, but I hope you’ll find some inspiration!
serve leftover pork in something:
There are a few no-brainer ways to refashion your pork. Cook down, add barbecue sauce and make a little pulled pork or add a few spices and a little lime for a carnitas style Mexican pork. Pork is also marvelous in curry – just drop it in at the end to just heat through.
2. hot & sour soup:
One of my fave soups. Rather than cooking pork, just add thin slices of pork roast, chops or ribs for a quick Hot & Sour Soup.
3. taco soup:
This leftover taco soup with pulled pork, Express Taco Soup from Recipe Tin Eats looks mouth-watering! On the table in minutes.
4. burritos or quesadillas:
If you just have a little pork or pulled pork and want a burrito, you’ll probably need to stretch it with veggies, rice or beans. Quesadillas generally use only a bit of meat and might be as simple as pork & cheese or include just about anything you’d like to toss in them.
It doesn’t take a lot of pork to make tamales, and when you use leftover pork, half the work is done. If your pork isn’t already soft and shreddable, simmer until it breaks down) and proceed with the recipe. Gotta love Rick Bayless for anything Mexican.
6. yucatan pork stew:
This Yucatan Pork Stew can be made with the trimmings from your rack of ribs or leftover pork shoulder. Simmer on the stove or use your Instant Pot.
Chimis are always good and can be made so many ways! Here’s my favorite Steak Chimichanga with a Chili Verde Sauce. Just substitute your pork.
8. wontons, egg rolls or wonton cups:
Check out these Leftover Pork Dumplings from Cooking on a Budget. They look mouth-watering.
9. empanadas, calzones & pasties:
Empanadas don’t need a lot of meat. Two cups of leftover roast will do the trick. My Chipotle Pork Empanadas are marvelous. Cornish Pasties can be made with just about any leftover pork – just get creative.
10. fried rice:
Fried Rice seems to be a go to leftover meal for all kinds of bits of this and that. Just use leftover pork chops or roast or maybe a rib or two in any recipe. This Pork Fried Rice is great, but I have to put in a plug for this Drunken Fried Rice, too.
Pozole or posole, a marvelous Southwestern or Mexican soup can be made with leftover pork roast as a shortcut. It’s like eating tamales in a bowl.
12. brunswick stew:
I’ll make extra pulled pork just to have Brunswick Stew. And I’d eat it anytime. Breakfast, Dinner, Supper or a Midnight Snack. Yeah, it’s that good.
leftover pork on something:
There are a few no-brainer ways to refashion your pork. Make a sandwich, add to a grilled cheese or a panini. Here’s a few other ideas:
1. cubano sandwiches:
One of my favorite sandwiches, The Cubano, layers pork, ham and cheese, with the addition of pickles and then is pressed. I have a recipe right on my blog that uses leftover Lechon Asado, but this sandwich will be good with almost any pork.
2. leftover pork & gravy over potatoes:
This was my Mom’s deal. If the gravy’s leftover it saves you a step. If not save the drippings to make a quick gravy. Cube the leftover pork and simmer it in gravy & serve over mashed potatoes.
3. pork & mushroom ragu over polenta:
A couple of country-style ribs were the basis of this marvelous ragu, but the same concept could apply to any leftover pork.
4. fajitas or tacos:
Almost a no brainer! Add any kind of taco or fajita seasoning to a shredded pork or pulled pork. If you don’t have shredded, cook your leftovers with a little water and seasoning until soft enough to shred. Try my Simple Steak Tacos – just use pork, instead.
Yes, Virginia, there is a pork and/or pulled pork pizza! Use thinly sliced pork or pulled pork to make this marvelous pizza with our favorite barbecue sauce and mozzarella.
Make pork enchiladas or better yet, make these Three Cheese Enchiladas topped with a little pulled pork! Talk about the best of both worlds, and it doesn’t take a lot of leftover pulled pork to dress these up.
My recipe for chilaquiles (never heard of them? click over!) is made with shredded chicken, but leftover shredded or pulled pork would be marvelous!!
8. pulled pork stuffed potatoes:
Any pulled pork makes a fantastic filling for a baked or sweet potato. Slice open, add the pork, top with a little cheese and you have a hearty dinner.
9. southwestern bowls:
About any leftover pork can be made up into a bowl, but leftover tenderloin shines when you’d like chunks of tender meat. Add rice, beans, avocado and serve with lime & a favorite salsa.
10. other bowls:
Bowls can be pulled from so many cultures & pork or pulled pork is easily stretched with veggies, grains, rice, noodles and/or beans. These Mongolian Barbecue Noodle Bowls would be marvelous with pulled pork.
leftover pork topped by something:
When I think of leftover pork topped by something, I can’t help but think of shepherd’s and pot pies. Top with mashed potatoes, pie crust, biscuits or puff pastry for a filling option.
1. pork pie:
The Spruce has a recipe for leftover Pork Pot Pie. Doesn’t it look and sound marvelous?
2. pork shepherd’s pie:
I wouldn’t turn down a helping of Shepherd’s Pie made with leftover pork roast, from the Genius Kitchen, either.
3. pork & mushroom pie:
Yet another pie. This one from Delicious Magazine. This is truly an upscale pie. Just use your leftover pork roast, loin or pork chops, cubed and skip the cooking process on the pork.
I hope this gave you some fun ideas for leftover pork! If you’d like to return the favor, I’d love to hear what your favorite leftover recipes are!
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