Pulled pork is an easy meal to throw together in the slow cooker or grill. But, what about the leftovers? Here are 25 Leftover Pulled Pork Recipes the entire family will love.
My family loves pulled pork. It’s a staple in our menu because it’s delicious and everyone enjoys eating it. I love making pulled pork because it is a cheap cut of meat and oh so easy to make. And the leftovers? It’s begging to be used again and again!
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The best way to cook pulled pork
When I first started making pulled pork I would use this slow cooker pulled pork recipe. Just put all the ingredients in the crockpot, turn it on and walk away. But after my husband perfected his smoked pulled pork, we have gotten spoiled and prefer our pork on our Big Steel Keg.
Which is better? I guess it all depends on how much time you want to spend. Although grilling your pork yields the best tasting pulled pork I ever had, not everyone has the time to deal with a grill. In that case, nothing beats the slow cooker pulled pork. And of course, you can make it crispy at home by finishing it off in the oven. So many choices!
The best cut of meat for pulled pork
If you are making pulled pork, you have several choices in meat cuts. The most common choice is the pork shoulder. It is the lower part of the pork shoulder and includes part of the front leg quarter. Because it includes part of the leg muscles, this cut needs more time to break down and tenderize.
Another popular cut of meat for pulled pork is a Boston butt. Strange name, but it is from the high part of the pig’s shoulder, above the shoulder blade, and not the actual butt of the pig. It has a lot of marbled fat, making it ideal for the grill and it includes part of the picnic shoulder.
The picnic shoulder, or picnic ham, is a shoulder cut with the shank attached. This cut is cheaper than the other cuts because it requires less work butchering it, and it contains more bone.
Best ingredients to add to pulled pork
Pulled pork is also not a tedious meal because you can add any flavors you want to the sauce while it cooks, or even afterwards. When in a pinch, I go simple with store-bought bbq sauce. But when I’m feeling creative, I make my own sauce and add orange juice, pomegranate concentrate, whiskey or countless other flavorings to make my sauce sing.
When grilling our pork for pulled pork, we use a dry rub – a mix of spices like paprika, chile pepper, brown sugar and garlic powder. I swear no two rubs my husband uses are alike. But each concoction is incredibly smokey and delicious.
Leftover pulled pork recipes
And when you are cooking up a massive pork shoulder roast or pork butt roast, you are blessed with leftovers that taste BETTER the next day. But what can you do with leftover pulled pork?
Think outside the bun, because here it is…
- Mix it in to make leftover pulled pork mac and cheese.
- Crown your baked potato with a scoop or make some leftover pulled pork potato skins.
- Make a batch of pulled pork nachos.
- Try some pulled pork enchiladas or even taquitos.
- Stir some into your next batch of chili.
- Sick of chili? Substitute the ham hocks for pulled pork and make this delicious instant pot cowboy pinto beans (charro beans).
- Top your salad with some bbq goodness, like this chipotle lime carnitas salad.
- Dollop the pork into baby lettuce cups or endive for a gluten-free treat.
- Wrap them in gyoza and make some pulled pork won tons or dumplings.
- Go one-step further and roll them with cabbage or collard greens to make leftover pulled pork egg rolls.
- Want soup? Serve up some delicious spicy pulled pork ramen.
- Or, wrap them in dough to make empañadas.
- Enjoy it for breakfast in a pulled pork sweet potato hash or pulled pork eggs benedict.
- Combine it with queso for a game-day dip.
- Go Cajun and serve it over rice and beans.
- Go Asian and serve it with noodles, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and snap peas.
- Go Asian in a different way an stir it in your fried rice.
- Enjoy it in a savory crêpe.
- Smother leftover pulled pork over your french fries and top with cheese.
- Start your day off right with a pulled pork quiche.
- Stuff it in an Anaheim chile, jalepeño or bell pepper!
- Still eat as a sandwich, but switch out the bread. Try tortillas, lavash, pretzel rolls, focaccia or challah.
- Heard of fried chicken and waffles? Why not pulled pork and waffles!
- Hello – pulled pork pizza!
- Bake it in phyllo, puff pastry or pie crust to make leftover pulled pork hand pies.
- Make a pulled pork cubano sandwich: pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and a dill pickle!
Can I make soup with my pork bones?
When we make pulled pork, sometimes we use a boneless pork shoulder, but other times it’s the bone-in pork shoulder that is on sale. Yes, a bone in roast takes longer to cook than a boneless cut of meat, it does at extra flavor to your pulled pork.
But once the pork is shredded, you are left with a giant bone. Did you know you can make soup with it? I wrote this post all about how to make instant pot bone broth. And one of the bone broths I made was a pork bone broth.
Although bone broth needs more pieces of connective tissue than a pork shoulder has (which is none), you can still make a delicious broth with a pork shoulder bone. If you want more gelatin in your pork bone broth, add some pork neck bones to the mix. A roasted bone gives more flavor than a raw bone, but either can be used to make pork broth.
Need a pulled pork recipe?
I have made so many different versions of pulled pork for my family, and they all have a special place in our heart. However you do end up cooking your pulled pork, I encourage you to mix things up and try something new:
This post was first published in 2011. It has been updated and republished in 2019.