The Speckled Palate
May 2, 2016

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas are a delicious entree for any Cinco de Mayo get-together! Pork simmers in the slow cooker on low all day, then is sautéed with onion and green chiles. Once the filling is complete, roll it up in tortillas with some pepperjack cheese, slather them in spicy enchilada sauce and bake for this spectacular dish!

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas are a delicious entree for any Cinco de Mayo get-together! Pork simmers in the slow cooker on low all day, then is sautéed with onion and green chiles. Once the filling is complete, roll it up in tortillas with some pepperjack cheese, slather them in spicy enchilada sauce and bake for this spectacular dish!

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I don’t know about y’all, but I cannot believe that it’s May, and that Cinco de Mayo is THIS WEEK!

Also, how are these April showers persisting?

I mean, I’m not going to be the Texan who says she doesn’t like rain. I actually love rain and thunderstorms, and I love that we’ve seen so much of it this last month.

The thing is that they’re just not fun when they startle you awake at 4 a.m. when you haven’t slept well for an entire week because your immune system is limping along because of a freakin’ sinus infection that won’t seem to go away.

Yes, I realize that’s a suuuuuper specific example. Unfortunately, I can confirm that’s what happened this morning.

So while I sip my coffee and brainstorm ways to stay awake this entire day, let’s talk ENCHILADAS.

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas are a delicious entree for any Cinco de Mayo get-together! Pork simmers in the slow cooker on low all day, then is sautŽed with onion and green chiles. Once the filling is complete, roll it up in tortillas with some pepperjack cheese, slather them in spicy enchilada sauce and bake for this spectacular Mexican cuisine-inspired dish!

Did y’all know that carnitas, when translated from Spanish, means “little meats?”

I didn’t.

Upon a cursory Google search, I learned this dish originates from the Mexican state of Michoacán. They’re traditionally made by braising or simmering pork in oil or lard until fall-apart delicious.

These enchiladas? They start with the carnitas base, though this pork is not braised/simmered in oil or lard. However, it is slowly cooked in its own juices and fats.

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas are a delicious entree for any Cinco de Mayo get-together! Pork simmers in the slow cooker on low all day, then is sautéed with onion and green chiles. Once the filling is complete, roll it up in tortillas with some pepperjack cheese, slather them in spicy enchilada sauce and bake for this spectacular Mexican cuisine-inspired dish!

Enchiladas are one of those entrees we absolutely love, but we hardly ever make because they’re more time-consuming than tacos.

The glorious thing about these Pork Carnitas Enchiladas?

You can make them in stages!

Cook the pork in the slow cooker first. Shred. Set aside… for minutes or days. (We actually refrigerated our pork for a day or two before it was enchilada makin’ time.)

Feel free to make the enchilada sauce in advance, too. Freeze it or refrigerate it until it’s enchilada time.

You can even make the enchilada filling and roll them up a day or two before you bake them, covering with plastic wrap in the fridge until it’s go time. You can also freeze the enchiladas, too. (More information on this in the recipe instructions.)

Enchiladas are a little labor of love, but they’re worth the trouble.

And since you can make them in stages, this can be an easy weeknight meal!

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas are a delicious entree for any Cinco de Mayo get-together! Pork simmers in the slow cooker on low all day, then is sautéed with onion and green chiles. Once the filling is complete, roll it up in tortillas with some pepperjack cheese, slather them in spicy enchilada sauce and bake for this spectacular dish!

Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for Pork Carnitas Enchiladas

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas make a delicious entree! Whether you're feeding a crowd for Cinco de Mayo or your family on a weeknight, this pork dish is flavorfuL! #recipe #pork #carnitas #texmex

Would you like to make these gorgeous enchiladas? Here’s how:

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas make a delicious entree! Whether you're feeding a crowd for Cinco de Mayo or your family on a weeknight, this pork dish is flavorfuL! #recipe #pork #carnitas #texmex
5 from 2 votes
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Pork Carnitas Enchiladas

Pork Carnitas Enchiladas are a delicious entree for your Cinco de Mayo get-together! Pork simmers in the slow cooker on low all day. Once the meat is fall-apart tender, it is shredded. Combine it with onion and green chiles in a skillet, brown the ingredients slightly, then roll it up. The enchiladas are slathered in spicy enchilada sauce and baked until crisped on the edges. This entree is best served immediately, though it does freeze well!
Course Entree
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours 25 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 45 minutes
Servings 20 enchiladas
Author Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate

Ingredients

Pork

  • 4.25 lb . bone-in pork shoulder butt roast
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought)

Enchiladas

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 1 green bell pepper , diced
  • 4 oz . can diced green chiles , drained
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 3 cups pulled pork
  • 20 tortillas (corn or flour)
  • 8 oz . pepperjack cheese , shredded
  • Spicy Enchilada Sauce

Instructions

Make the pork

  1. Place the bone-in pork shoulder butt roast in the slow cooker. Season liberally with the taco seasoning.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the pork begins falling apart.
  3. Remove the pork from the slow cooker. Remove any large fat caps. Shred using two forks. Set aside.

Make the enchilada filling

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper and chiles to the pan. Season with the taco seasoning. Sauté until softened.
  3. Add the pork to the skillet with the vegetables.
  4. Cook until the pork crisps up, then remove from the heat.
  5. When the filling has cooled slightly, begin rolling the enchiladas.

Make and bake the enchiladas

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. Dollop 2-3 tablespoons of filling into the tortillas. Carefully roll the enchiladas, and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Repeat until all the filling has been used.
  3. Pour the Spicy Enchilada Sauce over the enchiladas, then transfer them into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Once the enchiladas are slightly crispy on the edges and heated through, serve on individual plates. Enjoy immediately!

Recipe Notes

Total time INCLUDES slow cooker cook time. This is (obviously) NOT all hands on time.

Please note that if your pork shoulder is similar to mine and doesn't have a ton of additional fat that needs tossing, you'll have 2-3 cups left of pork AFTER cooking these enchiladas. You can buy a smaller pork shoulder, but I cannot 100% guarantee it will produce enough pulled pork for these enchiladas.

This recipe is freezer friendly. Freeze any leftover enchiladas (or an entire serving) in an aluminum or ceramic baking dish with the sauce frozen separately. Seal the enchiladas with plastic wrap and foil, and it can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to consume, remove the plastic wrap but leave on the foil and transfer directly to a 350°F oven. Bake covered for 40 minutes, then remove from the oven. While the enchiladas bake, defrost the sauce. Then when they come out of the oven after 40, add the enchilada sauce on top of them. Crank the heat up to 375°F. Bake the enchiladas and sauce uncovered for an additional 15 minutes until cooked through.

Have you ever made enchiladas?

What are your Cinco de Mayo plans?

14 Comments

  1. Julia

    Yuuuuum! I could definitely use a pork enchilada or 4 on Cinco de Mayo…slash every day. These look marvelous! I hope your sinus infection goes away soon, dear!

    • Erin

      Thanks so much, Julia! You can’t beat a good enchilada in my book, and these are perfect for Cinco de Mayo/every day! Here’s to this pesky sinus infection going away soon. It’s still going strong, now 8 days in. :/

  2. Karly

    Cinco De yes, please!! These are sure to be a crowd pleaser at any dinner table! YUM!

  3. Elise

    Oh yum!!! I have a weakness for cheesy Mexican food and these have my mouth watering!!!

  4. Jenna @ A Savory Feast

    Yum! I don’t cook with pork nearly enough, especially Mexican food. This is something I need to try!

  5. Cristina @ I Say Nomato

    Ooooh, i love that you can make them in stages and put them in the fridge or freeze them. They look yummmyyyyy. (And I do love rain, but thunderstorms still make me a little on edge. When we were living in Louisiana last year I thought we were going to float away! No thank you! You guys can keep your torrential downpours down there!)

  6. Abby @ WinsteadWandering

    These look so good! I don’t often cook with pork, just because we usually use chicken, but I LOVE peppers, onions, chiles, and pepperjack cheese. I might have to break out the crockpot this summer for these.

  7. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious

    I love that the pork develops great flavor in the crock pot! Love all the spice too!!

  8. katerina @ diethood.com

    YUM!! These enchiladas look SO delicious!! My family would love these!!

  9. Amanda | The Chunky Chef

    We LOVE pork carnitas, but I’ve never thought to make it into enchilada form… GENIUS!!!

  10. Brandy | Nutmeg Nanny

    These enchiladas look amazing! Wishing I was eating them now!

  11. Jessica | The Novice Chef

    We LOVE Pork Carnitas! But, we’ve never put them in enchiladas! Definitely going to need to try that next time!

  12. Krista

    Enchiladas are a favorite of mine!

  13. Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar

    Wow, these look amazing!!

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