Melty cheese. Shredded carnitas. Buttery tortillas. These Slow Cooker Carnitas Quesadillas make for one heck of a tasty meal!
Laura is a quesadilla champion. No, she doesn’t hold the world record for quesadilla eating or anything like that. (That record apparently belongs to Sonya Thomas, a professional eater who downed 31.5 4″ cheese quesadillas in 5 minutes. Now you know!) Nope, Laura is the champion quesadilla maker around our house. I’ve been making quesadillas for years, and honestly they’re delicious. Tortilla + cheese + optional toppings. Nice and easy, right? Well, Laura stepped in and improved the simple quesadilla…and now I kinda want to eat one every night for dinner. Is that allowed?
As I’ve noted before, we often have all sorts of leftovers hanging out in our fridge. And we discovered long ago that tacos and quesadillas are an excellent way to use up leftovers. Got an extra grilled pork chop? Dice it up and put it in a ‘dilla. Leftover rice pilaf? It actually goes great as a base for tacos. Extra smoked brisket? ‘dilla time!
Quesadillas can be anything from absurdly simple to masterpieces with layers of flavors. We make Robbie quesadillas in the microwave using American cheese. #TrueStory I’m not proud of that one, but it’s something our picky little eater will actually eat…when he’s in the mood. We’ve tried making legit quesadillas for Robbie, but he just turns his nose up at ’em. “No dilla. No.” That’s fine. It just means we’ll save the legit quesadillas (like these Slow Cooker Carnitas Quesadillas) for after the little man goes to sleep.
Since we make quesadillas at least once a week around here, I figured it was high time to actually share some tips on making delicious ‘dillas.
- For starters, use one large flour tortilla instead of two smaller ones. Just fold the large one over halfmoon-style. It’ll make flipping that quesadilla SO much easier. Yes, I have indeed tried flipping quesadillas only to lose half of the fillings. Not fun.
- Don’t add too many fillings. See comment above. Too many fillings means the whole thing will fall apart when you flip it. I know it’s tempting, but less is more in this case!
- Use salted butter (or unsalted butter with a sprinkle of salt) to grease the pan. Trust me on this one. The salted butter flavor on the outside of the quesadilla is insanely delicious. We’ve gotten to where Laura tells me which side of the quesadilla has the salty, buttery topping…because that’s the side I want to touch my tongue first! Yes, those are actual conversations that happen in our house.
- Use Oaxaca cheese. Ever heard of Oaxaca? It’s a Mexican-style cheese that’s similar to mozzarella, and it’s perfect for shredding into quesadillas. Do we always keep Oaxaca around here? Nope. But it’s a special quesadilla day when we happen to have some in the fridge! Oh, and Oaxaca comes rolled up in a rope that you unwind. Kinda cool, huh?
For these Slow Cooker Carnitas Quesadillas, I kept it fairly simple. The pork shoulder slow cooks while you are at work or running around doing a zillion other things. Then you just shred that pork into carnitas, and you’ve got the base for some delicious Slow Cooker Carnitas Quesadillas. I used Oaxaca cheese (because I actually planned ahead to make these ‘dillas), and then I added some corn and red bell peppers for a bit of a flavor and texture boost. Oh, I almost forgot! The most important thing about making quesadillas?
- Cook ’em low and slow. Sure, I can boost the heat on the stove and really melt that cheese quickly…but my tortilla will get burnt in the process. Low and slow is the way to go when it comes to quesadillas. Seriously. We cook ’em for 6-7 minutes per side. The cheese and filling gets all nice and melty while the tortilla stays perfectly browned.
If you’re looking for a nice and easy dinner, these Slow Cooker Carnitas Quesadillas are the answer! They’re packed with flavor and require very little prep work. Enjoy, friends!