Pulled Pork Enchiladas in Salsa Verde
Tender, melt-in-your-mouth slow-cooked pork, spicy chile sauce-dipped tortillas, and melty cheese combine forces in this amazingly delicious recipe for Pulled Pork Enchiladas.
I can’t get enough of them, and I have a feeling you’ll have the same reaction! Best of all, this simple pork enchiladas verdes recipe is made with just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients and about 30 minutes of active time.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
No need to buy canned green enchilada sauce – these green pork enchiladas are made with a simple cooked salsa verde (green salsa) made of tomatillos, jalapeños, serranos, and cilantro. While I grow all of the ingredients in my garden, they are readily available at the grocery store any time of year. The sauce is made by simmering the ingredients together, blending, and then cooking it briefly. You’ll be done in just 20 minutes.
The Mexican pulled pork is even easier to make. Simply add the meat to your slow cooker, pour in a beer and toss in a bay leaf, then set it and forget it while the crockpot does its magic. The tender pork and zesty salsa verde make for a lovely combination.
Assembling the enchiladas is an equally simple task. The corn tortillas are lightly fried, dipped in the sauce, and stuffed with slow-cooked pulled pork, chopped onions, and shredded cheese then topped with more sauce and sprinkled with queso fresco. You don’t even have to bake them!
These pork enchiladas are very different from the green chile enchiladas my mom makes by blending roasted long green chile and whey. Her sauce is creamy, rich, spicy, and delicious, whereas these enchiladas are tangy, light, and zesty.
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, this recipe for shredded pork enchiladas requires only simple, easy-to-find ingredients. Here’s your shopping list:
- Boneless on Bone-In Pork Shoulder Roast – Also known as pork butt or Boston butt, this is an inexpensive cut that has the perfect amount of fat. If pork is off the table, consider swapping in a lamb shoulder or brisket, or even pulled chicken or turkey.
- Bay Leaf – It’s incredible how much flavor a single leaf can give a whole roast!
- Beer – No need to splurge on anything fancy here; a simple, light beer like Pacifico will work great.
- Tomatillos – Try to find tomatillos where the husk covers the entire fruit, and the fruit is pretty firm.
- Garlic – Fresh is always best, but feel free to use 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove.
- Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers – Either green pepper will work for this salsa verde recipe, but serranos will pack more heat.
- Onion – white of yellow onion will work when making enchiladas.
- Cilantro – An essential component of true salsa verde, but not great for all you super-tasters out there. Feel free to swap in parsley if needed.
- Olive Oil – No need to get anything fancy out!
- Neutral Oil – Vegetable, corn, canola, peanut, or grapeseed oil will all do the trick. Just make sure it’s neutral in flavor and has a high smoke point.
- Corn Tortillas – I prefer white corn tortillas for enchiladas, but yellow corn tortillas will do.
- Shredded Muenster Cheese – I love how smooth, mild, and perfectly melty Muenster is, but feel free to swap in Jack cheese or queso quesadilla here.
- Queso Fresco – Traditional Mexican enchiladas are always topped with a dusting of salty, crumbly queso fresco. Feel free to swap in more Muenster to avoid an extra purchase.
How To Make Pulled Pork Enchiladas
You’ll flip over how easy it is to make these easy salsa verde pulled pork enchiladas at home. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Prepare Pork. Place the pork shoulder and bay leaf in a slow cooker; pour the beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 8 hours. Discard the bay leaf. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, salt to taste, and shred the meat. Set aside for assembly.
Step 2: Make Salsa Verde. Boil tomatillos, garlic, and peppers in water to cover for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the tomatillos, garlic, and peppers to a blender using a slotted spoon. Add the onion and cilantro. Purée until smooth. Add salt to taste.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Pour in the blended sauce and simmer till thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
Step 3: Fry Tortillas. In a large skillet, heat canola oil until hot. Fry tortillas until softened. Drain on paper towels. Place lightly fried tortillas, one at a time, in the skillet of warm sauce, turning to coat.
Step 4: Assemble & Enjoy. Place a coated tortilla on a serving plate. On one half place some pulled pork, diced onion, and shredded cheese and fold in half. Drizzle warm salsa verde over enchiladas and top with queso fresco.
These pork enchiladas verdes are a delight, not only because they taste great, but also because they’re so simple to make! That said, there’s always room for customization. Here are some of my favorite variations:
- Trade out the pork for another shredded meat. Chicken tinga, pulled brisket, or carnitas are all great options. You can also make vegetarian enchiladas verdes by skipping the meat.
- Turn it into a pork enchilada casserole. Use the method for making these Stacked Red Enchiladas (Enchiladas Rojas) to turn this meal into a cozy casserole.
- Swap in red chile sauce. I love the tangy, zesty flavor of salsa verde, but these pulled pork tacos can also be made with my spicy red chile sauce if you prefer.
Making enchiladas at home is a quick and easy way to get a nutritious dinner on the table in a jiffy. I make them ALL THE TIME, so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way:
- Cut down on prep time by using store-bought rotisserie chicken. Did you forget to prep your slow cooker pulled pork this morning? All is not lost. Simply buy a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat to use in these enchiladas verdes.
- Shred your own cheese. While buying bagged, shredded cheese might seem like a simple way to cut down on prep, I don’t recommend it. Pre-shredded cheese gets coated in starch to keep it from clumping together in the bag, and the starch makes it so it doesn’t melt properly.
- Don’t skip frying the tortillas. Some “easy” enchiladas recipes say you don’t need to fry the tortillas. I say NONSENSE! Frying the tortillas not only helps to make them more pliable and delicious, but also helps to create a barrier so the sauce doesn’t make them soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course! Who doesn’t love classic cheese enchiladas? Simply fill the tortillas with cheese and onion (if using). You can also “beef” them up (pun not intended) with some delicious roasted bell peppers or protein-packed black beans. Try my black bean and rice enchiladas or shrimp enchiladas for a pescatarian option.
I do not recommend making enchiladas with flour tortillas because they get soggy and gummy when dipped in enchilada sauce. Stick with white corn tortillas, I promise they’ll turn out better for it.
As far as toppings go, the sky is the limit! We love chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream, even queso fresco. Top with anything and everything your heart desires.
In terms of side dishes to round out your meal, try: Frijoles de la olla, refried beans, Arroz Mexicano, or cilantro lime rice. And don’t forget a margarita to wash it all down!
More Enchiladas Recipes
If you tried my simple recipe for Pulled Pork Enchiladas with Salsa Verde, please let me know how it turned out by rating and reviewing it below. You can also tag me in your social media posts so I can cheer you on!
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Pulled Pork Enchiladas in Salsa Verde
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, (or 3 1/2 pounds bone-in)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can, 12 ounces beer
- salt to taste
- ½ cup canola oil, for frying
- corn tortillas, preferably white
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- shredded Muenster cheese
- crumbled queso fresco
- Place the pork shoulder and bay leaf in a slow cooker; pour the beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 5 to 8 hours.
- Discard the bay leaf. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, salt to taste, and shred the meat. Set aside for assembly.
- Boil tomatillos, garlic, and peppers in water to cover for about 10 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon transfer the tomatillos, garlic, and peppers to a blender. Add the onion and cilantro. Purée until smooth. Add salt to taste.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Pour in blended sauce carefully to avoid too much splatter and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer till thickened for about 6 to 8 minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat canola oil until hot. Fry tortillas until softened. Drain on paper towels. Place lightly fried tortillas, one at a time, in the skillet of warm sauce, turning to coat.
- Place a coated tortilla on a serving plate. On one half place some pulled pork, diced onion, and shredded cheese and fold in half. Drizzle warm salsa verde over enchiladas and top with queso fresco.
- For the pork: You can make pork ahead of time or use any leftover turkey or chicken you have in the fridge, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or you can make your own shredded chicken at home.
- For the enchilada sauce: I highly recommend making your own using this easy green enchilada sauce recipe or this authentic red enchilada sauce recipe. If you’re short on time, you can use your favorite store-bought sauce.
- To store enchiladas, assemble and place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Or refrigerate sauce and meat separately and assemble as needed.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: November 2014