Shredded Beef Carnitas Quesadillas

Made in the crockpot, simmered for hours, seasoned with spices, citrus and beer.  Hello, carnitas!  I think I've again been successful in convincing Ryan he should stick around a little while longer...

One thing that most don't know is that my Mom and I are famous for our quesadillas.  Since high school, my friends have requested these after late nights, long days at school or just because, and I've been requesting them from my Mom since I could speak.  She likes to use smoked chicken which is absolutely to die for, and once she snuck duck in there without telling me (devastating).

So enter shredded beef carnitas quesadillas.  YUM

Carnitas are traditionally pork, but since I'm not the biggest pork kinda gal, I went with beef.  Once the beef was done and shredded, I threw it in with cheese to make a quesadilla and voila!  Delicious.

Shredded Beef Carnitas

I served these with two sides that have literally nothing to do with each other, however I highly recommend making this whole menu because the tastes went together so if I was at a summer BBQ.  Fried Okra and Peanut & Wasabi Broccoli-Slaw paired these Shredded Beef Carnitas Quesadillas.  Instead of salsa as a side to the quesadillas, these were amazing with BBQ sauce.  Picture this as a super thin burger and you'll understand.  This quesadilla is definitely not mexican traditional tonight!  Tex-mex maybe?  Regardless, it was delish and I have leftover beef for the week!  The possibilities are endless!

Carnita Quesadilla

Beef Carnitas
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 2 lbs beef cubes, most of the fat trimmed off
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bottle of pale ale
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 orange
  • about 1 C chicken broth
  1. In a bowl, combine salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika, then rub each piece of beef in the mixture. Let that sit for 20 minutes in the crockpot.
  2. Set the crockpot to high, and pour in ale, broth, orange juice and orange zest. Mix well, then cover and let cook for 6-8 hours.
  3. Shred the beef and use in tacos, sandwiches, name it!


Lauren Collins

I'm a health coach and plant-based recipe creator from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In a few short words, I love to cook, eat, travel, play around with food photography and most of all, I love to help people live healthier and happier lives. A lot of the recipes you see here are adapted from my Mom, or from just throwing a few ingredients together until something magical happens.

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