Leftovers Done Right: Easy Grilled Pork Becomes Next-Level Quesadillas


There’s no doubt about it: Leftovers happen to the best of us. No matter how much you try to portion plan or how much you pile onto your plate, there’s bound to be some extra fixings from dinner from time to time. And when it comes to using up those leftovers, you can simply reheat them and enjoy them as they are, or you can follow the lead of The Kitchen co-hosts and transform them into an all-new dish.

After Marcela Valladolid prepped her smoky-sweet pork tenderloin on Saturday’s all-new episode, Katie Lee put the leftover grilled meat and apricot salsa to work in a cheesy quesadilla, guaranteeing the leftovers will be anything but boring the next day. Check out both of the dishes below to see how they’re made.

Dish #1: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Serrano Salsa

It’s all about the balance of sweet and savory in Marcela’s hearty tenderloin. After marinating the pork in a mix of honey, balsamic and a pinch of ancho chile powder, she grills the meat until it’s tender, then serves it with a no-cook apricot salsa studded with a spicy serrano pepper and cool lime juice.

Follow Marcela’s lead and let the meat rest for about 10 minutes after grilling it; that will give the juices time to be absorbed back into the meat so they don’t run out when you slice into the tenderloin.

Dish #2: Pork, Black Bean and Apricot Quesadilla

With the main elements of Katie’s quick-fix quesadilla already prepped from Marcela’s recipe (above), it’s all about letting them shine in new ways. Katie chops a bit of the pork to feature inside her cheese-and-bean quesadillas, which she builds with flour tortillas. After griddling the quesadillas, round them out with toppings like tangy sour cream, rich avocado and the leftover apricot salsa from Marcela’s pork for a bold punch of sweet heat.

Tune in to The Kitchen on Saturdays at 11a|10c.