Leftover Pulled Pork Chili

Stop making boring pulled pork sandwiches and try some pulled pork chili.
leftover pulled pork chili

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Don’t know what to do with your leftover pulled pork? Try this Pulled Pork Chili; meaty, smoky, and full of flavor, the perfect bowl of chili for any occasion.

Generally, when I smoke a pork butt, I end up with leftovers if I’m only cooking for a few people. I love pulled pork as much as the next guy, but it does get old eating pulled pork sandwiches day after day. That’s why I’m always looking for new ways to use the leftovers. 

This is one of my favorites. It’s super easy and can be done in one pot – that’s my kind of meal!

Leftover Pulled Pork Chili

Because the pork has already been smoked, it imparts a nice smokiness and depth of flavor to the chili that cannot be matched by ground beef or chicken.

It’s a great way to switch things up and create a whole new meal completely different from traditional BBQ. 

Ingredients you’ll need

  • 3-4 Pounds pulled pork – recipe here
  • Bell peppers
  • White onions
  • Dry spices – cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika.
  • Beer – 12 oz bottle, like Yuengling or Guinness. 
  • Beans – I used Kidney and White Northern. Feel free to substitute with the type of beans you prefer or leave them out if you don’t like them.
  • Tomato sauce
  • Crushed tomatoes 
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
chopped veges and a bowl of spice on a wooden chopping board
You can use whatever colour bell pepper you prefer, or one of each.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon

Is this chili spicy?

This chili is not too spicy. The only heat you will get comes from chili powder which is mild enough for most people. Both my kids have eaten this without any issues. If you need to balance it out, using sour cream and cheese as toppings always helps. 

If you want to kick the spice level up a notch, add some jalapeños or spices like cayenne. Adjust as you go so you don’t go overboard. 

Build layers of flavor 

You could dump all of the ingredients for the chili into a pot and bring it to a simmer, but you really miss out if you rush.

For me, a great chili is all about building layers of flavor. And yes, you can taste the difference as you build layer by layer, adding in different components of the chili one at a time. 

I start by sauteing the vegetables, then adding spices, beer, pork, tomatoes, and beans. Call me crazy, but each step builds upon the next to make a great chili. 

Can I use a different protein if I don’t have pork? 

This chili would work with just about any protein you choose; beef, chicken, or turkey. 

Depending on how the protein is prepared will also change the outcome of the overall flavor profile of the chili. Smoked or grilled meats are great because of the added depth they provide. 

If you use ground meat, you’ll need to brown it before adding to your chili.

How to make Leftover Pulled Pork Chili 

1. Saute

Place the pot on your stove over medium heat and add olive oil. 

Add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant and slightly brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add in diced onions, bell peppers, and sauté for 10-15 minutes until they soften. 

onions, carrots, peppers and spices in a pot
This is the point where you add extra spice if you want it.

Once the veggies have softened, add all your dry spices, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir everything together until it is well incorporated. 

2. The beer

The darker the beer, the more complex the flavor will be. I used a Yuengling lager, but a stout like Guinness would work well here too.

Add the beer, bring the chili to a simmer, and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure things aren’t burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

leftover pulled pork chili with beer in a pot

3. Add the rest

Add about 3-4 pounds of leftover pulled pork. If you like your chili really meaty, you can always add more pulled pork, and vice versa if you don’t want it as thick. 

Add the remaining ingredients; tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.  

leftover pulled pork chili in a pot midway through cook

I like to let the chili simmer on low heat for at least an hour before serving. This gives it time to develop a really nice, rich flavor. 

leftover pulled pork chili in a pot

Serve the chili over rice, or eat it as is. You can top the chili off with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, corn chips, a dash of hot sauce, or whatever you want! 

Other leftover pulled pork recipes I love

leftover pulled pork chili

Leftover Pulled Pork Chili

A smokey, but not too spicy, comforting bowl of pulled pork chili
4.83 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 916kcal
Author: Jordan Hanger

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs pulled pork
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 2 white onions diced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper ground
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 12 oz beer like Yuengling or Guinness
  • 28 oz tomato sauce
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz Kidney beans drained
  • 15 oz Northern beans drained

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot on medium heat and add olive oil and minced garlic. Saute the garlic until fragrant around 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the onions and bell peppers. Cook until the veggies are all softened.
  • Add all of the seasonings and stir until well combined.
  • Pour in the beer and let everything come to a simmer for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the pulled pork and stir well.
  • Add in tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and beans, stir to combine.
  • Allow the entire pot of chili to simmer on low heat for an hour or more to let the sauce thicken.
  • Serve with the toppings of your choice. I added cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro.

Notes

Beans – Feel free to substitute with the type of beans you prefer or leave them out if you don’t like them.
Spice level – This chili is not too spicy. The only heat you will get comes from the use of chili powder which is mild enough for most people. If you want to kick the spice level up a notch, feel free to add some jalapeños or additional spices like cayenne. Adjust as you go so you don’t go overboard.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 916kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 56g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 3821mg | Potassium: 1593mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 3412IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 324mg | Iron: 11mg
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