Recipe: Upcycled Leftover Pot Roast Carne Asada Tacos

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Slow-cooked meals are perfect for the cold winter months. Unsurprisingly, this time of year lends itself to simmering vats of chili, crock pots cooking whole chickens and savory pot roasts in the oven all day.

The problem with pot roasts, however, is that there is almost always a large hunk of meat leftover after everyone has stuffed themselves. Depending on how long it has cooked, that meat can be sliced and used to make sandwiches the next day, but if your family spurns obvious leftovers, what can you really do with it?

You can use it to make carne asada tacos!


  • Leftover roast, rested at least 24 hours in the fridge (we assume 1 pound here, adjust spices accordingly for more/less)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers
  • One bundle fresh cilantro (roughly a half cup, loosely packed)
  • The juice of two limes and one orange
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Fresh black peppercorns
  • Salt
  • Soft tortillas, flour or corn
  •  Avocados, onion, sour cream and salsa/pico de gallo for topping the tacos.

Get the roast out of the fridge. In traditional carne asada recipes, the cook will cook a marinated raw steak on a grill and then slice or shred the meat for serving. Because our meat is pre-cooked, we are going to cut it up or tear it up now to let the marinade better penetrate the meat.

Chop the cilantro, garlic cloves and jalapeno peppers and put them in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, orange and lime juices, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the chopped roast, and let it come up to room temperature, about an hour. Alternatively, the roast can be chopped and marinated in the morning and then cooked again for dinner.

Pour the entire mixture into a skillet and heat over medium-low heat. While it’s heating, slice avocados, chop the onions and prepare any other toppings for the tacos. Now is a good time to pop the tortillas into the oven or toaster oven to warm and soften them.

The tacos won’t take that long to cook, and this recipe will tempt even the most notorious leftover-avoider into trying some of this upcycled pot roast. Serve with a fresh salad and Spanish rice. This recipe should provide enough tacos for the average family of four. Enjoy!


For previous delicious Ladybud Magazine recipes, click here.


Photo Credit: Jon Sullivan under public domain via Wikimedia Commons