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Carnitas with Orzo and Peppers in Red Mole Sauce

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour 35 min. Bake: 40 min.


5 servings

Here's a tasty way to stretch your grocery dollar. Pork shoulder roast is combined with orzo, peppers and mole sauce to make a spicy Mexican comfort food. —Kari Wheaton, South Beloit, Illinois
Carnitas with Orzo and Peppers in Red Mole Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 1 boneless pork shoulder butt roast (1-1/2 to 2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 each medium green, sweet red and yellow peppers, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red mole sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup quesadilla or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Optional: Chopped cilantro and sour cream


  1. Place pork in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake at 325° until tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove pork from oven. Increase oven setting to 350°.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a large skillet, saute peppers and onion in oil until crisp-tender. In a greased 13x9-in. baking pan, combine the orzo, peppers and onion.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk the chicken broth, mole sauce, tomato paste and remaining salt. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Pour over orzo and vegetables. Stir in pork; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake until heated through, 35-40 minutes. Uncover; broil 3-4 in. from the heat until cheese is golden brown, 4-5 minutes. If desired, top with chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream.
  4. FREEZE OPTION: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/3 cups: 559 calories, 26g fat (9g saturated fat), 105mg cholesterol, 1509mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 5g fiber), 37g protein.

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