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Carnitas with Orzo and Peppers in Red Mole Sauce

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour 35 min. Bake: 40 min.
  • Makes
    5 servings


  • 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


  • 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°.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Editor's Note: To use immediately, broil as directed. When cutting hot peppers, disposable gloves are recommended.
Editor's Note
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
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.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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Average Rating:
  • Dawn
    Dec 11, 2020

    This was the biggest fail I have made yet. The pork had zero flavor and it was not good. Will not make again.

  • anselr
    Aug 2, 2020

    Very tasty - will probably make again.

  • curlylis85
    Jul 27, 2020

    We loved the taste of the mole sauce with the pork and pasta and it made for excellent leftovers.

  • mbaulch
    Apr 4, 2015

    For a working family....I'd make it over the w/e and serve later in the week. It was quite tasty.

  • gooch621
    Mar 31, 2015

    No comment left

  • cooker69
    Mar 9, 2015

    very good recipe love mexican food. I also live in Beloit W. Thanks for the good food.