What to do with leftover lamb

Don't let luscious leftover lamb loiter at the back of the fridge, try our recipes and clever ideas to transform the remnants of an Easter or Sunday roast into a delicious new dish.

What to do with leftover lamb

We've all been there after Sunday lunch - too full to even contemplate dessert (well, for at least an hour), but faced with an abundance of uneaten meat. But there's no need to waste a scrap of a luxury like lamb - we've put together our best recipes, tips and tricks to show your leftovers some love.

Store it safely

Food safety always comes first, so as soon as you've finished eating, cool your meat at room temperature (ideally within 90 minutes) and pop in the fridge. You can safely store cooked lamb for up to three days in the fridge, or in the freezer for 2 months. Make sure that it's fully defrosted before using, and if it's been frozen once, don't re-freeze. Reheat until steaming hot throughout - bon appétit!

Leftover lamb and potato pie

This British staple is a classic for a reason – senior food editor Barney reckons that leftover lamb makes the best shepherd’s pies. ‘Just pulse the cooked meat in a food processor until chopped into small pieces then pour into a large oven proof dish with some leftover gravy. Mix well, top with mash and bake in the oven  - how shepherd's pie should be!’

Leftover lamb & potato pie

Shepherd’s pie pasties

If you’re looking for something a bit more portable than a pie, wrapping your leftovers into a pastry parcel makes a perfect on-the-go meal. Pop in any leftover mashed potatoes and use ready-made puff pastry for an even speedier supper.

Shepherd’s pie pasties


Turkish lamb pilau

Sweeten up nutty basmati rice with cinnamon and dried apricots for an exotic one-pot, bursting with contrasting textures and flavours. To avoid overcooking your meat, keep the lamb to one side until nearly ready to serve, then add during the last five minutes, so it’s warmed through rather than overcooked.

Turkish lamb pilau


Lamb with buckwheat noodles and tomato dressing

If you’re still feeling stuffed the day after an indulgent roast, try this low-fat, low-calorie lunch, which packs an impressive four of your five a day. Using leftover lamb slashes the amount of stir-frying time required – just add to the pan and warm through before tossing in the pre-cooked noodles and vegetables.

Lamb with buckwheat noodles and tomato dressing


Spiced lamb and feta gozleme with special tomato sauce

When’s a pastry not a pastry? When it’s made with bread! This savoury Turkish dish is stuffed with feta cheese, raisins and toasted pine nuts, and served with a tangy tomato dip. Rather than frying the lamb, add your leftover meat to the filling, and stir well before spooning onto the rolled out dough.

Spiced lamb and feta gozleme with special tomato sauce


Lamb, feta & mint salad

Fresh and light, salads are a quick and delicious way to use up cold cooked meat, and can be customised to include your favourite flavours. Food editor Cassie says: 'I like to fry up any leftover lamb until the edges go nice and crispy then drizzle it in pomegranate molasses and toss it through salad leaves.' If you've got some oven chips lurking in the freezer, why not use them up in this summery salad with feta, spinach and mint - as you don't need to cook the lamb, just skip step 2 completely.

Lamb, feta & mint salad

Harissa lamb & houmous flatbreads

Barney loves using slices of lamb in a kebab-style supper: 'If you can get hold of shawarma seasoning (or make your own using a blend of paprika, cumin, allspice, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper and garlic) this is great sprinkled on leftover reheated lamb. Serve in pitta and add all your favourite kebab shop trimmings.' If you're feeling inspired, try stirring some harissa through shop-bought houmous, then follow step 2 of this spicy flatbread recipe.

Harissa lamb & houmous flatbreads

Need a hand purchasing or preparing your lamb? Save some cash with our guide to buying cheap cuts of lamb, or watch our video guides to learn how to prepare a leg of lamb and how to butterfly a leg of lamb.

What's your favourite way to use up leftover lamb? Let us know in the comments below...



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Comments (1)

richking's picture

What to do with leftover lamb.

Try this one. It really works.


Serves 2


300 g (1 lb) cooked lamb, cut into strips
3 large, firm tomatoes
30 ml (4 tbsp) oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tbsp spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
grated zest of 1 lemon

1. Lower the tomatoes into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then remove them with a slotted spoon. Skin them at once and cut them into quarters. Remove the seeds and juice from each quarter with a teaspoon, a small knife, or simply with your finger. Cut the remaining outer shell and membranes of each quarter into thin strips.

2. Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed frying-pan. Add the lamb strips and cook over a high heat until well browned on all sides. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir in half of the finely chopped garlic. Add the tomato strips and continue to cook, stirring continuously, for about 1 minute.

3. Add the thinly sliced spring onions and finely chopped parsley. Toss well over the heat, then sprinkle with the grated lemon zest and the remaining finely chopped garlic. Cover the pan and allow the aromatics to heat through for 3 minutes before serving.

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