What to do with leftover lamb

Don't let leftover lamb loiter unused at the back of the fridge. Try our recipes and transform the remnants of a Sunday roast or Easter lunch into a delicious new dish.

Two plates of lamb with roti, limes and herbs

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 10 best recipes, plus some handy tips and tricks, to help you 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 for up to two months in the freezer. Make sure it's fully defrosted before using and, if it's been frozen once, don't re-freeze. Reheat until steaming hot throughout – bon appétit.

Our top 10 leftover lamb recipes:

1. Leftover lamb and potato pie

Two bowls of shepherd's pie on a tray

This British staple is a classic for a reason – we reckon 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 ovenproof dish with some leftover gravy. Mix well, top with mash and bake in the oven.

Leftover lamb & potato pie

2. Spiced lamb pilaf 

A plate of lamb pilaf with vegetables

Liven up your Sunday lunch leftovers with our colourful and fragrant one-pot pilaf. The shredded lamb will soak up the flavours of the spices while simmering and fresh herbs provide a finishing burst of freshness. Why not stir up this easy rice dish for a midweek family meal and serve with a drizzle of cooling yogurt.

Spiced lamb pilaf 

3. Shepherd’s pie pasties

Shepherd's pie pasties filled with lamb mince and peas

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

4. Lamb with buckwheat noodles and tomato dressing

Lamb and vegetable stir-fry in a wok

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

Lamb with buckwheat noodles and tomato dressing

5. Lamb, feta & mint salad

Lamb, feta and vegetables on a plate

Fresh, light salads are a quick and delicious way to use up cooked meat, and can be customised to include your favourite flavours. We like to fry up any leftover lamb until the edges go nice and crisp, then drizzle it in pomegranate molasses and toss it through salad leaves. If you have 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, you can skip step two completely.

Lamb, feta & mint salad

6. Lamb kuttu roti

Lamb roti with herbs on a plate

Mix up your standard stir-fry by making this scrumptious Sri Lankan dish in the wok. Leftover lamb shoulder is fried along with spices, shredded rotis, eggs and veggies to create a sizzling supper. Toss everything in a creamy coconut curry sauce and serve with coriander leaves and lime wedges.

Lamb kuttu roti 

7. Spiced lamb and feta gozleme with special tomato sauce

Lamb and feta gozleme strips with pots of 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

8. Turkish lamb pilau

Pot of lamb pilau rice and vegetables

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

Turkish lamb pilau

9. Greek lamb baguette

Lamb, salad and feta baguette halves

It may no longer be the weekend, but you can still brighten up your lunchtimes with this colourful sandwich. Load baguette halves with roast lamb, salty feta and crunchy salad to make a gourmet Greek-style packed lunch that's sure to be the envy of your colleagues.

Greek lamb baguette

10. Harissa lamb & hummus flatbreads

lamb, chopped carrots and hummus on a flatbread

We love 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), it's great sprinkled on reheated leftover lamb. Serve in pitta bread and add all your favourite kebab shop trimmings. If you're feeling inspired, try stirring some harissa through shop-bought hummus, then follow step two of this spicy flatbread recipe.

Harissa lamb & hummus 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.

Find more ways to reinvent your leftovers...

Leftovers recipes
Best leftover ham recipes
How to use up leftover chicken
Top 10 turkey leftover recipes
Leftover bread recipes
Leftover recipes: How to avoid food waste

What's your favourite way to use up leftover lamb? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

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11th Dec, 2016
Usually, leftover lamb becomes a delicious stew. When tired with that, the stew becomes a tasty breakfast hash. After draining, place it in the skillet with butter and lightly cook to dry out a bit then under the broiler to crisp up! The stew veggies are perfect for hash. Serve with some brown sauce and eggs. Any liquid from the drained stew can re-purposed. There are only two people in my household and neither are big eaters so we have to get creative!!!
10th Feb, 2016
What to do with leftover lamb. Try this one. It really works. ITALIAN SAUTÉ OF LAMB Serves 2 Ingredients 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 Method 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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