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.
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. Whip up a speedy stir-fry, warming curry or use roast lamb pieces to make a comforting pie – with so many ideas, you'll never be stuck for choice. For even more inspiration, check out our collection of leftover lamb recipes.
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) then 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.
Our top 10 leftover lamb recipes:
1. Leftover lamb and potato pie
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.
2. Spiced lamb pilaf
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.
3. Leftover lamb curry
This aromatic curry is perfect for reviving pieces of leftover roast lamb. The flavour of the meat is enhanced by using lamb stock in the curry sauce, combined with zingy ginger, cinnamon and curry paste. Slow cooking the curry will provide a beautiful, fall-apart texture and allow the flavours to meld together. Enjoy with fluffy basmati rice, naan bread and yogurt.
More like this
4. 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.
5. 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 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.
6. Lamb, feta & mint salad
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.
7. Lamb kuttu roti
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.
8. 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.
9. Greek lamb baguette
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.
10. Harissa lamb & hummus flatbreads
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.
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...
What's your favourite way to use up leftover lamb? Leave a comment below...