A tender, juicy leg of lamb makes a great classic Sunday dinner, and it’s also the roast of choice for Easter and Passover celebrations. A perfectly-cooked leg of lamb is slow-roasted and well-browned, with succulent meat that falls away from the bone. There’s always plenty of meat for the whole family, and unless your family is very big or very hungry, there’s also likely to be some leftovers when the meal is finished.
But there’s no need to let all that tasty meat go to waste. There are so many great lamb recipes out there that are ideal for using up leftovers and different enough that you won’t feel like you’re eating the same thing all over again. Lamb is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, so if you enjoy the flavours of these countries you’re likely to be spoilt for choice. Read on for just a few of our favourite leftover lamb recipes.
Lamb Stew: the ultimate hearty stew from Delish, this rich, flavourful dish is packed with lamb and chunky vegetables, all cooked in a savoury beef broth flavoured with herbs, spices and a dash of red wine. Use a big chunk of crusty bread to mop up all that delicious sauce.
Spicy Mexican Lamb Stew: we love this lamb stew with a spicy Mexican twist from Easy Peasy Foodie. While lamb isn’t an ingredient traditionally associated with Mexican cuisine, many popular Mexican flavours, such as cumin, chilli and coriander also taste great with lamb, which is why this dish works so well.
Moroccan Lamb Tagine: a classic Moroccan-inspired recipe from Delish, this wonderfully fragrant lamb dish is richly spiced with the perfect blend of savoury and sweet flavours and served with dried apricots on a bed of fluffy couscous.
Leftover Lamb and Potato Pie: the ultimate leftover-friendly dish from BBC Good Food, this twist on a classic shepherd’s pie uses leftover lamb, leftover potatoes, and you can even add a little leftover gravy if you have any. All you have to add is a sprinkle of breadcrumbs, herbs and cheese for the perfect, fuss-free midweek meal.
Leftover Lamb Ragù: this wonderfully flavourful and satisfying Italian dish by Easy Peasy Foodie uses simple, bold flavours to really bring out the best in your lamb. The meat is cooked in a soffritto of aromatic vegetables, with added lamb stock and passata to make a rich ragù sauce. Serve with fresh pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Moussaka: this classic Greek and Middle Eastern dish by Easy Peasy Foodie is a real crowd pleaser. Made from irresistible layers of lamb and tomato sauce and grilled aubergines with a creamy cheese topping.
Shepherd’s Pie Pasties: there aren’t many ways to improve on a traditional shepherd’s pie, but these delicious pasties from BBC Good Food are the exception that proves the rule. Wrap your leftover lamb and potatoes in a golden pastry parcel for a portable shepherd’s pie that’s perfect for lunch on the go.
Lamb, Feta and Mint Salad: the lighter way to enjoy leftover lamb, this simple, summery lunch dish from BBC Good Food is ready in just 20 minutes.
Lamb Meatball Pitas: these gourmet pitas from Little Kitchen Big World are great as a hearty lunch or a light dinner. Stuffed with spicy meatballs, garlic and lemon potato wedges, and topped with a creamy, minty tzatziki sauce, this is the ultimate wrap for fans of Middle Eastern flavour.
Lamb Stuffed Eggplant: this Persian-inspired recipe from Unicorns in the Kitchen combines classic Persian flavours like eggplant, lamb, walnuts and pomegranate molasses for a simple, flavourful dish that embodies everything that’s best in Persian cuisine.
Turkish Lamb Pilau: this wonderfully fragrant one-pot rice dish from BBC Good Food is full of flavours and textures, with nutty basmati rice, sweet dried apricots and cinnamon, fresh mint and tender lamb.
Leftover Lamb Curry: this super simple lamb curry from Fuss Free Flavours is the perfect week-night supper, made with just a handful of ingredients, and ready in less than 30 minutes. A little leftover meat goes a long way, but if you find you don’t have enough, you can add some tinned chickpeas or butternut squash.
Lamb Roast Biryani: this biryani from Kids Eat by Shanai is another flavourful rice dish, cooked with nutritious broth, ghee and spices for a mouthwatering family meal.
Harissa lamb & hummus flatbreads: this simple flatbread from BBC Good Food uses the classic combination of lamb, hummus and harissa for a lightly-spiced Middle Eastern-inspired supper.
Lamb paella: if you’ve never considered trying Welsh-Spanish fusion cooking, you’re in for a treat. All those classic paella flavours - smoked paprika, saffron, chilli and garlic - are a perfect match for lamb, too, and this simple 40 minute recipe from Easy Peasy Foodie blends them both to perfection.
How to store lamb
The main thing to remember when storing cooked lamb is to avoid having it at room temperature for too long, as bacteria thrive at these temperatures. It should be chilled as soon as possible, ideally within two hours, and kept cold until you’re ready to reheat it.
Cooked lamb doesn’t react well to freezing. The freezing process can cause it to oxidise, which will affect the flavour, and any water in the meat will form ice crystals, which can rupture the fibres and make the meat dry once defrosted.
Instead, store your leftovers in the refrigerator, either in a shallow, airtight container, or wrapped tightly with aluminium foil or plastic wrap to avoid contamination with other foods. You should never store cooked meat with raw meat.
Stored in this way, leftover lamb will last for up to two days. You should be able to tell if it’s still good by smell and appearance - any meat that appears slimy, or has a sour smell should be discarded. Finally, when reheating leftover lamb, make sure it reaches at least 160°C or 70°C to kill any bacteria.
With so many delicious meals to choose from, you could find yourself wishing you had more leftovers to use up. If you’re hungry for more, you can find even more lamb recipes here.