Skip to content

Six ways to use up leftover lamb

Tender, succulent and a universal sign of spring, there’s a reason lamb is the traditional centrepiece for Easter lunch. Yet 7,000 tonnes of lamb that could have been eaten are thrown away every year in the UK, with over half of this being down to people cooking more than they needed. This adds up to an enormous cost of £80m a year*! Read on to learn how to store and freeze lamb, and for some new ideas to help use it up.

  1. Plan ahead

    Consider how many people you’re cooking for and plan accordingly. As an average, a serving of boneless lamb meat should be about 150g each, or 275g for bone-in meat – so a 1.5kg joint would serve 4 with about 400g of leftovers. Try stuffing a leg of lamb with peppery watercress or roasting with hasselback potatoes. If you’re intimidated by cooking a whole joint, try succulent lamb shanks instead. These slow-cooked lamb shanks with roasted root vegetables are cooked gently for 4 hours until meltingly tender.

    Plan ahead
  2. Store it right

    Let leftover cooked meat cool, then place in a sealed bag or container and chill in the fridge as soon as possible for up to two days, or freeze for up to three months. When you use the leftovers in a new meal they can be frozen again, but only reheated once.

    Store it right
  3. Lamb for less

    If you’re cooking for fewer people, buy smaller cuts of meat to avoid having large amounts of leftovers from a whole roast. This restaurant-style roast rack of lamb with shallot sauce is a classy dinner for two, with juicy meat and a rich, buttery sauce. Cooking individual lamb chops is also an easy way to judge how much meat you’ll need and minimise waste. Try roasted lamb chops with a garlic herb crumb for an easy spring lunch for a crowd.

    Lamb for less
  4. Speedy sandwich

    Always try to use up leftovers as soon as possible, so that they don’t dry out and become tough in the fridge. Leave to cool, then transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate. Turn the remainders of a Sunday roast into Monday’s lunch by adding leftover meat to easy sandwiches and salads. For a quick leftover lamb pitta, stuff a hot griddled pitta with lamb, freshly grated carrot and cool tzatziki for an easy 10-minute meal.

    Speedy sandwich
  5. Make friends with the freezer

    Once cool, leftover lamb can be frozen for up to 3 months. Divide into portions, wrap well in clingfilm and foil to prevent freezer burn, and label clearly with the date. Defrost in a microwave or overnight in the fridge. Once defrosted, do not refreeze. Use it up in a warming leftover lamb ragu topped with creamy ricotta.

    Make friends with the freezer
  6. Crisp croquettes

    Crisp, golden croquettes are the ultimate way to combine multiple leftovers from a roast dinner. Using up lamb, spare veg and mashed or roast potatoes, these clear out your fridge in the best possible way. Follow our simple step-by-step recipe to learn how and serve with plenty of easy homemade mint sauce for dipping.

    Crisp croquettes
  7. Quick dinner

    Transform classic roast leftovers into this fragrant leftover lamb, ginger and broccoli stir-fry. With fresh ginger, chilli and sweet chilli sauce, this takes just 10 minutes to toss together and gives leftovers a boost – you can easily swap in any veg and spices you have to hand.

    Quick dinner

    WRAP in association with: