Leftover lamb recipes: make the most of this amazing meat

These leftover lamb recipes will help you vary your diet and reduce food waste

Leftover lamb recipes: lamb bhuna
(Image credit: Getty)

These leftover lamb recipes are an easy way to introduce some yummy, spicy and flavoursome dishes into your repertoire while maximising the potential of your roast lamb. Whether you have leftovers from a roast leg of lamb, or you cooked too many chops for a big family dinner, these recipes will help you enjoy your lamb in new ways. 

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1. Slow cooker lamb tagine

slow cooker lamb tagine

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Because not that many people own an actual tagine, this slow cooker lamb recipe is a great way to achieve the fruity-spicy tagine flavour and utilise the leftovers from any cut of lamb. 

To make this dish for two, you will need:

  • Leftover lamb, at least 300 grams
  • One tin of chickpeas
  • One large carrot, chopped
  • One brown onion, finely chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic, whole and peeled
  • Dried apricots, 25 grams
  • Dates, 25 grams
  • Ras el hanout seasoning, two teaspoons
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin, 1/2 teaspoon
  • One tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Chicken or vegetable stock, 500 ml
  • Pomegranate seeds and flaked almonds, to garnish
  • Couscous, cooked, 200 grams


1. In a large frying pan, begin by gently frying the onion and garlic; add the drained chickpeas, carrot, and spices. 

2. Chop or shred the leftover lamb meat into small pieces, add to the frying pan with the fruit. Add the tinned tomato. Coat the lamb in the mixture for about five minutes, take off the heat. 

3. Tip the contents into your slow cooker, add the stock. Cook on high for 30-40 minutes. 

4. Serve with the couscous and garnished with pomegranates and almonds. 

2. Leftover lamb curry

leftover lamb bhuna

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We'll be honest here and admit that our leftover lamb bhuna recipe isn't the most authentic, because we use a shop bought bhuna spice mix. If you are a real curry enthusiast, you can make a more authentic curry by buying whole spices and dry-frying and then grinding them into a powder. For this easier version of the leftover lamb bhuna for two, you will need:

  • Leftotver lamb, 500 grams
  • One large brown onion, roughly chopped
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato paste, a squirt
  • Three large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Fresh ginger, a thumbful, sliced
  • Bhuna spice mix, two teaspoons 
  • Cardamom pods, two
  • 1 medium-hot red chilli, chopped
  • Rapeseed oil, three tablespoons
  • Salt, to taste


1. In a deep frying pan or casserole, warm the oil and add the tomato paste and spice mix; mix well together. 

2. Add the onion, garlic, and cardamom pods, and fry for a few minutes until the onion has softened. 

3. Add the ginger, tinned tomato, chilli and the lamb, and fry for five to ten minutes. 

4. Add 250ml water and let simmer for about 30 minutes. If the curry is too watery, extend the simmering time by another 10 minutes.

5. Serve with basmati rice and garnish with fresh coriander, if you like.

3. Lamb ragu pasta

lamb ragu pasta

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This pasta dish is the perfect Monday night supper that requires very little effort. To make enough for two, you will need:

  • Leftover lamb, 250-300 grams
  • One carrot, diced
  • A celery stick, diced
  • A small onion, finely chopped
  • A garlic clove, peeled
  • Chopped tomato, half a tin
  • Lamb or chicken stock, 350ml
  • Olive or rapeseed oil, two tablespoons
  • Bay leaves, two
  • Feta cheese, 100 grams, to serve
  • Pasta, preferably pappardelle or spaghetti, 300 grams


1. Warm the oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onion until soft but not coloured.

2. Add the garlic, carrot and celery and fry for five minutes.

3. Add the lamb and chopped tomato and fry for a further five minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.

4. Cover with the hot stock and tuck in the bay leaves. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes without covering the pan with a lid. Turn off the heat when the sauce has thickened.

5. Drain and serve the pasta. Ladle out the ragu and crumble the feta on top. 

4. Leftover lamb meatballs with pitta breads

leftover lamb meatballs

(Image credit: Getty)

This is a great way to have your leftover lamb for lunch the next day. To make enough for two, you will need:

  • Lamb leftovers, 200 grams
  • One large egg
  • Boiled potatoes, two large ones
  • One red onion, chopped
  • One garlic clove, peeled
  • Oregano, 20 grams
  • Fresh parsley, 20 grams
  • Sage leaves, 20 grams
  • Two tablespoons grated cheddar or parmesan
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Breadcrumbs, 150 grams


1. Combine all the ingredients except the breadcrumbs in a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth paste.

2. Shape the meatballs and roll them in the breadcrumbs until thinly coated. 

3. Place the meatballs in an oven proof dish and drizzle with oil. Bake for 10 minutes on gas mark 4. Turn them over and bake for another 10 minutes. They should brown but not char.

4. Serve with warm pitta breads, fresh vegetables, and tzatziki. 

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