This leftover lamb ragu recipe makes a rich, hearty pasta dish, and is perfect for using up leftover roast lamb.
I am a big fan of using up leftovers in family dinners and this is one of my favorite recipes for leftover roast lamb. It makes the perfect easy mid-week meal if you are lucky enough to have had a roast lamb at the weekend.
If you find yourself often wondering what to do with leftover lamb then hopefully you will try this easy recipe.
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This is not only a great recipe for using up lamb leftovers but it also just uses store cupboard ingredients so is easy to whip up without having to go shopping.
- Olive Oil
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Tomato paste (tomato puree)
- Italian herbs - I just use a plain old jar of Italian herbs out of my store cupboard for this leftover lamb pasta. If you prefer to use fresh herbs, I would recommend some kind of mix of basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano and thyme.
- Black pepper
- Chicken stock - I use homemade bone broth or make up stock using my Thermomix chicken stock paste. However any stock will do - or make your own (see below for more details). Just remember, the better your stock tastes, the better your ragu will be!
- Leftover lamb - My favourite lamb to use for this leftover lamb recipe is a slow roast leg of lamb or lamb shoulder. The meat is softer and breaks up perfectly into the sauce. However, I have also made it with a butterflied lamb from the barbecue and it is equally delicious.
- Pasta - This ragu goes great with lots of different pastas. Probably my favorite would be parpadelle, as I like how the ragu clings to the ribbons of pasta. it is also great with penne or rigatoni, as shown in the photos here, or with linguine, spirals or shells.
- Parmesan Cheese to serve
Optional: You could also add in some red wine or some chilli flakes, depending on your taste preferences.
How to make Leftover Lamb Ragu
Usually to make the best lamb ragu, you would need to cook the sauce for a long time to allow the lamb to soften up. The great thing about using leftover lamb is it is already cooked, so this dish is much quicker.
Even so, don't rush the cooking process when making this dish. Although the lamb is already cooked (for 4-5 hours in the case of a slow roast lamb), you still want to let it soften up in the ragu and absorb all the new flavours.
This is a very easy lamb ragu recipe:
Start by sauteeing the onions and garlic in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Then add in all the remaining ingredients except the lamb.
Let it bubble for 15 minutes for the sauce to thicken. Then add in the leftover meat and let it absorb the flavours and soften - for another 15 to 20 minutes.
And that's it!
Serve the ragu sauce over pasta with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese and some freshly ground black pepper. I like to serve it with a simple salad on the side.
Making lamb stock for Ragu
In this recipe I suggest using chicken stock. I like to use my homemade bone broth as it is super tasty and full of nutrients.
However, any stock will do. If you still have the bones from your leftover lamb leg, then you could make up a stock with it before you start cooking.
Just put it in a large pot with an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, plus any vegetables you happen to have in your fridge (like carrots, bell pepper, celery), and a sprinkling of herbs. Top it up with water and let it boil for as long as you can, but at least 1-2 hours.
FAQs and Top Tips
Leftover roast lamb will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Store in an airtight container.
Yes you can freeze leftover lamb. Put it in an airtight freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months.
Yes you can, so you can make up a big batch of this and freeze it for later (as long as the lamb hasn't previously been frozen). Store in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost slowly in the fridge and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
Love Pasta? You may also like these dishes:
- Pasta Alfredo
- Bolognese Pasta Bake
- Sausage Tomato Pasta
- Creamy Chicken Tomato Pasta
- Pasta alla Norma
- Pasta Bolognese Sauce
- Leftover Chicken Pasta Bake
- Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu
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Leftover Lamb Ragu
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 500 ml / 2 cups chicken stock
- Pinch black pepper to taste
- 500 g leftover roast lamb roughly chopped
- Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan.
- Add onions and salt and fry gently until soft.
- Add garlic and cook a further 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, stock and black pepper.
- Bring to the boil and let it bubble away over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add lamb and cook for a further 15 minutes, until lamb is softened and sauce thickened.
- Serve over pasta and top with parmesan cheese.