Cooking a whole leg of lamb this Easter? You’re definitely going to have some leftovers.
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Roast Leg of Lamb with Hemp Seed Pesto
Credit: © John Kernick

A leg of lamb is an Easter classic, and a wonderful centerpiece for any kind of fancy dinner in the spring. But it's also a whole lot of lamb, meaning that unless your guests are very hungry, you're bound to have some leftovers. That's OK! Leftovers can be a gift. Roast leg of lamb is a particularly versatile piece of meat. It's subtle gaminess and slightly sweetness lend it to all kinds of flavor profiles. Lamb leftovers can be transformed into a whole range of other meals, from opulent sandwiches to soups to delicious salads. It's always great when one big dinner turns into two or three meals without as much effort. Here are a few ways to do it.

Lamb Rogan Josh

If you have a lot of leftover lamb—something in the range of two pounds—incorporating it into Lamb Rogan Josh, a succulent stew spiced with ginger, garlic, garam masala, Madras curry powder, and other aromatics, is an excellent way to go. All you need to do is skip the initial step that has you brown the lamb, since the lamb will already be cooked. Then proceed with the recipe as written, and serve with naan or basmati rice.

Creamy Potato Soup With Lamb and Lima Beans

This soup takes its flavor from harissa, an excellent chili-pepper based condiment and sauce  used widely Morocco, Tunisia, and other North African countries. Combined with lima beans and potatoes, it's a great soup for early spring, where there's still enough chill in the air to want a soup now and again. Cooked lamb can  be added to a range of soups, stews and chilis, depending on what ingredients you've got and what you most like eating.

Herb-and-Honey-Mustard-Crusted Leg of Lamb
Credit: © John Kernick

Turkish Ground Lamb Pizzas

So many leftovers can be transformed into homemade pizza with a little ingenuity. Though the original version of this recipe calls for cooked ground lamb, bite-sized pieces of cooked roasted lamb could also work well here, particularly combined with the parsley and runny egg these pizzas call for.

Pasta with Abruzzi-Style Lamb Sauce

The great Italian cookbook author Marcella Hazan makes her Abruzzi-Style lamb sauce with lamb shoulder, so leftover leg of lamb would be an easy swap. It calls for half a pound of lamb, so it's a good choice if you have some leftovers, but not enough to make, say, the Lamb Rogan Josh. Heating the cooked lamb in pancetta and rosemary will infuse more flavor into the meat for this richly flavored sauce, paired with penne.

Cumin-Spiced Lamb Tacos

A play on Greek sandwiches that incorporate lamb and pita, these cumin-spiced tacos would also make a great vehicle for leftover roasted lamb. Since your lamb is already cooked, all you need to do is gather tortillas and the toppings like mint, grilled or pickled red onions, avocados, and anything else you'd like to transform Sunday dinner into taco Tuesday.

Warm Lamb Salad With Fresh Herbs, Feta, and Artichokes

Lamb makes a gorgeous addition to a fresh, bright salad, This one requires a cooked leg of lamb and hey, you already have that! Combining the unctuousness of lamb with crisp vegetables and briney feta makes for a salad that's light enough for early spring, but hearty enough to be a main course.