Make the most of your roast: Ideas with Sunday leftovers

Posted by Ella Buchan on 26 August 2016

Your favourite meal of the week can become the launch pad for a whole host of delicious possibilities.

From filling sandwiches and jazzing up salads to making delicious soups and stews from homemade broth, a roast dinner is one of the most prolific meals when it comes to leftovers.

Here’s our guide to stretching out your roast.


Perhaps the most versatile roast, cooked chicken will keep in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze it, defrosting before use. If you want to reheat it, make sure the meat is piping hot - and only reheat once.

Mix cold roast chicken with grains like couscous or bulgur wheat, chopped fresh herbs and salad for a filling lunch or light supper. 

Make a broth with the bones, onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns and a bay leaf, covering with cold water and simmering for three to four hours. You can also do this in a slow cooker, leaving it to bubble away on low for at least eight hours.

Strain and use as a base for stews, risottos and soups, or freeze in airtight plastic containers for future use.

This creamy white chilli from Euna Mae’s uses both stock and shredded roast chicken.

Roast chicken


Once cooked, roast beef will keep in the fridge for up to three days, stored in an airtight container. Refrigerate within two hours of cooking or freeze in foil or freezer wrap.

Rarer meat is delicious cut into strips and tossed into a stir-fry like this one by Cravings of a Lunatic

Or build the ultimate roast beef sandwich, spreading a baguette with mustard, pesto or crumbled blue cheese and adding spinach, watercress and/or tomatoes.

If the meat is a little dry, simmer with herbs, beef stock and tomato purée to tenderise it. The resulting braised meat works well in sandwiches, tacos and stirred through grainy salads.

Beef with veggies
Cravings of a Lunatic


As with beef, refrigerate roast pork within two hours of cooking and use within three days. It can also be frozen and is best used within two months.

Cubed roast pork can be stirred through rice dishes or added to stews – it’s especially delicious with green lentils.

For a simple supper, brown chunks of pork, add leftover cooked cabbage and toss into pasta with grated parmesan.

Or make this drool-worthy ‘Cubanos’ sandwich by RecipeTin Eats

Pork sandwich
Tin Eats


Roast lamb can be fatty, making it less appealing to nibble straight from the fridge. As with pork and beef, it will keep in a sealed container for up to three days.

Fry until crispy, adding garlic, fresh herbs and lemon juice and use to top salads or grains.

Use in a Moroccan tagine, adding the meat later in the cooking process, or try this rogan josh recipe by Schwartz for Love Food Hate Waste.

Use in place of mince to make a super-tasty shepherd’s pie, shredding the meat with a knife or pulsing in a food processor. Combine with gravy and throw in any leftover veg like carrots and peas. You can even mash up leftover roast potatoes to add texture to the topping.

Shepherd’s pie,
Kevin Lynch via: Closet Cooking

Nut roast

This classic vegetarian alternative will keep for a few days in the fridge and can be frozen wrapped in foil.

Crumble up leftovers and use as a savoury mince to make a veggie Bolognese or cottage pie (throwing in leftover veggies too). Sprinkle on mac ‘n’ cheese for a crunchy topping, stuff into tacos or use as a sandwich filling with cheese and chutney.

This impressive pie by Domestic Gothess could also be made with leftover nut roast.

Nut roast
Domestic Gothess

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