Leftover Lamb Spring Rolls

What do you do with leftover roasted leg of lamb, Christmas ham or turkey? Or with any other roasted meat, for that matter? Roll it up in filo pastry and call it a Greek spring roll.
20 min
25 min


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 6 scallions trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded leftover roasted lamb
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 20 sheets thin phyllo pastry defrosted and at room temperature
  • Olive oil for brushing the pastry
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the cabbage until wilted. Add the garlic clove and stir together for about a minute. Remove and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the cabbage, chopped scallions, meat, mint, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Add a little olive oil if the mixture is dry.
  3. Depending on the size of the phyllo sheets, either cut in half or thirds lengthwise to get strips that are about 4 inches / 10 cm wide. If you have leftover, wrap it back up in plastic and set aside for another use.
  4. Stack the phyllo on a dry work surface so that it faces you vertically. Take the first sheet, brush with olive oil, and place a second sheet on top. Brush that with oil, too. Place about two scant tablespoons of filling on the bottom of the strip, leaving about an inch / 2 ½ cm border on bottom and sides. Fold up the bottom and fold in the sides to cover the filling, then roll the phyllo up to form a fairly tight cylinder. Dip your fingers in a little cold water and rub along the seam edge to secure close. Set aside, covered with a kitchen towel, on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling. Wrap up any leftover filo and place back in the fridge for another use.
  5. Pour about three inches / 7 ½ cm of vegetable oil into a large, wide pot and heat until just below the smoking point. Place several of the lamb spring rolls at a time in the oil and fry, turning, until golden on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on paper towels. Repeat until done.

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You may also bake the spring rolls. If you choose to do that, brush the tops with a little olive oil and sprinkled with a little cold water. Bake seam side down in a medium-hot oven, about 350 F/ 180 C until golden, about 12 minutes.

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