Best Homemade Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Gyros 2 sm_edited

Last week I posted my recipes for Greek Tzatziki Sauce and Greek Seasoning Blend.  Now it’s time to combine those two recipes to make a third one!  One that you’re going to fall in l.o.v.e. with!

Growing up in Germany, there were Gyros and Döner Kebab shops and stands everywhere.  I loved them as a kid and I love them still.  Juicy, tender meat that is highly seasoned with flavors that are out of this world, folded in either pita, flat bread, or a wedge of thick Turkish bread.  Next were the crisp veggies that added flavor, texture and color.  And then finally was the crowning touch – the tzatziki sauce.

For someone who loves to cook, trying to replicate favorite dishes is a welcomed adventure.  Granted, I don’t own one those super neato rotating gyros/doner spits that slowly cooks the seasoned meat to perfection, but I’ve nonetheless developed a recipe that is so mouth-wateringly good, you’re going to want to make it again and again.  I’ve been making these gyros ever since moving to the U.S. a few years ago and they’ve been a hit wherever I’ve served them.  You can use chicken, lamb, pork or beef – all will turn out wonderfully.  And these gyros make great leftovers.  Just keep the veggies, meat, and tzatziki sauce stored in airtight containers in the fridge and enjoy them for lunch the next day.

What really makes these gyros sing is the homemade Greek seasoning used in them.  Several years ago I spent some time trying to develop the perfect all-purpose Greek seasoning, experimenting with ingredients and ratios, and I finally cracked it.  Here is that recipe for Homemade Greek Seasoning.   It’s an excellent blend to use in any recipe that calls for Greek seasoning.

Homemade Greek Seasoning Blend

There is both overlap and differences between gyros and kebabs – this recipe is a bit of a blend of the two.  I call them gyros because that name is more common here.

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Okay, let’s get started on that gyros recipe!

Thinly slice the chicken (or pork, lamb, beef, whatever you’re using.  Note, the chicken will be more drier than other meats because of the lower fat content – which just gives you an excuse to load up on more of that luscious tzatziki sauce!)

Gyros prep 1

Thinly slice the onions.

Gyros prep 2

Prepare the secret Greek seasoning!  See instructions here.

Gyros prep 3

Season the meat with the Greek Seasoning and let stand for at least 15 minutes.

Gyros prep 4

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the meat until browned.  Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  If the meat is too dry add some more olive oil.  Add more Greek Seasoning to taste.

Gyros prep 5 Gyros prep 7

Prepare the Tzatziki Sauce (ideally you will have done this ahead of time as it needs to sit in the fridge for at least an hour).

See Recipe for Homemade Tzatziki Sauce here.

Gyros tzatziki 1

To assemble, scoop about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture onto a pita or flabread, add some chopped red cabbage, tomatoes and onions, and spoon over some tzatziki sauce.

Greek Gyros Doner Kebab Recipe

For an added touch of flavor and authenticity, sprinkle a bit of sumac powder over the finished gyros.  It can be found online.

Best Homemade Gyros

Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You might want to double the recipe, because you're going to want leftovers for lunch the next day - guaranteed! Make extra Greek Seasoning as well - it's fantastic with any other recipe that calls for it.
:
Cuisine: Greek
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs chicken breast, pork, lamb or beef, cut into thin strips (note: the chicken will be drier than other meats because of the low fat content)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Daring Gourmet Greek Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
  • Toppings: Finely shredded red cabbage, thinly sliced onions, chopped tomatoes
  • 8 whole wheat pitas of flatbreads (2 each)
  • Daring Gourmet Tzatziki Sauce
  • Dried Sumac for sprinkling on top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add the Greek Seasoning to the meat, toss to combine, and let marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken strips and cook until golden brown on all sides. Add the sliced onions and continue to saute until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more olive oil. Add more Greek Seasoning to taste.
  3. Wrap the pitas/flatbreads in aluminum foil and warm them in the oven.
  4. Spread ¼ cup of the chicken mixture on each pita and top with red cabbage, onions, tomatoes and drizzle with tzatziki sauce. Sprinkle with dried sumac (if using). Serve immediately.

 

Gyros with Tzatziki sauce recipe

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37 Responses

  1. wrote on

    Interesting that you should mention Döner Kebab. We actually have a Döner Kebab restaurant here in El Paso, TX. I’ve eaten there a couple of times and it was delicious. So I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. My husband & I both love Greek food, especially gyros, so we should really enjoy this. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      You guys are lucky! I just haven’t been able to find any that taste as good as the ones I know and love from overseas. The seasonings used here just aren’t the same. Well, if I’m ever in El Paso, I know exactly where to go for lunch and dinner now! :)

      • Anonymous

        wrote on

        Hello is your recipe as above or different please Linda x

        • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Hi! By “as above” do you mean is the recipe shown in the pictures the same as the recipe as it’s written in the recipe box? If so, yes, they’re one and the same.

          • Gary

            wrote on

            Kimberly I think the question Anonymous was asking is the fact you have two completely different preparations: one you add the spices to meat and allow to marinate a bit, saute onions first, add meat later? The second one you add meat first then onions later and spices much later. I think the first is the one I will try. Have been looking for a good Greek spice mix.
            Regards,
            Gary

          • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

            wrote on

            Oh, I see now, Gary. Yes, thank you for pointing that out. I’ve made it both ways and both ways taste excellent, but for the sake of avoiding confusion I’ve changed the recipe box instructions to reflect the pictured instructions (season the meat first). Thanks again for bringing that to my attention. You’re going to love this Greek seasoning. Also, for an even more fuss-free recipe you may be interested in giving my Pulled Pork Gyros a try. Happy cooking! Best, Kimberly

      • wrote on

        Trying this later today. Love Greek gyros and always have it on holiday there. Not quite the same as donner kebabs, we have them in every takeaway over here.

        • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Wonderful, Chris! Thanks for stopping by and happy cooking!

          • wrote on

            Can I offer an improvement on the tzatziki? Traditionally the cucumber is grated. I make it by peeling half a cucumber, cutting out the seeds and then grating the flesh. It offers a much smoother dip and refreshing flavour. I learnt this from the chef when I worked in the Kyrenia restaurant in my town.

          • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

            wrote on

            Thanks for the tip, Chris! Yes, that would definitely make the dip smoother for anyone who prefers not to have tiny crunchy pieces in it.

  2. Tori

    wrote on

    ooh, i love all this greek cuisine. . .keep it comin! :)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Tori, these are the gyros I told you about during our conversation (“Make a Request” tab) when you were asking me about Greek spices. You’re gonna love ‘em!

  3. Susan

    wrote on

    I’m in love! Thanks for the recipe. :)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      You are so welcome, Susan! Yep, you’re going to love these!

  4. wrote on

    This looks so good! I want a bite of it right now :-)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, bakeaffairs!

  5. wrote on

    My gosh, I didn’t realize you grew up in Germany! I visited Munich, Stuttgart and some other places a few years ago and absolutely fell in love. I was there while all the Christmas markets were going on – it was like a fairy tale! I ate bratwurst and Doner Kebabs the entire trip, no joke! Your gyro looks incredible, and it’s just what I’m in the mood for – I have lamb in the crock pot right now to make curry lamb gyros/pitas tonight! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Very cool, Julia! Christmastime is the best in Germany! It really is fairy tale-like. A truly magical aura. I grew up in Stuttgart (I wrote a little more about it on my Spätzle post). Lived in Europe since my infancy (Germany and England) and moved to the US few years ago. I’m homesick!! Your curried lamb gyros sound yummy – Guten Appetit! :)

  6. wrote on

    I just made this for dinner tonight, using pork. We both enjoyed it tremendously. It reminded us of sitting at a restaurant on Santorini overlooking the ocean… the only thing missing was the ocean view and the Mythos beer. The flavor was excellent. This recipe is a keeper for me. It is wonderful to know that I can have one of my favorite dishes whenever I want. :-)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      You’re the first person who’s gotten back to me about this recipe. I am so happy you tried and liked it! It’s one of my personal favorites as well. Yeah, I don’t have a recipe for the Mythos, and I sure wish I could conjure one up for that ocean view!! ;)

  7. Susan

    wrote on

    I’ve had this recipe printed for months and finally made it this weekend accompanied with your greek seasoning and tzatziki sauce. Yum! Thanks!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Woo-hoo, I’m happy to hear that! I’ve made these using chicken, beef and pork and have fried the meat in the pan, baked and grilled it – all with fabulous results. Thanks so much for your feedback, Susan!

  8. wrote on

    Mmmmm….I love Greek flavors….Greek anything, actually. Love your blog..going on a explore….

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much, Kate! I agree – Greek food is outstanding. Thank you for visiting!

  9. Boyd

    wrote on

    Absolutely delicious spent six years in Germany and lived on gyros mit Pom frittes had several times in Greece but never tasted as good this recipe brings back a lot of good memories many thanks

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Boyd, I’m so thrilled to hear that! I developed this recipe several years ago and we’ve all been huge fans ever since – it’s a regular family favorite. Thanks so much for making this and for your kind feedback!

  10. dawn

    wrote on

    I made these tonight (with pork) & they were wonderful. Thank you!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Fantastic, Dawn, so happy they were a hit!

  11. wrote on

    […] a combination of steaks, burgers, hot dogs and brats, but also offer creative fare. Make homemade gyros or souvlaki; grill eggplant, bell peppers, onions and other vegetables, along with Portobello […]

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