Have you ever tried the wonder that is a gyro? It’s easily one of my top choices regarding Greek food. Imagine juicy, flavorful meat that is baked, thinly sliced, and pan-fried until it is perfectly crisp. And the best part is? It’s all wrapped up in a warm and toasty pita and stuffed with the most delicious combination of toppings.
We’re talking about cool and creamy tzatziki sauce, refreshing cucumber, spicy red onion, and the cherry on top: crumbly, tangy feta cheese. Honestly, just thinking about it makes my mouth water! Trust me, once you try this gyro, you’ll ask yourself how you ever got by without it.
You might think you need some fancy tools to make these tasty wraps, but trust me; it’s much easier than you think.
Even though the warm pita and fresh vegetables are tasty, it’s the gyro meat that really stands out. Usually made with lamb, a mix of lamb and beef, or even chicken, the meat is heavily seasoned with garlic, herbs, and spices, making every bite taste like an explosion of flavor.
The best part is making your own gyro meat at home. You don’t need a vertical rotisserie. Just form the meat into a loaf, put it on a skewer, and bake it until the inside is juicy and the outside is crispy. Then, just cut thin pieces of meat at an angle and eat them with your favorite toppings.
So, instead of ordering out, why not make gyros at home and wow your family and friends? They’re easy to make, taste great, and will take your taste buds straight to the sunny beaches of Greece.
What is a Gyro?
Gyro is a popular Greek traditional dish with thin slices of meat that have been cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The meat is usually lamb, beef, or chicken. The meat is often served in pita bread with tomato, onion, and lettuce, as well as sauces and condiments like tzatziki, hummus, and tahini. It can also be served with this amazing Greek lemon rice.
Feta cheese, olives, and hot peppers are some other common toppings. In some versions of gyro, the pita may also have French fries or other fried vegetables. Overall, gyro is a flavorful and filling dish that has become popular in many regions worldwide.
Gyro Meat Blend
Beef and/or Lamb: Traditionally, this classic Greek dish is made with both beef and lamb. Feel free to try out different ways to put things together to see what you like. Just make sure you use medium or lean ground beef. If you use extra-lean meat, the gyro will be dry.
Onion and Garlic: Pureed garlic and onion are mixed into the meat, giving the dish a flavorful punch. Pureed onion also helps keep the meat from drying out.
Herbs and spices: You’ll need a mix of herbs and spices to really bring out the authentic flavors of a Greek gyro. Think rosemary, oregano (if you can find Greek oregano), cumin, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper. Don’t be shy about adding these seasonings—they’re what really make the gyro sing.
How to make Greek Gyro
Step 1: Get the gyro meat ready
First, we’ll get the meat for the gyros ready:
Mix together the amount of ground beef and lamb that you want.
Add chopped onions, garlic, and any spices you like, such as cumin, oregano, paprika, and cinnamon.
Stir everything together until the meat is smooth.
Let the meat rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to get the most out of its flavors.
Step 2: Shape the meat and cook it.
Once the meat is ready, it is time to shape and bake it:
Turn your oven on to 325°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Form the meat into a log, drop it a few times on the kitchen counter to get rid of any air pockets, and wrap it tightly in foil.
If you’re using a loaf pan instead, press the meat down to get rid of any air pockets, cover the pan with foil, and place it on the baking tray.
Put the meat in the middle rack of your oven and bake it for about an hour and a half or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160°F.
After 1 hour in the oven, turn the meat over once.
If you are using a loaf pan, turn the pan while it is in the oven and remove any fat or grease that builds up.
Step 3: Slice your Gyro
Once the meat is cooked, it’s time to cut it up and prepare it for the gyro sandwich:
Let the meat rest for 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven.
Once the skewer has cooled enough to manage, use it to stand up the meat and cut thin slices off of it.
In a skillet, heat some oil over medium-high heat, and cook the shaved gyro meat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until it is slightly crispy.
Step 4: Gyro Assembly
Finally, it’s time to make your gyro pita sandwich:
Warm the pita bread and spread tzatziki sauce on it.
Add lettuce, tomato, and red onions on top.
Pile on your freshly sliced gyro meat.
Crumble feta cheese over it for some extra tang.
Add some French fries for a real Greek street food experience.
Roll it up tightly and wrap it in foil or parchment paper to keep it together and make it easier to eat.
Save time and effort by cooking Gyros ahead.
One great thing about gyros is that they can be made ahead of time. You can cook the meat, cut it into pieces, and keep it in the fridge for a few days. This makes it easy to put the gyros together when you’re ready to eat. Also, cooking the meat ahead of time gives it a chance to soak in a marinade and get more flavor.
Can I Freeze Gyro meat?
If you don’t plan to eat the gyros in the next two to three days, you can freeze them for 2-3 months. We suggest cutting the cooked meat into pieces before you freeze it. So, you can thaw only what you need instead of having to thaw the whole batch.
When you’re ready to eat your gyros, you can simply reheat the meat. To do this, put a little oil in a frying pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the sliced gyros and pan-fry until heated through and crispy. Then, put the toppings and sauces you want on your pita.
Greek Gyro Recipe
Prepare to add a new favorite meal to your menu with our gyro recipe. With succulent meat, fresh veggies, and creamy tzatziki sauce wrapped in a warm pita, this flavorful dish is a must-try for every gourmet. This dish is simple to follow and sure to wow, whether you are new to Mediterranean cuisine or a seasoned chef. Now, gather your ingredients, and let’s start cooking!
For the Gyro Meat
- 1 pound of ground beef, medium or lean (not too lean)
- 1 pound of ground lamb or pork (You can use all beef)
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 6-7 garlic cloves,
- 2 Tbsp of dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp of dried thyme
- 1 ½ tsp of dried rosemary, crushed
- 2 ½ tsp of dried marjoram
- 2 tsp of cumin
- 3 tsp of salt, or to your liking
- 2 tsp of black pepper
For the Gyro Pitas
- Tzatziki sauce
- Cooking Oil
- Lettuce salad
- Red onions
- Feta cheese
- French Fries (this is optional)
For the Gyro meat
- Start by cutting an onion and garlic cloves into small pieces. You can cut them up by hand or use a blender or food processor to make a smooth puree.
- Mix the ground beef and lamb (or just beef) with the pureed onion and garlic in a large bowl or a stand mixer. Mix in all the spices until the mixture looks like a paste.
- If you have time, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put the meat in the fridge for a few hours or up to 24 hours to let the flavors blend.
- Turn your oven on to 325°F and line a baking tray with foil.
- After that, shape the meat mixture into a log and tap it a few times on the kitchen counter to remove any air pockets. Alternatively, you can shape the meat into a loaf and put it in a loaf pan.
- Wrap the meat in foil with a skewer through the middle to keep it from drying out and to keep it from losing moisture. Make sure the foil is tightly wrapped around the meat, but be cautious not to push or bend the foil into the meat.
- Place the wrapped gyro meat on the prepared baking tray and bake it for about 1.5 hours on the middle rack of your oven. After an hour, turn the meat over once to ensure that it cooks evenly. If you’re using a loaf pan, you can get the same result by turning the pan in the oven.
- When the meat’s internal temperature reaches 160°F, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before removing the foil. Using the skewer, stand the meat up and cut thin slices from it.
Finishing and Gyro Assembly
- Put some oil in a skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Cook the shaved gyro on each side for two to three minutes or until it’s slightly crispy.
- For the Gyro assembly, put warm pita bread on a plate and add a big scoop of tzatziki sauce, lettuce, red onion, tomato, feta cheese, and some shaved gyro meat.
- You can also add French fries for an authentic Greek street food experience.
- Wrap the pita tightly in aluminum foil or parchment paper to keep it together and make it easier to enjoy.
- Have fun eating your authentic homemade gyro.
Hey there! Already feel like a gyro expert? It’s time to show off your cooking skills and spread the joy of this mouth-watering Greek gyros recipe. Let’s give our Pinterest friends something to salivate over. So, come on, click that share button, and let’s make the planet a tastier place, one gyro at a time!