Homemade Greek gyros are SO easy to make at home (baked in a loaf tin)! You’ll see that you can re-create these yummy Mediterranean delights in your own kitchen!
Originally published August 20, 2012.
Do you (and your family) love gyro sandwiches from your local Greek restaurant as much as I do?
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Then you’re in the right place, because you are going to be very happy to learn that you can make gyros in your own kitchen that taste like they do from that restaurant. It’s also great to know that homemade Greek gyros are as easy to make as a meatloaf (maybe easier)!
One problem many families have is balancing after school activities and having time for a healthy dinner. Besides crock-pot dinners, another option is freezing meals. Freezing some foods is definitely a put-off because of how they taste when defrosted, but others are perfectly suited to the freezer. Luckily, gyros are in the latter category.
How do you pronounce “gyro” in America?
Before we go any further, let’s deal with the pronunciation of this Greek word: I’m not Greek, but saying “jai-roh” just sounds like saying “broo-shetta” for bruschetta to me. The best way to say “gyro” in the US is “YEER-oh,” without the hard “g.”
Find my step by step baklava recipe below! It’s not difficult, I promise!
Homemade Greek Gyros: A Delicious Crowd Pleaser
When my kids were younger, their favorite restaurant was Daphne’s, a Greek restaurant chain. They served such tasty options, and compared to other fast food chains, were much healthier too.
I made gyros with a boxed mix of spices many years ago, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. Last year, however, I discovered Alton Brown’s recipe for homemade gyro sandwiches which had such rave reviews, I decided to give it a try.
You may also enjoy this Greek-inspired recipe for tiropita.
It wasn’t difficult to make, in fact, I was surprised at how few ingredients were in the meat mixture. I have to tell you though, the flavor was fantastic! My family devoured them. I was elated over accomplishing yet another feat in the kitchen: making homemade Greek gyros that tasted great.
If you own a rotisserie, you could use it with this recipe, but since most people don’t, I’ve shown the alternate method.
Pita bread for the gyro sandwich.
Gyro meat freezes perfectly!
Unless you’re having a large group for dinner, this recipe makes a lot of homemade gyros. However, this is not a problem, just freeze the leftover meat, right after slicing it. The pita freezes perfectly too. Imagine having delicious homemade gyros on a weeknight- a quick salad and dinner’s ready!
Here is my version of Alton Brown’s recipe, as I made some changes, mainly with the ingredients (beef and lamb vs just lamb). I also added a step to make them more crisp, which imitates the rotisserie method quite nicely.
How to Make Homemade Greek Gyros
with Tzatziki Sauce
adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe (please note, I’m not claiming these to be authentic,
I just really like Alton Brown’s recipe) serves 8
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
What You’ll Need
- a food processor
- kitchen towel (not one of your favorites, as it may get stained)
- loaf pan
- 9×13 cake pan
- aluminum foil
- sharp knife, or electric knife
- cutting board as well as a
- frying pan
- tongs or spatula
- ground beef
- ground lamb
- ground black pepper
- tzatziki sauce (printable recipe below)
- sweet onion
Directions: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making this Gyro Recipe.
Step 1: Prepare the Homemade Greek Gyros Meat Mixture.
Run the onion in a food processor for about 15 seconds.
Place the onion in the center of a kitchen towel and squeeze out the juice and return the onion pulp to the food processor.
Add the meat, garlic, spices, salt and pepper to the onion, and process.
Continue until it looks like a fine paste, about a minute.
Place the meat mixture in a loaf pan and press evenly.
Step 2: Bake the Meat and Rest
Bake in a water bath (place loaf pan inside another pan filled with water) at 325°F (165°C) for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 170°F (77°C) when checked with a meat thermometer.
Remove from the oven, drain the liquid, and place the loaf pan on a trivet or oven mitt. Cover the meat with aluminum foil for about 15 minutes.
Step 3: Extra Step for an Authentic Homemade Greek Gyros Taste
Place meat on a cutting board and slice as thinly as possible, preferably with an electric knife as it makes the job quite easy.
I added the following step myself as I think it mimics the rotisserie flavor a bit more, and gives those crispy bits we all love! Add a few slices to a nonstick frying pan (very little or no oil) and heat until the meat browns a little. I highly recommend this!
Step 4: Serve the Homemade Greek Gyros
In another pan, heat the pita bread. If you can’t find pita bread, you could always make my fried bread recipe, but cook it without the oil.
Finally, place the meat on one half of the pita bread.
Top with some tzatziki sauce, lettuce and tomatoes, and white or red onion. I prefer a sweet onion on gyros. You could also put a little dressing on the tomatoes too (extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt, oregano).
Serve homemade Greek gyros with rice pilaf if you like. Alternatively, you can make a Greek salad and serve the gyro meat on top, or serve it alongside some salad, rice pilaf and fries, if you want to skip the pita bread.
- 1 medium size onion, roughly chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp dried marjoram
- 1 Tbsp dried ground rosemary (or a small sprig of fresh, taken off the main stem)
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Tzatziki Sauce (recipe link in directions)
- sliced tomatoes
- sliced sweet onion
- Run the onion in a food processor for about 15 seconds. Place the onion in the center of a kitchen towel and squeeze out the juice and return the onion pulp to the food processor. Discard the juice.
- Add the meat, garlic, spices, salt and pepper to the onion, and process. Do so until it looks like a fine paste, about a minute. Place the mixture in a loaf pan and press evenly.
- Bake in a water bath (place loaf pan inside another pan filled with water) at 325°F (165°C) for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 170°F (77°C) when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Remove from the oven, drain the liquid, and place the loaf pan on a trivet or oven mitt. Cover the meat with aluminum foil for about 15 minutes.
- Place meat on a cutting board and slice as thinly as possible with an electric knife (using anything else would be much more difficult.)
- I added the following step myself as I think it mimics the rotisserie a bit more. Add a few slices to a nonstick frying pan (very little or no oil) and heat gently until the meat browns a little.
- In another pan, heat the pita bread.
- Finally, place the meat on one half of the pita, topped with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. You could also put a little Greek dressing on the tomatoes too (extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt, oregano.)
- Serve Homemade Greek Gyros with rice pilaf, or fries, and a Greek salad!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 gyro
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 343Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 692mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 30g
And why not make baklava for dessert?!
*For UK readers: I’ve noticed that the UK doesn’t really have “gyros.” Rather, there’s the Turkish “doner kebabs” or just “kebabs”, which are more popular, although they are not the same as a gyro.
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