This homemade lamb and beef gyro recipe is exactly what you need for an easy, delicious Mediterranean meal. The gyros are perfect for home cooks as they are baked in the oven and marinated in a flavorful spice mix, served in pitta bread with Tzatziki yogurt sauce, tomatoes, onion, and lettuce. You'll love this simple and authentic Greek recipe for lunch or dinner!
🌟 Why this recipe is the best
A gyro is a Greek-style meat dish made of a meat mixture cooked on a vertical rotisserie similar to a kebab. They are traditionally made with lamb or beef, but you can also make Greek chicken gyros. Gyros are typically served in pita bread with yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
This homemade gyro uses a mixture of lamb and beef that is marinated in herbs and spices overnight to infuse flavor into the meat and then baked in a hot oven for over an hour with a skewer inserted through the mixture.
It is then carved and quickly heated in a hot pan to crisp the meat and served in a pita with crunchy salad ingredients and traditional Greek Tzatziki yogurt sauce.
The meat is aromatic and juicy, with a perfect balance of spices. The Tzatziki sauce is cooling and refreshing, and the tomatoes and onions add a nice crunch to the gyro.
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, you can marinate the meat mixture up to 2 days in advance and bake it the day of serving. The gyros also make great leftovers, so you can enjoy Greek gyros any time you fancy a quick healthy snack!
🍽 Gyro ingredients
A homemade Greek gyro is absolutely delicious and doesn't require any special cooking equipment or spices to make at home. Just a few pantry staples and a metal skewer to secure the meat for baking.
Beef - You'll need good quality ground beef that is not too lean, like chuck, which has an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio. This will help keep the meat nice and juicy without drying out during cooking.
Lamb - Ground lamb is the traditional meat used in gyros, it really enhances the flavor of the gyro meat. If you can't find ground lamb, you can use all beef.
Onion - A small amount of onion is used in the gyro mixture for flavor.
Garlic - The fresh garlic cloves are generously used in this recipe to really infuse the flavor into the meat with the onion and herbs.
Herbs - Dried rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and thyme are used in this gyro recipe to give the Greek gyros that authentic flavor.
Cumin - Cumin is a wonderfully aromatic spice that adds a unique flavor to gyro meat.
Pitas - Make sure to get good quality pita bread that is soft and fluffy. You can find them in the Middle Eastern section of most grocery stores. Or try my easy 2 ingredient pita bread recipe.
Tzatziki sauce- The cooling and refreshing yogurt sauce is a MUST with gyros. It's made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, fresh dill, and lemon juice.
Red onion - Thickly sliced red onions are the perfect addition to gyros.
Tomatoes - Fresh diced tomatoes add a lovely sweetness and freshness to the gyros.
Lettuce - I like to use crisp romaine lettuce in this recipe, but any type of lettuce will work.
Feta cheese - Crumbled feta cheese is the perfect finishing touch to these Greek lamb and beef gyros.
If you don't want to use beef or lamb, you can use ground chicken to make homemade chicken gyros or even ground pork or turkey if you prefer.
If you can't find tzatziki, you can use Greek yogurt or sour cream as an equal substitute.
🔪 How to make homemade Gyros
It's easy to make a homemade Greek gyro with my easy-to-follow recipe and helpful top tips. You'll have delicious gyros that taste better than any local Greek restaurant in no time!
Chop the onion into quarters, place them in a food processor with the garlic cloves, and pulse into smooth.
Mix the ground beef and lamb with the pureed onion and garlic mixture, the herbs, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl using your hands or a stand mixer.
Once combined, place the meat mixture in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the meat marinate for a minimum of 2 hours in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius) and line a tray with foil.
Remove the meat from the fridge and shape it into a log, making sure to squeeze any air pockets from the mixture by throwing it onto the kitchen surface a few times.
Completely cover the gyro with aluminum foil and insert a long skewer through the center of it. Make sure the skewer comes out the other end, and you don't push the foil into the meat.
Place the gyro onto the baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, then turn it over and cook again for another 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before unwrapping the foil. Leave it to cool for 10 more minutes until you can easily handle the skewer.
Hold the gyro upright and calve thin slices from it.
Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat with a little extra virgin olive oil, and brown the shaved meat for a few minutes to get some color and crispy edges.
Warm the pita in a microwave for 10 to 20 seconds or in the oven for a minute or 2.
Now, assemble the Greek gyro with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, sliced red onion, and feta cheese in the warm pita bread and fill it with the crispy meat.
Place the gyro on a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and gently roll the pita to make it easier to handle and eat.
💭 Cooking tips
Use a loaf pan.
If you don't have a skewer, you can use a loaf pan to shape and cook the gyro. Make sure to firmly press down the meat into the loaf pan and remove any excess saturated fat from it after 1 hour of cooking. Then cook for 30 minutes until it reaches the desired internal temperature.
Use a meat thermometer.
To ensure that you don't overcook the Greek gyro meat, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat doesn't go above 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make your own pita bread.
If you can't find Greek pita in your local grocery store, you can easily make your own with 2 ingredients of flour and yogurt. Check out our simple recipe to make it at home.
This is the best gyro recipe to enjoy eating with your family and friends, but if you want to mix things up a little, try some of these flavorsome variations.
Yogurt marinade for the meat
Marinate the ground meat in a yogurt mixture of all the herbs above, plus 1 teaspoon of paprika, cayenne pepper, harissa paste, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Add French fries
For a heartier meal, add some french fries to the gyros. Simply place them on top of the meat before you roll up the pita.
As mentioned above, you can use ground chicken to make a chicken gyro. Just follow the recipe as directed, substituting the chicken for the beef and lamb.
🥗 What to serve with
Greek gyros are traditionally served with Greek salad or Greek soups but there are so many other delicious side dishes you could try.
Italian French fries with rosemary and garlic
Give your standard French fries a flavorful twist by mixing them with garlic and rosemary. Bake them in the oven for an hour, and enjoy the Greek gyro with crispy fries with rosemary and garlic or avocado fries for a complete meal.
Tomato and mozzarella salad
This salad is healthy, refreshing, and made with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil leaves. Tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad is easy to make, flavorful, and a great alternative to the traditional Greek salad.
Try this protein and fiber-rich version of the classic hummus as a delicious and healthy dip for your gyro. This simple lentil hummus recipe only takes 1 hour and uses pantry staples.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
What is an authentic gyro?
An authentic gyro is made with seasoned ground lamb or beef that's grilled on a spit and then shaved off in thin slices. The meat is then placed on warm pita bread with tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes, and onions.
Do Greeks put fries in gyros?
It is common to buy gyros in Greece with fries inside them, but it is not traditional. If you want to add fries to your gyro for a heartier meal, you can.
What is the difference between a gyro and a kebab?
A gyro is made with ground meat that's grilled on a spit and shaved off in thin slices, whereas a kebab is made with chunks of meat that are grilled on a skewer. The meats used for a gyro are usually lamb or beef, whereas kebabs can be made with lamb, chicken, beef, or pork.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
Leftover gyro meat can easily be stored and reheated once it has cooled.
Fridge - Any leftover meat can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Cover the meat in a few layers of plastic wrap and place it on the top shelf.
Freezing - Cooked gyro meat can be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe container to prevent freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the fridge before use.
Reheating - You can pan-fry the gyro meat by calving it thin and heating it up in a frying pan over medium heat until it is crispy. You could also use an outdoor grill to get it crispy for your gyro sandwiches.
🍳 Related recipes
If you like greek cousine, you should try one of these fantastic greek recipes.
👪 Serving size
This gyro recipe makes enough tender meat for 6 servings, but you can easily scale it up or down to suit your needs.
This is the best gyro recipe for a delicious and easy meal that can be enjoyed with family and friends. By following the simple steps, you can create a flavorful and healthy gyro that everyone will love. Be sure to try some of the variations for a new twist on this classic dish. And don't forget to enjoy your gyros with some of the delicious side dishes suggested above. Thanks for reading!
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Gyro Recipe - How to Make Homemade Gyros
- 1 lbs Ground beef - medium or lean
- 1 lbs Ground lamb - or pork, or use all beef
- 1 Onion - large, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 6 Garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon Oregano - dried
- 1 tbsp Thyme - dried
- 1 teaspoon Rosemary - dried
- 2 teaspoon Marjoram - dried
- 2 teaspoon Cumin
- 3 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoon Black pepper
- tzatziki sauce
- pita bread
- Lettuce - sliced
- Oil - for cooking
- Tomatoes - sliced
- Red onions - sliced
- Feta cheese - crumbled
- French Fries - optional
- Chop the onion into quarters, place them in a food processor with the garlic cloves, and pulse into smooth.
- Mix the ground beef and lamb with the pureed onion and garlic mixture, the herbs, cumin, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl using your hands or a stand mixer.
- Once combined, place the meat mixture in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the meat marinate for a minimum of 2 hours in the fridge.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius) and line a tray with foil.
- Remove the meat from the fridge and shape it into a log, making sure to squeeze any air pockets from the mixture by throwing it onto the kitchen surface a few times.
- Completely cover the gyro with aluminum foil and insert a long skewer through the center of it. Make sure the skewer comes out the other end, and you don't push the foil into the meat.
- Place the gyro onto the baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, then turn it over and cook again for another 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before unwrapping the foil. Leave it to cool for 10 more minutes until you can easily handle the skewer.
- Hold the gyro upright and calve thin slices from it.
- Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat with a little extra virgin olive oil, and brown the shaved meat for a few minutes to get some color and crispy edges.
- Warm the pita in a microwave for 10 to 20 seconds or in the oven for a minute or 2.
- Now, assemble the Greek gyro with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, sliced red onion, and feta cheese in the warm pita bread and fill it with the crispy meat.
- Place the gyro on a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and gently roll the pita to make it easier to handle and eat.
Wow! Please add this into rotation.
This recipe is in fact restaurant quality!
I will use the full recipe next time , and make the Tzatziki and the pita.
And the best part, I felt a little intimidated to make this only to discover easy peasy!!!
Recipe Success !!!
Thank you, Ben!
So happy to hear this gyro recipe was a success for your family! Thanks for sharing your experience:)