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Homemade Greek Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Homemade Greek Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce and Accompaniments

Creating your own homemade Greek gyro is a culinary adventure that lets you capture the essence of Greece right in your own kitchen. With a blend of savory marinated meat, tangy tzatziki sauce, and a medley of fresh vegetables all wrapped in a warm, pillowy pita, this “wicked easy” recipe will surely become one of your favorites!

Here are the ingredients for the gyro meat. Traditionally it is made using lamb, beef or a combination of both, which is what I use. Onion and garlic add moisture and flavor to the meat. The egg and breadcrumbs are the binder, while the spices and herbs provide the traditional, rich, authentic flavor.

Puree the onion in a food processor for about 20 seconds, or until finely chopped.

Place the pureed onion in the center of a kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid and put the onion into a large mixing bowl.

In the large mixing bowl, combine the onions, ground beef and lamb, milk, breadcrumbs, egg, herbs and spices.

Transfer the combined gyro meat mixture to the food processor and puree it to the consistency of a paste.

Cook a small amount of the mixture in a sauté pan and then taste for the correct amount of seasonings. Adjust the mixture with salt and pepper as needed.

Tightly pack the gyro meat mixture into a loaf pan, making sure there are no cracks or air pockets. Bake in a pre-heated 300*F oven until cooked through, about 45 minutes. The internal temperature when checked with a thermometer should be at least 155*F.

When cooked, carefully remove the loaf pan from the oven and pour off any fat or grease that has accumulated in the pan.

Place the hot loaf pan on a heat-proof surface and cover the top with aluminum foil. Then weigh down the loaf to compress and firm up the texture as it cools. I often use various soup or vegetable cans. You can also wrap a brick in aluminum foil and place that directly on the surface of the loaf.

Let the meat rest like this for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the weights and run a knife around the edge of the loaf. Turn the loaf out of the pan onto a plate or sheet pan and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight to allow the loaf to completely cool and firm up for easier slicing.

When ready to make the gyro pita sandwiches, unwrap the gyro loaf and use a sharp knife to cut strips from it that are no thicker than 1/4 inch.

Here are the ingredients that I use for my gyro sandwich but feel free to experiment with different ingredients and combinations to customize your gyro.

However, tzatziki sauce is a vital part of any gyro and you wouldn’t want to skimp on this classic. Though you can purchase it pre-made if in a bind, it is super easy to make homemade. Click HERE for my wicked easy tzatziki sauce recipe!

Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s make our homemade Greek gyro! To warm the pita, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Briefly warm up the pitas in the pan, giving them just long enough on each side to get them hot, but not crispy. You can keep them warm by wrapping them in a clean kitchen towel while you heat additional pitas.

Once the pitas are warm, sear the slices of gyro meat in the same pan. Cook both sides for about 2 minutes each or until golden brown, crispy and heated through.

Besides homemade tzatziki sauce, I stuff my gyros sandwiches with a Greek-style salad made with lettuce, tomatoes, chopped red onion, black olives, and crumbled feta cheese. I pre-toss all of these ingredients with a simple homemade lemon vinaigrette (click HERE for recipe).

Conclusion: Homemade Greek gyros are not only a delightful taste of Greece, but also a fun and satisfying culinary adventure. By following these simple steps in this recipe and using fresh, quality ingredients, you can create an amazing meal. Whether for a weeknight dinner or weekend feast, your Homemade Greek Gyro is sure to be a big hit with family and friends!

Homemade Greek Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

A "wicked easy" recipe for making gyro meat at home! Garlicky, oniony, herbed beef and lamb meatloaf that is not only easy to make but tastes as good if not better than your favorite take-out places!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course dinner, lunch, Snack
Cuisine American, Greek
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Medium bowl
  • 1 Loaf Pan
  • 1 Food Processor
  • 1 saute pan
  • 1 Kitchen Tongs


Gyro Meatloaf

  • ½ each Medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 lb. Ground Lamb
  • 3 tsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ cup Milk
  • cup Breadcrumbs
  • tsp Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds, ground
  • ¼ tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 each Large Egg
  • To Taste Salt & Pepper

Gyro Sandwich

  • 2 cups Shredded Lettuce
  • 1 cup Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Diced Red Onion
  • 4 oz Pitted and Sliced Kalamata Olives
  • 4 tbsp Greek Dressing or Vinaigrette – store bought or homemade. (Click here for my recipe – Lemon Vinaigrette)
  • 4 oz Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 6 each Pita Bread
  • 1 cup Tzatziki Sauce – homemade or store bought. (Click here for my recipe – Tzatziki Sauce)


Gyro Meatloaf

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the chopped onion, beef, lamb, minced garlic, milk, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, fennel, coriander, egg and some of the salt and pepper and then mix together.
  • Transfer the meatloaf mixture to a food processor and process it to the consistency of a paste. Add a little cold water as needed to get the right consistency.
  • Fry up a small test batch and taste for salt, pepper and other seasonings. Adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • Transfer the pureed meatloaf mixture from the food processor to a greased loaf pan and pack it down tightly into the sides of the pan, making sure there are no cracks or air pockets. Bake until cooked through with an internal temperature of 155*F or higher, about 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven.
  • When done, remove from the oven and drain off any fat. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack, cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil and then weigh down with something heavy. You can use full soup or vegetable cans or wrap a brick with aluminum foil and use that. Allowing something heavy to sit on the loaf while it is still hot will make it compact and dense which will help is stay together for slicing. Allow it to rest like this for 20 to 30 minutes. After resting, remove the weights, pour off any accumulated grease, and run a knife around the edges of the loaf as needed. Then gently remove the loaf from the pan. The meat can then be sliced at that time if needed, however I prefer to wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then chill for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator to allow them to fully cool and firm up for easier slicing.

Gyro Sandwich Assembly

  • Toss the lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and olive in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of your choice of vinaigrette or Greek dressing (the homemade lemon vinaigrette recipe on this site would go great!)
  • Unwrap the gyro loaf and use a sharp knife to cut long strips from it no thicker than 1/4 inch. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Briefly warm up the pita breads in the pan just long enough to get each side hot, but not crispy. In the same pan, sear a few slices of the gyro meat per sandwich on both sides to get them brown and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Spread a heaping tablespoon of tzatziki sauce onto each pita (see Tzatziki Sauce recipe on this site). Top with a few slices of seared gyro meatloaf and then some of the salad. Sprinkle feta cheese on top and then roll the pitas up tightly and serve. To store briefly, they can be wrapped in aluminum foil and secured with a toothpick.
Keyword Beef, Greek Pita, Gyro, lamb, Pork, sandwich, Tzatziki Sauce
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