I give you a time-saving Greek Gyros Recipe! Juicy Gyros meat with the authentic flavor made right in your kitchen with simple ingredients. I have included many tips in this post, plus a video tutorial and step-by-step images to guide you through making this amazing dish. We will use beef and lamb in this Gyros recipe, but I have included other options too below. I have added a spice that usually is not part of the Greek Gyros meat recipe, but it enhanced the flavor!
What is Gyros?
It is pronounced (Yirros) or (Yerros). It is a Greek dish made of meat. In Greece, they mostly use pork or chicken, but in most European countries and America, a mixture of lamb and beef is more popular.
A thin and marinated slices of meat are stacked and cooked on a vertical rotisserie like Shawarma. It is rotated in front of the cooking element, and the cooked meat is then sliced off to allow the inner portion of the meat to cook.
The Gyros meat is served on pita bread with salad and Tzatziki sauce.
What goes in Gyros
Simple ingredients most probably in your kitchen cabinet already. More detail on chopping and mincing the onion and garlic in the recipe card below!
Ground beef and lamb – The blend gives a juicier Gyros meat because the texture of lamb is more tender than beef. But having the beef adds flavor and helps the Gyros to stay in shape and not shrink much after cooking.
Onion – I use purple onion because I like the taste, but yellow onion is what’s used in making Gyros.
Spices – Black pepper, oregano, cumin, marjoram, and paprika. (Paprika is optional).
Salt – In the recipe, I added half a teaspoon, and it turns out perfect; more salt and your Gyros will come out a little salty, or you can season the meat as per your taste.
Butter – Unsalted butter is what I have used, but you can go for olive oil instead if there is not enough fat in the ground meat.
What type of beef cut should you use to make juicy Gyros?
I would go for chuck; it is an affordable and tender cut, it does not turn so dry when overcooked compared to other cuts of beef. However, you can go for the cut you prefer.
How to make homemade Gyros
There are two ways to make gyros at home; I will share the method that saves time, and the Gyros stays juicy for a longer time; it includes making mini meatloaves. Next, I will share the most known way.
Preheat the oven to 180C-350F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and keep aside.
Mince the onion and squeeze the water out of it.
In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix until well combined.
Make 5 mini meatloaves and make sure to flatten them.
Place the mini meatloaves on the baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the baking pan from the oven and cover with aluminum foil for 5 minutes before serving.
If you like this method, then you will enjoy my Salisbury Steak Recipe.
Making Greek Gyro meat (meatloaf method)
- Make sure to preheat the oven to 180C-350F. Use aluminum foil to line a loaf pan. You will need a 9x5” loaf pan.
- In a food processer, add the onion and mince, remove the onion from the food processer and squeeze the water out of it. Discard the onion water and return the onion to the food processor.
- To the onion, add garlic, salt, spices, and meat. Blend well until it becomes like a paste.
- Place the gyros meat in the previously prepared loaf pan.
- Wet your hand with water and press down the Gyros meat and spread evenly.
For baking, you have two options:
- Bake on low heat; placing the pan on the middle shelf (will take longer to bake).
- At the same temperature mentioned above, 180C-350F, place the baking pan in water bath (in another larger pan with boiling water). Bake until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 75C or 165F, which will take around an hour or a little longer.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and discard all the juices. Cover the meatloaf with aluminum foil and then place a brick over it for 20 minutes, or you can place a cast iron on the covered meatloaf and place some heavyweight on the cast iron.
Some people chill the meatloaf after it reaches room temperature and then cut it into thin slices. After slicing the meatloaf, fry it in butter or oil and serve on pita bread.
Authentic Gyros meat recipe like the restaurant-style
The authentic method in making Gyros that you can find in restaurants is cutting the beef into thin slices. Marinade the slices for 30 minutes in spices, lemon juice, and salt.
The marinated slices are then skewered on a rotisserie spit rod until it looks like a large cone. The meat is then rotated in front of a cooking machine that is also used for cooking shawarma. When the outer layer of the meat is cooked, you then slice it off and serve it.
In some restaurants, they fry the gyros slices in butter before serving, and it is the result most people like to achieve when they cook Gyros at home as meatloaf and then slice and fry it. However, with my recipe, you do not have to fry the slices of Gyro meat unless you want to!
How to serve Greek Gyro
It is a delicious yet messy sandwich, so make sure that you wrap it in aluminum foil or with wax paper otherwise, the sauce will drip on your clothes.
Gyros taste amazing with some roasted potatoes on the side.
I had Gyro’s sandwich with burger toppings, like ketchup and mustard, onion, and tomatoes. It was amazing. I guess this dish is so unique and can be served with any side dish!
How to store leftover Gyros
Please pay attention to this paragraph: If the raw meat you use was NEVER frozen before, then you can mix it with the ingredients and then tightly wrap it with a plastic wrap. Place it in a container and freeze it for up to five months. Do not freeze previously frozen and thawed meat!
To thaw raw Gyros, place it in the fridge overnight. Bake it at the mentioned temperature in the recipe; however, you may need to bake it a little longer, like half an hour extra, but always make sure that the internal temperature reaches 165F if you are going for the meatloaf method.
Mini-frozen meatloaves will thaw quicker and will need a few minutes more to bake.
If you have leftover Gyros, you can refrigerate them for up to two days; after the second day, it is best to wrap the Gyros with a plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-friendly bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips for making perfect Gyros meat
- You can use only lamb or only beef to make Gyros but having both meats give a more delicious flavor and fantastic texture.
- Always preheat the oven; most ovens need 20 minutes to reach the desired temperature.
- Do not skip the step of squeezing the minced onions; it plays a big role in giving the Gyros a uniform texture.
- If you don’t want to fry the gyros, you can always broil them.
- Use the leftover Gyros in making meat sauce. Crumble the gyros meat and add it to the sauce, then serve over pasta.
- Tzatziki sauce.
- Avocado slices.
- Slices of olives.
Greek Gyros Recipe with Tzatziki Sauce
- 250 g ground lamb
- 250 g ground beef
- 1 large onion minced and water squeezed out
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika optional
- ½ teaspoon marjoram optional
- 1 tablespoon room temperature butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C-350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it aside.
- Make sure to mince the onion and squeeze the water out of it.
- Beat the egg until combine.
- In a bowl, add the meat and the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix the ingredients until well combined. It’s best to use your hands for this step.
- Wet your hand with water, and form 5 equal size oval shape patties.
- Place the patties on the previously prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F/70C or 165F/75C.
- Remove the Gyros from the oven, cover with aluminum foil for 5 minutes.
- To serve the Gyros:
- Heat the pita bread. (Recipe link for my homemade pita in the post above).
- Cut the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion into thin slices.
- On the pita bread, add the tzatziki sauce (Recipe link for this sauce in the post above).
- Add the sliced vegetables on top.
- Slice the gyros and place them on top of the vegetables.
- Roll up the pita bread to make a sandwich and enjoy with some roasted potatoes. (Recipe link for roasted potatoes in the post).
- You can use one type of meat in this recipe.
- Do not skip squeezing water out of the minced onion step.
- Always make sure to preheat the oven at least 20 minutes before using it.
- You can fry the Gyros before serving.
- Do not leave the Gyros on countertop for more than 2 hours or it won’t be safe to consume.