Gyro meat is made with ground beef, ground lamb, and a blend of seasonings, easily cooked in the oven and thinly sliced. Serve it on pita bread with Tzatziki sauce and a Greek salad. It is the easy way to make Greek gyros at home without a rotisserie grill. It is so good that it tastes like it was ordered from a restaurant!
Greek cuisine is one of my favorites! I could have it every day without getting bored. It is simple, fresh, and quite delish!
I am lucky to live surrounded by great Greek restaurants but I can’t afford to eat in them often with a family of four.
So I have taken matters into my own hands and learned how to make many Greek dishes that my family and I enjoy without breaking our budget.
Gyro meat is unanimously one of our most requested dishes.
Because I don’t have a rotisserie grill at home (like the ones seen in Greek restaurants that cook the meat on a spit slowly for many, many hours), I improvised and made it in the oven, meatloaf-style!
The cooking method is different but the flavors are on point!
What Is Gyro Meat?
Gyros or simply gyro is one of the most famous Greek street foods! In Greece, it is traditionally made of pork (and sometimes chicken) although in other countries beef and lamb are also common.
It is cooked on a vertical rotisserie for many hours. Then it is thinly sliced and served on pita bread as a wrap.
Also known as doner kebab in Turkey, the gyro meat is well-seasoned with salt, herbs, and spices, resulting in a super flavorful dish.
Why Make this Gyro Meat Recipe?
Everyone loves gyros, right? Well, if you haven’t tried so far, you have been missing one of the most delicious Greek dishes ever! Here are a few more reasons to make this homemade version:
- Easy: Use your food processor to prepare it quickly by mincing and mixing all the ingredients together! It is one of those easy dinner ideas that you'll love!
- Delish: It has great warm flavors!
- Keto and gluten-free: This gyro meat has only 2 net carbs per serving.
- Fast: Our gyro meat recipe cooks fast in the oven if compared with the one made in a rotisserie skewer in restaurants.
- Budget-friendly: The main ingredient is ground meat. Our homemade gyro meat will cost less than what you’d pay in restaurants or food trucks.
How are Greek Gyros Made?
The word gyro (pronounced yee-ROH) means to turn or to circle. If you want to make authentic gyros, invest in an upright rotisserie grill.
You'd have a large cone of meat that had been cooked on a spit, and turned often, taking hours from start to finish.
Moreover, you’d wind up with about 50 lbs of meat. It makes sense in a restaurant where many people are served daily but not to a single-family.
The best of two worlds would be having the flavor of traditional gyros, but without using the traditional method of cooking. Agree?
Although I wouldn’t have to drive many miles to find the authentic Greek gyros near me, I prefer to make my own at home to save some money.
You can do that too! It is so simple!
Making Homemade Gyro Meat
Use whatever ground meat you prefer or a combination of 2 such as beef and lamb, but choose something that contains fat; otherwise, your homemade gyros will be dry!
Process the ingredients in the food processor together and cook the mixture in a meatloaf pan.
If you want, you can brown the meat in a skillet afterward.
See? It is easy and quick!
Frozen Gyro Meat
If you prefer to not make your own gyro meat using our simple oven method, you can buy it ready and frozen under different brands such as Opaa!, Kronos, and Daphne’s.
It is available in many chains and local grocery stores! You may try before you decide to make yours at home although it won’t beat our homemade gyro recipe!
The meat comes cooked! Just follow the instructions in the package to thaw and heat it.
As for restaurant style, Athena Gyros in California is very well-known!
What goes on a gyro?
Gyro itself is a stack of meat cooked in a rotating upright rotisserie grill and thinly sliced.
On the other hand, a gyro sandwich or gyro pita is a wrap that contains pita bread filled with gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, onions, tomato, lettuce, and sometimes fried potatoes or cucumber.
Our goal is to recreate the gyro meat flavor from restaurants! For that, we used the following seasonings:
- Red onion
- Fresh garlic
- Dried oregano
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Dried marjoram
- Dried thyme
All of them are present in Greek cuisine!
Moreover, our gyro recipe also calls for other ingredients: ground lamb, ground beef, and olive oil.
How to Make Gyro Meat
Here is how to make gyro meat at home:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180° C).
- Pulse the red onion until very fine in a food processor until very fine. SEE PIC. 1 Dump them out onto the center of a thin kitchen towel set over a colander. SEE PIC. 2 Then, gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze out the liquid from the onions over the colander or sink. Make sure to squeeze it well!
- Transfer the onions to a large mixing bowl along with the ground lamb, beef, garlic, oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Using your hands, mix well to combine. SEE PIC. 3
- Transfer the meat mixture to the food processor and pulse until finely minced (about 2 minutes). It will resemble a coarse paste! SEE PIC. 4
- Pack the meat mixture into a 9x5-inch loaf pan, pressing down firmly to make sure there are no air pockets. SEE PIC. 5
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the cooked gyro meat reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. Use an instant-read meat thermometer! NOTE: The meat will shrink! Make sure to reserve the pan juices. SEE PIC. 6
- Let the gyro loaf cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting it into thin slices with a sharp knife.
- OPTIONAL STEP: Before serving, fry the sliced gyro meat in a little of the pan juices in a skillet over medium heat. But be careful to not overcook the meat or it will become dry! SEE PIC. 7
- Serve it over warm pita bread with Greek salad and tzatziki sauce (for a gyro sandwich) or simply serve the gyro slices with a Greek salad and the sauce for a keto meal. SEE PIC. 8
Tips and Tricks
- Use any kind of relatively fatty ground meat like beef, lamb, pork, or a combination of two of them. If you use ground chicken or turkey, you may have a dry, lean result.
- Pulse the ground meats with the other ingredients in order to resemble a fine paste; otherwise, it will have a meatloaf texture (coarse)!
- Put it into a loaf pan and cook it. Then press the mixture down firmly to remove air pockets.
- If you want to replace any of the seasonings, make sure to choose it among those that are part of Greek cuisine.
It varies according to the type of meat that you use or how you serve it as follows:
- Beef gyros
- Lamb Gyros
- Pork Gyros
- Chicken Gyros
- Pita Gyros (Sandwich)
Keep leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This gyro meat is one of those easy freezer meals. To freeze it, slice the meat and place the desired amount into one or more Ziploc bags, squeezing out the excess air.
Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
To reheat pre-sliced gyro, heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pan-fry the slices before serving.
More Greek Recipes to Enjoy:
Other Ground Meat Recipes:
- Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Ground Beef
- Baked Kibbeh Recipe
- Beef Empanadas
- Beef and Bulgur Wheat Cheeseburger
- Egg Stuffed Meatloaf
PIN & ENJOY!
- 1 medium red onion cut into 4 pieces
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 lb ground beef 80/20
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180° C).
- Pulse the red onion until very fine in a food processor until very fine. Dump them out onto the center of a thin kitchen towel set over a colander. Then, gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze out the liquid from the onions over the colander or sink. Make sure to squeeze it well!
- Transfer the onions to a large mixing bowl along with the ground lamb, beef, garlic, oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Using your hands, mix well to combine.
- Transfer the meat mixture to the food processor and pulse until finely minced (about 2 minutes). It will resemble a coarse paste!
- Pack the meat mixture into a 9x5-inch loaf pan, pressing down firmly to make sure there are no air pockets.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the gyro meat reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. Use an instant-read meat thermometer! NOTE: The meat will shrink! Make sure to reserve the pan juices.
- Let the meat in the pan cool over a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes before slicing very thinly.
- OPTIONAL STEP: Before serving, fry the sliced gyro meat in a little of the pan juices in a skillet over medium heat. But be careful to not overcook the meat or it will become dry!
- Serve it over pita with Greek salad and tzatziki sauce (for a gyro sandwich) or simply with a Greek salad and the sauce for a keto meal.
- Keep leftover in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- This gyro meat freezes well. For that, slice the meat and place the desired amount into one or more Ziploc bags, squeezing out the excess air.
- Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
- To reheat pre-sliced gyro, heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pan-fry the slices before serving.
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John / Kitchen Riffs says
What a fun idea! I've never made my own gyro meat. Need to try -- this is such a terrific recipe. Thanks!
This came out fantastic! I did add more garlic, more olive oil to the processor, and added about 1/2 tbs of fresh rosemary. My family and myself adore it. Thank you 🙂
Denise Browning says
Hi Julie! The pleasure is always mine. I am super happy you enjoyed our gyro meat recipe and adjusted the seasonings to your taste.
Can't wait to try this! How big does your food processor have to be to accommodate 2 lbs of meat plus the onion, etc.? Mine is 9-cup.
Denise Browning says
Hi Carrie! If yours is 9-cup it should be able to fit the onion, garlic, ground meats, herbs, and onion -- although it will be quite full. If too full, it won't mince those ingredients finely and can make your food processor work harder than it should. I advise you to divide the mixture from the bowl and process it in two different batches (or even 3 if needed).