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Yee-roh or ji-roh? No matter how you say it, it’s hard to beat the taste of a Greek gyro — and they’re easier to make than you’d think!

Gyros

Chances are, you’ve savored a delicious gyro, but have you been pronouncing it correctly? It’s actually ‘yee-roh.’ (Do yourself a favor and watch this hilarious Jimmy Fallon/Luke Bryan clip about the pronunciation — it will give you a laugh). This flavorful dish gets its name from the Greek ‘gyros,’ meaning ‘turn’ — a direct reference to how the succulent slices of meat are prepared, gently rotating on a vertical spit, their flavor deepening with each turn.

In Greek restaurants in the States, you’ll find two types of gyros: Greek-American gyros, made with ground meats and spices formed into a cone and cooked on a rotisserie, and authentic Greek gyros, made with marinated, whole cuts of meat tightly stacked into a tower and slowly roasted on a spit. Both versions are incredibly delicious!

This recipe focuses on the Greek-American gyro since it’s much easier to replicate at home. To make it, simply blend ground beef and lamb with bread crumbs, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and ground cumin. Next, shape this mixture into two loaves and bake them. After baking, thinly slice the loaves and quickly sear the slices in a skillet, which gives you beautifully crispy slices.

How To Serve Gyros

You can enjoy the gyro meat a few ways. Serve it atop a vibrant Greek salad for a light meal or wrap the slices in a warm pita bread with tzatziki sauce, juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and crumbled feta. What’s great about this recipe is that it yields a generous two loaves, allowing you to freeze one loaf for those harried nights when you don’t have time to cook.

Note: The meat will taste a bit salty on its own but needs the extra salt for flavor when added to sandwiches and salads.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE gyros

what you'll need to make gyros

In developing this recipe, I experimented with both fresh and dried onion and garlic. Surprisingly, the dried versions delivered the best flavor. This helps to reduce the prep time, which is always a bonus!

You might be tempted to use just one type of meat, and while it will certainly taste delicious, it may not entirely emulate that authentic gyro flavor we’re aiming for.

There are two types of pita bread — with and without pockets. If you plan to eat these as wraps, you’ll want to buy pocketless pitas. If your store has a few options, pick the softest, fluffiest ones; they will be the easiest to roll up.

Sometimes at restaurants, you’ll get a few french fries tucked into your pita alongside meat and other fixings. I haven’t included them here, but if you’ve got some frozen fries on hand, feel free to add a few in!

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: Make the Gyro Meat

Preheat the oven to 300°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Place the beef, lamb, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

beef, lamb, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor

Process until the mixture is well combined and paste-like, scraping down the bowl as necessary, about 1 minute.

pureed mixture in food processor bowl

Using moist hands, form the mixture into two free-form loaves about 1 inch high, 8 inches long, and 4 inches wide directly on the prepared baking sheet.

meat shaped into 2 loaves

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until meat is firm in the center and reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or chill until ready to slice, up to 4 days.

baked loaves on baking sheet

Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and slice between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick.

The gyro loaves (or unbrowned slices) can be prepared up to 4 days ahead of time and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before browning and serving.

loaves thinly sliced on cutting board

To serve, working in batches, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the gyro slices in a single layer until lightly browned, 30 to 60 seconds per side.

gyro slices cooking in skillet

Step 2: Assemble the Gyros

Serve the gyros with pita bread, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and feta.

To wrap your gyro, get a parchment or foil piece twice the size of your pita. Place the pita slightly off the top edge, spread tzatziki, add meat and toppings in a line in the middle. Fold the gyro and parchment/foil in half over the toppings. Wrap the parchment/foil edges over the pita and tuck the outer edge under a fold to secure it.

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Gyros

Yee-roh or ji-roh? No matter how you say it, it’s hard to beat the taste of a Greek gyro — and they’re easier to make than you’d think!

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour, plus 10 minutes to rest

Ingredients

For the Gyro Meat

  • 1 pound 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

For Serving

  • Thinly sliced tomatoes and red onion
  • Lettuce
  • Feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  2. Place the beef, lamb, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the mixture is well combined and paste-like, scraping down the bowl as necessary, about 1 minute.
  3. Using moist hands, form the mixture into two free-form loaves about 1 inch high, 8 inches long, and 4 inches wide directly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until meat is firm in the center and reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or chill until ready to slice, up to 4 days. Transfer the loaves to a cutting board and slice between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick.
  4. To serve, working in batches, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the gyro slices in a single layer until lightly browned, 30 to 60 seconds per side. Serve with pita bread, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and feta.
  5. Make-Ahead Instructions: The gyro loaves (or unbrowned slices) can be prepared up to 4 days ahead of time and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before browning and serving.
  6. Note: Nutritional information is for gyro meat only.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 446
  • Fat: 33 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Sodium: 377 mg
  • Cholesterol: 109 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • HI Jenn
    I love your recipes. I’m planning on having a Greek Mediterranean night tomorrow for a dinner party. I will make your Souvlaki, hummus, tzatziki, Greek salad, and buy pita, olives feta. Can this gyro be made into meatballs ahead of time? Or do you think that the lamb kofta will still fit in with the theme so I can do everything ahead and just bake it the oven.
    Nidhi

    • — Nidhi on January 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • I’m flattered that you’ll be using so many of my recipes! Yes, I think you could make the gyro meat into meatballs. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on January 19, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. This is the first recipe of Gyro Meat the I found exceptable and very close to what “Cone Gyro Meat” taste like. I love it! I doubled everything in the recipe Except the Lamp & Beef. I find it taste even closer to the “Cone Gyro Meat” in doing so.
    Thank you again for sharing your expertise as chef with us….. we are Greatly Blessed because of it. You are one of my favorite Chef.
    PeteW.

    • — PeteW on December 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • I just cooked the meat in prevision of having the gyros for tomorrow’s dinner. I the proceeded to taste it, and had to refrain myself from eating it all.

    This recipe is really very, very near the real thing, can’t wait for my next dinner !

    Side note : my processor is quite small, but I roughly mixed all ingredients first, and processed it by smaller batches. I then weighed the meat to have two loaves of the same size.

    • — Michael on October 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made the gyro’s last week, served it with your hummus board and it was absolutely delicious.
    I cooked the gyro meat on a smoker at 250deg, and that added some nice flavor. This will be in regular rotation!

    Have you considered including metric measurements in your recipes? I’ve found it so much easier to pull out the scale and work off weight measurements versus volume.

    Allen

    • — allen on September 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed this! And the great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 27, 2023
      • Reply
      • Ahhhh, I missed that. Thank you!

        • — allen on September 28, 2023
        • Reply
  • Thanks so much for all of your incredible recipes. Our entire extended family enjoys them! I’m looking forward to making your Gyros but I don’t have a food processor. I’m trying to decide whether to use my Vitamix, stand mixer or hand mixer? What do you think would be best? Thanks!

    • — Erin on September 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Erin, I’m honestly not sure if the Vitamix can handle ground meat, and I’m finding mixed info online. I might try it before the stand mixer though, as I think it’d be best if it works!

      • — Jenn on September 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • The gyros are very authentic, I highly recommend this recipe. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Meg Starr on September 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • OH MY GOSH!! I never thought I would be able to duplicate a gyro sandwich at home. I was so very wrong. I agree with others’ comments, the volume was a bit much for my food processor to handle, but it did work out. The cook time was spot on for both the loaves in the oven and the browning of the slices on the stove. I served it with red onion, tomato and Jenn’s Tzatziki Sauce. Total hit with the husband. Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

    • — Rhonda on August 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • Great recipe and so easy!! I never knew gyro meat was so easy to make, and it was a big hit with the family.

    • — Natalie on August 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made the meat exactly as shown and it was delicious! Putting the meat mixture in the food processor gave it the perfect texture. Such a simple recipe! I did use tzaziki from Trader Joes…..

    • — Cheryl Rienecker on August 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made your gyro last night. It was delicious, my family loved it. Your recipes are always spot on Jen.

    • — Irene on August 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • How necessary is the food processor? I don’t have one, but your recipe looks the best, the best one I’ve found online… if I were to try to just smash together with my hands and really but some muscle into it, is that even an option? (assume I do everything else the exact same)

    • — John on August 1, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi John, a food processor is best, and a mixer would be my second choice, but if you don’t have either, I think it will work. It won’t have quite the same texture but will still be good. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on August 1, 2023
      • Reply
  • I never thought I could make my own Gyros at home but these were easy and so delicious! Next time, I think I’ll mix everything in two batches – it was a bit full in my food processor. I froze the second loaf for another week – already craving them! Now we don’t have to go to a restaurant for gyros.

    • — Kim on July 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • These were so easy to make and the meat is delicious. Definitely adding to our monthly rotation!

    • — Dina on July 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • Excellent recipe. Family loved it. I added spices from Morocco and it was amazing. We are going to try to mold the meat on skewers to bbq. Another perfect dinner that my family sincerely appreciated

    • — Dee on July 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I tried this recipe the day i saw it! I can’t believe i was able to make such good gyros at home! I’ve tried many of your recipes and every one has turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing your talent!

    • — Barb on July 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Are you using Greek oregano?

    • — Linda on July 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Linda, No, I buy standard oregano (McCormick brand).

      • — Jenn on July 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • I’ve never bought or eaten pitas and don’t know what they are like, but we love your Naan recipe and I wondered if they would work with these gyros.

    • — Judy on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn, I’m eager to try this but have never bought pita. We LOVE your Naan recipe – is that something that would work with this, or do I need to buy pita? (Is there a big difference?)

    • — Judy on July 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, it would be fine to use the naan (and glad you like it) – hope you like the gyros as well!

      • — Jenn on July 29, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thank you! We loved it with the Naan.

        • — Judy on August 1, 2023
        • Reply
  • Jen, I love all of your recipes, and your cookbooks take pride of place in my kitchen! You make me look like a great chef! All we need now is to teach Jimmy Fallon how to correctly pronounce tzatziki LOL!

    • — Michelle Williams on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • You nailed this recipe. It came out perfect. We also made homemade seasoned french fries and it was perfect. I truly don’t know one recipe I have tried of yours that wasn’t perfect. Keep up the great work. You are loved! Island Kim

    • — Kim on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Outstanding flavor and so easy! Would like to try and airfry the meat next time.

    • — m3r1 on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Could this be made with just beef as not a fan of lamb?

    • — Joyce on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2023
      • Reply
      • Would you then add another pound of beef instead of lamb or just leave out the lamb ?

        • — Asra Hussain on August 13, 2023
        • Reply
        • I’d add another pound of beef. Enjoy!

          • — Jenn on August 14, 2023
          • Reply
  • I don’t have a food processor. What would suggest as alternatives? Blender and/or hand mixer? I bought your cookbook and LOVE it! All your recipes hit it out of the park!

    • — JC on July 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi JC, Another reader commented that she used a mixer and had success with it, so I think that’s worth a try. Keep in mind that it will likely take significantly longer to get it to the right texture. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on July 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • I follow a dairy free diet. What can be used as a substitute for yogurt in the sauce?

    • — Brooke Lewitan on July 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Brooke, You can use dairy-free yogurt for the tzatziki. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Thank you for all of your terrific recipes and cookbooks! I wanted to ask what I could substitute for bread crumbs as I can’t eat any bread at all. Is there a substitute I could use or just leave them out maybe??

    Thanks!

    • — Corinne Forster on July 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Corrine, You can just leave them out. The gyros won’t be quite as tender, but they’ll still be delicious. I’d reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, this recipe looks so good. I love gyros especially lamb. Well, actually anything lamb is on my list of favorites. I have all the ingredients at home except the pita. I was wondering, is there a certain brand you like or can recommend? I can’t wait to try this recipe, even though turning the oven on during triple digit heat sounds ridiculous, your recipes are simply the best. Thanks for all you do.

    • — Stella on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Stella, thanks for your nice words about the recipes – so glad you like them! I don’t have a particular brand of pita that’s my favorite but I generally try to find some sort of Middle Eastern brand if the store I am in carries one. Hope that helps at least a little, and that you enjoy the gyros!

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • Made this tonight — the food processor refused to comply, so I used the paddle in the stand mixer: worked out *really* well! Thanks for the recipe!

    • — Neil on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • HOW COULD YOU PUBLISH A RECIPE WITH SO MANY INGREDIENTS AND YOU DON’T SPECIFY QUANTITIES, VERY STRANGE CHEF.

    • — NICK ELLIOTT on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Nick, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on July 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! That video is hilarious!! Thanks for sharing! Question: I have a lamb roast in the freezer. Can I chop some raw lamb and mix it with the burger? I usually just use left over lamb bits for gyros.

    Thanks!

    • — Kathy on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t think the cooked lamb will work here. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on July 20, 2023
      • Reply

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