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Gyro on a plate with yogurt sauce

Homemade Gyros, Your Way–Meaty or Meatless

With a few basic components–and customized filling with or without meat–you can make lip-smacking homemade gyros any day of the week.

There’s a wonderful little Greek restaurant 90 minutes from my house called Yia Yia Nikkis. It’s our go-to for gyros.

And since it’s only a drive-through takeout stand, this restaurant is still open.

But since we’re not traveling, we haven’t been there, which means our gyros cravings are at an all-time high.

Many Ways to a Homemade Gyro

Homemade gyro

In most recipes, a lot is made of the gyro meat. Generally, lamb, it can also be beef or even pork–or a combination. The meat is succulent, flavored with garlic, lemon, cumin and herbs.

But it’s really not the most important part of a gyro–in my book, at least.

I’ve made gyros at home with simply boiled chickpeas or hummus. Or, I use any leftover meats: grilled chicken, braised beef, lamb or pork shoulder.

You don’t need a lot to make a meal of homemade gyros.

Ingredients for homemade gyros
Leftover braised pork (bottom left) or hummus (top right) make simple filling for homemade meaty or meatless gyros.

The point is that a gyro is more than the sum of it’s parts. The critical components are fresh vegetables–especially cucumbers and tomatoes, good pita bread and tzatziki sauce for topping.

Heck, you can even use this 5-minute yogurt-tahini sauce. There are no hard-and-fast rules.

Make Gyros Your Way

The best part is these gyros please even the pickiest eaters. I set everything out like a salad bar and everyone makes their own.

And for complete customization, you can turn these same ingredients into gyro salad platters. Here’s my recipe from Fine Cooking magazine for chicken gyro salad.

A gyro plate

So, “gyros your way” means that no matter what meats or other filling ingredients you have or want to use, you can still have great homemade gyros on demand.

And they’re easy enough to make for a quick dinner or lunch. Way better than another sandwich!

We’re all happy gyro eaters now, and it’s way quicker than traveling for takeout.

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What’s in your homemade gyro? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Homemade Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

This recipe is based on using a filling of your choice–from leftover meats to cook whole or pureed beans–to make scrumptious homemade gyros. Good pita is key, as well as a variety of fresh vegetables and this lemony tzatziki sauce for topping.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword homemade gyros
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

  • 4 large pita breads, homemade or store bought
  • 2 cups filling of your choice, meat or meatless leftover chicken, ground beef, braised beef or lamb or whole or pureed cooked beans like hummus

For the tzatziki sauce:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint or cilantro

Some optional toppings:

  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 red pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta

Instructions

  1. Warm the pita breads in a low oven. If using leftover meats, warm them with the pita bread in an oven or in the microwave. If using hummus or other beans, bring them to room temperature.

  2. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki sauce, Combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon, salt and mint in a small bowl. Stir well and taste for seasoning. If you used Greek yogurt and it seems too thick, thin it with up to 1 tablespoon water.)

  3. Arrange the pita breads, filling, toppings and sauce for a make your own gyro bar.

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