Homemade Gyro: A Greek Classic Recipe

A lamb gyro with a side of tzatziki sauce
Rob Macdougall/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 Gyros
Ratings (107)

Gyros are surprisingly easy to make at home, and it is a great sandwich for both lunch and dinner. This particular recipe uses ground meat. For a more traditional Greek taste, lamb would certainly be preferred, yet beef does a fine job as well.

You can also season and slice whole cuts of pork or ham for a tasty gyro

What You'll Need

  • Meat Mixture:
  • 1 pound 
  • ground lamb (or beef)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2  
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon 
  • fresh lemon juice
  • For the Sandwich:
  • 4 rounds of flatbread or pita.
  • 1 leaf of lettuce
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Tzatziki sauce

How to Make It

To Make the Meat Mixture

The first step in making any gyro is to prepare the meat. It is very easy and should take just a few minutes though you will need to let it marinade for an hour, so plan ahead.

  1. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Divide into four equal portions and shape into oblong patties about 3" wide, 6" long, 1/2" thick.
    • Notice that the patty is shaped more like a sausage - long and thin - rather than a hamburger patty. This is intentional, to ensure the patty fits in the flatbread.
  1. Refrigerate for one hour.

To Build the Sandwich

You can grill the patties on your outdoor grill or fry them up in a pan on the stove. The goal is to have crisp edges on the patty.

Also, the toppings that go into a traditional gyro are simple: tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, and onion. If you prefer, you can skip the onion because there are already onions in the meat.

  1. Grill the patties over high heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
  2. Spread tzatziki sauce down the center of a flatbread round.
  3. Add a lettuce leaf, some diced tomato, and a few thin onion slices.
  4. Add the patty, fold the bread over the lamb, and enjoy.

Tip: Gyros are messy to eat. You can avoid it falling apart in your lap by wrapping each gyro in foil.