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Easy Homemade Gyro Meat Recipe

easy homemade gyro meat served on pita flat bread

Easy Home­made Gyro Meat is a savory and herba­ceous com­bi­na­tion of ground lamb and ground beef with a dis­tinct­ly Mediterranean/ Mid­dle East­ern fla­vor pro­file. Mine is, of course, an Amer­i­can­ized ver­sion of this deli­cious dish, uti­liz­ing ingre­di­ents read­i­ly avail­able to me.

It’s not an easy thing with all that’s going on in the world to just go out and enjoy our favorite restau­rant dish­es. This is one you can now enjoy right at home. I think you’ll find it’s a scrump­tious nod to the clas­sic gyro recipe and you won’t need to wait until you can vis­it your favorite Greek restau­rant to enjoy this deli­cious sandwich!

In the Mediter­ranean and Mid­dle East, this fla­vor­ful meat mix­ture was tra­di­tion­al­ly shaped into a dense­ly packed cone around a ver­ti­cal spit and roast­ed over a wood fire. 

loaf of homemade gyro meat on a cutting board - gyro recipe

If you’ve ever eat­en a gyro at a sum­mer fair, you may have seen a mod­ern ver­ti­cal rotis­serie spin­ning and roast­ing gyro meat. The ver­ti­cal spit allows a crispy carameliza­tion to form on the out­side of the cone of meat. The meat is shaved off the cone in very thin slices to make sand­wich­es and the rotis­serie con­tin­ues to spin and add a new lay­er of caramelization.

I def­i­nite­ly don’t own a ver­ti­cal rotis­serie or an out­door spit over an open fire, but I have fig­ured out how to get that gyro recipe fla­vor, that is so crave­able, into a for­mu­la we can bake at home.

Gyro sand­wich­es are usu­al­ly assem­bled on a pita bread with toma­to wedges, sliv­ers of onion, and creamy tzatzi­ki sauce. In our fam­i­ly, we like to add let­tuce, too. We have used pita flat breads and also pock­et pitas with equal suc­cess when mak­ing this gyro recipe.

Rework­ing my Easy Home­made Gyro Meat recipe remind­ed me how much I love a tasty gyro sand­wich. They are a sat­is­fy­ing and fla­vor­ful meal you can hold in your hand. I hope you and your fam­i­ly love the chance to make your own at home!

There Has to Be Tzatziki

Tzatzi­ki sauce is almost as impor­tant to the gyro, as the meat. The recipe for this cool cucum­ber-yogurt sauce is super sim­ple. I’ll include it in the Notes sec­tion of this recipe card, but if you want to see the details of how to make it, vis­it my Tzatzi­ki recipe page.

tzatziki sauce

How to Make Homemade Gyro Meat

Place all the ingre­di­ents into your food proces­sor. Pulse until things start com­ing togeth­er and then you can switch to high.

High speed breaks down the pro­teins in the meat and incor­po­rates all the ingre­di­ents, thor­ough­ly. I know it seems counter-intu­itive, but the meat looks more like paste, rather than ground meat.  You’ll know, then, that you have it right.

Press the meat mix­ture into a loaf pan.  I used an *8“x4” bread pan, but you can use what you have on hand.  Just keep in mind that you may need to adjust the cook­ing time.  My pan was full to the top.  If yours is less full, you may want to start test­ing the meat’s done­ness earlier.

easy homemade gyro meat  baked in a loaf - gyro recipe

Real­ly press the meat mix­ture tight­ly into the pan.  You want to cre­ate a dense fin­ished prod­uct with­out many air pockets.

Pre­heat the oven to 350° and then bake the loaf for 45 — 60 min­utes.  Start test­ing at the 45 minute mark.  Pull it out when the inter­nal tem­per­a­ture hits 160°.  Be sure your meat ther­mome­ter is insert­ed into the cen­ter of the loaf and not sit­ting on the bot­tom of the pan. Set the pan on a cool­ing rack and allow it to rest for 15 or 20 minutes.

There will be a lot of drip­pings in the pan.  I usu­al­ly dis­card them, but some peo­ple save them to add to the meat when they warm the thin slices.

Slicing Your Homemade Gyro Loaf

About slic­ing the gyro loaf.  One of the most notable things about gyro meat is that the slices are super thin. Chefs and pur­vey­ors of gyros slice the meat off the spit-cooked cone with large knives. It’s almost a shav­ing process. We’ve baked our meat as a loaf, so the process is a lot less complicated.

Cool the meat before slic­ing for the best results.  If you want to serve it right away, then you can def­i­nite­ly slice it warm.  How­ev­er, you may have some prob­lems with crumbling.

If you’re cool­ing the meat first, remove the loaf of meat from the pan and set it on the cool­ing rack to come to room tem­per­a­ture. Slice it at that point, or wrap the loaf whole and refrig­er­ate. Then, slice it when you are ready to serve it.  Make the slices very thin.  You’re shoot­ing for ⅛” or thinner.

Slicing easy homemade gyro meat  into 18" or less slices.  - gyro recipe

To use the thin­ly sliced gyro for sand­wich­es, I like to put about 1 tea­spoon of oil or but­ter into the bot­tom of a cast iron skil­let and heat it on medi­um-high heat.  Add thin slices of the meat to the hot skil­let, in a sin­gle lay­er, to warm them through and get that sig­na­ture carameliza­tion that makes these sand­wich­es so deli­cious.  It should only take about 30 sec­onds per side, since the meat is sliced so thinly.

Assem­ble the restau­rant style sand­wich­es:  Arrange warm meat slices, sliv­ered raw onion, sliced toma­toes, let­tuce and tzatzi­ki sauce on warm pita flat­bread.  Fold in half (like a taco) and enjoy.  I have also suc­cess­ful­ly made gyros inside pock­et pita bread.  Use the one you can eas­i­ly find in your area.

Enjoy this deli­cious gyro recipe!

easy homemade gyro meat served on pita flat bread with lettuce, tomato slices, onion slivers and tzatziki sauce
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Easy Homemade Gyro Meat


  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 serv­ings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

 

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 medi­um onion peeled and quartered
  • 2 table­spoons minced garlic
  • 1 table­spoon dried oregano
  • 1 table­spoon dried thyme
  • 1 tea­spoon dried rosemary
  • 2 ½ tea­spoons ground cumin
  • 2 tea­spoons salt
  • 2 tea­spoons ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre­heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Place all the ingre­di­ents into your food processor.
  3. Pulse until things start com­ing togeth­er and then you can switch to high.
  4. I know it seems counter-intu­itive, but you want every­thing incor­po­rat­ed and the pro­teins in the meat to be bro­ken down.  When it is fin­ished the meat should look more like a paste, than ground meat.
  5. Press the meat mix­ture into a loaf pan.  I used an 8“x4” size, but you can use what you have on hand.  Just keep in mind that you may need to adjust the cook­ing time.  My pan was full to the top.  If yours is less full, you may want to start test­ing the meat’s done­ness earlier.
  6. Real­ly press the meat tight­ly into the pan.  You want to cre­ate a dense fin­ished prod­uct with­out many air pockets.
  7. Bake at 350° for 45 — 60 min­utes.  Start test­ing at the 45 minute mark.  Pull it out when a meat ther­mome­ter insert­ed into the cen­ter hits 160°.  Set the pan on a cool­ing rack and allow it to rest for 15 or 20 minutes.
  8. There will be a lot of drip­pings in the pan.  I usu­al­ly dis­card them, but some peo­ple save them to add to the meat when they warm the thin slices.
  9. About slic­ing the gyro meat.  One of the most notable things about gyro meat is that it is sliced very thin­ly.  This is much more eas­i­ly accom­plished once the meat is cool.  If you want to serve it right away, then you can def­i­nite­ly slice it warm.  How­ev­er, the process is sim­pler after the meat has cooled.  If cool­ing the meat first, remove the loaf of gyro meat from the pan and set it on the cool­ing rack to come to room tem­per­a­ture. Slice it at that point or wrap the loaf whole and refrig­er­ate and slice it when you are ready to serve it.  Make the slices very thin.  You’re shoot­ing for ⅛” or thinner.
  10. To use the thin­ly sliced gyro meat for gyro sand­wich­es, I like to put about 1 tea­spoon of oil or but­ter into the bot­tom of a cast iron skil­let and heat it on medi­um-high heat.  Add thin slices of gyro meat to the hot skil­let to warm them through and get that sig­na­ture carameliza­tion that makes these sand­wich­es so deli­cious.  It should only take about 30 sec­onds per side, since the meat is sliced so thinly.
  11. Assem­ble the sand­wich­es:  Arrange warm meat slices, sliv­ered raw onion, sliced toma­toes, let­tuce and tzatzi­ki sauce on warm pita flat­bread.  Fold in half (like a taco) and enjoy.  I have also suc­cess­ful­ly made gyros inside pock­et pita bread.  Use the one you can eas­i­ly find in your area.

Notes

Home­made Tzatzi­ki Sauce

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cucum­ber, minced fine
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (For dairy-free try coconut yogurt.  It just needs to be thick.)
  • 2 tea­spoons lemon juice
  • 1 Table­spoon dried dill weed
  • 1 tea­spoon minced gar­lic or ½ tea­spoon gar­lic powder
  • Salt and pep­per to taste

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingre­di­ents in a small mix­ing bowl.  Taste as you go and adjust salt and pep­per or oth­er sea­son­ings, as needed.
  2. Cov­er and chill the tzatzi­ki in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. Gar­nish with more minced cucum­ber and dill before serv­ing, if desired.
 
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Meat, Beef, Lamb, Main Dish
  • Method: bak­ing
  • Cui­sine: Mediter­ranean American

Other Ways to Serve Homemade Gyro Meat

Gyro sand­wich­es aren’t the only deli­cious option for using your home­made gyro meat.

Gyro Quesadilla - with homemade gyro meat, sliced tomatoes, slivered onions, kale and cheddar cheese on a flour tortilla
Gyro Que­sadil­la
  • Easy and Deli­cious Gyro Que­sadil­las — post com­ing soon 
  • Lunch in a Hur­ry Gyro Meat Flat­bread Piz­zas — Arrange home­made gyro meat, chopped onion and moz­zarel­la cheese on pita flat­bread. I bake the piz­zas at 425° until the flat­bread is hot and crispy and the cheese is melt­ed. Sprin­kle with fine­ly diced toma­toes and cucum­bers. Driz­zle with tzatzi­ki sauce.
  • Gyro Sal­ad — build a sal­ad using your favorite gyro and Greek sal­ad ingre­di­ents. Add some olive oil and red wine vine­gar to tzatzi­ki sauce to cre­ate a fla­vor­ful Mediter­ranean sal­ad dressing.
  • Gyro Grilled Cheese Sand­wich­es — Use your favorite cheese and home­made gyro meat to cre­ate cus­tom grilled cheese sand­wich­es. Add a lit­tle bar­be­cue sauce with the meat and cheese and then grill as you would, normally.
  • Gyro Pas­ta Din­ner — toss chopped gyro meat, diced toma­toes, cucum­bers and onions with your favorite cooked pas­ta. Driz­zle with olive oil or melt­ed but­ter and a lit­tle tzatzi­ki. Sprin­kle with Parme­san cheese.

If You Enjoyed this Recipe, You Might Like to Try:

Mag­nif­i­cent Meat­ball Stew

Easy Ham­burg­er Stroganoff

Hot Beef Sandwiches

hot beef sandwich with roast beef gravy

20 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Gyro Meat Recipe”

  1. Oh just what I’ve been look­ing for! I found a HUGE box of gyro meat at the bulk store but it would­n’t even fit in my freez­er. I can’t wait to make this one.

    Reply
  2. What a genius idea! I had nev­er tried mak­ing my own gyro meat before. It turned out great. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. OMG, this is a game-chang­er! I love gyros and am so excit­ed to be able to make them at home! Thank you!!

    Reply
  4. This was easy and the meat fla­vor and tex­ture were bet­ter than a local chain Greek restau­rant near us in CA. I used the run off for liq­uid in rice which was sooo fla­vor­ful. The meal was a win­ner. Thanks, this made enough for two meals for four seniors.

    Reply

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