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Easy Homemade Gyro Meat

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




  • 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 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper


  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 1/8" 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.


Homemade Tzatziki Sauce


  • 1/2 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 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  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