Greek Lamb Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Yesterday, I told you all about the amazing gyros that my Chief Culinary Consultant and I used to get when he was living outside of D.C. Since he moved back two years ago, we have been in a serious gyro drought. Thank the gyro gods that the house we bought is located only about five minutes from a fabulous gyro joint here in Pittsburgh. In the meantime, however, I’ve been dreaming about making gyros at home. Gyros are one of those things that just seem… impossible to make at home, right? Sort of like pop-tarts. As I’ve come to learn, however, nothing is impossible in the kitchen. These gyros are proof in the pudding… they were not very difficult to make, and are every bit as good (better, even) than our favorites from Greek and Middle Eastern take out joints.
While traditional gyro meat is cooked on a vertical spit and then shaved off, that’s not exactly practical in a home kitchen. In order to get those thin strips of meat cooked to the correct consistency, it’s actually baked twice. A combination of ground lamb, seasonings, onion, garlic and slab bacon are processed together to form a cohesive mass. The mixture is shaped into a meatloaf, for lack of a better word, and baked at a low temperature. Once given time to sit, very thin strips of meat are sliced off, then laid in a pan and broiled for a couple of minutes.
I was seriously stunned at how similar this meat tasted to the gyro meat that I have been accustomed to. It has so much flavor and the texture is just perfect.
When serving gyros, you want to look for pocketless pita bread, which can also be referred to as “hand-pulled”. Naan or flatbread can also work in a pinch. Then, pile on the meat, tzatziki sauce, chopped tomatoes and thinly sliced onion. Wrap it all up and then dig in. Don’t forget some extra tzatziki sauce on the side; you can never have enough of that awesomeness.
I love being proven wrong when I think a certain type of food is beyond being made at home. Who am I kidding? Everything can be made at home, and it’s usually better than you can get elsewhere. These gyros are no exception.
Two years ago: Salted Caramel Cashew Bark
Five years ago: Chicken Pot Pie
Six years ago: Chili-Rice Dinner
Lamb Gyros Recipe
For the Gyro Meat:
- 1 pound (453.59 g) ground lamb
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- ½ (0.5) yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 3 ounces (85.05 g) slab bacon, or 5 slices sliced bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- Pocketless pita bread
- Tzatziki Sauce
- Tomato, coarsely chopped
- Yellow onion, thinly sliced
- Make the Gyro Meat: In a medium bowl, combine the ground lamb, salt, pepper and oregano leaves with your hands, mixing until all of the seasonings have been evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place the lamb mixture in the bowl of a food processor and add the onion, garlic and bacon. Process until a smooth puree is formed, 30 seconds to 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. With moistened hands, shape the lamb mixture into a rectangle about 8 inches long and 5 inches wide. Bake until the center of the loaf reaches 155 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Adjust the oven rack to the highest position (1½ to 2 inches below broiler element) and preheat broiler. Slice the loaf of lamb meat crosswise into very thin pieces (they should be about ⅛-inch thick; no more than ¼-inch thick). Lay the strips on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil until edges are browned and crispy, 2 to 4 minutes. (I did this in two batches, as I couldn't fit all of the sliced meat on one baking sheet.) Be sure to keep an eye on it, as the broiler works quickly!
- Serve the Gyros: Warm up the bread either in the microwave (30 seconds), on the stovetop or in the oven. Top each with ¼ cup of tzatziki sauce, chopped tomatoes, sliced onions and gyro meat. Wrap with foil and serve.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This is our go to gyro recipe. My family LOVES it and with picky eaters in the house that says VOLUMES. When anyone asks me what gyro recipe i recommend…this one is it!
This recipe is a huge hit for my family vacation. I make the loaves prior and freeze them just like that. When it’s time to cook a meal for the crowd all I have to do is thaw the loaf, slice and broil for a few minutes. It’s the best and everyone loves the meal.
Awesome recipe ,I made ,it was a success
This is the best gyros recipe ever. Love it! Thank you so much!
I’ve tried this recipe before and it’s such a simple and easy one to follow. I was really amazed at how much it tasted just like the Greek Gyros I was missing from the Greek restaurants back home. I’m so glad I saved this recipe because I’m definitely making it again! I add lettuce instead of onion at the end to top it but otherwise the whole bit together is absolutely delicious! Doing the extra broil after it is sliced makes a world of a difference
This is the fourth or fifth time I have made these euros and they are wonderful the only thing I do is cut back on the salt a little I think it’s a little too salty for us however I make huge batches and then I cut him up in big lobes and freeze them and they’re there when we need them thank you thank you thank you so much for the recipe
5 stars for sure!
Uummmmmmmmm yummmmm this recipe
Was sooo easy and delicious it was sooo simple to make
I will have to give this 5 stars
Made this today and my only issue was I had to cook it for about an hour otherwise it was delicious.. Next time, I may raise the oven temp to 350 or 400.
Easy and delicious! I used fresh oregano and fresh rosemary as well as dried rosemary.
My family loves this recipe! Easy to make and tastes just like a restaurant-made gyro. Super yummy
Will try this recipe. Regarding Niko’s earlier comment on Doner vs Gyro….agree with his assessment but I would suggest the intent of this recipe is to create something that can be done in a home kitchen.
A real gyro is made with sliced strips of meat marinated and then threaded onto a vertical spit in conical shape and then the cooking process uses a machine way too expensive for a home kitchen.
Most gyro places in Europe/Mediterranean countries have now abandoned marinated lamb slices because of expense …. turning to chicken and pork for cost or ethnic reasons.. We visited Greece about 4 years ago and found it near impossible to buy a gyro made with lamb. Here in Central Valley CA we get American lamb (Superior Farms Sacramento) and it has not got the gamey taste of the more available imported Australian lamb fed on free range grasses. Plan to get a pound of that good Sacramento lamb and try this. Haven’t had a good gyro since our Chicago days in 80’s. Here’s hoping … stay tuned.
Have made this a few times. Took it to a Greek themed gathering and had the hostess (Greek) almost in nostagia tears.
Much easier than I thought this would end up being and my picky British fiancé loved them! He loves lamb but I don’t eat it so I substituted for chicken but delicious and easy nonetheless!
This is my go to recipe for homemade gyros! The gyro meat is delicious, and it goes great with homemade Turkish flatbread. Thanks for a fantastic recipe :)
This recipe was awesome! I made some substitutions because I was out of time and ingredients. I had no fresh oregano so I used dried Italian seasonings. I didn’t not serve the meat wrapped with tomatoes and onions because my husband and son don’t like them. The packaged lamp amount I used was 12 oz not a pound, but I used the same amount of the other ingredients. I only let the mixed lamb and spices refrigerate for 1/2 hour due to time. That’s all folks! P.S. there were no leftovers and I don’t eat meat, so the portion size was perfect for my two “boys”.
i love it yummy good foods
This technique is KILLER! I too thought that a gyro would never be a thing that I would make at home. That being said the meat needs a little more flavor, I added extra garlic to my mix and it still wasn’t enough. I looked up Alton Brown’s recipe (which is more complicated) and he uses half a tablespoon each of dried marjoram and rosemary for a pound of meat. Next time, and hell yes there will be a next time, I will try his seasonings with this technique. I would also do just a tad less bacon in the mix. I really don’t want to sound like a hater, I was blown away when all of the pieces came together to form a delicious gyro, I am just adding some ideas of my own. Thank you for giving me the courage to attempt this! I paired this meat with Chef John’s homemade pita recipe and his Tzatziki sauce. This will be made again and again in my home.
I first made this recipe about 10 months ago. I used sweet onions instead of yellow onions and used pre-cooked real bacon bits instead of raw bacon, because those were the ingredients I had in my kitchen. I made a double batch. The result was awesome. The only downside was paying $11 USD per pound for ground lamb.
My wife and I are empty nesters and I vac-packed and froze the left over cooked meat mixture in two-serving batches. The cooked meat mix freezes really well and is killer when reheated over a campfire with fresh vegies, home-made tzatziki and fire-grilled pitas.
Yesterday, my local grocer had ground lamb on sale for $5 a pound. I bought 5 pounds and froze 3 pounds. I made another double batch of this gyro meat according to the recipe, using yellow onion and raw bacon. I was skeptical of all that raw bacon. It took longer to roast than expected but, once again, WOW, it was wonderful. Great fresh-cooked gyros for dinner.
The vac-packed frozen left-over cooked meat mix will provide another summer of awesome campfire cuisine.
Forgot to put the stars
I made it exactly as the recipe indicates, minus the bacon and the mint, I didn’t have either. It was great! Will make again for sure. Thank you for sharing.
I only used the meat recipe, but that olive was amazing and as good as I’ve ever had Gyro meat!
I used store bought Tzatziki cucumber dill from Aldis, and flat bread from Kroger… my “Foody” family praised me, which is not typical! Especially since my foodie family is from PA where the culture run stitch and authentic is expected!
Last week I tried cooking this gyro chicken recipe using gyro grill with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese at home. This was my first attempt and it tastes so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
I don’t often leave reviews, but wow, this was amazing! I love gyros and usually only get them when it’s street festival time in the summer. I always figured it was impossible to make at home. I tried this recipe on a whim and I couldn’t believe how close it tasted to the ones I’ve had from those stalls at the street fairs. Now the only thing I need to find is a good pocketless pita. Not even my local middle eastern store had them :( Maybe I’ll have to make my own.
Needs much more garlic, at least 4 cloves, finely diced (in my opinion). I also added 1/2 tsp. ground Mexican oregano that I lightly toasted in a tbsp. of olive oil before adding to the meat mixture.
I don’t have a food processor so I ran the mixture through my heavy duty blender 1/2 cup at a time until it reached a smooth consistency, and then squished the batches together like making meatloaf. I think you could possibly use a hand meat grinder too. Just run it through the grinder several times until you get a smooth consistency. Repeated grindings will heat up the fat in the meat and make it harder to grind. If you find that it’s sticking or clumping too much, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to put a chill on the meat. It will grind more easily. You want a fine grind, not wallpaper paste.
Sorry, I forgot to leave my 5 star rating from my post. Trust me people, this is outrageously delicious. I have read some of the posts that said they had a hard time slicing it. I let mine rest for 20 mins. and it was delicious! Thank you again for a great recipe!
OMG! This was sooooooo delicious! I moved from Long Island, to Upstate N.Y. in the Adirondacks. We were use to eating gyros at least 3 times a month! When we moved to the Adirondacks, there were no such food as a gyro unless you traveled 45 minutes to buy them. Then Aldi’s, which is a store up here, carried gyro kits. They were the next best thing to a real gyro. They have since gone organic and no longer carry them! I have tried several different recipes but they don’t taste like gyros. Yours by far goes above and beyond. Now it is a permanent recipe in my file! Thank you so much.
Thank you sooo much for this amazing recipe! My whole family LOVED IT! It was a bit messy while using the food processor but it was worth it. The taste of the lamb loaf was amazing! I did not however make the tzatziki sauce. I will make it for sure next time :)
So easy. After 30 min, the meat didnt look cooked. Left at 300 for another 15min. Was hard to slice. Maybe should have used a serrated knife?? Getting ready to broil. So excited. Smells amazing and tastes great (on its own).
This looks amazing but ground lamb isnt that common where I live so I have to buy the lamb and then have someone ground it, they do it at the grocery store but my main question is what part of the lamb should I ground to get the perfect taste? since each part tastes somewhat different.
Hi Ed, I actually don’t know, I would ask the butcher at your grocery store, as I’m sure they would be more knowledgeable!
This was very good but wow, it really shrunk quite a bit!
I have been looking for a good gyro recipe and can finally stop looking! This was delicious and a hit with the family and the toddlers as well! Thank you for sharing!
DELICIOUS!! I will never have to go out to eat to eat a gyro again!!
I made it, and was delicious, unfortunately it fell apart when I sliced it, but it was good all the same
This recipe is outstanding. I live in a rural area where lamb is easy to find but not gyros. My family loves them after living in Chicago for decades. I followed the recipe to the Tee. I even weighed my bacon on a scale to be accurate. Don’t use favored bacon. I did everything the recipe called for but baking the lamb at 300 took longer than 30 minutes. I used a meat thermometer. After I let it rest for 30 I used
a very shape knife to cut into slices. I can’t believe how great these were.
In 2017, I had saved your recipe and then went searching for ground lamb. Only 1 supermarket (upscale) sold it and they wanted $10.99 for a lb. of ground lamb. Wow! I decided to forgo my craving. So, this year, I’ll bite the bullet and go for it. Hopefully, it is not just a seasonal item (spring). Your recipe makes quite a few slices so it would be more economical than purchasing gyros from the only place in this small town which has them on their menu.
I havent made this yet, but I look forward to it It is still winter here…no fresh oregano. What is a good substitute with dried oregano? I have both mexican and traditional. Or..would dried ruin this recipe?
I haven’t used dried, but you generally want to use 1/3 the amount, as it’s more concentrated, so you could do 2 teaspoons of dried oregano.
The absolute best!!!! I’m not one for lamb, but my husband & i LOVE this recipe!!! It will most DEFINITELY become a regular dinner around here!! My husband couldn’t stop talking about how good it was!!! TY!! TY!!!
Family Loved it. Now I need to purchase a better food processor because that did take up alot of extra time
Best gyro I’ve ever had I’m not a cook but I followed the recipe I had the half of it and it turned out delicious my wife isn’t much on lamb and she even enjoyed it she said it was just as good if not better than the ones that we have at a place we go here in Junction thank you so much is very delicious this is going to be something I do quite frequently I think
First time, I used beef not bacon and didn’t use a processor. Tasted like meat loaf. These directions it turned out great! Was totally worth the time
I made this tonight and I was not disappointed! Thanks for posting such a great recipe. I served this with some homemade naan bread, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes and feta cheese. Will definitely make again.
I am a big time lover of gyros. And lately I’ve been on a big gyros kick. I’ve been getting them from all over. Different restaurants, different cities – even frozen. So, Right now my pallet is pretty honed to what constitutes a good gyro. I just ate some of this about 30 minutes ago and – wow! My expectations where not high given the simplicity of the recipe, but this tasted extraordinarily close to a decent restaurant gyros. I think adding a half pound of ground beef to cut down on the gameness of the lamb and adding more onion, garlic, spices accordingly would probably make this perfect. I’m going to keep this recipe around and play with it to my liking but, even as is, it is fantastic. Letting it cool down to cut was so hard. It smelled and tasted great, I kept going back to the kitchen to sample it. Bravo! These were #$%&ing delicous. And before you ask, yes that expletive was necessary cause they are that good and super easy to make.
Best recipe for Gyro and tzatziki sauce!
This was so good! A keeper in my house, we even made dairy free tzatziki sauce with almond milk yogurt! It’s perfect!
I have made this at least four times since finding it on Pinterest a few months ago. We LOVE it!!! So much cheaper than eating gyros out and seriously just as good! I do use lamb and beef because the lamb is sold in 12oz packages and I then use 4oz ground beef to be more thrifty:) Thank you for such a great recipe for one of our favorite foods!
Michelle, your recipe is for DONER, not GYRO.
Doner is ground meat and spices, an Arab recipe. Picture it as a Middle Eastern meatloaf. Gyro is a Greek recipe with meat (pork and/or lamb), cooked with spices (on a vertical grill) and sliced.
Doner is the Arab word for spinning round. Gyro is the Greek word for spinning round. Doner…ground meat. Gyro…regular meat.
I don’t know of any Greeks who prepare it your way and serve it as gyro, because it is doner. The Greeks would take a boneless leg of lamb and add spices to that, slice and serve.
Often people will mention that it does not matter what it is called but indeed it does. Doner is a Middle Eastern invention that made its way to Greece under four hundred years of Ottoman oppression, but the Greeks used pork (which Muslims will not eat) in their recipe, and stacked their meat to make it their own instead of grounding the meat. This is a Classic Gyro, perfected in Athens at many gyro restaurants. Unfortunately in the United States, everything gets “misrepresented” because the public accepts it as such. Many pizzerias are now reheating frozen meatloaf strips and serving it in what they call a “gyro” because if it’s pita with tzatziki, then it’s a gyro. The same way putting feta on a lettuce salad makes it a Greek salad. No it does not. A Greek salad NEVER has lettuce. Here in the U.S. apparently it does.
I can say that your recipe is delicious and very tasty. I do recommend it to anyone who wishes to make doner. If they wish to make gyro, use pork shoulder and/or boneless leg of lamb, and marinate it before slowly cooking it to enjoy.
I have made these several times and each time I make them they get better and better. There is no need to make a special stop at the Greek restaurant anymore. I have now ventured out and mixed the lamb with veal and WOW – so good and a taste of the Balkans here in the USA.
Made this tonight. AMAZING!!!
1. Did not refrigerate meat 1 hour before pureeing.
2. Used dry dill weed in place of fresh dill.
3. Shredded the cucumber for sauce.
Served with diced tomato, cucumber, klamata olive and red onion…like a relish for the gyro. So good!!
This dish was delicious!!
I made these once before for a big extended family meal and they were wonderful. One trick I did to save time the meal day was that I cooked the “loafs” ahead of time and then froze it. That morning I thawed them and when it was time for lunch I just sliced them thin and broiled. Was super quick to get on the table for the 20 plus people. I’m making it again this year since everyone loved them so much!
I love Gyros, one change: try using pickled thinly sliced red onions. Add more complexity to the Gyro.
I also make my own pocketless pita. Very easy to make with a cast iron skillet and so much better that the dry store bought ones.
These are DELICIOUS 🤤. Thank you for an amazing recipe…from one Pittsburgher to another!
These were very delicious, the consistency of the meat was perfect, just like any you can buy in a restaurant. My kids loved them. Husband said maybe a bit less bacon.
My husband and I just finished eating our gyros, and our bellies are so happy! Incredible recipe, and so full of authentic flavor! Thank you for sharing!
Could you cook this meat in a skillet like ground beef instead of baking and slicing?
Hi Jessica, You could, but then you wouldn’t have gyro meat; it would just be ground meat. Gyros are made specifically with thinly sliced meat.
We have lamb in the freezer for the first time (4H project). I had Googled a lot of lamb recipes and considered making these gyros for a month or so before finally making them today. My family enjoyed them, with one picky 18 yr-old exception. We have ZERO comparison as we live in the middle of Kansas and have little access to Greek food.
The meat is very good. It is not at all easy as indicated! I doubled the recipe and would highly recommend doing that because it is a lot of work and you can then have some good leftovers for your freezer. I used dried oregano – a third dried to recipe’s fresh amount. I would probably reduce that a smidge as it has a strong oregano flavor. My meat held together just fine. Our lamb is rather fatty and that may help bind it. Definitely use the food processor to get the right consistency and let it rest as directed before slicing. I used a large serrated knife to slice and had NO problems.
I baked it for an hour at 300 F. I started checking the temp of the meat at 35 minutes and it just wasn’t hot enough.
I am glad I made these. We got our Greek on today!
I want to add that I DO NOT have a high end food processor. I doubled the recipe, but processed half (a regular recipe) amount at a time. I had no trouble with my food processor. The bacon I used was “ends and pieces” from a hog we had butchered. It was not as “stringy” as sliced bacon, maybe that helped?
Forgot to give 5 atars so here it is !
I will never buy gyros out again ! Everytime Ai have made these everyone raves about them! Such a good recipe that I will always use ! Thank you!
Followed the recipe exactly on one batch and made another batch with lamb & ground beef instead of pork (for those that couldn’t eat pork). Delicious either way! I did alter the Tzatziki Sauce, adding 5 more cloves of garlic after the fact, because I like to TASTE the garlic , if you catch my meaning! Thank you for a great recipe!!!
I love these where do you get that bread or do you make your own?
Hi Cheryl, I just bought them at the grocery store!
Made this tonight and my husband & I loved it! Lots of yumms and OMG’s. We love gyros and are always on the hunt for them at our local farmers markets & food fairs. This is so wonderful. Thank you for a great recipe! We’ll be making this again for sure!
We made these a couple of nights ago and they were a HUGE hit! The tzatziki was also delicious. My husband and I could not believe how authentic this tasted. I can’t wait to make it again! Thank you so much!
Just made the Lamb Gyro’s today. WOW! These are great. My husband said it is the best he has ever had! Thank you so much for the recipe. I will be making it again….and again……..
Since I couldn’t find lamb meat at my grocery stores, I used ground turkey. Everything was going fine until I had to cut the loaf of meat to make the slices because when I tried to cut it, the meat just crumbles down. Is there a solution to fix this issue or was it because turkey meat was used? Thanks in advance!
Hi Kai, That could definitely be the problem, lamb has a much higher fat content than turkey does.
How can people rate this recipe 5 stars without having tried the recipe?
It looks like the only people who left reviews actually DID try the recipe (only the posts with stars below the comment are actual reviews).
Thank you for sharing , This I have long wished that I could make Gyros at home! I’ll be trying this over the weekend.
Possible to freeze leftovers? Or make a double batch – one for the freeze?
Hi Cee Cee, Yes, you could do that!
These came together quite easily and were very flavorful!! The leftovers were fantastic also!
Thank you very much for the recipe! We will certainly make these again and again.
This is actually the exact same recipe from serious eats… not adapted. Give credit where credit is due. Great recipe from Kenji López Alt.
This was absolutly amazing! Just got done eating and I had to write a review. This tastes just like real gyros. We made a different tzatziki sauce, so I can’t comment on that. We will definitely be making this again! Thanks for this recipe!!!
Thank you soo much for this recipe! Just got done eating and HOLY cow, these taste like the real thing! Followed recipe to a “T” and came out wonderful! Was nervous about slicing, but sliced perfectly. Next time I’ll double it, this was enough for 2 big pitas.
Thank you again! We’ll be having these alot!
This was delicious! My fiance and I absolutely love it and will keep it in rotation!
At our big family Christmas we all pick different styles of food to bring and mine is Greek. I would love to make this and bring but is it something I can make completely before hand and just heat up when it comes time to eat? Or would it be best to make the morning of and try to keep it warm?
Hi Jessica, I think you could make it ahead and reheat it, covered. Enjoy!
Tried this as written and you nailed it! I used bacon instead of salt pork and I wouldn’t change a thing next time I make it. I lived in Greece while in the military for 4 years and this recipe is the closest to shaved off the spit I have ever tried. Thanks so much for my now favorite recipe!
Making these right now. Question: When you cook the loaf at 300 degrees, do you cook it covered or uncovered? Thank you.
My husband and I just tried a new Greek restaurant in our area the other night. We both ordered gyros and were a little disappointed that the meat was packaged and just heated up on the flat top, and there were no onions in the gyro. Now I can make them at home…can’t wait to try your recipe this weekend! I think I’m going to stick with the family recipe for tzatziki sauce (grated and drained cucumbers, plain yogurt, minced garlic, white pepper, olive oil and a splash of vinegar).
This meal was incredible!! The recipe is easy to follow and the end product was delicious!!
Thanks for this gyro recipe! I just moved and realized that there are no Greek restaurants anywhere near my new apartment. I tried your recipe when I craving a good gyro and was pretty impressed. I did terrible cutting the meat, but it still tasted good. Thanks for sharing this!
How do you get the slices like like? Mine always fall apart. ?
I just use a super sharp knife and go slowly!
This recipe is amazing! I made this for my husbands birthday all i heard was this is so good, between bites of course. Now that i know how easy the sauce and meat are to make on my own i dont need to go out for my favorite food. Thank you for the recipe.
Amazing! I simplified it by using 1 tbsp of dryer oregano instead of 2 tbsp of fresh which I had in the house already. And skip the “Puree” step. I am not a fan of mushy meat. Added a little garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
Great recipe! My husband loves lamb, it was delicious. I will definitely make this again!
SO Excited to make these for a Greek-inspired menu in a few weeks. I’ll be serving a crowd, and wondered if I could prep this a day ahead by doing the first bake and slicing the meat, then broiling when I’m ready to serve? What do you think?
Hi Wendy, I would probably prepare the meat the whole way then just reheat for serving.
This is the best! Everyone in my family loves lamb gyros and now I can make it at home thanks to you. Thanks a bunch for sharing your recipe.
Thanks for posting the recipe! Thought it sounded good but adjusted the Greek seasoning to one I found on Food.com, mixed it all together and let the meat with the seasoning sit for 3 hours. Followed the rest of the recipe as followed and could not have been happier!! Great with lamb and the addition of bacon takes it to another level!! Thanks again!!!
This was delicious. It was better than anything I’ve gotten out. Thanks for the recipe. Definitely a keeper. I have already recommended it to several people. I will make this again.
Made them and it was a big hit!
Would baking in the oven or pan frying after cutting the loaf into very thin slices, achieve the same effect as broiling, as my oven has no broiler?
thank you, for making what seem like culinary impossibilities into
Hi Monica, I think baking at the highest temperature your oven has would be the closest to broiling. Enjoy!
These were amazing! I followed all directions to a tee and they were delicious! I made some fresh pita’s to go with them (from http://feelingfoodish.com/greek-flatbread-or-pocketless-pitas/). Gyros will be a staple “fast food fix” in our house from now on. Oh, and they freeze beautifully. I placed them flat in a ziploc and they unthaw great! Thanks so much for this recipe!
I just got a gyro and chicken over rice instead of the pita bread off a food truck in DC and thought to myself ” I wonder if I can make this at home” ? I am excited to try this out! Thanks!
Tried making this but ran into a bit of a nightmare with the food processor – even though I sliced the bacon as directed, fatty parts ended up twisting around the motors in not one, but TWO food processors. Burned through both motors, and in desperation I tried using a blender as a last resort (can’t tell you how much of the lamb was wasted transferring from multiple devices). Never got a good puree. I used cuisinart food processors, but maybe something more industrial is required? Really disappointed (especially given that with the herbs, lamb, etc., the meal wasn’t exactly cheap). My semi-pureed loaf is in the oven now, but I know that the texture will be off. For those without high-end food processors, you may want to avoid this dish or else leave out the bacon and/or chop the bacon much smaller than directed.
I recently tried making this. It came out a bit crumbly and meatloaf-like, too. I think I have a few reasons why that might be. The ground lamb I got at the local Albertsons seemed very fatty. When I took it out to test the temperature, there was a lot of liquid around the loaf and coming out of the spot where the thermometer had pierced. I noticed when I was cutting it that the meat wasn’t as dense as you would expect gyro meat to be. I think next time I try to make this, I’ll first go with another store’s ground lamb (luckily the local Fry’s (aka Kroger) stores here carry it as well). Second, I’ll try to make to in a shallow cake/brownie pan and try to press the meat as much as possible to try to get a less airy consistency.
Kenji Lopez-Alt addressed this issue when he published the recipe in 2010. He does a scientific breakdown of how he developed the recipe and what faults can happen.
I made this last night and it was WONDERFUL! I have been trying to find a good gyro meat recipe. My husband and kids loved them (5 & 2). I also found a recipe and made my own pocketless pitas. Delicious :) I might have to make these for a football game.
I made these this week and they turned out great! Big fan. Besides, what’s not to love about bacon!!! I made exactly as recipe said.
Good girl! I’m so excited to see that you have an authentic Greek recipe for your tzaziki. Most people just use sour cream and don’t even bother with straining the yogurt. Silly.
I just made this and it was delicious!
I made this yesterday for my family and my husband was so impressed (and so was I!!). I also made the Tzaziki which was pretty good. I’ve now made 3 Brown Eyed Baker recipes in a week! (Made the Sausage and Spinach Breakfast Casserole for Easter lunch!!) Yummy!
I love gyros and would like to try to make this at home. I have access to ground lamb so that’s no problem. I am curious as to what the bacon adds to the recipe, even though getting my hands on various kinds of bacon isn’t a problem. Is it fat? I could use ground pork instead.
The bacon adds some fat, yes (although lamb is plenty fatty already), but also a nice smokey undertone to the gyro meat.
These look so good. I’ve been craving them for days. Tonight for dinner they shall be mine! Thank you for this wonderful recipe.
I’d love to try to make this for Easter. Is there a way to make it ahead of time and then just reheat on the day of? Like could I bake the meat and then keep it in the fridge over night and then the next day just broil it before serving?
Hi Tricia, I think you could completely cook the meat and then just reheat in the microwave the next day. We kept the cooked meat for a few days and reheated as we needed, and it was great.
This recipe rocks! It’s the only one I use for gyros. I don’t add as much bacon because it can be over powering, other than that I don’t change anything in the ingredients. It’s perfect. Today I mixed ground elk and lamb and it turned out delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s so easy and cheaper to make it at home.
I am in love with your blog! Pinned a whole lot of recipes that I cannot wait to try, including this one. My husband and I love lamb gyros so I’m definitely going to be making this for dinner sometime soon!
Anyway to make this without bacon or pork? Love lamb myself. I avoided it for years and first experience was a lamb stew the cook was not very good either. A man from Chile taught me how to oven cook leg of lamb fresh from pasture…Mmmm nummers!~!! Definitely worth trying though finding lamb around here is next to impossible :o(
Hi Angel, I think you could just omit the bacon; the flavor will be a little bit different, but I think it will still taste great!
Been craving a gyro since I move from NYC to Florida. These look great, and I’m planning on trying this recipe tomorrow. Do you think it would be easier to cut thin if you put it into the fridge for a couple hours after it has rested? As far as the Tzatziki Sauce, I prefer a creamy sauce. I find Greek yogurt to be thick and pasty. Do you think regular plain yogurt would soften it?
Hi Mike, I didn’t have an issue with slicing the meat, just make sure you have a nice sharp slicing knife and you should be just fine. Refrigerating it before baking it again might compromise the texture.
for those wondering about the bacon, if you use a high fat ground beef it should work as well, it will just have a different flavor. the reason you’d use bacon is because of its fat content and when you process it with the lamb it makes an emulsion. that and bacon is delicious. for those whose meat is falling apart, there are a couple of things that may be going wrong. either the meat is too warm when blending it all together or there isn’t enough fat in the mixture.
I made these for lunch today and they are phenomenal! I made mine half beef/half lamb and it worked just fine. This one will go into my regular rotation. :)
Making these tonight and I have a question I don’t have fresh oregano I have ground oregano how much should I use? Is it still 2 tbsp? Thanks :)
Hi Zuly, I would only use a 2 teaspoons of the dried. Enjoy!
Made these tonight and YUMM! The little bit of extra effort for dinner was worth it. Second helpings all around!
I just tried this recipe today and i had to comment right away. It was awesome! tastes just like the gyro. I made it with goat meat but kept everything else the same. Came out delicious, although a touch salty. And i used kosher salt as listed, not table salt. All in all, awesome recipe.
Outstanding. Made a version of these (cut the salt a little, added marjoram). Sliced, placed on an olive oiled parchment paper, and crisped in a 450 degree oven. No need to go out for gyros any longer!
Hi, just made these today using the Ninja Professional 1000 to process the lamb after it sat for 2 hours, with the onion, bacon and garlic. What a mess! LOL!! But it did puree it :-) I have never done that before! I made double the recipe so baked 2 loaves. They were great! I also made your T sauce too. It came out really thick (I squeezed the heck out of those cucumbers!) I think next time I won’t do it soo much. Regardless, everything was very good! I served it with homemade french fries flicked with lemon juice (had some left over when I made the T sauce), and sprinkled with oregano and kosher salt. Everything was fantastic! I took photos too! :-) Thanks!
I made this last night along with homemade flatbread pitas. HOLY CRAP! Thank you so much! Absolutely amazing. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Lucky for us in Nova Scotia, Canada, we have “donairs”. They are basically the same thing made with lamb. We buy them at our local pizza joints. The only difference is the sauce. Whereas Gyros use Tzatski, donairs have donair sauce. Donair sauce is a mayonnaise based sweet sauce. While in Florida in September I tried a Gyro and now am in love with them also. I bought stuff yesterday to make some at home and looked on line to see if I was missing anything. Lucky for us we can buy the lamb meat already made for us at the local grocery store (called donair meat). Our local pizza shops make the meat as you describe, cooking a large spit and then sliced off and grilled for a short time. I’m sure I could also buy it there if I wanted to. Can’t to wait to try my own homemade. Maybe it will becomes a hit in Nova Scotia at some time in the future. Meantime I will make Gyros at home and get Donairs at my local pizza shop. Thanx.
Oh my gosh I was WONDERING how they got that texture in gyro!! I was just working on a post about some slow-cooker pulled lamb gyros, and I decided to make my next attempt the authentic way. I am SO bookmarking this to try soon soon soon!!!
Your gyro looks awesome, but I have to tell that in Greece gyro isn’t made with any ground meat. Usually is made with pork meat slices (marinated and seasoned) that they have to be shaved off in tiny stripes when grilled as you said. Then you can add whatever you want in your pita – tomato, potatoes,tzatziki or yogurt or the sauce you like, onions, and parsley on top of all these :) Pita with ground meat has other names. Lamb is more used in countries where people avoid pork for religion reasons. I never saw beef with pita here, but I suppose that in each place of earth people use what they have in hand. Anyway, souvlaki and gyro-pita is a delicious food. Love from Ikaria,Greece
I knew someone once who made their own. They made theirs into a flat loaf and froze it. then while frozen they took a sharp knife and cut the thin strips and cooked them in a fry pan.
I have got to say … these were fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. The only thing that I will change is to use a little less salt. AWESOME flavors. I’m going to attempt to make a couple and freeze them for quick dinners.
Gave this a shot today, consistency of the “loaf” wasn’t anything like what was pictured or described. It fell apart immediately upon attempting to slice it, the entire thing is crumbly and looks nothing like the picture. I’m not sure if it is related to the quality of the lamb that I used, or if it’s because of this recipe. Other recipes with similar instructions have commenters describing this happen.
I’m attempting to salvage it by forming thin strip-like loaves and broiling (or maybe pan-frying) those.
Cooked your gyro meat recipe for dinner at my fire station; it was a huge hit.
I’m making these for lunch today for my husband and all of his friends. One quick question…..do you cook the bacon before you mix it in or do you add it raw? I’m sure it doesn’t make that much of a difference but I just wanted to double check!
Hi Mandy, You add it raw. Enjoy!
Just made this tonight. Fabulous, wonderful we loved it! I can’t tell the difference between this and store bought the SAME. Excelent recipe thankyou thankyou for sharing!
Made this this past weekend was awesome!
Ran out of flat bread so used soft taco wraps. Worked just as well.
The sauces is just as awesome.
I did one thing different, instead of broiling I fried the sliced meat in a single layer just until it had golden marks. Will make again! Thanks for sharing.
Hmm…this made it on the menu for this weekend and I am excited! Question though – my food processor bit the dust months ago and I’ve not replaced it…..do you think a quick pulse in my Ninja blender will be fine? Or skip that piece?
Hi Kelly, I’m not familiar with how the Ninja blender works, but some pulsing would probably work. Enjoy!
I am so glad I forgot that my incredibly picky boyfriend did not like lamb, and blissfully ignored the skeptical faces he made when I told him I was making these. To say he liked them would be an understatement! He has never gushed so much about something I have made, and even suggested (gasp!) we replace taco night with these. We loved everything about them. The meat had just the right amount of spice to it and the tzatziki was so fresh and tasty. I am very excited to have these back in my life (it’s been so long since I’ve had one) and can’t believe how easy it is to make them at home. This is my first time perusing your site, but it will definitely not be the last! Thanks for making this novice cook look like a rock star.
Hello! I wanted to let you know that I loved this post so much, that I included it in my own food blog’s Weekend Wrap-Up of my favorite blog posts, recipes and pins from the past week. I never would’ve thought to partially cook the meat, then slice it down to finish cooking! Thanks for such a helpful post, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!
If you’re interested, here is a link to the wrap-up:
These look awesome, can’t wait to try. If anyone is looking for a fab. very easy recipe for flat bread, look on the King Arthur website, and search flat bread. The recipe would be found under Caesar grilled chicken sandwich on soft wrap bread. Great recipe!
I just made these for dinner tonight using ground beef instead of lamb as well as your tzatzicki sauce. It was an absolute hit with my kids and they are super picky! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I can’t wait to make it again when my husband comes home!
I have made homemade chicken gyros before but I really want to try lamb!
I love love LOVE gyros. Believe it or not, we have an amazing authentic Greek gyro place at the mall, of all places. On the rare occasions I make it out to the mall, that place and Great American Cookie Company are on the must-visit list!
By the way, if you have a recipe for shawarma lurking somewhere, bring it out ASAP! That’s something that I feel pretty hopeless about being able to make at home and absolutely adore.
Traditionally, Greek gyros (and not “doner”) has pork. Still, a great recipe. :)
Looks so Good love it !
This looks awesome!!! Reminds me so much of what we know up here in Eastern Canada as a Donair. Sub the gr lamb for ground beef, sub the tzatziki for donair sauce and you’ll have a donair!! Soo good!!!
I tried these using a combination of ground beef and ground turkey (I don’t eat lamb). The flavor was good but the consistency was still like meatloaf, even after broiling. Do you think I should process the meat longer?
Hi Heather, That could work, but also be sure that you’re slicing the meat EXTREMELY thin. It shouldn’t have enough substance to still taste like meatloaf.
I’ve never had a gyro but now I want to try one! Totally agree with you that homemade is always the best!
So that’s how the lamb is made! I always thought it looked a little funny when I order it, but boy is it yummy! I concur – just about anything can be made at home! Thanks for this, I’m definitely trying it!
These are delicious! I have made them using 1/2 ground lamb and 1/2 ground beef. I have also noticed ground lamb seems to more available in the Spring around Easter time. So I stock up and freeze it. Ethnic grocery stores also tend carry ground lamb. I agree it can be made with all ground beef, I found I had to increase the seasonings though!
These look pretty awesome!
Why have I never attempted this at home? This looks amazing!!
I love gyros!! I make them all the time :)
Ahh, ohh, but I was also so hoping you would have the recipe for the pocketless pita bread too :)
I know, I’m working on it! :)
YOU make these look easy!!
Ohhhhh! I love gyros! LOVE! Cannot wait to try these at home! Thank you, thank you!!!
I’m going to try this with ground beef first. I live in a small town where ground lamb isn’t easily found in our grocery stores, and to obtain some you would have to drive an hour or so. Thanks for posting though. I love gyros so much and have been craving them for way too long!
These look so amazing!! I’m so impressed that you figured out a way to replicate the delicious gyro meat. Can’t wait to try this!
There is nothing wrong with your recipe for a Greek “gyro”, however, the Lebanese immigrants, way back in 1979 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, introduced the “donair”, which originally was composed of lamb or a mixture of lamb and beef, and then became largely spiced ground beef, shaved off from a vertical spit – the difference? – And a Major Difference-They use a sweet white sauce, not a sour yogurt, and the difference is unbelievable, right across Canada. No one in Canada sells “Gyros”! Only “Donairs”. Search “donair” sometime. Still a good recipe for Gyros” but we are spoiled rotten up here. LOL. Thank you.
Doner kebabs are Turkish, not Lebanese, imbecile.
Pete- your comment was rude and unnecessary
Rude maybe, but definitely not unnecessary
These look really good but we don’t care for lamb so I think I will try with smoked pork tenderloin. I think it would be just as good…
I had no idea it was that easy. I am definitely trying this!!!!
YES! My favorite!! But is there any substitute for lamb? I seriously doubt I will be able to find it out here in our “country” stores!
Hi Irene, I can find ground lamb (and other cuts of lamb) in the regular meat section at my local grocery store, but if you can’t find it, I suppose you could just substitute ground beef, although the flavor will be different.
Wow! Who knew your could make someone like this at home! I totally want to give this a try, I love gyros.
Thank you for this – i am definitely going to try.
A few questions: about how long does the baking at 300 degrees take? Bacon? Bacon wouldn’t be used in the middle east. Have you tried it without the bacon?
Hi Allison, My apologies for the time omission, I have corrected it above. It should take 30 to 35 minutes. I have not tried it without bacon.
Do you know of a substitute for the bacon? We don’t eat pork at all.
My guess is that you could eliminate it, or substitute beef for it.
You are effectively looking for a fattier meat to bind together the lamb. You could try poultry fat, like duck, or buy a fattier cut of lamb and grind it yourself.
Greece isn’t a part of the Middle East. Greece is a part of the countries that make up the Mediterranean. Although, some do overlap because of their proximity or attachment to the Mediterranean Sea, but Greece is not one of them.
These gyros would be a big hit in my house! I can only imagine how great they smell too! YUM!
Hi. Thank you for posting this. I love gyros & can’t wait to try them. Is there any suggestions for storing? Can the meat be frozen prior to the initial cooking or prior to slicing?
Hi Michele, Once the meat is cooked and broiled, you can freeze the slices and then reheat in the microwave when you need it.
Seriously. OMG I can not wait to make this… Thank you.
These look amazing – I have gyro burgers on my site, which are also great. Your gyros look soooo good. PInning!
Thank you for posting this! I have long wished that I could make Gyros at home! I’ll be trying this over the weekend.
Oh my goodness, my husband would die over this! Great recipe!!
I love adding a little feta to my gyro and I’m going to make these asap!
Yum! I haven’t made gyros at home, but they are on my must make list!! Yours look mighty delish!!!
Gyros are one of my favorite things to order from our local diner. It’s comfort food at its best. But I’m so excited to try them for myself at home, now that I’ve seen your recipe!
These are seriously worth the try! Yummmmiiiiiiieeeee
Thank you for sharing this, what a wonderful idea! Definitely can’t get enough of gyros!
Wow… Im seriously impressed. And now seriously motivated to make this at home! They look so good!
Thought this sounded good until I read lamb. Have lived in Texas my all of my life and never tasted lamb. Have heard that it is fatty and don’t believe I want to try it. Would it work with lean ground beef?
Hi Linda, Lamb is wonderful, you should really give it a try before dismissing it! You could of course try it with ground beef, but I can’t guarantee how it will turn out, taste or texture-wise, since I have not tried it.
Linda, I’ve also lived in Texas all my life and I’ve ordered lamb from Greek restaurants there and wow I was blown away by the flavor! I recently bought ground lamb from Sam’s and I can’t wait to make my own. I hope you get to try it before you knock it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was.
Don’t believe everything you hear about lamb it’s all about preference
HEB has wonderful ground lamb. Lamb is very tender and has a taste similar to beef. You’re missing out.
I want one of these right now. I have to find somewhere that sells ground lamb. Yum!
I love gyros, these look so good!