Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki

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I happen to love gyros. I have spent a great deal of time trying to master making an authentic version in my own abode. However, I can’t seem to find lamb for less than 1 billion dollars per pound. My husband’s a teacher y’all. I can’t be buying lamb willy-nilly for that price.

So I decided to do a little experiment. I made gyros with chicken instead of lamb! Crazy right? Chicken gyros. It’s very cutting edge.


chicken gyro

Now I’ve seen recipes that basically take cubes of chicken, marinate them, grill them and slap them in a pita. Those are good, but they aren’t gyros!

I wanted the crispy edges of the thinly sliced meat. I wanted the flavor packed into the meat. I wanted a real (but with chicken) gyro. In my own house, with in my jammies and for less than the national debt of Bermuda.

I started with Alton Brown’s Recipe for gyro meat at home. Then I tweaked. I followed some advice from Serious Eats. Then I tweaked some more. And what I ended up with was awesome!

The biggest barrier(s) is that chicken doesn’t have much fat, and that it’s pretty bland. To deal, we add bacon. (It is best if you don’t used a smoked version, the smoked flavor may overpower everything else, but do what you gotta do.) Then we add a punch of flavor with onion, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano.


To begin, throw chicken, bacon, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and oregano into a food processor.

Chicken Gyros

Pulse that in the food processor until it makes a really lovely looking paste. Sorry. It isn’t that appetizing in the beginning stages. But be patient. It will get better. At some point.

Chicken Gyros

Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and press the chicken mixture firmly into the loaf pan. Use the back of a wet spoon to smooth it out.

chicken gyros

Bake it at 300 for about 45 minutes or until the center measures 160.

chicken gyros

Remove it from the pan and drain off any juices. Again, you will end up with a tasty looking chicken loaf. Let it rest covered at least 15 minutes, or you can make it the day ahead and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it.

chicken gyros

Slice the loaf thinly and place those slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.

chicken gyros

Slip under the broiler set to high, turning the pan as needed until the meat turns golden brown and crispy. Don’t over cook it! It should still be shimmery. If it looks dry, you overdid it.  This is where the crispy edges will come.

chicken gyrosAhh! All of of a sudden it doesn’t look so disgusting right? You want to eat it now, right? You can’t wait to try this recipe now, right?

Next you assemble like normal. (I have included a simple tzatziki sauce recipe. Feel free to use your own if you have one you love.)

Warm up your pita, layer it up with the meat and tomatoes and tzatziki and onions if you like. Wrap it in some foil and do a little jig.

OH MY! You’ve done it. Homemade chicken gyros

chicken gyros

While I was setting up to take photos of the gyros, I ran downstairs to get something.  I came back upstairs to The Stronman staring at the beautiful gyro. He looked up and asked, “Is this some sort of trap?” I’m sure glad he didn’t eat it before I got photos. That would have caused a teensy bit of marital disharmony!


Chicken Gyros

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 2 hours

Yield: 6-8 good sized gyros

Chicken Gyros


  • *For Gyro Meat
  • 1 pound cubed chicken, breast of boneless thighs
  • 6-8 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • *For Tzatziki
  • 1 cup greek style yogurt
  • 1 medium cucumber peeled and seeded, then shredded
  • 1 garlic clove pressed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or oregano
  • 4-6 pitas, not pocket
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 300
  2. Place the chicken, bacon, onion, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano in a food processor. Pulse until it forms a paste.
  3. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. Spoon chicken mixture into loaf pan and press with the back of a spoon to pack it in tightly.
  4. Bake for about 1 hour at 300 degrees, or until middle of loaf registers 160.
  5. Remove loaf from oven and remove from loaf pan. Pour off and discard any juices. Allow loaf to rest for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours before cutting.
  6. Preheat broiler to high.
  7. Cut loaf into thin slices. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet under broiler and broil until meet is slightly brown and crispy, rotating the pan as needed.
  8. Squeeze shredded cucumber in a paper towel to remove the excess moisture. Then just mix with the other tzatziki ingredients. Make it an hour or two ahead of time for best flavor.

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  1. Heather Christley says

    This is a gift from Heaven. Your talent astounds me. Yum. I have a funny gyro story from Scotland. Invite me over for these and I’ll tell you!!!! Haha. Seriously good work though

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