Authentic Greek gyros are made with pork and chicken, but I prefer this version. It uses the same spices but is made with ground lamb and/or beef. Plus it's perfect for making ahead of time and heating it when you make your gyros. Don't forget to make tzatziki!

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper that extends up the sides. Turn the parchment paper over so the oiled side is up.

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  • Place ground lamb and beef in a mixing bowl. Add onions, garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and bread crumbs. Mix until well combined. Transfer to prepared baking dish and press the meat mixture firmly into the dish in an even layer that extends to the edges. Meat mixture should be packed and fairly dense.

  • Bake in preheated oven until nicely browned, 40 to 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Cool to room temperature. Transfer to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.

  • Transfer meat to a cutting board. Cut into 3 pieces crosswise. Slice each piece into 1/8-inch thick slices as you need them.

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook slices until browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Chef's Note:

To make the pickled red onions, simply slice them about 1/8-inch thick, and cover with red wine vinegar for a few hours, or overnight. They will turn into the beautifully colored garnish for these gyros.

I like to serve the fried slices on flat bread that's been spread with tzatziki. Top with some shredded lettuce and chopped cherry tomatoes. Layer on the meat slices and top with pickled red onions.

Get the recipe for Tzatziki Sauce.

Nutrition Facts

254.8 calories; protein 19.3g 39% DV; carbohydrates 3.4g 1% DV; fat 17.8g 27% DV; cholesterol 72mg 24% DV; sodium 548.8mg 22% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (63)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2018
This was easy and it turned out great. I made this when my wife and I invited a couple of neighbors over for a simple dinner. Everyone loved it. The only thing I'll do differently next time is I will reserve the juices from the meat after baking it, to use instead of oil when I fry the slices. I think I may have wasted some of the flavor by not doing that.? Read More
(10)
74 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 69
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
05/05/2018
3.7.18 Followed this recipe to the letter, and there was one ingredient that I had reservations about, but I added it anyway, and that was cinnamon. After the meat came out of the oven, I sliced off a small piece, and OMG could I taste that spice. I told my husband there was one thing I didn’t like about the meat but didn’t tell him what, and asked him to take a bite. He immediately said it’s the cinnamon, and I don’t like it either. We live fairly close to a large Greek community in Florida, and I’ve had many, many delicious gyros over the years, and never tasted even a hint of cinnamon. This recipe certainly measures up very well, but WITHOUT the cinnamon. This is so easy to make, can be made in advance, and I love how quickly you can get a good quality gyro on the table in the evening. The cinnamon may be a personal taste issue with me, but I’ll be making this recipe again, and will just omit the cinnamon making it a 5-star recipe for me. ••••UPDATE 5.5.18: Had some in the freezer so I used the mandolin to slice the meat which cut it thinner than possible with a knife, perfectly to be honest . Just really tasty. This recipe is better than most gyros you'll find at restaurants. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
06/16/2018
This was easy and it turned out great. I made this when my wife and I invited a couple of neighbors over for a simple dinner. Everyone loved it. The only thing I'll do differently next time is I will reserve the juices from the meat after baking it, to use instead of oil when I fry the slices. I think I may have wasted some of the flavor by not doing that.? Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
09/25/2017
Finally! A recipe that's as good as people review that it is. I would have submitted a picture but as soon as I set the platter down hubby and two teenage son devoured it. Served with cucumbers rice and hummus. Wonderful wonderful! Thanks Chef John! Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/16/2017
This version of gyro meat is very tasty. It was even better left over...but in our house there was very little left after the four kids inhaled it! Hubby made the pickled onions to go with as well as the Chef John tzatziki sauce. We also had eldest DD make grilled Naan bread. Kalamatas, lettuce, tomato, and feta and these we were amazing! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
08/20/2017
Wow - were these good. The way the meat was cooked first chilled sliced and fried in olive oil is what makes them so crispy and delicious and authentic. Made twice as it is a new family fave. Used Naan bread and tomatos and cucumbers from the garden. I couldn't find lamb so used 1 lb. of meatball mix and 1 lb of ground pork. Delish! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
06/18/2018
I didn't bother with the parchment paper and it still did fine. everything turned out great and tasted as expected. A new family favorite for sure! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/05/2018
this was delicious! I'm a terrible cook and my family loved! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2018
Just finished yet another Chef John recipe and once again the result is so delicious. Thank you for sharing another yummy dish. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
05/11/2019
This was an amazing and simple recipe. My family was impressed. I sent some to a friend and he claimed that it was better than his regular gyro place. I have yet to try a Chef John recipe that disappoints. Awesome. Read More
(1)