Lamb Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Elevate your kitchen game with our Lamb Gyro delight! Packed with aromatic spices and drizzled in authentic Greek Tzatziki sauce, this recipe brings the taste of Greece to your table effortlessly.

Lamb gyro topped with authentic tzatziki sauce on warm pita bread.

Get ready for a taste adventure today – it’s basically a Greek flavor explosion on a plate. Made with juicy lamb, spiced up with red onion, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper. But hold up – the secret to this recipe? The Authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce! It’s a creamy, dreamy wonder that takes the gyro to a whole new level.

If you love Greek cuisine, then try these other Greek recipes: Greek Braised Chicken Thighs, Spanakopita, Greek Fava, and Classic Greek Salad. And speaking of Greece, these gyros bring back memories of our stay at the AVA Hotel and Suites in Athens – a fantastic boutique hotel close to many restaurants, shops, and sights.

Reasons to Love Lamb Gyros

  • Making Lamb Gyros is simple. This recipe brings gourmet Greek flavors to your table with minimal fuss. Ideal for busy days.
  • The flavorful spices like marjoram, rosemary, and oregano offer a delightful, aromatic experience.
  • This dish is customizable. It offers options like Beef Gyro, or a combination of Lamb and Beef Gyro.
  • The Authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce adds a genuine touch of Greece.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for lamb gyro prepared on a table.
  • Ground Lamb: The primary protein source and key flavor component.
  • Red Onion: Adds a sweet and sharp flavor, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Minced Garlic: Provides a strong, aromatic essence that is fundamental to the dish.
  • Spice Mix (Marjoram, Rosemary, Oregano): These herbs collectively contribute to the distinct Mediterranean flavor profile.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Meat Options: Substitute ground lamb with lean ground beef for a slightly different but equally delicious flavor. For a lighter and healthier option, you can use ground turkey.
  • Low-fat Greek Yogurt for Tzatziki: Use low-fat Greek yogurt sauce in the tzatziki sauce for a lighter version.
  • Whole Wheat Pita: Switch to whole wheat pita for a healthier, fiber-rich option.
  • Spicy Twist: To add a kick to your Gyros, you can add spices like peppers or paprika. Incorporate 1-2 teaspoons of red chili flakes or paprika into the ground lamb mixture for a noticeable but manageable heat.

How to Make Lamb Gyros

Step #1: Place the red onion in a food processor and process until finely chopped.

Onion in a food processor.

Step #2: Remove the onion from the food processor and place it in a tea towel, squeezing to remove all the juices.

Step #3: Return the onion back to the food processor with the remaining ingredients.

Spices added to lamb and onions in a food processor.

Step #4: Pulse for approximately 1 minute until you get a paste-like consistency. TIP: The gyro lamb mixture will form together in the food processor, similar to a ball of dough.

Paste-like consistency of meat mixture in a food processor.

Step #5: Place the mixture in a glass baking dish. Flatten and smooth the meat into a nice meatloaf shape.

Flattened meat mixture in a glass baking dish.

Step #6: Place in a water bath and cook at 325°F (163°C) for 60-75 minutes, or until you reach an internal temperature of 165°F-170°F (74°C-77°C).

Meat mixture cooked n a water bath.

Step #7: Once removed from the oven, drain the fat.

Step #8: Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes, and place it on a wire rack (I also put a pan under the oven rack to catch any drippings). Place a heavy object on top to compress the gyro meat. I used a cast-iron skillet with 3 cans inside for additional weight.

Step #9: Remove the weight and let the meat rest for 30 minutes.

Step #10: Slice the meat into desired-sized slices.

Sliced lamb gyro meat.

Step #11: Place meat slices on a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes until crispy, so the texture is like it came off your rotisserie grill!

Lamb gyro slices on a baking dish.

Step #12: Serve in pita bread with lettuce, sliced tomato, and thinly sliced onion. Don’t forget to add our highly-rated Authentic Greek Tzatziki sauce. You can also garnish your gyro with crumbled feta cheese and diced cucumbers.

Warm pita bread with lamb gyro and authentic tzatziki sauce.

Expert Tips

  • Thoroughly Dry Onions: Wrap chopped onions in a tea towel and squeeze firmly to remove excess moisture. This step is crucial to prevent the meat mixture from becoming too wet.
  • Drain the Fat Well: After cooking, drain off excess fat for a cleaner taste and a more appealing texture.
  • Even Compression is Key: Use a weight, like a cast-iron skillet, to compress the meat evenly. This step is essential for achieving the right density and texture.
  • Rest the Meat Post-Compression: Allow the gyro loaf to rest after compressing. This resting period helps in flavor development and maintaining a firm texture.
  • Broil for Crispiness: Briefly broil the slices to add a crispy edge, enhancing the texture contrast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to use a food processor to make Lamb Gyros?

No. However, using a food processor helps achieve a finer, more consistent texture for the meat and onion mixture.

Can I cook the gyro meat without a water bath?

The water bath helps keep the meat moist, but you can cook it directly in the oven. Just monitor closely to avoid drying out the meat.

Can I prepare the gyro meat mixture ahead of time?

Preparing the mixture a day in advance and refrigerating it enhances the flavors, making for a more flavorful gyro when cooked.

Can I use dried oregano instead of fresh in the Lamb Gyro recipe?

Yes, you can use dried oregano. Typically, the ratio is 1 teaspoon of dried for every tablespoon of fresh. Dried oregano provides a more concentrated flavor, suitable for the gyro’s spice blend.

Warm pita bread with lamb gyro, lettuce, and tomato.

Storage Info

You can store the cooked gyro meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze the meat slices in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm the slices in a skillet over medium heat until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes, or until hot. Avoid microwaving as it can make the meat tough.

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Lamb gyro served on a pita bread.

Lamb Gyros Recipe with Tzatziki Sauce

Elevate your kitchen game with our Lamb Gyro delight! Packed with aromatic spices and drizzled in authentic Greek Tzatziki sauce, this recipe brings the taste of Greece to your table effortlessly.
4.5 from 38 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Greek
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 362kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

Ingredients

GROUND LAMB GYRO MEAT

  • 1 lb. ground lamb - lower the fat content the better
  • ½ large red onion - chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 tsp Marjoram
  • 2 tsp Rosemary
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper

SANDWICH

  • 7 Pita Breads
  • 7 Lettuce leaves
  • 7 Tomato slices
  • 4 Onion slices
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Instructions

  • Place the red onion in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  • Remove the onion from the food processor and place it in a tea towel, squeezing to remove all the juices.
  • Return the onion to the food processor with the remaining ingredients.
  • Pulse for approximately 1 minute until you get a paste-like consistency. TIP: The gyro lamb mixture will form together in the food processor, similar to a ball of dough.
  • Place the mixture in a glass baking dish. Flatten and smooth the meat into a nice meatloaf shape.
  • Place in a water bath and cook at 325°F (163°C) for 60-75 minutes, or until you reach an internal temperature of 165°F-170°F (74°C-77°C).
  • Once removed from the oven, drain the fat.
  • Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes, and place it on a wire rack (I also put a pan under the oven rack to catch any drippings). Place a heavy object on top to compress the gyro meat. I used a cast-iron skillet with 3 cans inside for additional weight.
  • Remove the weight and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Slice the meat into desired-sized slices.
  • Place meat slices on a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes until crispy, so the texture is like it came off your rotisserie grill!
  • Serve in pita bread with lettuce, sliced tomato, and thinly sliced onion. Don't forget to add our highly-rated Authentic Greek Tzatziki sauce. You can also garnish your gyro with crumbled feta cheese and diced cucumbers.

VIDEO

NOTES

Storage Info:
You can store the cooked gyro meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze the meat slices in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm the slices in a skillet over medium heat until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes or until hot. Avoid microwaving as it can make the meat tough.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1013mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2030IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    3 years since I first saw this recipe, and it is always my go-to for greek gyros! I have printed out the recipe, but have lost it before, and always search google till I find it again, lol. Thank you again for a great gyro recipe I can make at home! This is one of the few foods/recipes, I will follow the recipe to the letter; I will pay the extra for the ground lamb, it is a special treat for myself, and I really enjoy the finished product! I can’t remember whether I used your recipe for tzatziki sauce or another, but, I really like the greek yogurt instead of sour cream as some like….anyway, thanks for an awesome recipe!

  2. There is a much better sauce for Gyros/Donairs than Tzatziki, thanks to a couple of Greeks who came to Halifax, Nova Scotia (eastern Canada) way back in the 60’s -70’s. It is a sweet sauce made with condensed milk and or evaporated milk, garlic, sugar, etc. Far superior to the old “Tzatyziki Sauce” which never caught on here! Google “King of Donair-Halifax sometime. They never used the name “Gyro” either, but “Donair”,

    1. Hi Frank,

      Thanks for sharing. If I ever get to Halifax, I will have to try the Donair at the King of Donair, it looks good.

      – Linda

    1. Hi Howard,

      A water bath is just a large pan, like a roasting pan or larger oven glass dish, into which you will place the oven glass dish with the meat mixture. Then add hot water into the roasting pan halfway up on the glass dish with the meat mixture. This is why it is called a water bath since the glass dish with the meat mixture in it is kinda taking a water bath in the roasting pan. This water bath helps keep the meat moist and allows more even cooking.

      – Linda

  3. I usually take liberties with following recipes, but, having never made this, I followed the recipe to the letter. I fell in love with Greek gyros 35 years ago, and the lamb meat here is just as I remember, minus the roasting spit! I also d ont usually comment on recipes, but had to this time. The spices for the lamb was perfect! As was the tsazki sauce recipe you included! Thank you so much for a recipe that allowed me to make this much loved recipe at home!!