Greek gyros are a popular street vendor dish full of veggies and protein, but if you plan to serve them at home, here you can find 31 recipes to serve alongside your delicious dinner!
There are few things better than a warm pita stuffed with thin slices of juicy meat, flavorful onion, crisp lettuce, fresh tomato and creamy tzatziki. The gyro is a staple at most Mediterranean restaurants and is so delicious in its simplicity. It has become a favorite of many street cart vendors in large cities across the U.S. and Greece.
If you’ve ever had a truly great gyro you know there’s something nostalgic about grabbing a quick meal from a street vendor and eating outdoors as you’re on the move or exploring a new part of the world. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular option.
The combination of flavors wrapped up in a soft flatbread is so satisfying and filling all by itself as a quick lunch. However, it can also be served at the center of a Mediterranean feast as it goes well with all the best side dishes from Greece.
If you’ve decided to bring the delicious flavor of a gyro home but are stumped about what to serve along with it, I have plenty of ideas! From Greek-style pilaf to pasta salad or homemade tzatziki, read on to find a number of delicious side dishes to choose from to make a complete Greek meal.
FAQs about Gyros
The protein inside a Greek gyro is traditionally made with a combination of beef and lamb meat but there are plenty of varieties and each is wonderful.
You could make this easy meal with lamb, beef, pork, chicken, sausage or even vegetarian options. All of these options make for delicious gyros when combined with the other staple ingredients of tomatoes, onion, lettuce and tzatziki.
Yes! Gyros are known for their juicy meat, but you can replace the meat with hummus, roasted chickpeas, fried eggplant, mushrooms or even grilled zucchini.
Some people try to pronounce “gyro” by pronouncing the “g” like “giraffe” and the Y as an “eye” sound.
The true pronunciation makes the “g” silent and the “y” into a “yee”–”Yee-roh” or “Year-oh”. If you can roll the “r” a bit, that’s correct.
The history of the gyro is a little bit unknown. Greeks are credited with creating the first gyros, with some inspiration from Turkey and the Middle East. When American tourists began to discover the dish, they brought it home and began to mass produce it in New York some time in the 70s.
Gyro in Greek means “to turn”, which makes sense because traditional gyro meat is packed onto a large, rotating skewer or spit and cooked vertically over high heat on a rotisserie grill. Many cooks will place a piece of fat or grease at the top of the skewer, sending grease down the entire cone as the meat cooks to keep it moist and juicy and add flavor. When a sandwich is ordered, the gyros meat is sliced off in thin pieces, directly onto a soft pita.
It’s still a popular dish in Greece and can be found in street vendor carts in large cities there like Athens. A similar dish, called a doner, can be found in the neighboring country of Turkey. The gyro is essentially Greek fast food.
Many people confuse gyros with Shawarma as both are popular street vendor dishes. Shawarma is from Turkey and is usually made with lamb, turkey or chicken, where gyros are more commonly made with beef, lamb or pork.
The two dishes are also seasoned with different seasonings and Shawarma may be wrapped in a thin flatbread while gyros are wrapped in a slightly thicker kind of bread called a pita. Shawarma is usually paired with salad and pickles while gyros are packed with tomatoes, onion, lettuce and creamy tzatziki sauce.
While the dishes are not the same–both are delicious in their own way!
Yes! Although, I would recommend storing each of the ingredients for your gyro separately to make reheating easier. You can pre-cook the meat and pre-slice all your toppings and store each in an airtight container in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, just heat up the meat and your pita bread and assemble.
You can even freeze leftover gyro meat for up to three months.
Favorite Gyro Recipes
- My gyro recipe combines beef and lamb meat in a loaf to make the traditional meat easier to make at home.
- This Instant Pot gyro recipe from 365 Days of Slow + Pressure Cooking allows you to have gyros on the table in about 30 minutes.
- Chicken gyros are a great option if you don’t want to use lamb and beef.
- If you’re looking for a delicious vegetarian option, try this Roasted Chickpea Gyro from Live Eat Learn.
- While you may not have a rotisserie grill to cook your meat on, you can still make gyros at home. I like to cook the meat in a loaf, slice off a thin slice and then brown both sides to give it as much crispy flavor as possible.
- Homemade tzatziki made with fresh dill and fresh herbs is so easy to make and worth the effort to make the creamy sauce fresh.
- Warming up your pita bread slightly will make it soft and flexible. If you buy your pita bread from the store, try toasting it for a few seconds or warming it up in a damp paper towel in the microwave for the best texture.
- I had the opportunity to have a gyro in Greece once and saw that many gyros are served with French fries as a topping. Don’t be afraid to add a few fries on top of your gyro for a delicious, salty addition.
- National Gyro Day is September 1. That makes September the perfect month to try making gyros at home!
What to Serve with Gyros
Protein: Ground lamb, ground beef, ground pork, cooked chicken, roasted chickpeas, ground chickpeas
Toppings: Fresh tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, hummus, french fries, tzatziki, red onion, lettuce, kalamata olives, olive oil, green peppers, red bell peppers
Sides: French fries, turmeric rice, Greek lemon potatoes, Greek style rice pilaf, hummus, potato chips, grilled zucchini, greek tomato soup, roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, Greek fries, fried feta, onion rings
Salads: Greek salad, orzo salad, bean salad, marouli salad, tabouleh, grilled zucchini salad, potato salad
Drinks: Beer, wine
Sides for Gyros
Fried Feta Cheese
Spinach Pie Recipe
Easy Tzatziki Sauce
Avocado Salad Recipe
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
German Potato Salad
Green Goddess Salad
Instant Pot Pasta Salad
Garlic Parmesan Baked Potato Wedges
I’m so in love with this truly crispy garlic Parmesan baked potato wedges recipe (from Curry Trail). They are so delicious. Reminds me of the kind you get in KFC but only much better than KFC wedges.
Greek Salad with Feta Vinaigrette
Everyone loves a big fat Greek salad (from The Healthy Epicurean). This one is just like you get at a restaurant! It features crisp romaine lettuce with cucumbers, tomato, kalamata olives, green pepper, loads of feta cheese and the BEST feta dressing with olive oil and oregano.
Lemon Basil Rice
This easy 30-minute Lemon Basil Rice (from Balance with Jess) is perfectly fresh, zesty, and delicious. With star ingredients like butter, fresh basil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, this refreshing side dish pairs well with anything and everything!
Bean Salad (from Glenda Embree) is a powerhouse of fiber, protein and nutrients. Plus, you can mix it up in 10 minutes or less! It’s great for potlucks and even makes a quick and tasty lunch. You can’t go wrong with this simple recipe.
Lemon Dill Hummus
Looking for a creative and delicious way to flavor your basic hummus? This Lemon Dill Hummus (from Balance with Jess) is the best answer! It’s ultra creamy and smooth with bright zesty lemon and fresh dill for a fun twist.
Roasted Tomato Hummus
Roasted Tomato Hummus (from Chef Savvy) is the perfect appetizer or snack to make during the summer! It’s a great way to use up all of those juicy fresh garden tomatoes! Tomatoes and garlic are roasted until golden brown and soft then blended with a smooth creamy hummus. You will never want traditional hummus after making this roasted tomato hummus recipe!
Air Fryer Tomatoes
If you’re looking for an easy way to enjoy delicious summer tomatoes without turning on the oven, these air fryer tomatoes (from Two Cloves Kitchen) are for you. Dusted with salt, spices, and garlic, they are savory, slightly sweet, tangy, and maintain their juiciness.
Greek Pita Bread
This greek pita bread (from Rich and Delicious) is fluffy, soft, and delicious. After you will make these pitas, you will never want to buy store-bought pita bread.
Loaded Greek Fries
Loaded Greek Fries (from Recipes From A Pantry) are crispy, salty, and cheesy and loaded with Mediterranean and Greek flavors. This unexpected twist on traditional cheese fries is made in the Air Fryer using less oil, so it’s healthier and just as tasty.
Garlic Dipping Sauce
Make this super simple Garlic Dipping Sauce (from Always Use Butter) in just 5 minutes and have a delicious sauce to dip fries, veggies and bread in. Loaded with garlic flavor!
Greek Style Potato Wedges
Greek Style potato wedges (from Chili to Choc) that are bursting with flavour of homemade Greek seasoning. They are baked in the oven till golden and crispy. And can be served as an appetizer or a side dish.
Greek Orzo Salad
In this Greek orzo salad recipe (from Joy Food Sunshine), orzo pasta, tomatoes, chickpeas, veggies and fresh herbs are tossed in a delicious homemade dressing for healthy, flavorful side dish. Mediterranean orzo salad is a great dish for a pot luck or barbecue!
Seared Halloumi with Tomato and Fresh Herbs
It’s hard to beat crispy cheese. This craveable dish is made from seared Halloumi (from Evergreen Kitchen), piled on top of juicy tomatoes and a fresh herb topping. A crowd pleaser. Serve this halloumi dish on its own, or with cooked grains or greens on the side.
Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings
These air fryer frozen onion rings (from The Littlest Crumb) make a quick and easy side dish or appetizer that is ready in under 10 minutes. Crispy and golden onion rings that taste like they were deep fried without the calories.
Melitzanosalata (from Living Lou) is a Greek roasted eggplant dip. It’s simple, and loaded with flavour made by roasting eggplant and blending it with garlic, shallot, lemon juice, vinegar and parsley.
Homemade Spicy Pita Chips
If you’re a sucker for salty snacks like I am, you’ve got to try this Spicy Pita Chips recipe (from Chef Savvy)! They’re incredibly easy to make and so much better than store-bought (cheaper, too!). All you need is four ingredients, and you’ll have crispy, crunchy snack in less than 15 minutes!
If you enjoyed this list, make sure to check out these other recipes I picked out just for you: