Greek Chicken Gyro
The mixture of Greek spices used to marinate the chicken in this easy to make Greek Chicken Gyro recipe are the star of the show! Perfectly juicy and tasty chicken, wrapped in my soft pita bread with thick and creamy tzatziki made at home. Crispy tomato and cucumber, I mean… Hooked yet?
What makes my recipe so darn delicious is the way I char and cook the chicken. An no, it’s not on the grill. Well, it is broiled/grilled, but in your home oven! You’ll never cook chicken the same way again.
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
I once threw a tantrum over a Chicken Gyro as a grown adult.
Yes, I was in my 20’s but I was not a child…
I want to start off today’s recipe with something completely hilarious. On a trip to Queensland, about 10 years ago, specifically in surfers paradise, I ordered a chicken gyro from a Greek restaurant. They put mustard mayo in it and I absolutely lost it. I mean, I started feeling hot, I felt as though someone had physically slapped me and someone had done this to me on purpose. A ‘cruel joke’ if you will. And for anyone who’s felt hangry as I often do, it’s not the time. No ma’am. I’ve since come to terms and add it to my souvlakia on occasion.
What is a Greek Chicken Gyro?
The thing I love about these Chicken Gyro’s most is how simple they are but how much flavor they pack. Juicy chicken, crispy veggies and creamy tzatziki!
- Chicken – after you make this recipe, you’ll never want to cook chicken the same way again because grilling or broiling chicken in your home oven is so easy and yields amazing results! The chicken is marinaded in a delicious yogurt, lemon and Greek herb blend for a couple hours (overnight is best) and comes out so juicy!
- Greek yogurt marinade – the yogurt is used in the marinade to help keep the chicken moist as it’s grilled.
- Veggies – I scoop the seeds out of my tomato and cucumber to prevent the pita bread from going soggy as you eat it and it also gives you the ultimate veggie crunch!
- Pita Bread – you can use store bought pita bread, burhs it with a little oil and cook on a hot skillet until little spots appear, but I would highly recommend making your own from scratch!
- Tzatziki – it’s no secret Greeks love their garlic. My tzatziki recipe is basically a creamy garlic experience. I would advise against using watery, bland store-bought tzatziki and make your own the day before making these gyros!
Ingredients you need to make a Chicken Gyro
- Greek yogurt – using Greek yogurt in the marinade not only adds flavor but also helps tenderize the chicken making it juicy and tasty. It also helps prevent it from drying out as it’s cooked under the grill/broiler.
- Lemon – use fresh lemon for best results!
- Red wine vinegar – this helps tenderize the chicken. Regular vinegar will also work.
- Garlic – I love my chicken garlicy! Add less if you don’t.
- Paprika – I used powdered sweet paprika which helps give the chicken a nice smokey flavor. You can use hot paprika if you like spicy food. Although Greeks don’t typically eat spicy food.
- Cumin – I used powdered cumin. I like lot’s of it, but if you don’t, use or less or leave it out.
- Cinnamon – This helps give the chicken a slight sweetness. Highly recommend adding it but it’s optional.
- Dried oregano – I would advise using dried oregano as it is stronger in flavor than fresh oregano.
- Pepper – freshly ground pepper is best!
- Salt – I used cooking salt. Use 3/4 tsp if using table salt which is finer.
- Olive oil – use good quality olive oil. I used extra virgin olive oil.
- Chicken thighs – I use chicken thighs in this recipe because it helps add loads of flavor. If you can’t get chicken thighs or don’t like them, you can use chicken breast.
- Lebanese cucumbers – You can use pretty much any cucumber here. As long as it’s fresh. You want to slice them in half long ways then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. They hold all the water, and you don’t want that in your gyro, it’ll make them soggy. Slice into batons then cut into cubes.
- Tomatoes – same deal here. Any ripe tomato will work here. I used truss tomatoes. Cut the ends off using a sharp knife and then slice in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds so you’re left with just tomato. Minus all the watery parts. Slice into batons then cut into cubes. Scooping all the seeds out is optional on both the tomato and cucumber but recommended.
- Pita bread – I would highly recommend using my pita bread recipe which is easy to make. It just needs a bit of planning ahead. Store bought will also work, but honestly, if you’re after the authentic experience, fresh is best!
- Tzatziki – I would highly advise against using store bought tzatziki as it’s often watery and lacks flavor. Make my recipe the day before instead and thank me later!
- Red onion – thinly sliced. I like adding lots because it adds sweetness!
How to make a Greek Chicken Gyros!
- Add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine.
- Add the chicken and mix to coat. Allow to rest in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
- Add the chicken to baking tray lined with foil and place under a very hot oven grill for 10 minutes or until slightly charged.
- Turn over and grill for another 10 minutes.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before chopping up.
- To prepare your cucumber slice in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Then cut into cubes.
- To prepare the tomato slice in half and scoop the seeds out.
- Cut into small cubes.
- Add the tzatziki, cucumber, tomato, onion and chicken to the pita bread
- Fold and wrap in foil. Serve fresh!
The best way to wrap a Gyro!
Perfectly wrapping a gyro or any wrap is a point of pride for me. I’m good at it and I want to share my technique with you today! It all starts with how you fill your gyro. You want to create a strip of filling leaving the bottom and sides free to wrap over the filling.
- Begin by folding the bottom of the wrap over the filling.
- Then use one hand to hold that fold while folding over one side of the wrap.
- Hold those two folds down and fold over the final side.
- Hold it all down while you repeat this process with the foil to help keep everything in place!
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Marinading the chicken is one of the most important steps in this recipe! If you have the time, marinade overnight. The flavors intensify and you’re left with tasty, juicy chicken! Otherwise 2 hours is a minimum!
- Cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 75C / 165F to be safe to eat and should have clear juices. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature if you want to be extra safe.
- Letting your chicken rest before slicing is the best way to have nice juicy pieces of chicken.
- Using foil to wrap your gyros will help keep everything together.
Frequently Asked Questions about Greek Chicken Gyro’s
What does it taste like?
A chicken gyro is packed full of juicy and tasty chicken, creamy tzatziki, and crispy veggies.
How do I store this?
Chicken Gyro can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for a day bust is best eaten when fresh.
Should I add mustard mayo to my gyros?
Can I admit something? I add it now. I’m well and truly ok with experimenting and changing recipes. I don’t get to do it with baking because everything is carefully measured and selected to work, but with savory recipes, I love experimenting. And if it tastes good, I’m all for it. Just don’t tell anyone in Queensland that!
Can I cook the chicken on the stove?
Yes! Add a tsp of oil on a hot skillet and cook the chicken on each side for about 5 minutes. Make sure you reach that safe internal temperature of 75C / 165F. You can also grill these on your bbq!
Can I use store bought tzatziki and pita bread?
Absolutely. But here’s the thing, homemade is so much better! For starters my tzatziki recipe is thick, creamy, and full of flavor unlike watery store-bought versions. And my pita bread is soft and chewy which gives these an authentic result! Store bought pita is ok, but it’s not chewy and soft.
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Looking for more delicious Greek recipes?
Greek Chicken Gyro (Kebab)
Serves 6 Gyros
- 1/2 cup (125 g) Greek yogurt (see notes)
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar see notes
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder optional
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 (2 kg) chicken thighs boneless and skinless (see notes)
Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]
- To make the marinade - To a large mixing bowl add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, pepper, salt and olive oil and mix using a spoon to combine. Add the chicken thighs and mix to coat in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinade for 2 hours. Overnight if you can!
- To cook - turn your oven broiler (grill function) on the highest setting and allow to heat for 10 minutes. Place the oven tray as far up as it will go. Line a baking tray with foil and place your marinaded chicken on top. Grill for 10 minutes or until slightly charged. Then take out of the oven and turn overusing tongs. Cook on the other side for another 10 minutes or until charged. The safe internal temperature of the chicken should be 75C / 165F. Allow to rest on a chopping board for 10 minutes before using a large knife to chop up into rough pieces.
- To prepare the fillings - you want to clean and pat dry your cucumber and tomato. Cut the ends off the cucumber and tomato and then slice in half. Do the same with the tomato. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from both vegetables as shown in the video. Cut into small cubes and place in a bowl. You want to thinly slice the red onion as well.
- To assemble - Place your pita onto a large piece of aluminum foil. Add a good scoop of Greek tzatziki or Greek yogurt onto each pita. Spread around leaving a gap at the bottom and sides. Add the tomato, cucumber, red onion and chopped chicken. Then add the chicken and wrap.
- To wrap your gyro - fold the bottom of the wrap over the filling. Then use one hand to hold that fold while folding over one side of the wrap. Hold those two folds down and fold over the final side. Hold it all down while you repeat this process with the foil to help keep everything in place. Serve fresh!