Chicken Gyros – Opa!

I think I was meant to be Greek. When I watched the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching my own family. A big family with strong religious convictions who love to eat. And my family is BIG. I am the youngest of 10 kids. I have 85 first cousins on my dad’s side alone. Oh, and the food. Sometimes when I am cooking for my family when I am in Arizona I feel like I am at a boarding house. Last time we were there John and I took over cooking breakfast one morning. After 6 dozen eggs we still had only fed half the crowd. As soon as you set the plate of food down it was gone.

I saw these on Annie Eats and she said they were her new favorite meal and let’s face it…she’s cooked a few. These are a healthy start to the new year. I made whole wheat version of her pitas to be on the healthier side and the tzatziki is yogurt based so it can’t be bad. You can very well buy store bought pitas but I was having a Martha moment and felt like doing my own. And they were so soft and yummy. I loved the cool, creamy, refreshing sauce on the chicken. So good.

Also, if you really want the flavors to blend make the tzatziki sauce the day before and marinate the chicken the day before.

Some Greek tidbits from Ellie at Ellie says Opa:
1) Gyro is pronounced Yee-Roh not Jy-Roh. But Jy-Roh is so much more fun to say.
2) Traditional pitas don’t have a pocket in them.
Chicken Gyros

Ingredients

    Tzatziki sauce:
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the chicken:
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • To assemble:
  • Pita bread
  • Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Red onion, sliced thin

Instructions

  1. Shred the cucumber or chop in food processor. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

slightly adapted from Annie's Eats

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Comments

  1. happy 2010! your pitas look amazing and so does your yee-ro : lol. cool tidbits of knowledge & tips. thx.

  2. I adore Greek food!!! Love all the grilled meats and veggies and stuffing them in a big piece of Pita bread. Greek yogurt is everywhere now and so versatile – and good for you! Adding this recipe for my to-do list next week. Greek chicken is so bright and flavorful.

  3. Being Greek myself, I have to say, you’ve picked a great culture to want to be a part of!!! :)
    I love love love chicken w/ tomatoes, red onion and tzatziki sauce on a warm soft pita. I will take the chicken any ways I can get it if it’s put in a pita like this!!!

  4. Great recipe! My family loved it and even my 9 and 6 year old girls. The really liked the tzatziki sauce. I love when my kids will eat veggies with out me asking.

  5. This looks fantastic! I’ve never made my own pitas, definitely have to try that! The yogurt sauce looks fantastic too. :)

  6. Came across this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. Waiting on the marinade right now. It smells fantastic!

    Only thing missing from this recipe is feta to top it off.

  7. Came across this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. Waiting on the marinade right now. It smells fantastic!

    Only thing missing from this recipe is feta to top it off.

  8. Yummy! Would you be willing to share what you did to make the whole wheat version of the pitas! Would love to try them!

  9. @Bonnie,
    I used this recipe(http://annies-eats.com/2008/08/10/pita-bread/) and just substituted whole wheat flour for regular flour.
    Christy

  10. Yum! Love tzatziki! I will have to give this a shot. Making my own pita bread sounds way too ambitious though!

  11. I’m glad traditional greek pitas didn’t have a pocket… many times when I make pitas – they don’t have a pocket either. I used to consider this a failure, but now I will proclaim my fidelity to tradition and authenticity!

  12. I ate a gyro at a Greek Festival last summer and have been craving one since. This recipe looks like a great way to recreate that experience, thanks!

  13. These are fabulous, I actually order them from a locale restaurant, but they called shawarmas there.
    I found this on pinterest and I am so glad I did!

  14. Great recipe! I am marinating the chicken tonight and my boyfriend and I will be eating them tomorrow night…Yummy. Just make sure you make two batches of sauce if you plan on marinating the raw chicken…probably be a safer bet.

    Thank-you for this awsome Greekalicious recipe!!

  15. came across this on Pinterest and just had to try it. I prepared both the sauce and the marinade last night. I think instead of frying the chicken next time, I’ll grill it. But other than that, it was fabulous! Thank you!

  16. came across this on Pinterest and just had to try it. I prepared both the sauce and the marinade last night. I think instead of frying the chicken next time, I’ll grill it. But other than that, it was fabulous! Thank you!

  17. This is one of my favorite meals. Love the refreshing flavors!

  18. I can’t wait to make this! How did you make your pita bread?

  19. All I can say is OMGoodness! I made these last night for our Father’s Day dinner and they were amazing! My Gyro loving hubby loved them and even my father-in-law who never had a Gyro before. He was practically scooping up the Tzatzik sauce with his fingers, lol.

    They were very authentic tasting and so satisfying. I just ate the last one for a leftover lunch and I miss it already ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

  20. I am using flatout bread for this recipe…90 cal and excellent source of omega 3 and fiber! They fold up like a pita.

  21. this looks so yummy! i would never think to make chicken gyros! can’t wait to try it!

    http://chitownandallaround.blogspot.com/

  22. These were SOOOO good. Nearly identical to the ones I get at my favorite greek restaurant. I added a little lettuce to the gyro. Next time I think I might cube the chicken before marinating and make kabobs. I really wanted a little more of the marinade flavor and I think that might do it. Served these to the family. DS13 was a little skeptical. I told him they were greek tacos. He took one bite and said, surprised, “These are GOOOOODDD.” Thank you, thank you.

  23. DELISH! I just added some Cavenders Greek seasoning on it as well & I’m in heaven :) Thanks for this recipe!

  24. What are your (or anyone else’s ) thoughts on cooking the chicken in this marinade in the slow cooker?

  25. @Anonymous,
    I think that would taste great!

  26. Tried this tonight…super yummy! And there’s some leftover for lunch tomorrow – win! Funny another commenter referred to them as Greek tacos…so did my bf! Definitely on my “make again” list!

  27. These were delicious! I let it marinate for about 9 hours, but I still have more left for tomorrow after it’s marinated longer. The worst part was the store bought pita bread. I’ll try your recipe for pita bread next time. Thanks!

  28. No offense.. but how is this considered adapted? You just changed the wording.

  29. @Anonymous,
    Technically if you change anything in the recipe no matter how small you are supposed to say adapted. I used Greek yogurt to eliminate the need to strain regular yogurt with a cheesecloth.

  30. How many calories is in this recipe per gyro

  31. @Anonymous,
    I have no idea how many calories per gyro. It all depends on which pitas you use, etc.

  32. Hi! This looks delish – can’t wait to try it. Can you throw the marinade together with the chicken and freeze it? I tend to buy meat in bulk, and I’d love to be able to just pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw, and cook. Thank you!

  33. @Melody Canterberry,
    I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze the marinade. Great idea!

  34. Tried them last night and were to die for!!!! My husband loved them, he had almost two big ones!
    We used to go to a Greek restaurant in town, but this dish went from $8 for lunch to $15.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe, now I can make them at home and they taste the same or even better.

  35. Made these tonight, and they were AMAZING. The kids ate up the chicken like crazy. My husband said he doesn’t like Tzatziki, but offered to try this, and has now claimed it’s the only Tzatziki he’s ever liked. This will go on regular rotation over here. So good!

  36. Of course you want to be Greek! We are awesome!! Gyros are my favorite!!

  37. This is amazing. It is quite a few steps/time consuming but im someone who never minds putting in time if its good enough and wow this is delicous!Thanks for sharing. My whole family gobbled them up and it was great left overs too. You have the sauce down to a T

  38. Thank you for posting this – I love Gyros, but traditional ones are definitely not in my new diet plan!

    How many Servings did your recipe make?

  39. CherryBlossom says:

    Delicious recipe! We diced tomato, red onion and tossed with feta cheese and put this on the pita as well. This is definitely a recipe to keep and make over and over.

  40. Oh my goodness, this was fantastic. Restaurant quality fantasic! Thank You!!

  41. Hey! These were a HUGE it in my house, they were sooooo amazing!
    I’m curious… Can you use beef instead of chicken?

  42. This could be turned into some very yummy nachos….. shred the chicken and serve with pita chips….mmmm sounds so good!

  43. Beautiful recipe; thank you!

  44. This is my first time on your site. I would love to try this recipe. I can’t seem to find the recipe for the pita bread. Is it posted on your site? Thanks!

  45. They look amazing! Any idea on the nutritional information (fat, carbs, fiber & protein)? Thanks!

  46. Looks amazing! Any idea on the nutritional information (fat, carbs, protein & fiber)? Thanks!

  47. Can’t wait to try these tomorrow night! Thank you for sharing.

    Nutritional Information:
    I entered all the ingredients in MY FITNESS PAL using Papa Pita Greek bread from Costco (200 calories each).

    5 Servings:
    342 calories
    Total Fat: 5.4 grams
    Carbs: 35 grams
    Fiber: 3.5 grams
    Protein: 37.4 grams

    If you would like to 1/4 cup of feta, add:
    99 calories
    8 grams fat
    1.5 grams carb
    5.3 grams protein

  48. This recipe was great! I’m making them for the second time tonight. Thank you!

  49. Made these tonight & they were FABULOUS!! I was really nervous because I’ve never cooked Greek food, yet alone tried a gyro. You definitely made me a fan!
    My mom & I have been slowly cooking our way through your recipes. We have yet to make one that hasn’t been amazing. Love, love, love your site!!

  50. WOW! My six kiddos, hubby and I are living overseas in Southeast Asia right now. Boy do I miss this kind of food! I can’t wait to try this recipe and surprise my family! Thank you soooooooo much for sharing this! Already pinned this and am following via Twitter and Pinterest. Really nice you landed a great job. My husband and I are just now delving into recipes and photography. We both enjoy making new recipes and are enjoying learning photography together. Thanks for all your work on these aweome recipes. I am looking forward to your next one;0)
    Visiting from Pint-sized Treasures

  51. It was absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  52. These were delicious. I made them last week. I thought the marinade was awesome. My only complaint was that both my boyfriend and I felt the tzatziki sauce was too strong in flavor due to the lemon and the vinegar. I looked up other tzatziki sauces and normally they call for either the vinegar or the lemon juice. I think next time I will do just lemon juice. Otherwise, I found this recipe easy and delicious. Would make again.

    • Made last night (to follow up on my comment) and just doing two tablespoons of lemon juice in the tzatziki was just right. It was so amazing! I love the marinade for this and this is not a complicated recipe after working all day. This is officially a keeper (boyfriend thinks so too)!

  53. I had pinned this on Pinterest forever ago and just got around to making it. Wow! Delicious! These gyros were so simple and so yummy, my family loved them

  54. Just made this. Well I thought the chicken was okay okay I followed the recipe exactly but it seemed to be lacking flavor. Maybe putting it on the.grill would have been better, oh well. But the tzaziki sauce is amazing!! Only thing I adjusted to it was only used half a lemon and probably doubled if not tripled the amount of garlic (there’s no such thing as too much garlic). This is now my go to tzaziki recipe!

  55. what brand of pita do you recommend, Sahara is very cardboard like

  56. We used store brought Tzatziki sauce, chicken breast tenders Grilled for 5-6 minutes per side, muliti-grain wheat flat bread and added Romaine Lettuce, Feta Cheese (if you want).

  57. Oh my wow. Just made these, with a GF pita recipe, and just wow. The chicken is soooo good. I am seriously stopping in the middle of eating this to tell you thanks for the amazing recipe! I want to make this every week. At least.

  58. I love your website. You have the best recipes. Thank you!

  59. I have made these twice now :) so good!!! I add sriracha and pepper flakes. Thank you!

  60. Yum! These are delicious! I use the leftover tzatziki sauce as a salad dressing, it’s fantastic on romaine, cucumber, red onion, croutons and feta.

  61. This was delicious. The spiciness made me sweat! And I loved every minute of it. Now I know what to do with all of the cucumbers that spoil in my fridge. I baked my chicken at 450 for about 20 minutes. Excellent!

  62. This is my first home cooked meal of 2014 can’t wait to try it! :)

  63. This is one of our go-to recipes in our household! So delicious! The only thing we do differently is add some dill to the tzatziki sauce and we grill the chicken…yum!

  64. Thank you soooo much for posting this recipe. My husband LOVED this so much he asked me to put it in our “favorites” recipe book as a go to for future meals. You are awesome and made me look like a domestic rockstar. :) I can’t thank you enough. :D

  65. Can’t wait to make these this week. Just a little point of clarity. The Greek food I have eaten typically does not open the pocket for the pita, as you note. But some ethnic foods do. Falafel made in the Moroccan style for example, does. Not sure why it’s different. Just thought you’d want to know. Totally agree on the should-have-been-Greek, though! I absolutely love Greek food!