Homemade Gyros Recipe photo by Taste of Home
This step-by-step guide explains how to make gyros at home. No rotisserie needed!

Updated: Apr. 08, 2024

You’ve probably seen the huge rotisseries of spinning meat at Greek restaurants or food carts. In fact, you probably smelled them long before you saw them! Each gyro cone spinning around a slow flame sends out a savory aroma that’s sure to guide you right to the delicious source.

But what if there’s not a Greek restaurant nearby? Learning how to make gyros from scratch seems pretty daunting, and most of us don’t have a spit in the backyard. But it’s doable to make them at home with our step-by-step gyros recipe.

How to Make Gyros

Gyros in the makingTMB Studio

Gyros are traditionally made from lamb, a combination of lamb and beef, or chicken. The meat is layered around the base of a skewer to form a tall, wide cone of tightly packed layers. It’s then slow-roasted while spinning around a low flame and sliced off when it’s time to serve.

The gyro meat can be eaten as part of a gyro salad, but it’s most popular sliced directly from the spit and served in a pita sandwich that’s so big it’s hard to hold in one hand!

But to make a gyro at home, it’s more like making a meat loaf. You process the ground lamb and beef in a food processor to create a sort of paste, which will then be baked, weighed down, sliced and seared. By searing it, you achieve a crispy outer layer like a rotisserie gyro.

Ingredients for Gyros

  • Yellow onion
  • Ground lamb
  • Ground beef
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dried or fresh rosemary
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

To serve:

  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced onion
  • Sliced tomato
  • Feta
  • Pita bread


Step 1: Process the onion

Processed Onions TMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Pulse the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds until finely chopped, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once.

Step 2: Squeeze out the liquid

Squeezing extra water from onionsTMB Studio

Put the onions in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Step 3: Make the meat mixture

Pulsing meat, onions and other ingredients in mixerTMB Studio

Add onions back to the food processor along with the meat, garlic, spices and salt.

Pulse a few times until the mixture starts to come together, then allow to run for one minute so the meat is very sticky.

Step 4: Form and bake

Pressing meat mixture in baking dishTMB Studio

Press the meat mixture into a loaf pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth it out. Press it down as evenly as possible.

Step 5: Bake in a water bath

Pouring water in bigger pot with baking dish in it.TMB Studio

Fill a baking dish with 1 inch of water. Ensure the baking dish is bigger than the loaf pan, and that the sides are tall enough so the water doesn’t overflow.

Place the loaf pan in the water bath, put it in the oven, and cook for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until the gyro meat reaches 165°. An instant-read meat thermometer helps with this.

Remove from the oven and place the loaf pan on a cooling rack.

Step 6: Press the meat

Weighing down meat with another utensilTMB Studio

To achieve a texture similar to gyro meat cooked on a spit, you’ll want to press it. Weigh down the meat evenly—you can use another loaf pan with something heavy in it or a brick wrapped in aluminum foil. Let the weight sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the weight and pour off any fat.

Step 7: Slice and sear the meat

Sliced pieces of meat cooking in skilletTMB Studio

Slice and sear the meat. It’s much easier to slice thinly when it’s been in the fridge overnight, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. However, the fridge time can be skipped!

When you’re ready to prepare the gyros, use a long, sharp knife to slice the meat thinly. In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add a splash of olive oil. Sear the slices of meat on both sides until they’re golden.

Step 8: Build the gyros

To make it pliable, heat your pita bread in the oven or on a stovetop griddle. Build each gyro in a warm pita with tzatziki, seared meat, sliced onion and tomatoes, fresh lettuce and crumbled feta.

Gyros served on plate with vegetablesTMB Studio

Gyro Recipe Tips

What goes well with gyros?

A gyro isn’t a gyro without a big spoonful of tzatziki sauce!

Tzatziki is a yogurt sauce that goes so well with gyros because it cuts any heaviness of the meat with cooling, sour yogurt. You can find it at the grocery store, but it’s a quick process to make your own.

How do you make tzatziki sauce?

In a small bowl, combine about a cup of yogurt with 1/2 cup small diced cucumbers (seeds removed), two grated cloves of garlic, a pinch of fresh chopped dill and mint, lemon zest and juice, some olive oil, salt and pepper. Let sit for a few minutes so the flavors can combine.

What do you serve with gyros?

Gyros pair well with most Mediterranean foods. Round out your meal with a Greek salad, some roasted potatoes with feta cheese, and of course, baklava for dessert! You could also top this Greek pita spread with several slices of seared gyro meat to make a delicious meal.

Watch how to Make Homemade Gyros

Homemade Gyros

Yield 8 servings.


  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried thyme and dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 whole pita breads
  • Optional toppings: Chopped tomatoes, sliced red onion, shredded lettuce and tzatziki sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Process onion in a food processor until finely chopped, 10-15 seconds. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel; squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Return onion to food processor. Add beef, lamb, garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cumin and pepper. Pulse until mixed, 2-3 times; scrape down sides. Process until meat mixture is sticky and paste-like, about 1 minute.
  2. Transfer meat mixture into an ungreased 9x5-in. loaf pan. Press and smooth top of mixture with a rubber spatula, packing tightly into pan.
  3. Place loaf pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake until a thermometer reads 165°, 60-70 minutes. Remove loaf pan from water bath immediately to a wire rack. Place a second 9x5-in. loaf pan, bottom side down, onto the meat mixture in the pan. Weigh down the top pan by adding several cans to the top pan. Cool like this for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove weighted pan; drain grease from loaf. Return loaf to pan. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours or overnight. Remove from pan, cut widthwise into 1/4-in. slices.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. In batches, cook and stir meat slices until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes, adding more oil as needed. Serve in pitas with toppings as desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 sandwich: 396 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated fat), 72mg cholesterol, 865mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 25g protein.

Fill your house with the delicious aroma of spit-roasted gyros with this homemade version. Place the well-seasoned meat on warm pita bread, top it with tangy tzatziki, onions and tomato and you'll have restaurant-quality Greek food straight from your kitchen. —Risa Lichtman, Portland, Oregon