Chicken Gyros

March 9, 2009 · 86 comments

in chicken/poultry,greek,healthy

I am in love with gyros (yee-ros, and roll that R!).  I am not so much in love with JY-rohs. Sorry, I had to. ;)

Tender, flavorful lamb, garlicky tzatziki sauce, warm pita, tomatoes and (sometimes) onions…what more could you ask for?  Chicago is a mecca of the gyro and yet, I find I don’t get to eat them all that often. It’s a shame, really.  When I do find a place with a great gyro, though, you’d be hardpressed to keep me away. I used to eat them quite a bit at my family’s restaurants (yes, that’s plural; everyone in my family works in a restaurant. We fit the stereotype.),  but I find that now I tend to gravitate toward the chicken gyro, at least occasionally, as a lighter option when I go back to Michigan.

I was fortunate enough to find a new market (well, it’s new to me, not new to others) relatively nearby that has a lot of Greek food items I can’t find anywhere  but Greektown. Greektown is a major pain in my arse to get to, but this place (HarvesTime, for all you Chicagoans), thankfully, isn’t.  I was so happy to procure some Greek pitas there that I was inspired to make some chicken gyros at home. Traditional Greek pitas are pocketless and pliable, not like most of the stuff that has a pocket and is tiresome to chew that you normally pick up at the grocery store.

This is pretty similar to my shish kabob recipe but I use some plain yogurt in place of some of the oil in order to keep it moist and light.  If you can’t grill, a broiler is a great substitution. I use mine ALL the time.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Ellen March 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I’ve never had a gyro but this looks delicious. Thanks for the pronunciation tip – I didn’t know Jy-roh was wrong!!


petercooks March 9, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Wonderful Elly! Who can resist a good gyros wrapped in warm pita bread? I could eat it forever!


Kerstin March 9, 2009 at 6:29 pm

This post makes me miss Chicago! We used to go to this dive called Sammy’s by UofC for lunch and their gyros were so good. I can’t find anything like it in Boston. But, now I can make them at home if I have a craving – great recipe!


Molly Jean March 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm


I love gyros! In college there was the ‘gyro guy’ who had a cart and he would be outside the campus bars from 11pm – 3am on the weekends. You could swing by and grab a gyro on your stumble home and they were DELIGHTFUL. Maybe it was because we were half-cocked, but I like to think they were the best regardless!

You’ve inspired me :)


ash March 9, 2009 at 9:20 pm

yum! i’ll have to make them soon using your recipe!


truenorth67 March 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Damn you’re good…good at pushing my hunger buttons…this IS Greektown in every major city…eat it up BABY!


Ivy March 10, 2009 at 4:27 am

It sounds delicious and a much healthier version than other meat.


katie March 10, 2009 at 6:43 am

Mmmmm….I need to make some flatbread to make these ASAP!! I’m in love with YEE-RRos too! ;)


Joelen March 10, 2009 at 9:31 am

I so need to make this – yum!


colleen March 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Thanks for clearing up the pronounciation – my husband and I fight about it all the time! This looks wonderful – and great pics!


Kevin March 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm

That looks good! This is one of my favorites meals.


Annie March 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Can’t wait to try this!!!


Anon June 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm

These are fantastic. But although the recipe say to refrigerate the tzatziki for 30 minutes or more, it really needs to be made the day before- I did a rush job on it and had it the same day, and it was good, but I had some leftover the next day, and it was soooo much better- much more flavour.

Also, 1 tbsp of oregano is a lot of oregano. It may just be my taste, but next time I make these- and I will make them again, because they are that good- I will put less oregano(maybe 1/2 tbsp or less) in with the chicken, and make the tzatziki the day before.

I really hope the author doesn’t see this as a negative critisim- it really is not, because these have the potential, for me, to be much better than anything you could buy at the take-out.


elly June 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Of course I don’t take your comment negatively! I do agree that tzatziki is better left overnight and I do that as often as possible (whether I am making it for gyros or something else). As for the oregano, everyone has their own tastes! My husband and I love oregano & garlic so I tend to use a lot more of both than a “normal” person would. :) Glad you liked them & will make them again.


Tiffany July 13, 2009 at 11:01 am

Hi Elly!
Just wanted to say that I made these for dinner last night and they were FABULOUS! Everyone fell in love…I used a mixture of chicken breast and thigh meat, which made for the perfect mix! The marinade resulted in beautifully moist and flavorful chicken, which I grilled. I ended up marinating the chicken for 3+ hours, which gave the tzatziki time to get happy in the fridge too! I served it with a grilled summer squash, onion & tomato couscous. Absolutely superb! Thanks for the inspiration!


elly July 13, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I’m so glad you liked them, Tiffany! I also love using a mix of white and dark meat. Dark meat is so much more flavorful and moist!


Kylee August 31, 2009 at 12:49 pm

That marinade is out of this WORLD!

I did add some shredded mint to the tzatziki, but that’s because that’s how I’ve always made it. I didn’t bother with the cheesecloth and the draining, but I’m cool with a runnier consistency.

We put some homemade hummus on the bread first, too.

Phenomenal recipe – pleased my husband, and two young guests who are notoriously picky eaters.

Yay – thanks for posting it.


elly August 31, 2009 at 7:54 pm

So glad you enjoyed them, Kylee!


jovann August 30, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I tried your recipe and it was fantastic it was a real hit with my daughter. Simple to make and worth the time to make the sauce. The marinade smelled so good you could smell the aroma all over the house.
Chicken Gyros Source: Elly Says Opa.


Courtney January 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I just blogged these. I can’t tell you how much I love them. In fact, I’m totally craving them after writing that blog post. :) Thanks for the awesome recipe, Elly!


jathi February 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

My friend made these this past Saturday and boy were they good! She sent me the recipe and I am going to make them this weekend!


elly February 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

So glad you liked them jathi!


Elle March 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Oh, I can’t *wait* to try these! I’m definitely doing them on the grill as soon as we get it set up for the season. The meat looks so juicy! I also love marinating chicken in yogurt-it makes perfect chicken, every time.


Kathleen April 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I found these on Annie’s Eats and I had to come over here to tell you how much we enjoyed these! They came together quickly & tasted great. Thank you so much!!!


elly April 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

So glad you liked them, Kathleen!


Celeste B. April 21, 2011 at 11:28 am

As you can see, I’ve been cooking from your blog this week. This was another excellent recipe; and quick and easy too. A definite repeater.


Marysol June 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

I had someone here at work make these a while back, we had seen it on Made in Melissa Kitchen. I tried these last night and they were delicious. The only thing that I did not prepare was the Tzatiziki sauce, I bought a cucumber feta dip at the store.
Thanks for sharing, will be making these again :)


elly June 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

Glad you liked them, Marysol!


Marysol June 8, 2011 at 11:45 am

I had to share your blog on my facebook page.


Jenna January 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

I made this recipe the other night and it was fantastic! Made it with chicken thighs so they were delicious and moist and even the boy loved them! Definitely rivaled some of the best Greek food I’ve had (and I eat a lot of Greek food in Queens, NY!!) Thanks for the great recipe!!


elly January 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

Happy you enjoyed them, Jenna! Love that you used chicken thighs, they are my favorite!


Rocky Harris August 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

Dear Elly: Where does one get tzatziki or how does one make it ? We live in wichita kansas where there are no greek restaurants but we went to calgary canada to visit her sister there and we stopped at a greek restaurant called opa’s at the mall and the gyro was delicious. Sincerely, Rocky Harris


elly August 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

There’s a link in the recipe above that goes to my tzatziki recipe.


Julie December 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I’m late to the party here as I just discovered your blog last week (I’m making the Red Chile Chicken and Rice tonight!), but I just wanted to say how much I miss HarvesTime Market. I moved away from Chicago 2 years ago but used to live right around the corner from the one on Lawrence, and it was the best store ever. Even my mom loved it when she came to visit… so much that she went there every day!


elly December 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Hah, I love it too! Cheap and good feta, plus random Greek and Middle Eastern staples. I’ll take it. :) I’ll miss it when we move, too.


KerryB February 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Absolutely delicious! Especially love the tzatziki and the tip to warm the pita on the gas stove! Thanks!


Frank March 5, 2014 at 6:08 pm

The best gyros I’ve ever had, bar none, are at the Parthenon on State St. in Madison, Wisconsin.


Lex August 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Dear Elly,

Just wanted to let you know I made these the other night and they are killer. We live in out in the suburbs and are lucky enough to have a few good gyro places around us, but even better we have Valli Produce out here. They have such a wide variety of selections from almost any ethnicity imaginable (and super cheap produce) and the great part is they sell their own homemade gyro meat and tzatiki sauce. So we are pretty spoiled. Though one taste of these chicken gyros had us thinking we might be making these instead!


elly August 20, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Lex – I am so glad you liked them. We actually had them for dinner tonight! :)


Trish June 6, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Perfect on the grill. Added avacado lettuce spinach mushrooms as toppings also


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