This chicken gyros is easy to whip up on a busy night; it can be made ahead and marinated overnight, then filled with fresh, crisp veggies and tangy cucumber-dill tzatziki before being wrapped in warm pita bread. Your family will love having this simple recipe on the weekly menu.
My family is always looking for a healthy dinner that’s full of flavor and can be made ahead for those busy weekdays, and these Greek chicken gyros are perfect. Marinated chicken is grilled and layered in a pita with your favorite Greek toppings. This is a hearty and healthy recipe that easily comes together and can be set out as a “build your own” for your family, which is always a hit in my house.
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Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy This recipe is so easy to put together—marinate the chicken, whip up the tzatziki, and chop up some veggies.
- Prep ahead Everything can be prepped in advance, so all you need to do is marinate the chicken and cook it.
- Family-friendly Everyone can put together their own chicken gyro with their favorite Greek toppings.
- Entertaining What I love about this dish is how you can prep everything, and then when everyone arrives, you can grill the chicken, and then everyone can create their own chicken gyros. It makes it perfect for you and for happy guests because they can create their own gyros.
Ingredients for Chicken gyros
- Chicken breast I personally like to use lean chicken, like chicken breast, but you can use boneless chicken thighs.
- Greek yogurt I always use Greek yogurt with a bit of fat because I find it creamier and thicker. The yogurt will be used for both marinating and making the tzatziki.
- Spices Using Greek spices like oregano, garlic, onion, and cumin gives the chicken a lot of flavors, which is just what it needs to put this recipe together.
- Olive oil use a good quality olive oil
- Red Wine vinegar I like to use red wine vinegar; it will help leave your chicken nice and tender, but if you don’t have RWV, you can use lemon juice.
- Tomato and cucumber I like to add a few veggies into my gyro like tomato, cucumber, and lettuce.
- Fresh dill The addition of fresh dill in the tzatziki is excellent, you can use dry but fresh is best in this instance.
How to make Chicken Gyros with tzatziki
- Prepare marinade add all the marinade for the chicken into a Ziploc or freezer bag.
- Combine and move the marinade around to combine.
- Chicken add chicken into the marinade and seal.
- Fridge place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes up to overnight.
- Cucumber peel, slice, and seed
- Food Processor add cucumber and pulse until finely chopped
- Release moisture drained diced cucumber with a bit of salt and let sit for 15 minutes. You want to release as much moisture as possible so that you don’t end up with watery tzatziki.
- Remaining ingredients combine the rest of the tzatziki ingredients in a medium bowl and chill until you’re ready to assemble the chicken gyros.
- Prepare topping l like to chop the veggies ahead of time, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and crumbled feta.
- Grill chicken There are two options for the chicken you can grill the pieces individually or thread them onto skewers. First lightly brush the chicken with olive oil. Heat the grill over medium to high heat for about 5 minutes. Cook the chicken for 7 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165 F (75 C)
- Pitas warm on the grill for about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Veggies place a few spoonfuls of the salad toppings in a line down the middle.
- Chicken top with grilled chicken and a generous scoop of tzatziki sauce and fold it up and enjoy! For an added measure I like to wrap the pita in parchment paper and twist the bottom.
Tips for making a chicken gyro
- Marinate chicken The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavor you will have, but you don’t want to marinate it for any longer than 8 hours or it will become tough and chewy.
- Freeze Chicken in the marinade you can put all the ingredients including the chicken and freeze. Then you are ready to use all you need to do is defrost.
- Freeze-cooked chicken Once you have grilled the chicken as an easy meal prep you can freeze the chicken and take it out as you need it.
- Prepare the tzatziki when you prepare the chicken marinade prepare the tzatziki because the longer it has a chance to sit the better it will get.
- Customizing ingredients the vegetables and measurements are simply suggestions you can use or swap out any ingredients for your favorites such as bell pepper, olives, artichoke hearts, avocado, and sundried tomatoes, there are so many swaps you could make.
- Pitas use pita flatbread and not pita pockets, you’re looking for a softer bread for a gyro.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will chicken gyro last in the fridge?
The marinated, cooked chicken can stay fresh in the fridge for 3–5 days and be ready to use when needed. The fresh parts of the dish should be stored separately so that the tomatoes don’t make everything soggy and stay as crisp and fresh as they can be.
What is a gyro?
A gyro is a popular Greek food; it’s generally made by slicing thin meat and grilling it on a vertical rotisserie (like the picture below). Commonly, the protein that is used is pork, chicken, lamb, and beef, and it is often served in pita bread as a wrap, served with vegetables, tzatziki, and lemon.
How do you pronounce gyro?
This word is not easily translated, so it might be hard to figure out how to pronounce it. But if you sound it out it’s pretty easy “Yee-ROH”.
Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 sheet of cheese cloth
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 lemon juiced
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1-1/2 tbsp oregano dried
- ½ tbsp mint dried
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ large cucumber
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic pressed and minced
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 of a lemon
- 1-1/2 tbsp fresh dill
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch pepper
- 1-1/2 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ cup red onion chopped
- ½ cup cucumber sliced and chopped into quarter
- ½ cup feta
- 6-8 pita bread warmed
- Cut chicken into strips and set aside.
- Add all of the marinade ingredients into a freezer bag or ziploc, press the marinade around until combined.
- Add in chicken and press out any air and move the chicken around in the bag until it is coated
- Place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes up to overnight. the longer you can have it marinate the better the flavors will be.
- peel and remove the seeds from the cucumber and blend in a food processor until smooth. place in cheesecloth and allow to drain for 10 minutes and then squeeze out any remaining liquid and moisture from the cucumber and place in a medium-sized bowl.
- add in yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- In a medium bowl, combine the toppings and toss them together.
- You can place the chicken on skewers to grill or grill individually. lightly brush with olive oil. grill over medium to high heat for 7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reach 165℉ (75℃)
- warm the pita bread on the grill for 1-2 minutes per side. Then, on the center of each pita bread, add a few spoonfuls of the salad toppings in a line down the middle. Top with grilled chicken, and a generous scoop of tzatziki sauce. Fold the pita up and enjoy. You can also wrap it in parchment paper and twist the bottom to keep the ingredients inside.