Chicken Gyros


Well it’s currently 372 degrees in my house because the air conditioner decided to break this week.  If I had to pick a week for it to break, I guess this was a good one with it being in the mid 90’s all week and over 100 degrees with the heat index….oh, and extremely high humidity 😉  I may or may not have ran through our front yard sprinkler in all my clothes a few times each day this week.  I felt like I was 5 years old again and my neighbors probably think I’m crazy, but that’s OK with me.  As long as I get a little relief from the heat!

I am in love with gyros (pronounced “yeer-o” for everyone who doesn’t know, and roll that R!) and who could resist a good gyro wrapped in warm pita bread?  I could eat them forever!  This is about the easiest meal you can get when you don’t feel like turning on your oven for a long time to cook dinner and that was the situation I was definitely in this week.  The word “gyro” actually refers to the way the various meat (normally they are made with lamb) is cooked on the vertical rotisserie and then sliced into thin strips.  In most places in the U.S., however, it refers to the pita roll-up the meat is served to you on and many times is made with chicken or beef with other fillings inside and a yogurt-based Tzatziki sauce.

The marinade resulted in beautifully moist and flavorful chicken.  The thick and tangy yogurt sauce tasted great with the chicken and this meal came together so quickly.  It would be perfect for lunch OR dinner!  Have a great summer weekend, everyone!

Chicken Gyros Recipe


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 cup prepared Tzatziki sauce OR plain Greek yogurt (recipe below if you’d like to make homemade Tzatziki)
sliced tomatoes
sliced onions
sliced cucumbers
4 pocketless pitas


Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl and add to Ziploc bag. Add in chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, turning halfway through.

Preheat the grill (or pan on the stove, or broiler…whatever you decide to use). Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and then grill over indirect heat or cook on the stove until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side, depending what size/type chicken you are using.  If you are broiling the chicken it will probably take about 5 minutes per side to cook through, depending on the size of chicken.  Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

Meanwhile, warm your pitas. I just spray them with a little bit of oil and stick them right in a skillet for a few seconds per side, but you can also warm them on the grill.  Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki (or Greek yogurt), tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.

Homemade Tzatziki Sauce:

 1 (32 oz.) container of plain yogurt (a fat free Greek yogurt like Fage is fine–but 2% fat is preferred since it’s strained & thicker)
2 cucumbers, seeded
3-5 cloves garlic–depending how much garlic you like, crushed
1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp.  fresh lemon juice
salt and a little pepper
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth over a bowl (if you don’t have that, a strainer lined with a coffee filter will work) for several hours or overnight to get out as much moisture as possible. If you’re using Greek yogurt, just pour excess liquid off the top instead of straining.

Peel and seed the cucumber.  Shred or grate the cucumbers and then squeeze them to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible. I use a kitchen towel to do this, and you will get a lot of liquid so don’t skip this step! You don’t want a runny tzatziki.

Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Salt to taste. It’s best to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, so flavors can meld.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top.

Add herbs to your liking.

Tzatziki sauce recipe adapted from

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These are a few of my favorite things: cooking, baking, Broadway musicals, cruises, Disney World, Christmas, thunderstorms, 80's and country music, and my favorite pastime has ALWAYS been baseball. Go Yankees!

59 Responses to “Chicken Gyros”

  1. Kelly
    July 19, 2013 at 12:23 AM #

    I feel your pain. We live in California and our AC went out on us a couple of weeks ago during the 110 degree heat wave that we had. It was a terrible three days! I hope that your AC is up and running again soon! The Gyros look yummy!

    • July 19, 2013 at 1:22 AM #

      So you definitely feel my pain!

  2. July 19, 2013 at 1:16 AM #

    Yummm! I’m a huge fan of gyros as well. I hope your air conditioner gets fixed soon! Stay cool!

  3. July 19, 2013 at 1:38 AM #

    Yikes! I hope you’re surviving! I don’t have AC in the house as this part of California doesn’t get all that hot so most of the homes do not have AC built in. But when it does get hot, the house gets extremely hot. That’s when I go to the store where I use their AC. 🙂 Hope your AC gets fixed soon! Your Gyros look scrumptious Ashley! Have a great weekend!

    • July 19, 2013 at 2:18 AM #

      I’ve been doing my best to find reasons to hang out in air conditioned places 🙂 Thanks, Anne!

  4. July 19, 2013 at 1:45 AM #

    I hope you really did run through your sprinklers, life doesn’t get much funner than that in my opinion! I hope you are staying cool and out of the heat, well wishes to a fixed AC soon!

    • July 19, 2013 at 2:19 AM #

      I totally ran through the sprinkler…no joke 🙂

  5. July 19, 2013 at 2:14 AM #

    When I ate meat I used to LOVE gyros. I definitely would’ve enjoyed these 🙂

    • July 19, 2013 at 2:19 AM #

      Yes Gyros are one thing I’d really miss if I ever went vegeterian!

  6. July 19, 2013 at 2:18 AM #

    I really love gyros, and these look exceptional. I love that you made a homemade tzatziki sauce!

    • July 19, 2013 at 2:32 AM #

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I appreciate you stopping by!

  7. July 19, 2013 at 7:29 AM #

    I am glad to see you use the proper pronunciation of the word gyros. I hear so often, even on television as ji-ro. Yours look quite good as a variation of the traditional.

    • July 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM #

      I can’t believe they call them ji-ro even on TV!

  8. Heather Musumeci
    July 19, 2013 at 7:44 AM #

    I make these all the time!! Definitely one of my favorites…can’t wait to try your marinade 🙂

    • July 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM #

      Aww thanks, Heather! Let me know if you try them 🙂

  9. July 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM #

    Thanks for taking one for the team and putting these incredible looking gyros together, in spite of the heat! They look sooooo tasty!! I have never made tzatziki sauce so once again, you have inspired me! Thanks for the nice post!!

    • July 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM #

      Thanks, Dan! Hopefully this heat wave ends soon so I can go back to using my oven again!

  10. July 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM #

    These look fantastic Ashley! Hope your air conditioner is fixed soon!!!

    • July 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM #

      Thanks, girl! I hope so too!

  11. July 19, 2013 at 11:27 AM #

    I love how you pronounce the correct way to say a gyro! My husband won’t believe me that you don’t say it with a dang “J” as in “ji-ro”! I mean, seriously! Pinning…and buffering! I love “yeer-os”!…especially with chicken!

    • July 19, 2013 at 12:16 PM #

      I always thought it was ji-ro until a couple years ago when a friend corrected me. Now I correct everyone else 😉

  12. July 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM #

    These look delicious!

  13. July 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM #

    I am so sorry your air conditioner broke! That’s horrible. I’d do anything to get it back on if mine broke. These gyros look like the perfect summer meal!

  14. July 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM #

    Sounds delicious! 🙂 I hope you get AC again soon, this is a terrible time to have it go! Hubby and I are hoping to replace our ancient, inefficient unit next year before it dies in the middle of a hot summer on us. Such a necessary but not fun thing to spend money on!

    • July 20, 2013 at 1:37 AM #

      Yeah it’s hard to drop money to fix it, but it is definitely necessary!

  15. July 19, 2013 at 4:51 PM #

    I’m visiting my parents in buffalo this weekend and it is so hot! Luckily they ponied up and bought AC after my brother and I move out of the house. 🙂 Love chicken gyros, actually I just love tzatziki sauce and anything you put under it!

    • July 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM #

      Thanks, Vicki! Yeah…can you believe this heat?!

  16. July 19, 2013 at 5:55 PM #

    Well I hope you have friends or a hotel you can stay at until your a/c gets fixed. We were without power a few years back due to a storm for 7 days. We ended up staying in a hotel the entire time with our dogs. Thank goodness for that. Make sure you stay someplace or you’ll end up sick. OK sorry, enough mommying!

    Your gyros look great and perfect for a summertime meal. Plus it sounds so simple to prepare. Great recipe!

    Stay cool!

    • July 20, 2013 at 1:36 AM #

      Thanks for caring so much, Vicki! We are doing OK so far…drinking a lot of water and limiting our activity…AKA doing nothing but sitting in front of a fan 24/7 🙂

  17. July 20, 2013 at 12:03 AM #

    I hope you get your aircon sorted soon that is the worst! I can’t even believe you cooked in that sweltering heat. I love Greek chicken Gyros and the sauce is always the best. I will try this recipe only if my aircon is working…Stay cool…Take care, BAM

    • July 20, 2013 at 1:37 AM #

      Yes wait until you have your aircon working before doing any sort of cooking! The grill has been my friend this week 🙂

  18. Sarah
    July 20, 2013 at 12:12 AM #

    This looks so yummy I need to try it! Hope you have a drop in the heat sometime soon. We have had a spell of “feels like….107 degree” days, but Sunday the weather is suppose to break so to something cooler…. Here’s hoping 🙂

    • July 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM #

      Yeah it’s cooling down here tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. Normally I like the heat but this is even too much for me! LOL

  19. July 20, 2013 at 4:16 PM #

    Hope your AC gets fixed soon that’s just the worst time for it.
    The Chicken Gyros looks gorgeous and tasty, would love to try a bite 🙂

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:22 AM #

      Yeah it couldn’t have been worse timing..but there’s worse problems to be had! Thanks, Daniela 🙂

  20. July 20, 2013 at 11:49 PM #

    Hahaha, well, I’ve been pronouncing that word wrong until now.. and no one corrected me! However you pronounce it, this looks just so yummy!!

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:21 AM #

      It’s OK, I pronounced it wrong up until recently, too!

  21. July 21, 2013 at 12:51 PM #

    OMG. I can relate to how much it SUCKS to have the AC go out. I live in FL. It’s happened before. And it’s terrible!

    Chicken gyros are my go to gyro when we go out for gyros. I love ’em!

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:20 AM #

      Yeah, it’s no fun! I tried not to complain all week about the heat and I think I did pretty well for the most part 🙂

  22. July 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM #

    This sounds so delicious Ashley! I haven’t had one of these in such a long time, I’ve gotta try this soon! Hope the heat breaks soon 🙂

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:19 AM #

      The heat has broke! 😉 And I couldn’t be happier…

  23. July 21, 2013 at 7:51 PM #

    Gosh, now awful to be totally without AC. I hope you get it fixed soon! But in the meantime you can eat soothing foods like these terrific gyros. Although lamb is traditional (as you point out), I think I may actually prefer chicken. I like to make these with leftover grilled chicken breasts – a lot of flavor, plus I don’t heat up the kitchen cooking the chicken! Good stuff – thanks.

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:19 AM #

      I’m the same way…I prefer chicken and it’s easy to use it in multiple meals throughout the week!

  24. July 22, 2013 at 1:49 AM #

    Oh no! I hope you get your air fixed soon!! I did have a good chuckle while I pictured you running through your sprinkler fully clothed!! And holy yum to the gyro!!!

    • July 22, 2013 at 2:11 AM #

      Thanks, Jocelyn! It cooled down here so I’m surviving just fine now! 🙂

  25. July 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM #

    I love gyros! Your version of it looks lovely and it’s making me very hungry just looking at that chicken wrapped in a warm pita bread!

    • July 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM #

      Thanks, Julia! They were so easy!

  26. Nessa
    July 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM #


  27. July 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM #

    I’m half Greek so I’m all about these homemade gyros! I had a good laugh when you clarify how to pronounce it…love it! 🙂

    • July 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM #

      So many people say it wrong! (including me up until recently!)

  28. July 26, 2013 at 11:09 AM #

    I’m a huge gyro fan, and these look incredible! I’m part Greek, and I’ve never even made them. Kind of pathetic, right?

    • July 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM #

      Get on that! haha

  29. July 29, 2013 at 8:50 PM #

    SO delicious! I love Greek food but rarely make it at home. I know i”d love these gyros – they look amazing!

    • July 30, 2013 at 12:11 AM #

      I need to start cooking Greek food more at home! It’s one of my faves!

  30. August 14, 2013 at 5:57 PM #



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