Big Fat Greek Tacos

Big. Fat. Greek. Tacos.

Or in other words: balm to my food-loving soul.

Or to put it another way: You make me Big Fat Greek Tacos? I weep with joy.

The combination and layers of flavor in these bad boys are too much. Tender, succulent meat topped with a fresh, zesty cucumber salsa smothered in creamy, heavenly tzatziki sauce and all of it wrapped in soft wrap bread.

I need a minute to breathe. Or maybe I just need a Big Fat Greek Taco in my little grubby hand rightthisveryminute.

Big Fat Greek Tacos

I know I claim to love every single recipe on this site but I’m not going to lie that I have my recipe pets. My favorites. The ones I could eat every day for the rest of my life and never grow weary of and these Big Fat Greek Tacos (I can’t bring myself to just call them a Greek taco – super lame and boring) are so up there. I beg and plead and implore you to give these a shot. I’ll send some tissues for when the weeping commences. Just know, I’ll be putting my virtual arm around you in support. Lovers of Big Fat Greek Tacos must stand together.

Oh, and did I mention that although the recipe has several components, they can all be made ahead of time (we’re talking hours or days ahead of time) which makes the actual dinner hour a breeze. Thanks to Sally for the tips on making everything in advance (she made these for a group of 20, so she’s basically a Big Fat Greek Taco expert; something I can only aspire to be someday).

Big Fat Greek Tacos

What To ServeFresh fruit, or this Honey Lime Fruit Salad
Hummus with fresh vegetables
Cottage Cheese

One Year Ago: Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins
Two Years Ago: Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Three Years Ago: Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

Big Fat Greek Tacos

Yield: Serves 6-8

Big Fat Greek Tacos

The cucumber salsa and the tzatziki sauce can be prepared up to a day in advance and refrigerated. Sally mentions that she's made the meat mixture and kept it on low in a crockpot for up to 4 hours to let the flavors develop (and help when entertaining or if you need some flexibility).

Ingredients

    Cucumber Tomato Salsa:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 firm large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Feta Mint Tzatziki:
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Lamb or Turkey:
  • 2 pounds ground lamb or turkey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup broth (chicken, vegetable or beef)
  • For the pitas:
  • 6-8 non-pocket pita or soft wrap breads (I used our favorite soft wrap bread)

Directions

  1. At least one hour or as early as one day before you are serving, prepare the salsa and tzatziki. For the cucumber salsa, toss the olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a bowl and season with salt and black pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or up to 24 hours to marry the flavors.
  2. For the tzatziki, peel the cucumber and shred on the large holes of a box grater. Place the shredded cucumber in a clean kitchen towel and wring out the excess water until the cucumber is very dry. In a medium bowl, stir together the strained cucumber, yogurt, feta, garlic and mint. Again, season with salt and pepper to taste. The tzatziki can be refrigerated up to 24 hours. Give it a good stir before serving.
  3. For the meat, heat a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the ground lamb or turkey with the salt, pepper, onion and garlic, breaking up the meat into small pieces and cooking until the meat is cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Drain any excess grease. Stir in the oregano and tomato paste and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the broth and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Warm the pita breads in a cast iron skillet or in the microwave until soft and heated through. Serve the tacos by spooning meat into the center of a pita bread and topping with cucumber salsa and tzatziki.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/big-fat-greek-tacos/

Recipe Source: adapted from my friend Sally at Good Dinner Mom (increased amount of meat, simplified some of the steps)

56 Responses to Big Fat Greek Tacos

  1. I love the way you cook!

  2. Judith - Texas says:

    W,O.W. – just printed out recipe and made a grocery list of needed ingredients. Dinner tonight!!

  3. Ellie says:

    I die…………

  4. jill smith says:

    These greek tacos look and sound so delicious! Can’t wait to make, I love sauces and things made with english cucumbers, have you made with both ground lamb and turkey? I need to try ground lamb again, I didn’t care for the taste when I used it in shepards pie once. Thanks for all of your delicious recipes on your site! My two married daughters and I use your site for recipes often.

  5. These look delicious. I can’t wait to try them! I’ve never made Tzatziki before but its sounds like something I’d love.

  6. Missy says:

    Can’t wait to make these! It’s expensive to buy already-made gyro meat so I’m excited to make my own. I made your soft wrap bread before and LOVED it. It’s so easy to make and tastes better than the store bought kind. Salivating at these tacos…

  7. I’ve decided that you are basically the Albert Einstein of dinner. Minus the weird mustache and all that, obvi.

  8. Karen says:

    This looks so good! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  9. oh yum. I made greek tacos once with chicken, but these look yummier than when I made them and its probably been 3 years. I really want to make these soon!

  10. katie says:

    These are in my pile of recipes for this week. One question: I don’t care for feta. Do you have any other substitute recommendations?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie – I just left a reply comment that addressed this but wanted to make sure you saw – you could leave out the feta completely or look for the “Italian Feta” which tastes almost like mozzarella.

  11. Michelle says:

    Wow, Mel! Those look fantastic! Can’t wait to give them a try. :)

  12. Catherine says:

    I love Greek gyros. These sound like they’ll satisfy my craving. Question: how critical is it to find a ENGLISH cucumbers. Can I use the burpless variety that is growing in my garden right now?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Catherine – you could definitely use a garden cucumber – a few tips: seed the cucumber (and peel it) and try to drain as much water as possible.

  13. Sheree says:

    What kind of feta do you use? I bought some Greek feta from Sprouts a couple of weeks ago and it stunk so much (and it hadn’t gone “bad”, I don’t think). I ended up throwing it out and leaving feta out of my recipe. Is there a brand/type that isn’t so smelly? Or as katie asked, is there a good substitute?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sheree – I use pretty mainstream feta (found near the ricotta and other tub-cheeses) at the grocery store. It’s not overly stinky – definitely on the mild end. As for substitute, there’s a product on the market I noticed the other day that is called “The Italian Feta” and it’s basically a crumbly cheese like feta – almost the exact same texture – but it tastes very mild like mozzarella. I didn’t like it quite as much as feta – but I’m a huge feta fan. I think I saw it at Walmart when I was in the big city.

  14. Kim in MD says:

    Yum…this looks so delicous! I love Greek food!

  15. Maureen says:

    Just had to tell you how much I enjoy your recipes and tips. Copied both this recipe and the soft wrap recipe. I think you have one of the best websites I’ve seen and my family seems to have the same taste for food that you do.

  16. After reading this, I want to make these all over again! I’m so glad you liked them, Mel. :D
    And FYI, when I made these for a big crowd I did use a regular garden cucumber with successful results.

  17. Lucy says:

    This look amazing! Thank you, thank you for all your awesome recipes. Have you made these with both lamb and turkey? I’m curious how they compare. Turkey sounds cheaper, but this recipe looks so promising I might splurge on lamb if I can find it and if it’s that much tastier than the turkey. Thanks.

    • Mel says:

      Lucy and Jill – sadly, I can’t get ground lamb where I live (I’d probably have to drive at least 3 hours to find some) so I’ve only ever used ground turkey. Delicious with the turkey but if you like the flavor of ground lamb and can find it, you’ll get a more authentic Greek-style flavor.

  18. These Greek tacos sound really good!

  19. Des says:

    Oh my gahhhhhhh. LOVE these. I will definitely be trying them with Lamb since I do have it where I live.

  20. Shelly says:

    Absolutely loved these! This was one of the rare dinners that everyone ate without complaint. In fact, I was glad that I decided last minute to double everything because it was devoured. Thank you for yet another fabulous recipe. Love your site!

  21. Sara says:

    Made these for a Lady’s lunch group yesterday…they were a huge hit!!! The only thing I added was a few Greek style olives diced up for a little garnish. Also, I had a lot of meat and toppings left over, but no more bread wraps, so I turned them into lettuce wraps for dinner for the fam! You are amazing!

  22. Katherine says:

    Made these last night and……OH MAN!! DELISH!! Easy to make and perfect for the hot summer months! You haven’t steered me wrong yet! Thanks again Mel!

  23. Abbie says:

    These are on the menu tonight. I made the soft bread, the salsa and tzatziki sauce last night.

  24. Abi says:

    Amazing. If someone is reading through the comments and trying to decide if they should make these or not, just go ahead and make them. I didn’t put in hardly any red onions (I don’t love the texture of raw onions) and it was so incredible delicious.

  25. Claudia says:

    Want. Some. Now. Please. YUM!

  26. Sarah in Akron says:

    We just had these for dinner and they were stunning. Stunning. The boys (4 & 2) enjoyed the bread and the lamb. We the adults loved all of it. I especially like that everything, save the meat, was a make ahead item so dinner time was a breeze. We also added some kalamata olives to our tacos.

  27. Marissa says:

    I was skeptical as I mixed the salsa together and then the tzatziki sauce that the flavors would be too strong for me and I wouldn’t love this. I wondered what I would do with the leftovers. But, oh. I was happily proven wrong. Beyond words. My husband had no words either, just a giddy grin as he made himself another one. He made me promise not to eat the leftovers without him. I’ve been counting down the hour until dinner since 11am. Thank you for yet another home run!…dare I say grand slam?

  28. Lucy says:

    Thanks for your help with the turkey vs. lamb question. I made these last week and loved all the flavors and textures–and making the homemade wrap bread was totally worth it!

  29. Sheree says:

    My family loved these! I was afraid my husband and son wouldn’t care for the tzatziki (I knew I’d love it), but I was proven wrong. In my opinion, the tzatziki made the dish. I’m only wondering what to do with all the leftover mint – ideas?. I halved the recipe, not knowing how it would be received, but next time, I’m making the whole thing. I also love the idea of cutting calories by making these into lettuce wraps.

    • Mel says:

      Sheree – hmmm, leftover mint. I don’t use it in very many things, not going to lie, but one of our favorite simple ways is to cover the mint leaves in chocolate, refrigerate until solid and then munch. Amazingly good. :)

  30. Sheree says:

    Mmm, love the idea of chocolate covered mint leaves. :) My idea to use up more of the mint currently in my fridge is to just make another, much bigger batch of tzatziki to go with another batch of Big Fat Greek Tacos – yum.

  31. Katie says:

    These were soooo delicious!! Can’t wait to make them again for my parents when they visit next month. Flat bread was amazing too! Thank you as always!

  32. Kelly McMahon says:

    Made these for dinner and OMG…delish!! Can’t wait to make them again. Up tomorrow night…Mel’s sweet and sour chicken!! Thanks Mel!!

  33. Morgan says:

    I made these last night and they were amazing!!! I use your recipe for Gyros all the time so this was a nice way to change things up a bit around my kitchen! The salsa was my favorite part, it took it from good to great. My husband isn’t a fan of feta so I omitted it from the tzatziki and put a little red wine vinegar and lemon juice in to spruce it up. Thank you for helping me be such an awesome cook! ;)

  34. Katie says:

    Making this again for company because I love it so much! I’m having a hard time coming up with sides…any recommendations?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie – some simple side dishes could be hummus and pita chips or even some type of rice salad or rice dish. I also like to serve fresh fruit with them.

  35. HeyBeckyJ says:

    Finally got around to making these this past weekend (after thinking about them for a month), and they were absolutely delicious! Even my stuck-in-a-rut husband gave it the approval to add to our dinner rotations. Regarding the mint leaves, I didn’t want to buy fresh because I didn’t know what else to use it with it, and was instead able to find dried mint flakes in the spice aisle. They were a bit pricier than the fresh stuff, but I know there’s enough for many rounds of these tacos. Which will of course be happening.

  36. Jeannie says:

    Hi Mel!

    I can’t wait to make these when my Mom and Step Dad come to town! Quick question: do you use the 99% fat free turkey meat, or do you use something with a little more fat? I used a lot of ground turkey in my cooking, and usually use the 99% fat free kind. Just curious what YOU use for this recipe! Thanks so much!

  37. OK, I want to make the soft wrap bread- it looks delicious. Just to clarify- I need instant potatoes to make them, right?

  38. […] Big Fat Greek Tacos¬†-I use half ground turkey and half ground beef.¬†Serving w/ tortilla chips and celery sticks. […]

  39. Helen says:

    made these like several times already and those tacos are delicious,ty for recipe :)

  40. ann says:

    I made this tonight for guests. Everyone loved it.

    When I was cooking the meat, it was just SCREAMING at me to add cumin. It just needed cumin. So I added about 2 teaspoons. Maybe more. It was delicious.

    Oh, and Mel, I made your pocketless pitas with it. Perfect. And we have plenty of leftovers so I can eat it for lunch.

  41. Kent says:

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! These are so good! I add crumbled feta on these.

  42. Betsy says:

    Made these for a family at church where the mom was recovering from surgery. I chose them not only because they are so delicious, but also because I could make all of the parts ahead of time and the meat is easy to reheat. The family has 3 young children (under 6) and I thought if nothing else the kids would eat the meat and the pita bread. When the parents thanked me later they couldn’t say enough about your great recipe. The kids all ate it and are asking their mom to make it again! Of course I passed the recipe and your web site on! Thanks for another great recipe!

  43. Caroline says:

    This is my new favorite meal! Loved it so so much! Thank you, Mel! I love this site and you!

  44. Shauna says:

    My sister made your “Big Fat Greek Tacos” recipe for me the other day and after one bite, I was hooked. I am making my grocery list right now so I can make this delicious dish this weekend for my family.

  45. Shauna says:

    I forgot to tell you how much I love your website. I think our meals are going to greatly improve after finding you.

  46. Bronwen says:

    We are cattle farmers so I have a freezer full of ground beef and looking for different ways to use it. Do you think it would be okay to try this with ground beef?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Bronwen – it will change the flavor a bit for the tacos but I’d definitely give it a try if that’s what you have on hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.