Chicken Gyros

A couple days ago I posted about the soft wrap bread that has changed my life. Don’t roll your eyes, I’m not being dramatic. It really has.

These divine gyros are what graced the soft wrap bread and the combination is fantastic. These gyros have been popping up all over the blogosphere and I am so glad I gave them a chance. They come together in a snap (after marinating the chicken) and I can honestly say they are one of my favorite meals we’ve eaten all month. That’s saying a lot since I love food. The chicken is extremely flavorful without being overpowering. And the tzatziki sauce? Oh, my heart. To die for. Fresh, light, creamy. My husband said to me over dinner, “Why don’t you have a little gyro with your tzatziki sauce.” And of course I took it as a compliment. I love me some tzatziki (I just discovered that fact since this is my first time making it!).

All in all, this is a perfect summer meal. I’m making these again next week we loved them so much, and I suggest you do the same!

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

Chicken Gyros

Yield: Makes enough chicken and tzatziki for approximately 4-6 gyros.

Chicken Gyros

Note: Keep in mind this recipe requires straining yogurt which may take overnight and marinating chicken which will take 1-2 hours so plan ahead!

Ingredients

    For the tzatziki sauce:
  • 16 oz. plain yogurt (not fat free unless it is Oikos or Fage or another Greek-type yogurt)
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded (I used 1/2 of an English cucumber)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the chicken:
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • To assemble:
  • Soft wrap bread (or pita bread)
  • Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Red onion, sliced thin

Directions

  1. To make the tzatziki sauce, strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl. Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible. (You won’t believe how much liquid drains from the yogurt – it makes the yogurt much thicker and creamier. If you want to splurge on Greek yogurt, like Oikos or Fage, you won’t need to strain it like this.)
  2. Shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. (I sauted them in a hot skillet.) Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/chicken-gyros/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats (originally from Elly Says Opa!)

81 Responses to Chicken Gyros

  1. Danielle says:

    HOLY COW! These are so good. My husband has told several people about them. I am trying to figure out just how often I could make these and get away with it. I thought there would be leftovers I could eat for lunch, but no dice. Next time I’ll be making extra. My tummy thanks you.

  2. Melanie says:

    Danielle – your comment made me smile. You go ahead and make these every day if you want! I agree that they are one of the best meals I’ve made in a LONG time. Glad you and the husband liked them, too!

  3. Jessica says:

    This was SO good!!! and pretty easy too :) We LOVED the bread and the gyros, but best of all was the tzatziki sauce! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  4. Melanie says:

    Jessica – I’m with you, the tzatziki sauce is a great highlight of this meal. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed this!

  5. Jenn says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I made these for dinner last night. They turned out pretty good. I’ve never made chicken gyros before (I usually make beef), so the change was good.

    I’ve never made my own flat bread before. I doubled the recipe thinking that they would be inhaled, but I have leftovers (not a bad thing). Guess the kids will be getting pizzas soon.

    It was a great meal.

  6. Gina says:

    Melanie-I just wanted to let you know that I made these last night and they were a hit! I also made the flat bread and oh man, they were good!

  7. Melanie says:

    Jenn – did your kids like the mini pizzas? I’m pretty sure you could freeze the leftover flat bread and warm for another day with good results. Thanks for letting me know you liked the gyros.

  8. Melanie says:

    Gina – glad this recipe worked out so well for you. And the flatbread, too – it is a carb-lovers dream! Thanks for letting me know.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Made this for dinner last night and they were fantastic and will be something I make over and over again. My husband is not one for moving out side of his comfort zone and trying new things, but he did well and loved them too. Thanks!

  10. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – glad you liked these gyros. I got your comment about the flatbread, too, and I’m glad it turned out well (despite throwing the first batch away). Thanks for letting me know! Oh, and I’m glad your husband took a walk on the wild side to try these.

  11. KT says:

    Do you think it’s possible to leave the cucumbers out of the tzatziki sauce? I’m very allergic, but would like to try this one…

  12. Melanie says:

    KT – hmmm…that’s a hard question because tzatziki is traditionally a cucumber-based sauce. If you want to serve it without cucumbers, it would be more of a citrus-y creamy sauce, which may turn out ok. Let me know if you try it.

  13. Kristi says:

    Hey Melanie! Loving your blog, just wondering what you would think about not straining the yogurt…? I know it would be runnier, but… well, I went to the store and got greek yogurt, got home and realized it was HONEY flavored (what the!) so took it back (to a different smith’s) where they did not have greek yogurt. So I got plain regular yogurt, which my four year old dropped on the floor so the container cracked. Then she consequently sippled in the spilled yogurt. And so on and so forth and I don’t know if I dare go try to get greek yogurt again! We could wind up with broken limbs. And I also have a broken container full of regular yogurt. And I am supposed to make dinner tonight for the inlaws.

    Anyway : ) Sure you wanted to hear about that : )

    Kristi

    http://www.kristibassett.blogspot.com
    http://www.itwasamazing.blogspot.com

  14. Melanie says:

    KT – so glad you tried it and let me know the result! I’m very happy it was still delicious.

  15. KT says:

    I went ahead and tried it without the cucumber. I have no idea what it is supposed to taste like, but we liked the sauce quite a bit. So, it worked for us.

    Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper!

  16. Melanie says:

    Kristi – I feel terrible! I have no idea how I missed your comment from a week or so ago. I’m sorry I haven’t responded!! What did you end up doing about the yogurt? SEriously, I’ve never heard of such drama surrounding yogurt and your children. So glad no one was seriously injured. :) Once again, so sorry about not responding. I’m guessing the sauce would be delicious without straining the yogurt – just a bit runnier.

  17. Barb says:

    YUM! I made these for dinner tonight! I thought they were delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!

  18. jayme aka The Coop Keeper says:

    I will absolutely be making these! Sounds so fresh and tasty.

    I don’t think you’re being dramatic about the bread at all! I’ve been making that dutch oven bread every day for the last two weeks, and it has most def changed my life!

  19. ChicagoAkuAku says:

    Wow, it came out pretty good for my first try. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    ChicagoAkuAku

  20. Leigh Anne Wilkes says:

    I saw this recipe over at Annie’s Eats and I’ve made them a couple of times and we love them. Just got some cucumbers in a CSA box so need to make tzatziki with it! Think we’ll have these again this week = yum!

  21. Annie says:

    So glad you enjoyed them! I know, the tzatziki is truly to die for. I want to eat it with EVERYTHING!

  22. elly says:

    I’m so glad you liked the gyros! That soft wrap bread looks delicious!

  23. Cassie says:

    Melanie,

    Wow! I cannot wait to try these. Over here in Germany, the Turkish and Greeks call them Doner (o is pronounced as a u) kabobs. They only have the lamb version. My hubby is back from Iraq in Oct. and will LOVE this! Thank you again!

  24. Gyro King says:

    As the Gyro king, I hereby give my approval to the recipe, and claim it as part of my kingdom.

  25. heddomarie says:

    Oh yum! I love gyros!

  26. Sara says:

    Mmmm, I love gyros! I’ve never had a chicken one though. The tzatziki sauce is always my favorite. Yum, I can’t wait to try this!

  27. My Sister's Kitchen says:

    I have been eyeing these too! They look so good. I can’t wait to try them.

  28. Country Cookin' Mama says:

    Those look and sound so yummy!!

  29. Queen B. says:

    If you say it’s good, then by golly, it’ll be good !! Another one to try, for sure !!

  30. Kelly says:

    An easy subsitute we have used are the Greek Chicken Brats you can get at Harmons. They are yummy in a gyro. I can’t wait to try the flat bread. Thanks.

  31. Stacie Aho says:

    I made these last night. The tzaziki sauce was awesome! The chicken was pretty good- I think I would prefer it grilled… and I think I cooked them too long, so that’s MY fault.

    The flatbread… what can I say? Some of it was really great and soft, and some if it was tough. What did I do wrong? Also, the first step where you add 1 1/2 c. boiling water to 2 c flour… is that supposed to be a wet mixture or dough like mixture? Mine was a dough. Did I do something wrong? They were a lot of work, but pretty tasty. Tonight we’re doing pita pizza’s!

    Thanks!

  32. Melanie says:

    Stacie – this soft bread dough is definitely different than any type of bread I’ve ever made before. When I add the boiling water to the flour it makes more of a dough (like yours) than a wet mixture. In fact, when I did it the first time, I wondered if I would even be able to mix in more flour later but it ended up working. The only reason I can think that some of the flatbreads turned out soft and others tough is maybe the tough ones were cooked too long – or perhaps next time, try adding a bit less flour to make a softer dough. I hope you liked the pita option – my kids loved those!

  33. Shelley says:

    Made this for dinner last night! YUMMY! The family thought it was divine! I grilled the chicken and it was delish!

  34. Julie P says:

    Oh heavens, I don’t think I comment enough on your blog to tell you that I think what you make looks delicious. This is going to make an appearance at our house next week.

  35. Cammee says:

    Oh yum. Can’t wait to try this.

  36. Jenn says:

    I love gyros. I usually make them with beef, but these look good too! I will definitely be trying these soon, and I’ll be making the bread to boot!

  37. ARLENE says:

    I just saw a great Tyler recipe for pitas on another favorite blog and now I know I have to make these. I love tzatziki sauce (the SO doesn’t; he’ll have to eat out that night, lol). Wish I had one right now.

  38. Melanie says:

    Hey Barb – I’m glad you tried these already! Thanks for letting me know you liked them.

  39. grace says:

    so is this your way of deterring me from my hunt for the best chicken wrap in my area? because it’s almost working. and for the record, i abuse tzatziki the same way. :)

  40. Stephanie says:

    Reading the recipe made my mouth water!! I know what I’m making for dinner…..tomorrow!!!

    One thing I have always wanted to try is making really big pitas and cutting them in half- leaving a pocket for the fillings, instead of wrapping it burrito style. It is supposed to hold you sauce and fillings in better….just a thought. I don’t know how strong the bread hass to be-to be able to hold up through that!!!!

  41. Lynda says:

    These look like the perfect summer meal. It’s been too hot to want to cook very much. Thanks!

  42. Melanie says:

    Thanks ChicagoAkuAku – glad you liked it!

  43. Melanie says:

    Shelley – I was hoping someone would try these soon. Thanks for your raving reviews – glad you loved them like we did!

  44. Anonymous says:

    This recipe is excellent! I broiled the chicken tonight, but I have also grilled it on kabobs with chunks of red onion. The grilling carmelizes the onions and lends a wonderful sweetness and smokiness. The tzaziki (sp) sauce was out of this world! One thought if you do not have Greek yogurt on hand or the time to strain regular yogurt is to substitute low-fat sour cream. The result is very similar to the Greek yogurt version. HTH! Love your website–Melanie S. (another Melanie in the world :)

  45. Melanie says:

    Melanie – thanks for all of your comments on the recipes you’ve tried. I’m glad you liked these and I love the idea of making kabobs out of the chicken. Thanks for the sour cream substitution, too.

  46. Kazack says:

    You have done it again! I tried this and it was delightful and so yummy! Even my picky eater declared it good. we had to stop ourelves from eating more!! The bread was a little daunting, because I am not a bread girl. But it proved easier than I thought and so good. The kids ate one piece with honey, cinnamon and butter! This recipe has earned an honored place in our family. Thanks so much.

  47. Melanie says:

    Kazack – I am thrilled for you that the bread turned out since bread can be intimidating, but it sounds like you are a pro at it! Thanks for letting me know you liked this meal…it definitely ranks up there as one of my favorites.

  48. […] Mar This is another fabulous recipe from “My Kitchen Cafe.” The soft wrap bread and the tzatziki are really amazing. I highly recommend it. Jeremy gets so […]

  49. Marcela says:

    We had these for dinner tonight and we’ll definitely be making these again! The only thing that we changed was that we put a bit of sugar in the sauce since it was a bit too tart for us. Other than that, it was FABULOUS!

    • Mel says:

      Marcela – thanks for checking in on this recipe. I actually think a bit of sugar would be great to round out the sauce. Fantastic idea!

  50. Kimiko says:

    This was what I made for dinner last night, including the homemade soft wrap bread (which is really a big step for me since I have never tried to make homemade bread/dough without a bread machine to do the work for me! I used to have one..but sadly, not anymore). It was so delicious and refreshing! I made everything ahead of time so all I had to do was cook the chicken when we were ready for dinner! It was SO good, and the soft wrap bread is to die for! Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Kimiko – way to go on the bread! I’m thrilled this was such a hit and i agree it is such a refreshing meal. Glad you liked it!

  51. Cherine says:

    I love gyros. Yours look absolutely tasty!

  52. Reyna says:

    I’ve been wanting to make these forever, but I was a little intimidated by the soft bread wrap component. So silly–it was easy! I finally got my act together and I have to say that this is in my top three favorite things I’ve made of yours. The chicken was so delicious–marinating in yogurt tenderizes it like crazy, and the lemon/oregano flavors were so bright. And then there’s the bread. Oh that bread. These are some of the quotes from dinner: “I would like to have my clothes made of that bread, and then I would eat them off.” And from my child who lives on air and peanut butter, “This is the best night ever!!” (Mind you, he ate his wrap with peanut butter and not chicken, but still–huge success!) So you get a huge standing ovation from the MalleyCats. Thank you!

  53. hayley says:

    So excited to make these tonight! I put my yogurt in the fridge with cheesecloth and a strainer last night and there is no liquid in the bowl this morning…so I’m a little worried. Do I just give it time, or do you think I’m doing something wrong? There is 2 layers of cloth in some spots, is that a problem do you think?

    • Mel says:

      Hayley – sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Did it work out? It shouldn’t be a problem if liquid didn’t drain from the yogurt. That probably means the yogurt you used was a higher-quality or a greek yogurt that is already strained. Let me know how it turned out.

  54. hayley says:

    Who knows why it didn’t strain, because it was the cheap stuff from Wal-mart…but it turned out delicious. Thanks for such a great recipe! I doubled this and served it to my extended family and everyone enjoyed, and the bread wraps…too. die. for! Sure appreciate this site and all the hard work you put into it.

  55. Inge says:

    After stumbling upon your recipe I couldn’t get this out of my head!
    But in order for me to enjoy these I’d have to get a little bit creative. (I’m a vegan)
    Here’s what I did for an absolutely delicious dinner :

    For the ‘tzatziki’ sauce:
    16 oz. Plain soy yoghurt made from blending silken Tofu, water, tad of sugar, salt, nutritional yeast, cumin, nutmeg, lemon & AC vinegar (I made it thick like Greek yoghurt)
    1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded (I used 1/2 of an English cucumber)
    2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
    1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
    Salt and pepper
    Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
    Extra virgin olive oil

    For the seitan:
    4 cloves garlic, smashed
    Juice of 1 lemon
    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 heaping tablespoons plain soy yogurt
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    Salt and pepper
    1 1/4 pounds seitan, cubed

    I wrapped it all up with onion and tomato in a pre-made wrap and had the most blissful dinner :)

    And I gotta tell you – this is one of the best “gyros” I’ve had in a while – it tastes so much like the real deal! It’s a great recipe ‘even’ with the seitan instead of chicken. So it’s easily transformed into a vegetarian or vegan recipe!
    Thanks for inspiring me Mel!

  56. Angela says:

    I made this meal this week and I was blown away by the flavor. I was looking for something “different,” and that is exactly what I got. Although it was a little labor intensive, it was worth every minute. My husband raved about it and my boys (2&4) ate all of their gyros. The flavor of the chicken and sauce was fresh and vibrant and the bread was so soft. Awesome job! Thank you for sharing this, Mel. I will definitely make this again.

  57. Erin says:

    It’s whats for dinner tonight! So can’t wait.

  58. K says:

    I was so excited to try these, and really liked the bread component. Perhaps tartness is not our favorite, and there is a lot of yogurt and lemon in this recipe… but no one liked it! I thought it was ok, but am not raving about it. I do have extra flat bread though, and can’t wait to put cinnamon sugar and butter on it for breakfast tomorrow! I think I might take the leftover chicken and make a wrap with cheese, lettuce, tomato and maybe some sort of dressing instead of the tzatziki. again, I don’t think this is a bad recipe, the flavors I think were just too foreign to our very American palates.

  59. Ami says:

    Oh My Heavens!!! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I visited Greece 11 years ago and had not yet found much luck in finding a good tzatziki recipe. I made this dish last night and….WOW!!!! It’s definitely going to into my circulation for dinners on a regular basis. My hubby took the leftover chicken on a bed of salad for lunch today. So happy I “stumbled” upon your site. This morning I threw a pork shoulder in my slow cooker and made your homemade BBQ sauce. Again…..WOW!! It’s not even 10:00 AM and I can’t wait for dinner of Pulled Pork Sandwiches tonight!! With 3 kids under 5, I like extremely yummy foods that doesn’t require hours and gourmet chef skills. Looks like I’ll be a regular on this site! Thanks again!!

  60. Cassidy says:

    This was delicious! My husband doesn’t like cucumber, so he used plain sour cream on his, and I think the idea was about the same. I thought the tzatziki was really too thick, and I might try it using regular (non-strained) plain yogurt next time, just to get it to spread easier (but this was totally fine using Greek yogurt). Also, the recipe made a ton, and I think that half the tzatziki recipe would make enough for the chicken recipe.
    Thanks for the great recipes!

  61. Vicky says:

    I have a question for you about this one. I plan to make it tomorrow and am just wondering if, since I have Greek yogurt, I still use 16 oz, or if I need less since 16 oz of regular yogurt strained would yield a smaller amount? Also, why doesn’t it work to strain fat-free yogurt? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Vicky – I’ve made it with Greek yogurt (and with regular), and when I use Greek yogurt, I use about 12 ounces instead. I think on the fat-free deal, it is because the texture of the fat free regular yogurt, even after straining, is much grainier and less creamy than regular yogurt or fat free Greek yogurt.

  62. […] get some kabobs in there, but otherwise I marinated the chicken the same and made the tzatziki from this post as […]

  63. Stephanie says:

    Girl! I made these tonight and everyone loved them! I could have made twice as much chicken and I would not have leftovers. I must admit, I did not make pita bread. We have such delicious tortillas at our local grocery store, so I went that route. I served the gyros with lettuce, tomato and red onion. I’m pretty sure I could make this once a week and no one would complain. Thanks for another winner! You are a rock star!

    ps hope that sweet baby girl you’re growing is treating you right. ;)

  64. Kat says:

    Love this recipe! My 4 year old loved the tzatziki sauce so much that he ate it with tortillas for lunch, snack and dinner!

  65. Sharlene says:

    So I have made this recipe a couple times and it is so God! I especially love the bread but I was going to make this recipe and it was on my weekly menu when I got a genius idea to use you’re best ever chicken marinade for the chicken and then grill it instead of doing as the recipe says…and let me just tell you….these were out of this world good. My husband and I finished all of the chicken ourselves! But it was oh so good on the gyros. Let me just recommend that everyone in the universe try this…

  66. Judy says:

    These are so delicious! Another winner to add to my MKC cookbook. My husband liked them but said “they aren’t chicken pillows.” So, I guess chicken pillows are up next on the menu!

  67. […] from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  68. Sara Beth says:

    These really are out of this world. I make them with your soft wrap bread (oh…my…) and the only changes I make to the gyros are to sometimes use fresh oregano in place of the dried for the marinade, and in the tzaziki sauce I use lots of extra red wine vinegar, lemon juice and garlic. (I tend to like bold flavors!) Perfection. Thank you, thank you!

  69. Leah says:

    I have had gyros twice in the past and liked them. Are tzaziki sauces usually yogurt-based? Because I don’t really like yogurt normally, but I do like the sauce that I have had on gyros in the past. Just trying to figure out if I would like the sauce given my aversion to yogurt (it’s the tanginess or something). Thanks!

  70. Mel says:

    Leah – I think tzatziki is a yogurt-cucumber sauce so most sauces I’ve seen on the internet or that I’ve ordered on gyros at restaurants are indeed yogurt based. (Using Greek yogurt works out best in my opinion.)

  71. Tommie says:

    I made the flat bread yesterday, so of course I’m going to try these today! Of course I looked at the ingredients and thought to myself, yes, I have all of those things. Not so much. I didn’t have the red wine vinegar, so I substituted cider vinegar. Hope that’s not too terrible, although I think my biggest down fall will be that I think I put in too much lemon… oh well, it’s dinner, like it or not! :)

  72. Liz says:

    Thank you, Mel. Great recipe. Have a good weekend!

  73. Andrea says:

    BEST chicken ever!!!! Wow, these were awesome! The sauce was really good too! This will be my go to recipe for chicken now, seriously…SO GOOD!! Thanks! :)

  74. Emma says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing. Thank-you for the recipe!

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