Traditional Gyro Meat Recipe -
Traditional Gyro Meat Recipe
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Traditional Gyro Meat
Slices of seasoned beef and lamb meatloaf served on pita with all the fixings. See more
  • READY IN 2 hr

Traditional Gyro Meat

Recipe by  

"This Greek/Lebanese style meat loaf is sliced and served with pita bread, tzatziki, and tomatoes for a delicious gyro that is the closest I've come to emulating my favorite Mediterranean restaurant. The preparation time seems long, but most of it is resting time, so you can be doing other stuff! You can substitute pork or chicken for the ground lamb and beef if you prefer."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 - 7x4 inch loaf pan Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    45 mins

    2 hrs


  1. Place the onion in a food processor, and process until finely chopped. Scoop the onions onto the center of a towel, gather up the ends of the towel, and squeeze out the liquid from the onions. Place the onions into a mixing bowl along with the lamb and beef. Season with the garlic, oregano, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and salt. Mix well with your hands until well combined. Cover, and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Place the meat mixture into the food processor, and pulse for about a minute until finely chopped and the mixture feels tacky. Pack the meat mixture into a 7x4 inch loaf pan, making sure there are no air pockets. Line a roasting pan with a damp kitchen towel. Place the loaf pan on the towel, inside the roasting pan, and place into the preheated oven. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
  4. Bake until the gyro meat is no longer pink in the center, and the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) on a meat thermometer, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Pour off any accumulated fat, and allow to cool slightly before slicing thinly and serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Sep 14, 2008

I had a craving for gryos last week but have never attempted to make them at home. This recipe is really easy and very good. They tasted very similar to gyros I have had at greek restaurants. The prep is a little timely and I actually didn't have the time to let the meat sit in the refrigerator before putting it in the oven and I was impressed at the flavor the meat had. The only thing I did different is I added 1/2 tsp. allspice per another recipe and did not use thyme. Another recipe called for 1/2 tsp coriander but I didn't have it and will probably add that next time. My picky husband loved the meat and actually ate it leftover and he NEVER eats leftovers. I will definitely make this again. Thanks!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 23, 2009

We thought this recipe was a little bland. I used a whole onion (since I hate having half an onion lying around) and doubled the garlic and thought it could use even more. I think the biggest problem of this recipe was the salt. 1/4t. for 2lbs of meat is not nearly enough. Healthier, yes, but not as tasty. I wanted to be a little conservative with the salt since I was serving it with Tzatziki (a little salty) and feta (quite salty), so I only doubled the amount. It could have used even more. Sure, you can add salt to the pieces later, but I think the flavor would be better if the meat was salted throughout. Next time, I think I’ll try 1.5t. or 2t. I cooked it in an 8.5” loaf pan and it took about an hour. I also had to leave the mixture in the food processor for much longer to get a tacky texture, so if your processor is older or cheap like mine, you may have to do the same. All in all, I thought it did resemble gyro meat and would resemble it even more if you tossed the pieces on a grill before serving. It was moist, yet not greasy. I will make it again, but will try to spice it up a bit more.

Sep 21, 2008

Excellent! I made this recipe using a few modifications. I deleted the marjoram because I didnt' have any and I upped the garlic to 4 cloves. I know that it sounds like a lot, but I love garlic and it totally worked. I also upped the salt as well. Not sure exactly how much I used, but it was more than the recipe called for. Not much, but I actually wanted it to taste salty like the gyros that you'd get from a restaurant. One more thing I did was grill it on the barbeque outside. I started it wrapped in foil and after 20 mins ( I turned it to ensure even cooking during this time) I took the foil off and grilled it on the open grill. It was WONDERFUL! Not exactly like what you'd get at a gyro place, but pretty close. All of my friends couldn't believe that I made them at home. To answer the reviewer who wondered whether or not the food processor makes a difference, I have to say that it definitely does! Processing the meat till it's paste-like makes a HUGE difference! the texture is completely different than it would have been if I'd just left it as it was. I gave it 4 start because of the mods I made to it, but I really liked this recipe and I will definitely be making this again!

Sep 02, 2008

This was excellent! Easy to make. Didn't change a thing about the recipe. Sliced it on an angle, very thin and it looked almost like we had just cut it off the "spit". Found a good recipe for pita bread also on another site so made that to go with it. Sure beats the store bought pita bread. Also used the easy cucumber sauce from this site. All in all it was a grrrreat meal.

Aug 04, 2010

I have made this gyros meat several times and Love it! First time could not find ground lamb in grocery store so I used 1-lb ground pork with 1-lb ground beef. Subsequent times I used the ground lamb/beef combo when a local grocer started carrying ground lamb and it was fabulous. I followed the directions for ingredients, but I do the following things differently, when I take the loaf out of the oven, I drain off whatever grease, then place a cold loaf pan on top, inside the 2nd loaf pan I placed 2 small hand bar-bell wieghts ( I didnt have a brick) this compresses the meat even further as it cools. I then place the loaf into the freezer. I happen to have a cheap meat slicer and slice the loaf as thin strips. Making sandwiches, I take the strips of gyros, then fry them lightly oiled skillet (your oil of choice). I like doing it that way, seems to replicate the texture and also a nice warm meat in the sandwich. Have had nothing but compliments on this receipe! Thank you sooo much for sharing this!! 10-stars if I could give it that many!!

Aug 23, 2008

I like to make this ahead of time and then grill the slices before serving.

Oct 13, 2008

This was easy to make and also tastes very close to what I get at the restaurant. I upped the salt to a teaspoon, though, as I thought 1/4 tsp would have left the meat bland. Mine took longer to cook than the directions stated. I found that a paper towel was an excellent way to squeeze the water from the onions. The onions came right out and did not stick to the paper towel and then I only had to throw the paper towel away for easy clean-up. The next time I make this meat, I'll save the juice that bakes off and cover the meat with it in the fridge to keep it moist. Live and learn!

May 18, 2009

We can't get decent Gyros here in the suburbs of Philadelphia since moving from NY, so I tried this recipe and found the flavors very very close to the real thing. The only change I made is I now add a little more salt. Also make sure to pan fry the slices for a minute or two per side to get a little browning going before putting on the pita. This for a more authentic "gyro joint" experience, as the real "from the spit" gyro meat has a little bit of a crust on it. Good stuff - kudos!!!


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  • Calories
  • 179 kcal
  • 9%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1.9 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 59 mg
  • 20%
  • Fat
  • 11.7 g
  • 18%
  • Fiber
  • 0.5 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 15.7 g
  • 31%
  • Sodium
  • 97 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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