What Are Gyros in Greek Food? What Is In Them?

If you’ve ever been to a Greek restaurant, you may have seen gyros on the menu. But what is a gyro? What’s in it? And how do you pronounce it?

While the traditional gyro is made with pork, lamb, or chicken, there are also vegetarian and vegan versions of this popular dish.

In this blog post, we’ll answer all of those questions and more. We’ll also give you a recipe for making your own gyros at home.

So read on to learn more about this delicious and iconic Greek dish!

What Is a Gyro in Greek Food?

Gyros are a type of Greek food that is made from meat that is cooked on a spit. The meat is usually lamb, chicken, or beef.

Gyros are served on pita bread and are topped with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce. 

close up shot of two gyros

The word gyro comes from the Greek word meaning “turn.” This is because the meat is cooked by being turned on the spit.

Gyros are a very popular type of street food in Greece and are also popular in other countries such as the United States. 

How Are Gyros Made?

Gyros are made by first marinating the meat in a mixture of spices such as garlic, oregano, and pepper. The meat is then placed on a skewer and cooked on a rotisserie.

The heat from the rotisserie causes the fat from the meat to drip down onto the coals which helps to create a flavorful smokey taste. 

As the meat cooks, it is sliced thin so that it can be easily wrapped in pita bread. Once the gyro is assembled, it can be served plain or with toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce. 

How Is Gyro Pronounced?

Gyro is pronounced with a hard “G” sound as in the word “go.” The correct pronunciation of gyro is also similar to the word “hero,” but with a soft “H” sound.  

How To Make a Gyro?

Although gyros are traditionally made with lamb, you can use any type of meat that you like. To make a gyro at home, you will need: 

  • 1 pound of ground lamb (or beef, chicken, or pork) 
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil 
  • 6-8 inch pita bread 
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion 
  • 1/2 cup of diced tomato 
  • 1/4 cup of tzatziki sauce (You can find this at your local grocery store in the international aisle) 

Directions: 

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • In a bowl, mix together the ground lamb, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into small meatballs.  
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through (about 10 minutes). 
  • Meanwhile, warm the pita bread in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and place 2-3 tablespoons of diced onion and 2-3 tablespoons of diced tomatoes onto each pita bread. Top with 3-4 cooked meatballs and 1 tablespoon of tzatziki sauce. Enjoy! 

What Is Euros Food?

Euros food is a combination of dishes from different countries within Europe.

Traditional European dishes can vary greatly depending on the region, and Euros food takes this into account by combining flavors from all over Europe.

Examples of Euros food include Italian pasta dishes, French crepes, German sausages, Spanish tapas, and Greek gyros.

Are Gyros Fried or Grilled? 

Frying gyros is the more traditional method of cooking. The meat is placed on a skewer and placed in a vat of hot oil. It is then cooked until it is browned and crispy on the outside. One advantage of frying gyros is that it cooks the meat evenly all the way through.

However, some people find that fried gyros can be greasy and heavy. 

Grilling gyros is the newer method of cooking. The meat is placed on a grill (usually gas or charcoal) and cooked until it is browned and crispy on the outside. One advantage of grilling gyros is that it gives the meat a smoky flavor that many people find irresistible.

However, grilling can be tricky because it’s easy to overcook or undercook the meat. 

So which method of cooking gyros is better? In our opinion, it’s Fried! While grilling can be tricky and sometimes results in an overcooked or undercooked piece of meat, frying ensures that your gyro will be cooked evenly all the way through—and who doesn’t love a good crispy piece of fried chicken?

What Is Euro-Greek Food?

It is a fusion of Greek and European flavors that results in a unique and delicious culinary experience. Greek dishes are typically made with fresh ingredients like olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs.

European cuisine, on the other hand, often features heavy cream sauces, cheeses, and meats.

When these two cuisines are combined, you get the best of both worlds – flavorful and healthy dishes that are sure to please your taste buds. 

Some of the most popular Euro-Greek dishes include spanakopita (a spinach and feta cheese pie), moussaka (a layered eggplant dish), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), Souvlaki (grilled meats on a skewer), and Gyro (a lamb or beef sandwich).

These dishes are all packed with flavor and can be easily made at home with just a few simple ingredients. 

What’s the Difference Between a Pita and a Gyro?

– Pitas 

Pitas are made with a type of yeast-leavened dough that is flattened into a round shape. They are then baked in an oven until they are soft and puffy. Pitas can be either white or whole wheat and are usually round or oblong in shape.

The most common way to eat a pita is to stuff it with various fillings like meats, vegetables, cheeses, and sauces.

Popular pita fillings include lamb, chicken, beef, falafel (a deep-fried patty made from ground chickpeas), tzatziki sauce (a yogurt-based sauce), tomatoes, onions, and lettuce.

– Gyros 

Gyros are made with a type of dough that is similar to pita dough, but it also contains yogurt, eggs, and baking soda. This type of dough is called Lahsooni Naan.

The dough is shaped into a flatbread and then cooked on a rotisserie until it’s crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Gyros can be either white or whole wheat.

Gyros are traditionally filled with lamb that has been cooked on a spit, but chicken or beef can also be used. The meat is thinly sliced and then topped with various fillings like tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. 

Do Restaurants Make Their Own Gyro Meat?

Yes, many restaurants make their own gyro meat. The traditional way to make gyro meat is by using beef and lamb that have been ground together, mixed with spices, and then cooked on a rotating spit.

However, some restaurants choose to use pre-made gyro slices as it is easier to prepare and helps save time.

Regardless of whether the restaurant makes its own gyro meat or buys it, the end result should still be delicious!

What’s the Difference Between Gyros and Yiros?

– Gyros 

Gyros are a Greek dish that is made with a type of dough that contains yogurt, eggs, and baking soda (Lahsooni Naan) wrapped around a rotating spit. The meat is usually lamb or beef, but can also be chicken or pork.

Gyros are traditionally filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.

– Yiros

Yiros is an Australian version of the Greek gyro that is made with a type of flatbread called pita bread. The meat used in yiros can be lamb, beef, chicken, or pork and is usually served with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.

beef yiros on a wooden tray

However, yiros are more likely to include additional fillings like cheese and grilled eggplant.

Are Gyros Healthy?

Yes, gyros can be a healthy option when eaten in moderation. A typical Greek-style gyro contains about 350 calories and 15 grams of fat.

The healthiest way to enjoy a gyro is to choose lean cuts of meat like chicken or pork and top it with fresh vegetables instead of cheese and sauces.

Additionally, opting for whole wheat pita bread or Lahsooni Naan instead of white bread can help increase the nutritional value.

Overall, gyros are a delicious and versatile meal that can be made healthier with a few simple adjustments.

Just remember to watch your portion size and choose leaner cuts of meat, whole wheat options, and lots of fresh vegetables to make it a nutritious and delicious meal.

What Are Greek Gyros Made Of?

Greek gyros are typically made with a type of flatbread called Lahsooni Naan. This type of dough is similar to pita bread and contains yogurt, eggs, and baking soda.

The dough is flattened into a round shape and then cooked on a rotating spit until it’s crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Gyros typically contain lamb or beef that has been cooked on the spit, but chicken or pork can also be used. The meat is thinly sliced and then topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.

Greek gyros are a delicious and versatile meal that can be made healthier with a few simple adjustments.

What Are the Three Types of Gyros?

Here are the three types of gyros:

1. The Traditional Gyro 

The traditional gyro is made with pork, lamb, or chicken that has been cooked on a rotisserie until it is nice and crispy.

It is then thinly sliced and served on pita bread with tomatoes, onions, tzatziki sauce, and feta cheese. 

2. The Vegetarian Gyro 

For those who don’t eat meat, there is the vegetarian gyro. This version of the dish is made with grilled vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, and peppers.

It is then topped with tzatziki sauce and served on pita bread. 

3. The Vegan Gyro 

For those who don’t eat meat or dairy, there is the vegan gyro. This version of the dish is made with tofu or tempeh that has been marinated in spices and grilled.

It is then served on pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and vegan tzatziki sauce. 

What Is the Sauce on a Gyro Made Of?

The sauce is tzatziki sauce. The tzatziki sauce is made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. It is a thick, creamy sauce that is slightly tangy and very flavorful. It goes well with savory meat and fresh vegetables. 

tzatziki sauce in a bowl with some slices of cucumber in it

The yogurt in the sauce helps to cut the richness of the meat and the garlic gives it a nice zing. The cucumber adds freshness and crunch. The tzatziki sauce is traditionally made with full-fat yogurt but you can use low-fat yogurt if you want to lighten it up a bit. 

To make tzatziki sauce, you will need: 

  • 1 cup full-fat or low-fat yogurt 
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and grated 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • Salt to taste 

Start by peeling and grating the cucumber. Place it in a strainer over a bowl and let it drain for about 15 minutes. This will help to get rid of any excess water so that your sauce is not watery. 

Squeeze out any remaining water from the cucumber and place it in a bowl with the yogurt, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Stir everything together until it is well combined. Taste it and adjust the seasoning as necessary. 

Are Gyros Eaten Warm or Cold?

Gyros can be eaten both warm and cold. The traditional version is served hot, with the meat freshly sliced from the spit.

However, gyros are just as delicious when served cold or at room temperature with all of the ingredients pre-assembled. In fact, some people prefer to eat their gyro cold because it allows them to taste all of the flavors more clearly.

No matter how you eat your gyro, it is sure to be a delicious and nutritious meal that can be enjoyed any time of the day.

Just remember to watch your portion size and choose leaner cuts of meat, whole wheat options, and lots of fresh vegetables to make it a nutritious and delicious meal. Enjoy!

What Is the Difference Between Gyro and Döner?

The terms gyro and döner are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two different dishes. Gyros is the Greek version of the dish while döner kebabs are typically associated with Turkish cuisine.

A traditional gyro is made using pork, lamb, chicken, or beef that has been cooked on a rotisserie and then thinly sliced. The slices are served on pita bread with tomatoes, onions, tzatziki sauce, and feta cheese.

Döner is made using lamb, beef, or chicken that has been marinated in spices and then cooked on a vertical spit. It is then thinly sliced and served on pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a garlic sauce or yogurt.

Vegan Döner in a plate

Both dishes are delicious but they are distinctly different in taste and preparation. So if you’re looking for something new to try, give both gyro and döner kebabs a try! You won’t be disappointed.

Do Traditional Gyros Have Lettuce?

No, traditional gyros do not have lettuce. The classic dish usually consists of thinly sliced meat (such as beef, lamb, or pork), tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce served on pita bread.

Lettuce is often used in the U.S. but is not part of the traditional Greek recipe.

Is a Gyro a Sandwich or a Taco?

Although it is often referred to as a sandwich, a gyro technically falls somewhere between a taco and a sandwich.

It is similar to a taco in that the meat (usually beef, lamb, or pork) is cooked on a rotisserie and then thinly sliced before being placed inside the pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce.

The difference between a taco and a gyro is that the tacos are usually served with a hard shell, while the Gyros are typically served on soft pita bread.

In conclusion, a gyro is neither a sandwich nor a taco, but rather something in between.

Are Gyros the Same as Shawarma?

No, gyros and shawarma are two different dishes. Gyros are traditionally Greek in origin and consist of thinly sliced meat (such as beef, lamb, or pork), tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce served on pita bread.

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish that consists of shaved meat (typically chicken, turkey, beef, or mutton) that is marinated and then cooked on a vertical spit. It is then thinly sliced and served on flatbread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a garlic sauce or yogurt.

While both dishes are delicious in their own right, they are distinctly different in taste and preparation. So if you’re looking for something new to try, give both gyro and shawarma a try! You won’t be disappointed.

Why Are There No Lamb Gyros in Greece?

Due to the Greek Orthodox Church’s dietary restrictions, lamb gyros are not typically served in Greece. Lamb is traditionally seen as a sacred animal and is therefore avoided when it comes to food.

However, you can still find lamb gyros in some restaurants that specialize in Greek cuisine outside of Greece.

In addition to not serving lamb, Greek restaurants also rarely serve pork gyros. This is because pork is not considered to be a healthy choice for the average Greek diet and is therefore avoided by many in Greece.

In conclusion, lamb gyros are generally not served in Greece due to religious dietary restrictions, while pork gyros are usually not served due to health concerns.

Conclusion:

If you’re ever in Greece or another country where gyros are popular, definitely give one a try! They are delicious wrapped sandwiches that are perfect for any time of day.

Remember to look for one that has juicy meat, fresh bread, crisp toppings, and creamy tzatziki sauce for the best experience.

Gyros and yiros may sound similar, but they actually have a few distinct differences that make each one unique.

Now you know what the delicious sauce on a gyro is made of! Tzatziki sauce is easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. Try it next time you are making Greek food or serving lamb sandwiches. Your family and friends will love it!

Now that you know what goes into making a gyro and how to make one at home, why not give it a try? Head to your local Mediterranean restaurant or whip up a batch at home using our recipe! Either way, we’re sure you’ll love this delicious Greek sandwich!

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