This chicken gyro recipe is easy and exceptionally delicious. The yogurt marinade makes the chicken extra flavorful and juicy. Stuff it into a pita with fresh veggies and homemade tzatziki for a fabulous Greek feast!
If you’ve been around for a while, you know we like our chicken recipes to be flavorful. Greek recipes definitely satisfy that craving for more bright flavors. From chicken souvlaki and one pan Greek chicken and rice to easy baked Greek chicken, every single dish brightens up our taste buds and takes us to the shores of the Mediterranean! Now, if you love the gyro from your local Greek restaurant, this homemade chicken gyro is going to be one of your favorite recipes!
Table Of Contents:
Why this recipe works
Gyro (pronounced Yee-ro) is a classic Greek dish that’s commonly made with chicken, lamb or beef stacked and cooked on a rotating spit, similar, but still different from doner kebab. That’s what you can usually find in Greek restaurants. I’ve put together this delicious and homemade chicken gyro recipe that’s easy, doesn’t require a pit, and is packed with all those delicious Mediterranean flavors.
This is the perfect weeknight dinner since it's so fast and easy. You can marinate the chicken ahead of time and simply cook it when you're ready to have dinner.
The best part? You can make it at home in a pan, no grilling or pit required!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Chicken tenders: You can also use thinly sliced chicken breast or chicken thighs for this recipe. Chicken tenders are just the right size and cook pretty fast.
- Yogurt: What makes this the best chicken gyro recipe is the yogurt marinade. Yogurt is a great addition to the marinade because in addition to making the chicken tender and delicious, it forms a crust around it which results in that nice golden color, which you can also find in our Greek chicken marinade, grilled chicken sandwich and shish tawook recipe. You can use Greek or regular yogurt as long as it's plain and not flavored. Whole milk yogurt is preferred.
- Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds such nice and bright flavor to the chicken.
- Olive oil: A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for more flavor.
- Garlic: I use about 4 cloves of garlic, but you can add less.
- Spices: For this recipe you need dried oregano, salt and pepper. I used dried oregano, but you can also use fresh.
How to make chicken gyro
- Prepare the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the chicken tenders to the marinade and gently toss them to make sure they’re covered with the yogurt mixture on all sides. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least one hour up to 24 hours.
- Sear the chicken: Heat olive oil in a quality non stick pan and bring the chicken out of the fridge. Wait for the oil to get shimmery but not smoking.
Once the olive oil is hot, take the chicken tenders using a pair of tongs and make sure to shake off any excess yogurt marinade. Place the chicken tenders in the pan and sear for about four minutes until it’s golden brown. Flip and sear on the other side for five minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Assemble the gyro wraps: Spread some homemade tzatziki on a warm homemade pita and add the chicken. Top with tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and red onion.
You can make this homemade gyro recipe simply on the stove top in a pan or in the oven. And if the weather permits, grilling would be a great option too.
Oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with non stick cooking spray. Place the chicken tenders on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes and flip halfway through.
Grill: Heat up the outdoor grill and make sure the grates are oiled lightly so the chicken doesn’t stick. Shake off the yogurt off the tenders and place them on the grill. Grill for 5 minutes on each side or until it’s fully cooked.
Beside the usual veggie fixings such as tomatoes, red onion and parsley that come with pita when making a gyro wrap, you can also serve this Greek dish with other delicious side dishes such as Mediterranean salad or traditional Greek salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Souvlaki is marinated chicken, beef, lamb or pork cooked on a skewer whereas gyro is stacked met cooked on a vertical rotating rotisserie.
You can keep marinated chicken tenders in the fridge for up to 24 hours. If you have leftover cooked chicken gyro, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in a pan over medium heat and then make the wraps.
Yes, you can use any non dairy and plant-based yogurt as long as it's plain and not flavored.
You've probably overcooked the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clean and the internal temperature is at 165 degrees F.
To make this recipe ahead of time, prepare the marinade and marinate the chicken overnight. Refrigerate the marinated chicken until you’re ready to cook.
More Greek recipes
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Easy Chicken Gyro Recipe
- 2 lb chicken tenders
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 lemon juice of
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Pat dry the chicken tenders and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix Greek yogurt, lemon juice, 2 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and minced garlic. Add the chicken tenders and make sure it's covered with yogurt marinade.
- Cover and marinade for one hour up to 6 hours in the fridge.
- Once ready to cook, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmery, using a pair of tongs, take the chicken out of the marinade and shake off the excess yogurt.
- Place the chicken in the pan and sear on one side for 5 minutes until golden brown.
- Flip and sear on the other side for 5 minutes until the chicken tender is cooked through.
- Warm the pita and spread some homemade tzatziki on it. Add the chicken, tomatoes, parsley and sliced onion. Drizzle with some lemon juice and serve immediately.
- Check out our recipe for homemade tzatziki.
- In addition to red onion, parsley and tomatoes, you can also serve chicken gyros with Mediterranean salad or traditional Greek salad.
- As for other side dishes, you can try Greek potatoes, fried eggplants and skordalia.
- Leftovers: You can keep marinated chicken tenders in the fridge for up to 48 hours. If you have leftover cooked chicken gyro, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- For the yogurt marinade, you can use whole milk or low fat yogurt. My preference is whole milk yogurt since it gives a nice crispy crust to the chicken.
- Make sure not to overcook the chicken. We want the chicken tenders to be truly “tender” and juicy - not tough and rubbery.
- If chicken tenders are not available, you can use sliced chicken breast for this recipe.
- To make this recipe ahead of time, prepare the marinade and marinate the chicken overnight. Refrigerate the marinated chicken until you’re ready to cook.