Classic Gyro Recipe

The gyro is one of those foods that you could probably eat four or five times a week and never get tired of. Just complex enough to be an interesting, tasty but just simple enough to cook up on a whim, this specialty sandwich is a prefect example of street food. And you can make a gyro just right for your palate or your dietary needs in myriad ways, according to chef and food writer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge. While some ingredients are a must, like the steak, tomatoes, and flatbread, she says for the sauce, "You can use hummus, baba ghanoush, or guacamole."

But Olayinka advises sticking with the classic taste since classic gyros "taste amazing with tzatziki, a sauce that's so simple to make with just Greek yogurt, cucumber, herbs, and lemon."

As for how to serve a gyro, that's up to you, too, but again, it's hard to beat the classics. Olayinka says a gyro "serves best with oven-baked fries and a Greek salad." And once your steak has marinated (Olayinka says: "You need to marinate for great tasting meat, allow for at least 20 minutes and do not skip this step. It is essential."), you can whip up a gyro sandwich in just a few minutes.

Gather your ingredients to make these gyros

You can use various types of meat for gyros, but they are best made with thin, quick-cooking cuts of steak like a flatiron or sirloin, which is Olayinka's go-to. Note that this recipe serves two people and thus calls for about a pound of steak, but you'll want to trim away any excess fat and gristle for best taste.

For a classic gyro, you'll need sirloin steak, two flatbreads, a cup of tzatziki, three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a half tablespoon of red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of dried oregano, a teaspoon of salt, three chopped garlic cloves, one teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, a half cup of chopped cucumber, a half cup of chopped tomato, four whole lettuce leaves, and a quarter cup of sliced red onion.

Marinate then cook the steak to make your gyros

Marinate the beef for your gyros for at least 20 minutes in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, chopped garlic, and dried oregano. You can use a deep dish and flip the meat a few times or you can use a bag, just do whatever works for you to give that meat plenty of time resting with these ingredients.

Once the steak is marinated, get your pan on a burner and turn the heat up to medium. Once things are good and hot in said pan, place beef in the pan for five to seven minutes on each side, ensuring it browns well on the outsides and cooks through to at least medium. You can drizzle on a bit of the marinade on while cooking, FYI.

Once the steak is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside.

Slice the ingredients for your gyros

Now it's time to grab a good sharp knife and ready a cutting board. The way in which you prep the veggies for your gyros is ultimately up to you, but the classic approach is to chop the cucumber into pretty small pieces, dice the tomatoes a bit more roughly, and slice the red onion good and thin. 

As for the steak, cut it into long, slender strips that will nestle nicely into the flatbread. And remember to leave those leaves of lettuce whole for best function and taste. Olayinka told us, "It is best to line the wrap with romaine lettuce, which helps to keep the wrap together — all the chopped vegetables are less likely to fall out."

Assemble and enjoy the gyros

Now that all your gyros ingredients are prepped, it's time to assemble your delightful lunch, dinner, or snack. Lay out the flatbread wrap, place the lettuce on it with the leaf spread flat, and then start loading it up. 

First comes the beef, then the tomato, the cucumber, the red onion, and finally, spoon some tzatziki on top of everything.

Now roll that gyro and enjoy it, ideally beside a plateful of fries and a good Greek salad.

Classic Gyro Recipe
4.8 from 8 ratings
Just complex enough to be an interesting, tasty but just simple enough to cook up on a whim, a gyro is a prefect example of street food.
Prep Time
Cook Time
gyros being served
Total time: 45 minutes
  • 16 ounces sirloin steak
  • 2 flatbreads
  • 1 cup tzatziki
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • ¼ cup red onion
  1. Marinate the beef for 20 minutes in olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, garlic, and oregano.
  2. Once it's marinated, get a pan and turn the heat up to medium heat.
  3. Place beef in the pan for 5 to 7 minutes on each side until it browns.
  4. Once the beef is ready, cut with a sharp knife into thin strips.
  5. Now it's time to assemble your gyros. Get the wrap, place the lettuce on it, then comes the beef, tomato, cucumber, and red onion. Spoon some tzatziki on top.
  6. Roll and enjoy!
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