Crispy, juicy and absolutely delicious! Our very best traditional homemade Greek chicken gyro recipe with fluffy pita breads and creamy tzatziki sauce for you to recreate this authentic Greek delight from scratch!
Souvlaki with gyro is one of the most popular street foods in Greece ( skewers / suvlaki / suflaki ), that is known and loved around the world. The traditional souvlaki with chicken gyro (yiros) recipe is actually a pita bread sandwich, filled with lots of spicy chicken, fresh juicy tomatoes, crunchy slices of onion and cooling tzatziki sauce. Simply irresistible!
Souvlaki stands for “meat-on-a-skewer”, however the majority of Greeks and especially those from Athens call any type of pita wrapped meat a souvlaki, specifying the type of meat and method of roasting separately. For example Souvlaki with pork Gyros or Souvlaki with Chicken Skewers etc.
Homemade Greek chicken Gyro marinade
The most important step in making this traditional chicken gyro recipe is nothing else but the marinade! For this chicken gyro recipe, the chicken is first marinated with onions and peppers along with Greek herbs and spices, to soak up all the wonderful Mediterranean flavours and then baked on a spit at high temperature, to get all crunchy and nicely coloured.
Tip: Marinading your chicken gyro in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours will allow the aromas to infuse the gyro meat and give it the desired flavours.
How to Serve Chicken gyro the traditional Greek way
The best way to serve chicken gyro is nothing other than wrapped in a delicious traditional Greek pita. Finding the original Greek pita can be quite challenging as most supermarkets stock only the arabian style ones but you can most likely find them at your local Greek deli or amazon (here and here).
However as we all know, nothing compares to home-made, so you can also make your own homemade pita bread with this super easy recipe.
Of course tzatziki is the preferred sauce to garnish your chicken gyro and we have included one in the recipe below as well as in our video! Don’t forget to season with some salt and paprika, sweet or spicy if you like an extra kick. Most Greeks enjoy their traditional Greek chicken gyro souvlaki with some potato chips so feel free to try adding some as well.
Also if I’m making a proper BBQ platter I always love pairing them with some traditional Greek BBQ dishes like:
- Marinated Greek Beef Souvlaki Skewers (Beef Kabobs) recipe
- Marinated Greek Lamb Souvlaki recipe (Skewers) with Pita and Tzatziki
- Pork Souvlaki (Skewers) with Tzatziki Sauce
- Homemade Greek Pork Gyros Souvlaki recipe
- Greek Chicken Souvlaki recipe (Skewers) with Tzatziki
- Vegetable Skewers (Souvlaki) with Halloumi and Pita Bread
- Spicy minced Lamb Kofta Kebab Recipe (Giaourtlou)
So go ahead, prepare this super easy Greek chicken gyro recipe for your friends and enjoy over some cold beer!
Homemade Greek Chicken Gyro recipe
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 90 min
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 souvlakia with pita and tzatziki 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Greek
The best homemade Greek chicken gyro recipe with fluffy pita breads and creamy tzatziki sauce for you to recreate this authentic Greek delight from scratch!
For the chicken gyro marinade
- 800g/ 28 oz. boneless chicken thighs (or mixed thighs and breasts)
- 1 onion cut into rings
- 1 red pepper cut into rings
- 1/3 of a cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsps smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the tzatziki sauce
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 of a cup olive oil
- 500g of yogurt (18 ounces)
- 1–2 tbsps of red wine vinegar
- a pinch of salt
- 8 pita breads
- olive oil
- 1–2 tsps dried oregano
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- fried potatoes (optional)
- romaine (cos) lettuce (optional)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the chicken gyro
- To prepare this chicken gyro recipe, start by preparing the marinade for the gyro. In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients and stir well.
- On a cutting board, place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken thighs and pound until about 1 1/2 cm thick with a meat mallet or heavy pan.
- In another large bowl combine chicken thighs and marinade, stirring well to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to one day.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Skewer the chicken thighs individually on a spit (make sure to skewer them pretty tight). In between the chicken pieces skewer the onion and peppers.
- Bake for about 1- 1 and 1/2 hour, until internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C)
- Let it rest for about 8 minutes and then carve slices with a sharp knife.
For the tzatziki sauce
- In the meantime prepare the tzatziki sauce for the chicken gyro. Pour in a blender the olive oil and grated garlic and blend until combined.
- Remove the skin and seeds of the cucumber and grate it into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and leave aside for 10 minutes. Wrap the grated cucumber in a towel and squeeze, in order to get rid of the excess water.
- In a bowl, add the cucumber, the blended garlic and oil, the yogurt, 1-2 tbsps of red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and blend, until the ingredients are combined.
- Store the tzatziki sauce in the fridge and always serve cold.
- Prepare the pita breads. Preheat the oven to 250C. Use a cooking brush to oil the pita breads on both sides and season with salt and oregano. Place a large oven tray (upside down) at the bottom of the oven and place the pita breads on top of the tray. Bake for 2-3 minutes.
- Chicken gyro is usually served wrapped, like a sandwich. Spread some tzatziki sauce on the pita breads and top it with the chicken gyro, some slices of red onion, some sliced tomato and fried potatoes and wrap.
- For an easier version of this traditional Greek souvlaki with chicken gyro recipe you can serve with Greek yogurt or some mustard and mayonnaise sauce. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 souvlaki with pita and tzatziki
- Calories: 445kcal
- Sugar: 6.2g
- Sodium: 2976.5mg
- Fat: 17.3g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 12g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 42.9g
- Fiber: 4.9g
- Protein: 32.3g
- Cholesterol: 102.1mg
Keywords: Chicken gyro recipe, Greek chicken Gyro marinade
Eli, this chicken gyros recipe is AMAZING!!! I’ve searched high and low for that one authentic, perfect chicken gyros recipe and this is it! So many recipes out there for it, and they are all simply not correct. Some better than others, but none correct…
Until now!! I found THIS gem and knew it was the one! Brilliant, using what is more a quick brine than a marinade, this delivers that perfect product; tender yet crispy, tasty and grilled, slightly salty and herby garlicky goodness! No yogurt rub on the meat!! That’s a satay. What you shared is the real thing!!
I’ve used it a few times now and made a couple slight modifications to it which adjusted it to my preferences, but the credit is all yours Eli. I’m trying the pork recipe tomorrow, your lemon crispy potatoes, and dozens more. Thank you very much for sharing these with us all!
Here are my slight changes to amounts, no ingredient additions or removals, just changes to the amounts of these items. This delivered more flavor punch without changing the profile at all. Absolutely incredible.
2 lbs boneless skinless thighs, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp of coarse Mediterranean sea salt (~60g)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and split
1.5 Tbsp Oregano
I make the brine as indicated using the above modifications, and let it cool.
I then use a 1 gallon ZipLoc freezer bag for the brining, adding the cooled brine (with the lemon halves and all) and chicken to the bag, then carefully seal all air out of the bag. I lay it flat on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator for 2 hours. This gets brine to all the surface area of each piece of the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the bag (dump it all into a bowl if easier) and on some paper towel, give it a quick squeeze to absorb some of the brine Then cook as the recipe calls for.
The end result is absolute heaven. Eli, thanks again for sharing all these wonderful recipes, I’m grateful and excited to make many of them!
Very Nice will give this recipe to my son George he loved the Gyros we had in Greece last year. Thank you for so many lovely Greek Dishes. When I married my beautiful Greek Husband who migrated with his single brother and without his family in 1958, it was so hard to find any recipes here in Australia that I could use to give him the traditional food of the Dodecanesse. There was only one book published by Tess Mallos which we could use to cook home style food for our Greek husbands.
Made this last night. It was so yummy! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes.
I thought this was the best recipe I tried . I just wish I could send it by email to a friend. But the recipe was fantastic. ????????????????????????
Thank you Tony! Hope you loved it as much as I 🙂
Hi to all UK subscribers. FYI Sainsburys now stock traditional Greek Pita bread. a must for home made gyros.
Hi Ian, my son is in London and he’s been trying to find Pitta breads everywhere! Is this the one?
Delicious. I saved time by dumping the chicken onto a large sheet pan and cooked it for 1 hour at 200 degrees, then broiled on hi for the last 30 minutes watching it closely and flipping each piece of chicken once to get that nice char. I also drained some of the juice between cooking and broiling.
That sounds like a great trick! I’ll give it a go next time 🙂
It seems to me that the onion and pepper should not be cut into rings as one would not be able to skewer them. Rather they should be cut into segments.
The picture seems to show them cut into segments.