Can’t get enough of your favorite Greek restaurant’s gyros? Try this quick and easy chicken gyro recipe for something just as delicious, but far better for you! Yogurt-marinated chicken tenders, packed with flavor from warm spices, and loaded into a pita wrap with homemade tzatziki sauce and all the fixings you love!
You can make this Greek chicken in a skillet or pan, outdoor grill, or baked in the oven. Check out the tips and step-by-step tutorial below.
Here’s the thing about restaurant gyros–the ones made of a combination of lamb and beef, roasted for hours on a spit–they are absolutely delicious! And I do eat them, occasionally. But, reality is, they are a bit on the heavier side.
But we don’t have to give up the bright Greek flavors, there is a way to make a darn good gyro right at home that is healthier and still just as delicious: Homemade Greek Chicken Gyros!
Homemade Chicken Gyro Recipe with Tzatziki
Super succulent chicken breast tenders, loaded with all the bright Greek flavors we love (the secret is in the marinade we talk about later.) Warm up some pita to carry the chicken, add in tztaziki sauce, some veggies, and olives, and you’ve got your chicken gyros!
One of things I really love about this chicken gyro recipe is that it comes together so quickly, making for a wholesome meal any night of the week. And no, you do not need to fire up the grill, although you can if you want. But you can just make the chicken in your skillet or even baked in the oven (I’ve included all the cooking options below.)
Greek Chicken Marinade/ Gyro Chicken Marinade
The thing that starts it all for these chicken gyros is the marinade. A simple and versatile Greek chicken marinade that you can use regularly, even if you’re not making chicken gyros. This is a yogurt marinade with a nice dose of fresh minced garlic and a few warm spices (oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper, cayenne if you like heat). A little fresh lemon juice and red wine vinegar add enough citrus, and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil rounds up the flavor.
What does yogurt add to the marinade here? The lactic acid and calcium in yogurt works to gently break down the protein in the chicken breast tenders, making them more flavorful and super tender. And you’ll notice a bit of a crust too around this chicken, the yogurt does that too!
My advice for you here is to make sure you get the chicken marinating at least 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook it (you can marinate the chicken overnight for even more flavor.)
How to Make this Chicken Gyro Recipe
1. First, make the marinade. Combine the Greek yogurt with garlic, spices, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix with a spoon or whisk to make sure all is well-combined.
2. Add chicken to the Greek yogurt marinade. Using a pair of tongs, toss chicken and make sure all the pieces are well-coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (You can also do this step one night in advance and refrigerate overnight.)
3. When you’re ready, heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is just shimmering (don’t let it smoke.) Add chicken (make sure you shake excess marinade off). Cook for 5 minutes on one side until nicely browned, then turn over and cook another 5 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. (Resist disturbing the chicken as it cooks, you want a great color on these tenders!)
(I did use a cast iron skillet as you see in this picture, but I do think non-stick is easier to work with in this case.)
4. Assemble the yummy gyros! Warm your pitas and spread some mean homemade tztaziki sauce. Add a couple pieces of your beautiful Greek chicken and top with the sliced veggies and olives. Enjoy!
Can I grill or bake the chicken instead?
For these chicken gyros, you can absolutely use an outdoor grill, or you can bake the chicken if you need to:
-For outdoor grill. Grill chicken tenders over medium heat for about 5 minutes on one side, turn over and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Be sure the grill grates are lightly oiled, and shake excess marinate before placing chicken on the grill.
– For oven. To bake, heat oven to 375 degrees F. Shake excess marinade off the chicken tenders and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in heated oven for about 20 minutes or until done.
What to Serve with Chicken Gyros?
These chicken gyros are a complete meal on their own, really. If you want to change things up, rather than cutting up slices of veggies to top your gyros, try this Mediterranean-style homemade salsa. You can also add a bright salad to start with is always nice. There are lots of salad options in the recipe archives here, including Traditional Greek Salad, Mediterranean Couscous Salad, Watermelon Salad, or Grilled Zucchini Salad.
For sides, a new favorite are these easy baked zucchini sticks with thyme and Parmesan! And if you have the time for a hearty side, try Greek roasted potatoes. These take a bit of time in the oven, but you can prepare them in advance and just heat up when you’re ready to serve the gyros.
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Easy homemade Greek chicken gyro recipe. Yogurt-marinated chicken tenders, packed with flavor from warm spices, and loaded into a pita wrap with homemade tzatziki sauce and all the fixings you love! You can make this Greek chicken in a non-stick pan, outdoor grill, or baked in the oven.
Check out all the tips and step-by-step up in the post.
For the Chicken
- 1.5 lb Chicken tenders
- Extra virgin olive oil for the pan (see our Greek extra virgin olive oils here)
For the Chicken Gyro Marinade
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (you can use reduced fat or fat free Greek yogurt if you like)
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil (try Private Reserve Greek EVOO)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt, generous pinch to taste
- Black pepper, generous pinch to taste
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional
Other Gyro Fixings
- Pita bread
- Homemade Tztaziki Sauce (Recipe Here)
- 1 large Tomato, sliced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 green pepper, cored and sliced
- 1 small red onion, sliced into half moons
- pitted kalamata olives
- Marinate chicken and prepare gyro fixings. In a larger mixing bowel, combine the marinade ingredients, mix well. Add the chicken tenders and mix to make sure chicken is well coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight.) Meanwhile, make Tztaziki sauce according to this recipe, and prepare the pita and other gyro fixings.
- Cook chicken. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add chicken tenders to the pan (make sure to shake off any excess marinade before adding chicken to the pan.) Cook on one side undisturbed for 5 minutes until browned. Using a pair of tongs, turn chicken over and cook on other side for another 5 minutes or until chicken is done. (See notes for outdoor grilling)
- Assemble the chicken gyros. Warm up some pita. Spread Tztaziki sauce on top, then add chicken (about 2 to 3 tenders) and top with tomato, cucumber, green pepper, red onion and olives as you like. Wrap the pita up and enjoy!
- Cook’s Tip: Allow 30 minutes of inactive time for chicken to marinate.
- Cook’s Tip for Prepare Ahead: You can prepare the chicken and marinate one night in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Cook’s Tip for Outdoor Grilling: If you’d rather fire up the grill for these chicken gyros, you can grill them on a medium-heated grill for 5 minutes on one side, turn over and cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is fully done (internal temperature should register 165 degrees F.)
- Cook’s Tip for Baking in the Oven: heat oven to 375 degrees F. Shake excess marinade off the chicken tenders and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in heated oven for about 20 minutes or until done.
- What to Serve With Chicken Gyros? The obvious choice to add next to these gyros is a traditional Greek salad, but I also highly recommend this tasty Mediterranean couscous salad or this grilled zucchini salad. Greek Roasted Potatoes are also great to add, if you have the time.
- To make Tztaziki sauce: Use this recipe for tzatziki sauce (tztaziki sauce nutrition information is included with its own recipe.)
- Shop Ingredients: Visit The Mediterranean Dish Shop for our Greek Extra virgin olive oils and our all-natural and organic spices including sweet paprika, ground cumin, and coriander. Create your own 6-pack of spices or try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle.
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop or grilled
- Cuisine: Greek
Keywords: Chicken Gyros, Chicken Gyro Recipe, Greek Chicken Gyro, Greek chicken marinade