In this lighter take on a classic Greek Gyro Sandwich, lean and juicy chicken tenders soak in a Greek yogurt marinade until they’re loaded with garlicky, tangy flavor and rich Mediterranean spices. The best part? Everything keeps well, making this low-carb, protein-packed Greek Gyro Bowl ideal for meal prep!

An overhead photo of a gyro bowl with a fork.
Photo Credits: Ali Redmond

The word gyro comes from the Greek for "turn" or "revolution." It’s named for the spit where the meat is traditionally slow-cooked on an axel until it’s gloriously juicy and crispy all at the same time. When I set out to make this Greek Gyro Bowl, I wanted all the good parts of that golden slow-roasted meat, but with a lighter and more fuss-free approach. 

The trick to making lean, healthy protein as juicy as the 2 a.m. street gyro situation is a really good marinade. And this Greek yogurt marinade pulls double-duty, tenderizing the meat while infusing it with a big Mediterranean flavor that never disappoints. It’s delicately spicy, slightly earthy, very aromatic, and, of course, boldly garlicky and tangy! 

Plus, serving the tender chicken with traditional Greek salad means it’s low-carb, super fresh, and filled with healthy nutrients and vibrant texture. And it tastes just as good–if not better–the next day.

Ingredients for gyro bowls including chicken tenderloins, greek yogurt, lemon, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, tzatziki sauce, a greek salad and pita bread.

Gyro Bowl Ingredients 

Though the flavors of this gyro bowl are classically Greek, each one is either a pantry staple or very easy to find at any grocery store. You’ll need: 

For the Chicken

  • Greek yogurt: Tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavor.
  • Fresh lemon juice and red wine vinegar add a complex acidity. You can substitute with different vinegars like apple cider or Champagne. Lime juice works well here too. 
  • Garlic adds a savory depth of flavor. 
  • Spices: Dried oregano, sweet paprika, ground cumin, and coriander add a mix of aromatic, mildly peppery, and earthy. Cayenne pepper is optional, but it will add a nice kick if you’re into spice. 
  • Kosher salt and black pepper enhance the flavor. 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil enriches the meat. Choose a high-quality extra virgin variety–any of the oils from our shop would work well, but I love the richness of our Greek Koroneiki with this recipe. 
  • Chicken tenderloin: These small, delicate strips of breast meat are lean yet incredibly tender. I buy a bag at my store labeled “chicken tenders”–though you’re not looking for the breaded kind. 

For Serving

  • Greek Salad: Crunchy, fresh and bright. To make it, you’ll need red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, Kalamata olives, dried oregano, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and feta cheese. 
  • Tzatziki Sauce: Creamy and garlicky, this keeps every bite nice and saucy. Use a quality store-bought version, or make your own with cucumber, salt, garlic, white vinegar, olive oil, Greek yogurt, fresh dill or mint (optional), and white pepper (or sub black pepper).
  • Pita Bread (optional): Make your own with active dry yeast, sugar, all-purpose flour, salt, and olive oil, or use a store-bought version.
A close up of 4 gyro bowls one on a blue background. One bowl has a fork.

Ingredient Spotlight 

Greek yogurt is the powerhouse ingredient in a marinade for a few reasons: 

  • Lactic Acid: Greek yogurt contains lactic acid, which is very gentle in comparison to other acids (like the citric acid found in lemons.) That means it gently breaks down proteins to make the meat more tender, and you can leave the meat soaking in the marinade for longer without turning it to mush. 
  • Moisture Retention: The creamy consistency of Greek yogurt acts like a good moisturizer, helping to reduce the risk of the meat drying out. This is especially handy for lean cuts of meat like tenderloin that might otherwise become tough.
  • A Flavor-Maker’s Best Friend: Greek yogurt is tangy and rich, which makes a great canvas for big Mediterranean flavor-makers like lemon, garlic, sweet paprika, cumin, and coriander. And if your spice drawer needs a refresh, stock up at our spice shop
A close up photo of a gyro bowl with pita wedges, tomatoes, kalamata olives, chicken and feta.

How to Make Gyro Bowls

The first step for this gyro bowl is to get the chicken marinating so it can soak up all the flavor—a few hours is ideal, but even 30 minutes will make a huge difference. And you can make the Greek Salad and Tzatziki while the chicken soaks (each takes about 10-15 minutes), or prep those a few days in advance. Here’s the play-by-play:

Get Ready

  • Make the marinade. Mince 3 garlic cloves and add to a large bowl. To the bowl, add 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon each of paprika, cumin, and coriander. Finish with a big pinch of salt and pepper. If you’re okay with a little heat, add a pinch of cayenne. Add the juice of 1 large lemon, and a good drizzle of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons). Whisk to combine.An overhead photo of chicken marinated being whisked in a mixing bowl.
  • Marinate the chicken. Add 1 ½ pounds of chicken tenderloins to the marinade and toss to coat very well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.An overhead photo of chicken tenderloins marinating in a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, make the Greek Salad and Tzatziki. You can make both while the chicken marinates for 40 minutes, or make the tzatziki up to 4 days in advance. The Greek salad will last up to 2 days, just wait to dress until just before serving.

Cook and Assemble

  • Cook the chicken. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high. Shake excess marinade off the chicken. When the oil is ready and shimmering, arrange the chicken in one single layer in the pan. Cook on one side until browned (about 4 to 5 minutes), then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through to 165°F and its juices run clear. If your pan is small, do this in batches to avoid overcrowding, replenishing the oil as necessary.Marinated chicken tenderloins cooking in a skillet.
  • Assemble the gyro bowls. When the chicken is ready, divide the chicken pieces among 4 to 6 bowls. To each bowl, add Greek salad, tzatziki sauce, and a few pita wedges if you’d like. Serve immediately.An overhead photo of a gyro bowl with a fork.

Ways to Mix it Up 

If you treat this gyro bowl recipe as a guide rather than a hard-and-fast rule there’s no way to get bored. Here are some ideas to give this Gyro bowl 9 lives (and then some): 

  • Add grains or pasta: Farro, quinoa, couscous or orzo would add extra heft. Make extra dressing and toss dress the grains/pasta while it’s still warm to load each bite with flavor. 
  • Try a different sauce: Anything creamy and garlicky goes well here, like Toum or Tahini Sauce
  • Change the protein: Sub in grilled steak, salmon, sheet pan shrimp, leftovers you have on hand–you really can’t go wrong.
  • Change the salad: Anything fresh and crisp, from the classic Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad to Fattoush.
  • Change the cheese: Replace the feta with fried halloumi–use this Fried Halloumi recipe but skip the honey.
  • Add more crunch: Sprinkle pita chips over top of the salad, crushing them with your hands. You can make your own or use quality store-bought. 
  • Make it spicy: Add a spoonful of harissa paste–you can make your own or order my favorite store-bought version at our shop
An overhead photo of 2 gyro bowls with forks. Next to these are 2 glasses of water and pieces of pita bread.

What to Serve with Gyro Bowls

With plenty of protein, veggies, texture, and flavor, you don’t need anything more for a satisfying meal. But if you’re looking for something cold and refreshing to serve alongside, I’d personally skip the soda and serve with Karkade (Iced Hibiscus Tea), Strawberry Lemonade or Mediterranean-Style Mint Lemonade (Limonada).

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5 from 4 votes

Gyro Bowl with Chicken and Feta

Suzy Karadsheh
An overhead photo of a gyro bowl with a fork.
You can make both the tzatziki and Greek salad for the Gyro bowl while the chicken marinates, or make the tzatziki up to 4 days in advance. The Greek salad will last up to 2 days, however, wait to dress it until just before serving. Keep everything in separate containers in your refrigerator to have a healthy meal on your table in minutes!
Prep – 30 minutes
Cook – 10 minutes
Total – 40 minutes
Cuisine:
Greek/Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Dinner, Lunch

Ingredients
  

For the Yogurt Chicken

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (you can use reduced fat or fat free Greek yogurt if you like)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken tenderloin (sometimes labeled “tenders”)

To Serve

Instructions
 

  • Make the marinade. In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne (if using), and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and whisk to combine.
  • Marinate the chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat very well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Cook the chicken. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high. Shake excess marinade off the chicken. When the oil is ready and shimmering, arrange the chicken in one single layer in the pan. Cook on one side until browned (about 4 to 5 minutes), then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through to 165°F and its juices run clear.
  • Assemble the gyro bowls. When the chicken is ready, divide the chicken pieces among 4 to 6 bowls. To each bowl, add Greek salad, tzatziki sauce, and a few pita wedges. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The garlicky marinade is delicious enough to eat by the spoonful, but don’t be tempted to spoon it over your bowl. Because it came into contact with raw chicken, you need to discard it after use.
  • The nutrition calculation is based on the yogurt-marinated chicken. The Greek salad, pita, and tzatziki are not included.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 163.5kcalCarbohydrates: 4.5gProtein: 28gFat: 3.3gSaturated Fat: 0.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 74.2mgSodium: 145.7mgPotassium: 528mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 1.6gVitamin A: 229IUVitamin C: 11.5mgCalcium: 69.9mgIron: 1.3mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This was delicious! I used no lactose Greek yogurt as the marinade base and reserved some to serve with the chicken. The combination of spices really gave the chicken a Gyro taste. Thumbs UP!

  2. Hello,
    Are the pictured pita breads brushed with something before being toasted? They appear like maybe some spices or herbs maybe oil and then oven or pan toasted. Please point me right as I would love to present this dish as it looks here, beautiful. Thank you.