Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki

I’ll admit, these photos kinda look like tacos but they are far from it – or is a gyro considered a taco? Maybe that is why I love gyros so much, they are just mediterranean tacos! These are definitely not mexican tacos though – they are filled with so much flavor and fresh vegetables with mediterranean seasoning and spices. We love mediterranean food at our house because it is light and flavorful and there are so many options. I set out to make my own shawarma seasoning – and although this might not be 100% authentic, it is sure tasty. Shawarma seasoning is so easy to make that I recommend making your own vs buying it! I did find a McCormick seasoning that called itself shawarma seasoning, and I was tempted to just buy it and say eff it – but at $13 a bottle I was dumbfounded. It didn’t tell me the ingredients in it but there is no way there was anything extravagant in their blend! So I could not figure out why they were charging so much for a tiny bottle. Whatever the reason, leave it on the shelf and make my recipe below! Normally shawarma and meat used for gyros is slow cooked on a big rotating oven, but most of us 1) don’t own those and 2) don’t have that kind of time to let it slow cook for hours! I crammed my chicken on to skewers and popped them in the oven to roast for 20 minutes to attempt to replicate the effect. I will say it was probably the closest I was going to get – although the grill is also a great option to get that smoky flavor, but with the rainy season coming I have no desire to fire up the grill outside and stand in the rain! Try these the next time you get a craving for mediterranean food and I bet you will be in love at first bite!

For the Chicken:

  • 6 Chicken Breasts (roughly 3lbs), Cubed
  • 3 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom
  • 1 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 Tsp Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

For the Tzatziki:

  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Dill
  • 1 Lemon, Juiced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Cucumber, Diced
  • Salt + Pepper

Additional Toppings:

  • 6-8 Pita or Flatbread
  • 1 Cucumber, Diced
  • 2 Cups Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, Diced
  • 1 Cup Crumbled Feta
  • Makes: 6-8 Gyros
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes

To Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cubed chicken, salt, pepper, mustard powder, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, ground ginger, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, cumin and olive oil. Combine well so the chicken is evenly coated.
  3. For this next step you can either add the chicken to a baking sheet and spread it out evenly. Or (this is what i did) skewer the chicken on metal skewers and place them on a baking sheet.
  4. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. While the chicken cooks, let’s prep the other ingredients.
  6. Start by making the tzatziki – in a bowl add the greek yogurt, sour cream, dill, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, and salt + pepper (to taste). Mix together until the ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
  7. Prep any other ingredients you are using. Dice the cucumber, tomatoes, and olives. I also grilled my flatbread for 1-2 minutes per side on the stovetop in a pan.
  8. When the chicken is done, it is time for assembly. Take a pita (or flatbread) and spread a generous spoonful of tzatziki on it. Add 3-4 oz of chicken on top.
  9. Next top the chicken with the diced cucumbers, tomatoes and olives. Sprinkle with feta and add another spoonful of tzatziki on top!
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to make all the gyros, serve and enjoy!

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