Greek food turned DIY...and healthy!
Love Greek takeout, but hate how greasy it can be? Homemade meat for gyros is surprisingly easy to make! You can prepare it in the slow cooker in just 15 minutes, and have hot slices of seasoned meat ready to pile onto pita bread by dinnertime!
Sometimes ground chicken is hard to find. Ask your local grocery store butcher to grind a package of chicken breast just as they would with ground beef. Most are more than happy to oblige. If ground chicken is not an option, use grassfed beef or lamb instead. Alternatively, you can use half of each, grassfed beef and lamb, and omit the chicken.
Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros
- 1/2 onion small
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 2 eggs whisked
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs plain
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 12 whole-wheat naan bread or pita bread rounds, 6 inch
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 cucumber sliced
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt low-fat, plain
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- In a food processor, pulse onion and garlic until pureed.
- In a large bowl, stir together onion puree, ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, lemon (juice and zest), thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix together until well combined.
- Form into a large ball and place in a 4-quart crockpot which has been drizzled with olive oil. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low.
- Unplug crockpot and remove lid 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the gyros to set and cut into nice slices.
- When ready to serve, remove meat from the slow cooker. Slice and serve on warmed pita bread topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurt, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Enjoy!
Have you made this recipe?
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What is the nutritional info on this recipe?
Wendy, We are working on putting the nutritional info up today. Thanks for noticing!
I used the ground chicken and lean groundmeat……….so yummy!
Do you use chicken AND beef or lamb? Or just one type of meat?
Veronica, You use chicken and one type of meat.
You don't consider chicken a meat? Im confused…recipe just calls for Chicken or Turkey but your write up goes into how you shouldn't use turkey…
Yes, Chicken is considered a meat. The instructions were a little unclear so I just updated them. Please don't hesitate to ask questions regarding any recipe. 🙂
Sometimes ground chicken is hard to find. Ask your local grocery store butcher to grind a package of chicken breast just as they would with ground beef. Most are more than happy to oblige. If ground chicken is not an option, use grassfed beef or lamb instead. Alternatively, you can use half of each grassfed beef and lamb, and omit the chicken.
How long should this cook on high. Is 4 hours ok? 5/6?
Irene, Check after 4 hours. If the meat is cooked through, the recipe is ready to serve.
This may be a stupid question (I know why ask!). How do I know what size of a crock pot do I use for these recipes? I have a 1 quart crock pot just for little ole me. I'm assuming these recipes are for 3 quarts and above?
Natalie, You should half or quarter the recipes. Divide and only make the smaller recipe or switch to a 3 quart crockpot or above. Then you can often cool and freeze recipes if you do a larger batch.
How many oz of meat per serving? This way I'll be able to divide for proper serving sizes.
Melisa, 3 ounces of meat per serving:).
When I printed this recipe earlier in the week, it did not have the eggs and breadcrumbs as shown above. I made it by making a paste/sauce out of all the spices/lemon and mixed it together with the meatloaf. I thought it was delicious! I also think this is a good way to prepare ground meat without having to brown it first. I will experiment with other combinations of acids/spices to make indian-style, Italian-style, etc.
MTucker, We added the breadcrumbs and egg later in the week because we had some reader complaints about the ground meat texture, and those tend to bind the meat and make the texture smoother. That's great you enjoyed the recipe!
Does the nutritional info listed above include the pita rounds and yogurt topping? Thanks.
Tina, Yes, it includes the pita rounds and the toppings.
I'm confused. I've read the recipe and re-read it and read the comments.
Can I used 2 pounds ground chicken or does it have to be mixed with turkey or beef?
Alissa, Yes you can use 2 pounds ground chicken. This recipe has been modified since those comments were made. Enjoy!
I made this last night and I don't know if I did something wrong (didn't let it cook long enough? — I kept it in the crock pot on high for 5 hours) but I couldn't get past the texture of the chicken. It was like a chicken meatloaf which…I guess I should've expected? But I hate meatloaf and the texture of it so I ended up throwing out the entire loaf. My husband enjoyed the flavor, but I definitely was not a fan.
Jess, Yes the texture is like that of a meatloaf. Sorry you didn't like it:).
I made this last night and it is delicious!! It was a hit with everyone! Thank you.
You're welcome:) Nicole!
can you make this ahead, freeze it, and then thaw/cook it at a future time?
Amy, Yes, you can do that.
I made this today. It is **delicious**! I think I have a new favorite meatloaf recipe! The only change I made was to leave out the salt, and instead added about a teaspoon of Cavender's Greek Seasoning to the mixture. The Cavender's has salt in the spice mix, so no extra salt was needed.
When I first mixed it together, it was very wet and mushy, and wouldn't form into a ball. I added more bread crumbs to make it hold together. It cooked alright, but turned out a bit crumbly when cut. What else can I do to it to make it hold together better for slicing?
Kathy, You can add an additional egg and a little bit more breadcrumbs to bind it more. Yes, the texture should be similar to a meatloaf. Glad you liked the flavor!
Do I have to adjust the cooking time at all if I'm cutting the recipe in half and only using 1lb of ground chicken? Thanks!
The best way to cut a slow cooker recipe in half is to reduce the size of your slow cooker so that the heat is still able to distribute evenly. If you only have one slow cooker, and this is not an option, then it is best to cook the entire recipe, and freeze any leftovers for use later.
Recalculated on the new SmartPoints calculator. SmartPoints are now 7.
Thanks. Did you purchase the calculator online? We need one.
What size pita rounds, specifically? (in grams, I guess)
Most pitas are 150 calories each. This recipe serving size says 1 1/2. That would be 225 calories alone just for the bread. Maybe I am unaware that they make smaller pitas. You’re not talking about the tiny pita rounds? They wouldn’t even close with anything on them like the gyros in the pictures do. Looks like a great recipe.
Sarah, Our Gyros were made with 6-inch naan bread, which is what you see in the photo.
Has anyone attempted this with chicken breasts? What changes if any would you have to make to cater for the breasts instead of the minced chicken?
Hi there! When you say a serving size is 1-1/2 gyros, does that mean 1.5 slices of the meat or do you meal 1.5 of the actual fully constructed sandwich. I am asking this from work as it cooks away in my slow cooker so if you can’t respond in time I am just going to assume slices of meat.
The serving size, 1-1/2 gyros, refers to the entire finished product.
I was wondering the same thing as Maree. What would you need to do for chicken breast. Could you just slice them thinly before cooking in the slow cooker? What would you suggest?
You could substitute chicken breast as you suggested. Slice thin and dice small. The final product my not hold together as well, but will still taste delicious!
Yum! Just had this for lunch, will definitely making this again.
Jamie, Here’s our other Gyro recipe and it’s so yummy. https://skinnyms.com/instant-pot-chicken-gyros-recipe/
You can also use the slow cooker if you don’t have an Instant Pot. We like the Instant Pot for this recipe.
Can you use ground turkey?
Yes, ground turkey would be delicious!
Could you not slice chicken breasts, use the seasoning and such as a marinade overnight, then cook it all in the crockpot the next day? I would think it would have a similar result?
Great question, Steven! You could definitely marinade the chicken overnight and then cook it in the crock pot the next day! Your chicken would have great flavor.
This is yummy, liked it! After finding it cumbersome the first time around to stuff the little pita breads, I changed the serving method just a little bit: For one serving, I mixed diced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, finely diced garlic, the liquid ingredients and spices in a soup plate, topping them with the torn-up gyro meat and pita. Basically, saladifying it. Good way to get all of the ingredients in every bite!
That’s awesome, Linn! Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂