Weeknight Gyros

  • Gyros can make an appearance for weeknight dinners with this quick recipe. It also cuts the calories and sodium out of a traditional recipe.

    Gyros can make an appearance for weeknight dinners with this quick recipe. It also cuts the calories and sodium out of a traditional recipe. Deb Lindsey/The Washington Post

Posted6/22/2016 6:00 AM

For the meat

3 cloves garlic


6 ounces ground lamb

6 ounces lean ground beef (90/10)

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon granulated garlic (powder)

½ teaspoon dried oregano or za'atar (may substitute 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ lemon

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper or ground sumac

For the gyros

Four 6-inch whole-wheat pitas, preferably pocketless

½ medium red onion

Leaves from 4 stems mint

½ English (seedless) cucumber

¼ lemon

8 ounces plain nonfat yogurt

½ teaspoon granulated garlic (powder)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 limes or lemons, for serving (optional)

For the meat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Mince the garlic and place in a mixing bowl along with the ground lamb and beef, the onion and garlic powders, oregano or za'atar, salt and the juice of the lemon quarter. Use your clean hands to blend until well combined, then shape and compact the mixture into two firm loaves of equal size measuring 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. Sprinkle with the red pepper or sumac.

Use cooking oil spray to lightly grease the hot skillet. Place the loaves in the pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer the skillet to the oven to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven once the loaves are cooked through (with no trace of pink inside).

Meanwhile, start the gyro prep: Stack and wrap the pitas in aluminum foil; place them in the turned-off oven (to warm through).

Cut the red onion half into thin half-moons and place them in a bowl of water. Coarsely chop all but a small handful of the smallest mint leaves; you'll use the whole leaves as a garnish.

Shred the (unpeeled) cucumber against the large-holed sides of a box grater held over a medium bowl; discard the peel that's left. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon quarter, then add the yogurt, garlic powder, salt and black pepper and the chopped mint; stir until well incorporated.


When ready to serve, drain the red onion slices and pat dry. Cut the meat loaves crosswise into ½-inch slices, dividing them among the warm pitas. Spoon the yogurt sauce over each portion, then scatter the red onion slices and small whole mint leaves over each one.

Cut the limes or lemons into wedges, if using. Serve the gyros right away, with the wedges.

Serves 4

Nutrition | Per serving: 380 calories, 27 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar

Adapted from "Amazing Recipe Makeovers," by the editors of Cooking Light (Oxmoor House, 2016).

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.