This delicious Chicken Gyro is loaded with tender, moist, super flavorful grilled chicken, fresh tomato, red onion and wonderful homemade Tzatziki! Seriously better than anything from a Gyro stand.
I used to go out and eat Chicken Gyros at least 3 times a week!
There used to be a little gyro shop a few streets over from me—you know the kind I’m talking about, more like a little food stand than a restaurant?
I always swore that those were the best chicken gyros I was ever going to find.
And when the restaurant closed I went into mourning (full-on five stages of grief stuff). It wasn’t until a few years later (a few horrible years without delicious chicken gyros) that I finally discovered a worthy—perhaps even superior—chicken gyro recipe to fill the void.
Don’t be put off by how long the recipe seems, it’s actually pretty quick to put together.
And that’s one of the best parts, I no longer have to leave my home to get stellar chicken gyros.
This easy chicken gyro recipe is easy to follow and to prepare.
Just cut the chicken into chunks, brine it quickly, toss it in a marinade, and grill. With this recipe, you don’t need to starting the marinating process days ahead of time, the brine only takes 30 minutes!
In fact, the tzatziki recipe is the only thing that needs to be made ahead of time.
What I really love about this dish is the chicken gyro meat recipe.
Grilling boneless skinless chicken breasts usually leaves them dried out.
To solve that problem, this chicken Souvlaki recipe ditches the typical overnight soak for a quick 30-minute brine. Then you’ll put the chicken in a zesty marinade just before grilling.
After cooking, the reserved marinade will make sure the exterior is moist and tender.
Regular readers at GonnaWantSeconds.com will know that I’m constantly trying to find dishes that aren’t just delicious, they’re good for you too.
Well this healthy chicken gyro recipe fits that bill. The chicken and vegetables that make up the base of this meal are great for filling out your family’s “food pyramid.”
Any chicken gyro recipe that can impress me is a winner.
And this one is just stellar.
The zesty marinade makes for incredible tender chicken that has a delightful little kick.
Though I’m generally a big fan of crockpot dishes, for chicken gyro recipes, crockpots have never been my favorite tool.
They never seem to cook the meat and veggies right.
I prefer to grill the chicken outdoors for that classic “grill flavor.”
However, if you’re looking for ways to cook the gyros indoors (perhaps the weather is bad or you just don’t want to venture outside—we’ve all been there), I suggest cooking the chicken on skewers in a grill pan.
Or you can skip the skewers altogether and cook the chicken in a large skillet. If you want to go with the latter method, don’t cook all of the chicken together. Instead cook it in little batches in olive oil.
This recipe for chicken gyro is a surefire hit on a hot summer night.
Grill up this deliciously marinated chicken for an awesome meal that your whole family will love!
Recipe Notes for Chicken Gyro:
I thought I might be useful for me to layout the most important points of the recipe in a quick, easy-to-read format so you can breeze right through them:
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks.
- Soak the chicken for 30-45 minutes in a quick brine in the refrigerator.
- Make a marinade while the chicken is soaking in the fridge. Divide the marinade.
- Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
- Toss chicken in a clean bowl with a portion of the marinade.
- Thread the chicken onto skewers.
- Grill chicken.
- Remove chicken and toss in a clean bowl with reserved marinade.
This recipe calls for the chicken to be cut into 1-inch pieces. Usually when I make kebabs I cut the meat into larger pieces. But with these chicken gyros, a larger size isn’t desirable. Instead, that small, 1-inch size is that you want to aim for. It works better with the brine and the marinade.
I love this marinade because it’s an easy mixture of simple ingredients. However, fresh lemon zest and juice are mandatory. Don’t bother with that cheap stuff in the plastic bottle—it isn’t the same.
You’ll notice that the marinade is applied twice in this recipe. Can you say GENUIS?! That second application infuses the chicken with an extra layer of zesty flavor and finishes the dish perfectly. The marinade is first applied just after the chicken’s been quickly brined, then the second part of the marinade is tossed with warm, freshly grilled chicken. It’s a unique, unusual technique, but that second dip in the marinade really gives the chicken a bright, lemony taste.
In order to make sure you have enough marinade for that second application, make sure to divide up the marinade right after you make it. I’ll admit (with red cheeks) that I’ve forgotten or ignored the dividing step and accidently dumped the remaining marinade after the first application.
I strongly recommend giving the homemade recipe a try. It is SO much better than anything you can buy at the store.
Homemade tzatziki is significantly better if it’s made a day ahead of time and refrigerated. This allows all of the flavors to marry and the garlic to settle in and mellow a little bit.
Check out this homemade chicken TZATZIKI RECIPE. Give it a try!
How about some more Greek inspired Recipes?
Chicken Gyro Recipe
- 1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Cut into 1 Inch Pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Salt
- 1 Quart Cold Water
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Minced
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Zest
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Honey
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano Crumbled
- 2 Large Tomatoes Seeded and Chopped
- 1 Red Onion Diced
- 1 English Cucumber Chopped
- 1/2 a Head Romaine Lettuce Cut Into Strips
- 1 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbled
- Tzatziki Sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, stir the salt in water until completely dissolved. Place chicken in brine and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (to heat pita). Wrap the pita bread in aluminum foil and seal tightly.
- Meanwhile, make the marinade; In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Pour 1/4 cup into a large mixing bowl (large enough to accommodate cooked chicken later) and set aside.
- Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. In a large mixing bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the remaining marinade until evenly and well coated. Thread chicken onto skewers.
- Place foil wrapped pita in oven and heat until warm, about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
- Cook chicken skewers on grill or grill pan 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through and registers 160 degrees on an instant thermometer. Using a fork, push hot chicken off skewers and into the bowl with reserved marinade. Toss gently to evenly coat; cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Assemble the Gyros; Place a pita on a piece of parchment or foil, place a layer of chicken down the center, tzatziki sauce, and veggies. Serve immediately.
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