This seasoned succulent chicken gyro is the simplest way to enjoy the refreshing flavors of an authentic Mediterranean chicken meal. I can almost see it now – that yummy grilled chicken, the soft fluffy pita bread, my light lemony tzatziki sauce. It’s almost too much.
This chicken gyro is one of those culturally inspired chicken recipes that combine the pseudo-historical cuisine with rich colors and flavors. These awesome aromas and textures support the clean complex flavors of nature and harmonious living.
Call your friends and extend a lunch invitation. They’re gonna’ love this!!
I love that this recipe is a simple flavor-intense recipe that can be adapted to almost any personal taste preference. I also love that a big portion of the prep time involved isn’t labor-intensive. Here are some other great reasons to love it!
- Rich, creamy, refreshing tzatziki sauce
- Plenty of moist juicy marinated chicken
- Warm soft, fluffy pita bread
- Fantastic for meal prep
How To Make Chicken Gyro Recipe
Following this recipe is totally easy. It only takes a few simple steps but nothing complicated. Don’t worry, though. I’m going to walk you through the entire thing and at the end you’ll have a crazy delicious lunch you can’t wait to eat!
Making this recipe awesome starts with the right chicken gyro marinade! It’s important to pat the chicken dry before tossing it in the marinade, so the marinade can stick to the chicken and evenly coat it.
Indoor Cooking: If the weather’s not up to par, you can still get great results by cooking the chicken on skewers in a grill pan. Or, you can forego the skewers and cook the chicken in a large skillet. It’s best to cook the chicken in batches though, so that the meat browns instead of steaming.
Size of Chicken Bites: Normally, when I make kebabs, I cut the meat into larger pieces. However, smaller chunks work too. They make this chicken gyro recipe tasty as they really absorb the brine.
Brine: Letting the chicken sit in the brine for a good half hour before tossing it in the marinade allows the chicken to absorb some of the salty water. This gives the chicken a moist succulence that’s really hard to beat.
Also, be sure to put the hot cooked chicken right into the reserved marinade for an extra layer of flavor.
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 GENIUS?! 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.
Homemade Chicken Gyros Ingredient Notes
Making this insanely delicious recipe is done in 3 simple steps. Just brine, marinade and assemble (after you cook of course). Here’s whatcha’ need to make it happen. I divided the ingredients into 3 separate sections to make it easier.
Chicken – You’ll need a pound of boneless skinless chicken breast to make your chicken gyro. Cutting it into 1-inch pieces makes it easier to eat and ensures there are plenty of exterior edges to soak up the marinade.
Brine – It’ll take about a quart of cold water to cover your chicken. You’ll want to let it soak in its salty brine for a good 30 minutes.
This chicken gyro is best enjoyed fresh, but it doesn’t have to be assembled immediately. If you’re just getting prepped up, you can store the cooked cooled chicken in a resealable bag or an airtight container. Then simply assemble your gyro when it’s time to eat!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes and no. You can freeze the marinade and you can also freeze the cooked cooled chicken. Of course, you’ll want to discard any used marinade. Sometimes I like to freeze the marinade in ice cube trays. It makes it easier for me to measure the amount I want to thaw and use.
When its time to eat, simply thaw some fresh marinade along with your chicken. Then heat the chicken thoroughly and toss it in some warm marinade before assembling your chicken. Delicious!
Make Ahead Tips
For me, the freezer route is the easiest way to go when I’m doing meal prep. Then all I need to do is chop the fresh veggies when I’m assembling the gyros.
If you’re just prepping a day or two ahead, then everything can just go into the fridge. Having the veggies prepared and chopped helps a lot too.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Your chicken gyros will only be as good as your most fragile ingredient. If some of your veggies are on the verge of getting tossed, you’ll taste it. The fresher your veggies, the better your gyros will be. On the other hand, your chicken will stay fresh and yummy for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Again, I would wait to assemble the gyros until serving time, so nothing gets soggy.
There are so many different ways to tweak this recipe you can have a different flavor every day of the week and they are all Ah-ma-zing!!
- You can make this without pita bread. But is it still a chicken gyro without the pita? Puzzling. I can tell you that it’s still incredibly scrumptious and you can eat it like a salad – just add more lettuce. When it comes to Greek chicken, there’s really no wrong way to enjoy it!
- If you’re just missing the pita, you can also make Greek lemon chicken or even Greek chicken kabobs. You get all the herbaceous flavor without the bread.
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 parsely 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 of 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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I absolutely love Mediterranean recipes. They’re clean, wholesome and delicious. The fact that they typically incorporate plenty of crisp summer veggies doesn’t hurt either. It helps add extra layers of yummy to each dish.
Here are some of my favorite chicken recipes for you to try.
- Chicken Francaise – Italian American chicken with a pop of fresh.
- Balsamic Chicken Thighs – Tangy and juicy with boatloads of flavor!
- Chicken Marsala – Moist savory chicken & mushrooms in a robust sauce.
- Coq au Vin – Fork tender chicken with a deep savory flavor.
- Chicken Marbella – A zesty creamy dish with sweet undertones.
When you’re ready to make a deeply satisfying lunch that’s just totally wholesome and inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, then this chicken gyro is the way to go. There’s a fresh pop of flavor in every single bite that’s gently transported by warm fluffy pita.
It’s addictingly delicious and you just can’t beat the fresh tzatziki sauce that finishes it off. Plus, this recipe is amazing for meal prep. Try it once and you’ll be hooked! This chicken gyro is a staple in my kitchen and I’m sure it’ll get requested over and over at your house too!
I can’t wait to hear what you think.