greek gyros {crock pot recipe}

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Whenever we go to county fairs, state fairs, food festivals and carnivals, we always seem to seek out the nearest gyro truck. Just this past weekend we indulged in some awesome gyros at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. We can’t seem to get enough!

It got me thinking about creating a gyro recipe that we could enjoy at home with minimal fuss. Why not make them in the Crock Pot? There are LOTS of “Slow Cooker Gyros” and “Crock Pot Greek-Style Sandwich” recipes out there, but most of them call for steak or chicken. Now, I’m sure all of these renditions taste great, but I was looking for something a little more authentic. Why not, I thought, make gyro meat in the form of a meatloaf? What I came up with is this, and the crowd went wild πŸ˜‰ Sooooo soooo soooo good!

for the crock pot gyro meat:

1 lb. ground lamb

1 lb. ground chuck (don’t use extra lean ground beef for this)

2 teaspoons fresh, minced garlic (or 1 heaping Tablespoon if using jarred garlic)

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 Tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced fine

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves + 1 teaspoon dried, ground thyme

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons dried, chopped onion

1 teaspoon paprika

juice of 1/2 large lemon

In a large mixing bowl, combine: ground lamb, ground beef, minced garlic, salt, oregano, rosemary, thyme, pepper, dried onion and paprika. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until thoroughly and evenly combined.

Form the meat mixture into two, big, round meatballs. Place them in your slow cooker/Crock Pot. Flatten them slightly. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice evenly over the top surface of both loaves. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over the tops of the loaves, if desired. Cover slow cooker and turn on the LOW setting for 3 to 4 hours. Check with a meat thermometer for doneness (160 degrees F.) Don’t over cook or your meat may become dry.

When the meat is done cooking, Remove it from the Crock Pot. Place it in a bowl and cover it with foil for 10 minutes before slicing and assembling gyros.

to assemble gyros:

pita bread of your choice, warmed

slow-cooked gyro meat

homemade tzatziki sauce or tahini sauce

thinly sliced, fresh red and green bell pepper

thinly sliced purple/red onion

thinly sliced cucumbers

thinly sliced Roma tomatoes or cherry/grape tomatoes, halved

Kalamata olives (optional)

fresh baby dill, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh lemon wedges for squeezing over gyros

Place two or three thin slices of the gyro meat on each pita (or load them up if you like!) Top with tzatziki/tahini, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, tomato, olives, dill, salt and pepper.



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  29 comments for “greek gyros {crock pot recipe}

  1. Laura
    September 29, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Hello! This looks very yummy. May I ask please if the “dried” onion ingredient can be substituted for fresh chopped or will that change the consistency of the meat? Also, approximately how many servings would you say this would be (we are a family of 5)?

    • Melissa
      September 29, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Hi Laura,
      If you’re going to sub the dried onion, you could use 2 teaspoons of onion powder instead. Don’t use fresh, it will mess with the consistency of the meat and make it crumbly. The recipe makes 2 lb. of gyro meat… If you consider 1/4 to 1/3 lb. meat per person… that would be enough for 6 to 8 … unless you have little ones that don’t eat a lot πŸ˜‰ Hope that helps! XO ~M

  2. October 2, 2014 at 3:10 am

    G’day This is now on my list to do! Can you please advise what temperature the meat thermometer should be when these are done? Thank you!
    Cheers! Joanne

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Hi Joanne! πŸ™‚

      The meat thermometer should read 160 degrees F. for ground beef/lamb.


      • October 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm

        G’day and big thanks for the reply! My first one didn’t turn out right as over cooked it, but it has not deterred me from now trying again! Will update you and again, thank you! Cheers! Joanne

  3. Gail Holt
    October 2, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I made this as written and it was delicious. We ate one half the first night, and I put the meat in foil and refrigerated the drippings. Tonight I discarded the cold fat off the drippings, sliced the rest of the meat and heated it all together. It was again soooo good! This will be a regular on our menu!

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

      I’m so happy you and your family enjoyed the recipe, Gail! πŸ™‚

  4. January 8, 2015 at 6:24 am

    I’m totally in love with your recipe. It looks simply delicious!

  5. cadelia rucker
    January 9, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I truly enjoy Jewish,Arabic,& seafood dishes they seem healthier like me your recipe s t/y soo much & happy new year!

  6. January 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    This recipe looks easy enough to follow and the picture of the gyros look so good my mouth is watering. My husband says, make it as soon as possible. So it will be done soon. Thanks for this great recipe.

    • Melissa
      January 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Enjoy, Syd! πŸ™‚

    January 10, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    This was awesome! ! Thank you. Very easy to make also

    • Melissa
      January 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Lisa! I’m so happy you enjoyed my recipe πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting.

  8. JoAnne S.
    January 22, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Made this yesterday. Exactly as written. Taste was spot on for gyros. Only issue I had was time/temp. I checked mine at the 1:50 point of the cook time and, low and behold, it was 170 degrees already so, overcooked. And, yes, dry! Definitely suggest doing what you’re not supposed to do with a slow cooker, open ‘er up and check that temp EARLY! Next time, I think I’ll only need 1 1/2 hours of cook time and, yes, it was set on LOW. 3-4 hours would have killed it dead, dead, dead!

    • Melissa
      January 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      I’m so sorry the meat was dry. Darn :/ You must have a slow cooker that cooks at a slightly higher temperature than mine. I will add a note to this post to alert others who want to make this recipe. Thanks so much for letting me know, JoAnne πŸ™‚

  9. Debi
    December 19, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    We live in a small, rural area. No chance finding ground lamb anywhere close. I know this defeats the recipe but any suggestions for replacement of the lamb? The recipe sounds delicious and super easy!

    • Melissa
      December 19, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Debi πŸ™‚
      You could use ground beef, pork, or veal πŸ™‚
      Hope that helps!

    • Queenjulie
      January 30, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      I live in a rural area where it’s nearly impossible to find lamb as well, and I find ground pork is an excellent substitute for it in most all the Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes I make!

      • Melissa
        January 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm

        Yes! And turkey works in a pinch too! πŸ™‚

  10. Ruth Cobb
    February 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    one of my favorite sandwiches. I’m lucky that when I go outof town for doctor’s appts that there is a Greek Restaurant nearby. I also like Japanese sushi and teriyaki and miso soup.

    • Melissa
      February 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Yum! Some of my favorites too, Ruth! πŸ™‚

  11. Amy Cioffi
    May 21, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Any liquid added to the crock pot besides the lemon juice on top?

    • Melissa
      May 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Amy πŸ™‚
      No need to add more liquid. The fat content in the lamb and ground chuck will create enough juices for the meat to cook in. Don’t be tempted to use extra lean meats for this dish. Hope that helps! ~M

  12. Teresa
    January 9, 2018 at 7:48 am

    I’ve heard of so many different ways to heat pita wrap. What’s your go to way.

    • Melissa
      January 11, 2018 at 9:19 am

      I lightly toast them on a gas burner just before eating πŸ™‚ Otherwise, microwaving for a few seconds between paper towels works too… just not too long or they’ll get tough.

  13. Renay Valiant
    March 18, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Any advice for serving these to an open house crowd of 200 over 3 hours. I am not sure how to keep the meat safe and not dry. Tia.

  14. Gabrielle
    January 20, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    This was amazing!!! Thanks!!

    • Melissa
      January 21, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      You’re welcome! Happy you enjoyed the gyros πŸ™‚

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