This easy and flavorful healthy chicken gyro recipe starts with a simple 5-ingredient yogurt lemon marinated chicken that can be pan-fried, baked, or grilled, and is topped with a simple cucumber and dill tzatziki sauce. It’s as easy as that.
Easy Chicken Gyros
I’d have to say I’m just like 97.99% of the rest of the home cooks out there. We’re busy. Our days are full. And that makes our nights even fuller. It’s the reason why one of my most often heard of requests is for more meals that are easy to make, don’t take a whole lot of time or a laundry list of ingredients, but still have that from-scratch, seasonal-eats quality.
Well here is one recipe 97.99% of you and more are going to love. It’s simple. And fast. It’s practical with just a few simple ingredients. And it’s totally flavorful thanks to its Mediterranean roots.
The inspiration for these Greek chicken gyro sandwiches came from my talented friend Philia Kelnhover of the food blog Sweet Phi, and her cookbook Fast & Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People by Philia Kelnhofer.
When I first heard of Phi’s 5-ingredient recipe series on her blog where she created recipes that were sweet, savory and everything in between with just 5 simple ingredients, I thought it was stunningly brilliant. Sweet Phi’s popular blog series is now a cookbook. A cookbook with 105 5-ingredient recipes that put seasonal, fresh ingredients at the forefront. You will find a whole lot of variety, surprisingly so considering each recipe has only 5 ingredients. What you won’t find is a lot of pre-packaged short cut foods as found on the web and elsewhere.
Creating This Chicken Gyro Recipe
I finally settled on Phi’s recipe for Marinated Yogurt Lemon Chicken. Like many in her cookbook, her recipes are complete on their own, or like her yogurt chicken tenders recipe, can become the starting block for easy to make meals.
The notion of marinating chicken in yogurt and Mediterranean spiced sea salt led my mind to Greek food, and straight to one of my favorite sandwiches that work for lunch or dinner: chicken gyros with an addition of one of my favorite sauces, creamy yogurt tzatziki.
What’s in a Gyro?
The marinade for these chicken tenders is very easy and calls for Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and Mediterranean-spiced sea salt. I fudged the sea salt and made my own with just a pinch of oregano and a bit of garlic powder, but you could certainly use a store-bought brand or even Italian seasoning sprinkled into kosher salt.
Like buttermilk, the yogurt sauce tenderizes the chicken for a juicier bite after cooking.
While it does take us out of the 5-ingredient category, the tzatziki sauce is another simple recipe to prepare. It’s a simple cucumber sauce made with fresh dill, red wine vinegar, Greek yogurt, and garlic. The amount of garlic in this recipe is our family’s favorite, but vary the amount of garlic to your liking.
I use the Greek style of pita bread for this recipe. It’s soft, puffy, and lays flat and doesn’t have that hollow inside for stuffing. So instead it’s rolled. I found this video helpful in knowing how to roll the pita with the parchment wrapper.
Plus, I found the pita available in whole wheat, which gives this recipe another healthy high five.
How to Make Chicken Gyros
Mix together the lemon juice, yogurt, and sea salt in a large bowl, and place chicken in marinade. Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes before cooking in an oiled pan over medium-high heat.
To make the easy tzatziki sauce, grate the cucumber and then press between paper towels to wring out the excess moisture. Add the cucumber to a bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Warm the pita in the microwave or toaster oven and slather with the cucumber sauce for the gyros. Top with a few slices of chicken, tomato, and red onion, then roll up and dig in!
Can the Chicken Marinate Overnight?
Phi recommends marinating the chicken for 20 minutes up to an hour, but I let mine go overnight and it was just fine. The chicken wasn’t tough and was packed with flavor!
read more: The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
Can I Use Chicken Breasts or Thighs?
Yes, you can use another cut of chicken if that’s what you have on hand. Just note that chicken breasts and thighs will take longer to cook than chicken tenders, so you’ll need to adjust your cook time.
Can I Prep These Gyro Sandwiches in Advance?
If you want to make this chicken gyro recipe ahead of time, I recommend prepping the individual ingredients and assembling the gyro sandwiches when you’re ready to eat them. The homemade tzatziki sauce will last for up to three days in the fridge.
Tips for Making Pita Gyros
Chicken tenders usually come pretty well trimmed of any excess fat, however, here always seems to be a small tendon left dangling. To remove, simply snip with kitchen shears.
I cooked my chicken in a hot, non-stick pan with a little olive oil. If you’d like, grill or bake them at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. I also thought about dredging them in panko bread crumbs for a crunchy outside that would be perfectly dippable.
Also note to shake off most of the yogurt marinade before cooking the chicken so it doesn’t burn in the pan.
More Easy Greek Recipes You’ll Love
- Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumbers and Artichoke Hearts
- Greek Salad Dressing
- Easy Greek Chicken Kebabs
- Greek Chicken Gyro Salad
- Greek Salad with Chicken
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Easy Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
For the Greek Chicken
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Mediterranean-spiced sea salt , sea salt mixed with dried oregano
- 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup tzatziki sauce , recipe below
- 4 slices flat Greek pita bread
- 4 cocktail tomatoes , halved and then quartered
- ¼ red onion , thinly sliced
For the Tzatziki Sauce
- ½ cucumber , halved with skin and seeds removed
- ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic , pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill , minced
- Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the lemon juice, yogurt, and sea salt in a large bowl and add the chicken tenders, tossing to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add half of the chicken tenders to the pan, shaking off the excess yogurt mixture before adding to the pan. Cook the chicken tenders for about 5 minutes, undisturbed, until browned, then flip and cook for another few minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a platter, add the additional tablespoon of olive oil and cook the remaining chicken tenders.*
- Prepare the tzatziki sauce by grating the cucumber. Gather the cucumber together and place in a paper towel and press the water out of the shredded cucumber and place in a medium size bowl. Add the yogurt, garlic, red wine vinegar, fresh dill, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
- Warm the pita bread in a toaster oven or in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Spread some of the tzatzhiki sauce onto the warm pita bread with tomatoes, sliced red onion and 2 or 3 slices of chicken tenders. Fold the pitas and wrap in parchment paper or serve immediately.
See more recipes on Sweet Phi here, and purchase her cookbook Fast & Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People here.
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Your recipes are always inspiring BUT this one is the best yet. My daughter lives in a predominately Greek neighborhood and now don’t have to go to the restaurants to get gyros. I can make them myself. Thank you very much.
I have made this recipe several times and it was so easy & delicious! My husband always orders lamb gyro at our local Greek restaurant, and he loved this recipe! Thank you!!
I’m so glad you both enjoyed it Holly!
Amazing and simple recipe. Family favourite!! Always extra tzatziki but it’s so yum we eat it over the next day or so with fresh crudities and it is awesome!!
I love chicken gyros but have never made them for some reason. Now I must!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
You will be hooked!
These were SO GOOD!! Unbelievably good! This is seriously the best Tzatsiki sauce I’ve ever tasted! Chicken marinade is on point! Saved this and will continue to make it to wow my boyfriend!
I’m so glad you loved it Stacey!
Chicken Gyros looks a charming dish to prepare. The photos and the tips are giving me real cooking goals to venture in my kitchen and try the recipe.
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Please do give it a try!
thank you for sharing this, a nice chicken dish, I love gyros and tzatziki sauce, but there’e no way I’m tackling gyro meat and I don’t have one of those huge spits, let alone a weekday! So swapping in chicken with the same flavors works well!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Thanks Sabrina! I hope you love this chicken version!
Made these last night as a change from Mexican style chicken wraps and they turned out so good. Lovely and moist chicken which I stuffed into pita pockets (as I couldn’t find the type of bread you used.
Will definitely be getting added into the meal planner for future use.
So glad you are adding them to your meal planner Hazel, and glad you loved the recipe.
SO SO SO good and easy!! New family favorite!! Thank you!!
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Thanks Jamie! Enjoy!
Do you have any info on nutrition facts for your Chicken Gyros? I am tracking everything I eat so I look great on my upcoming wedding day and I really want to try this recipe!
Yes, the nutrition facts are in the recipe card. Enjoy Susan!
“I fudged the sea salt and made my own with just a pinch of oregano and a bit of garlic powder”
Huh? Last I checked, sea salt was just…salt. Did you mean to say that you made up your own Greek seasoning?
OMG! These are the best! After trying (and failing) to book a holiday back to Greece I was craving Gyros and I am so glad I found this recipe! It is so much like the real Greek ones! I had to use different pittas but it tasted SOOOOOO good! Definitely making them again! (I would have put a picture but no attach picture option)
Made these for the family tonight, and everyone raved! The chicken is incredibly tender (marinated for about 3 hours) and the sauce was the perfect amount of flavor. I didn’t have the Mediterranean salt or even dried oregano (yikes, when did that run out in my cupboard?!), so I just used the Italian seasoning, as recommended. Thanks for sharing this with us!
Another delicious recipe! Your tzatziki sauce recipe is our favorite and the yogurt marinade for the chicken is legit. So tasty! Thanks for the recipe!
This looks really amazing, its the first time I want to try this using chicken (because lamb to me is really a Gyros). Thank you for sharing, and I will try your way.
I need to try your recipes on weekend.
I made these last week and they were great, thanks!
Json Basics Tutorial
This looks so delicious! I want to try doing it!
Looks so yummy and delicious…. should give a try….
Kelly Senyei @ Just a Taste
These chicken gyros look amazing, Heidi! Thank you for sharing :)
Very presentable. I love it. Thanks for sharing.
Looking good Heidi! I will make these later this week once I return home from London.
So tasty! I will cook these things for my family around the weekend!
Great Recipe Yum Yum!!!
Do check my recipe aswell
Sara @ Last Night's Feast
Yum! This looks amazing
Laura | Tutti Dolci
Seriously love (and thanks for solving tonight’s what-to-make-for-dinner crisis)!
Where do I find Mediterranean sea salt or how do I make it?
Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog
OH MY GOODNESS!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for this amazing post Heidi!!!! I am truly honored and touched. Your kind words about my cookbook truly mean the world to me.
I make the 5 ingredient yogurt lemon chicken into pitas/gyros like this all the time, your version is just absolute perfection!!!! You picked probably one of my top favorite recipes in the book (seriously I make this like once every two weeks because it’s so easy and I’m such a sucker for Greek/Mediterranean flavors.)
Thank you thank you thank you a million times over, your photos are just stunning, and I cannot wait to share your amazing post with everyone!
Phi, your book is a MUST for every kitchen. So happy to share from it, and there’s so many more recipes I’m excited to try. And since they’re so easy, it sure won’t be hard to try more!
Oh wow! This looks amazing! May I ask what camera you use on your blog please? The pictures are excellent quality.
Hi Richard, thanks for saying so. I use a Nikon 750 D, but have also used a Canon 5D Mark II.
Will love to try..!