alex thomopoulos

Turkey Gyros

Greek Easter is a BIG celebration in my half Greek half Italian home. Really any excuse to gather with family and feast is always a must. Normally the holidays include really indulgent, stick to your ribs recipes. Since spring is upon us and summer is right around the corner, so I decided to lighten things up a bit for our Greek Easter celebration. A famous classic dish of Greece is the gyro. Thinly sliced spit roasted spiced lamb meat, served on pita bread, with a cucumber yogurt sauce. The flavors explode in your mouth, but unfortunately it’s a very rich, very indulgent dish. .
For our Greek Easter celebration I am using a healthier option, ground turkey instead lamb and giving my guests the option to remove the pita and serve them in lettuce cups. I am topping my gyros with a lighter yogurt dressing and a cool crunch of small diced cucumbers and thinly sliced red onion.
A cool, light, yet flavor packed way to celebrate with loved ones without stretching your waist line.

I love taking traditional recipes and finding a healthier way to enjoy them without sacrificing flavor.

Print Recipe

Turkey Gyros

(serves 8)
  • 2 lbs ground dark turkey meat (make sure it’s very cold)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground rosemary
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

    Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2 cups Reduced fat organic yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsely
  • lots of fresh cracked pepper. (approx ¼ teaspoon)

    For garnish:

  • 1 english cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ large red onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  1. Place the onion, and garlic into a food processor, pulse until finely chopped. Next add the turkey, and seasonings. Turn the food processor and let the meat whip for about a minute, until it turns into a tacky paste. Place the meat mixture into a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.

    While your turkey is resting, make the yogurt dressing. In a large bowl combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, dill, parsley and pepper. Mix to combine.

    When your turkey is ready, form them into 4 evenly shaped “logs”. Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the turkey in batches for about 4-5 minutes per side. The outside should be nice and golden brown.

    Remove from the heat and let them rest for about 5-10 minutes on your cutting board. Slice each loaf vertically into thing slices, place the slices onto a sheet pan. (Note: the inside may still be a bit raw, that’s okay because we are going to cook them again) For better slicing results pop them into the refrigerator and let them cool completely (around 30-40 minutes)

    In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Lay each slice of turkey in the pan and cook for 1 minute a side, or until nice and brown.

    To assemble the gyro, place a few slices of gyro meat onto a pita bread or into a lettuce cup. Spoon some of the yogurt sauce on top and top that with some diced cucumber, baby tomatoes, a few slices of thinly sliced red onion and fresh herbs.

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