Greek Chicken Gyros

5 from 5 votes

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Takeout WHO??? Once you try these homemade Greek Chicken Gyros, you’ll never want to order Greek food from a restaurant again 😌.

Chicken Gyros and I actually go way back. Although I am Bulgarian 🇧🇬, my family and I lived on the Island of Crete for many years following my Dad’s Olympic career in water polo. While living there, I experienced true Greek 🇬🇷 home cooking. My mom learned how to make authentic Greek dishes from the women in Greece, which inspired most of the Greek dishes I cook and share on my page.

Recently, I saw a video of my friend Maria (@foodbymaria) using her vertical gyro spit, and it immediately inspired me to dust mine off 🌬️, which had been sitting in my basement. I am happy I did because I created the most incredible homemade Greek Chicken Gyro recipe that transported me right back to my childhood and will transport you to those cobblestone streets surrounded by whitewashed buildings glistening under the Mediterranean sun ☀️ as well!

Why You’ll Love Greek Chicken Gyros

When I say this is the juiciest 💦 chicken that will ever grace your mouth, I mean it! Juicer than girl’s night gossip, these Greek Chicken Gyros are meticulously seasoned and roasted to perfection. The chicken is marinated in a combination of savory, tangy and herbaceous flavours, stacked on a spit and slow-roasted until the exterior develops a slight caramelized char while the inside remains tender and succulent 🤤. Serve this Greek Chicken Gyro on a warm pita with creamy tzatziki or on top of a salad or bowl – I promise you, you’ll never want to make chicken thighs any other way!

Greek Chicken Gyros

What is a Gyro?

A Greek Gyro, or simply “Gyro,” is a popular Greek 🇬🇷 dish made of seasoned meat (often beef, lamb, pork, or chicken) cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The meat is then thinly sliced and served wrapped in warm pita bread, with toppings such as tomato 🍅, onion, and tzatziki sauce – a creamy yogurt and cucumber sauce. Sometimes, Gyros also include lettuce, french fries 🍟, or other veggies.

The word “Gyro” comes from the Greek word for “turn” or “rotate,” describing the method used to cook the meat. The meat is stacked in a cone shape on a vertical spit, where it slowly cooks and browns as it rotates. This method allows the meat to cook evenly while remaining juicy 💦, resulting in the most tender and flavorful meat.

How to Prepare Greek Chicken Gyros

🔥 Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).

🧄 In a bowl, mix chicken, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, lemon zest, and oregano. Marinate for at least one hour.

🐔 Thread marinated chicken thighs onto a Vertical Gyro Spit Plate, rotating each one opposite from the last. Cover the top thigh with a small piece of foil to prevent burning.

🧅 If you don’t have a Vertical Gyro Oven Plate, create your own spit by cutting an onion in half, placing it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, and positioning two wooden skewers vertically into the onion.

💦 Place the gyro plate in the oven and add water or stock to the base of the plate for the sauce.

♨️ Bake for 1-1.5 hours or until fully cooked.

🥗 Remove from oven, let it rest, and then cut.

Nonna’s Tip 🧄

Enjoy a chicken gyro with sides like loaded Greek fries, pita with tzatziki, or on a Greek salad.

Greek Chicken Gyros

Variations and Substitutions for Greek Chicken Gyros

Feel free to mix and match these variations to create your own twist on this Greek Chicken Gyros recipe! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments how it turns out!

  1. Instead of chicken thighs, you can use other meats like lamb, pork, or even beef. You may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type of meat used.
  2. Experiment with different marinade ingredients such as 🍋 lemon juice, yogurt, vinegar, paprika, or cumin to add different flavors to the gyro.
  3. Mix up the spice blend by adding or substituting spices such as paprika, cumin, coriander, or thyme.
  4. Get creative with your gyro toppings and serve with chopped 🍅 tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, or pickled vegetables.

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Common Questions

Can I use chicken breast for this recipe?

Yes, but the cooking time will be significantly shorter, and white meat tends to be drier. I always recommend using thighs.

What type of Gyro Plate do you use?

I love my Vertical Gyro Oven Plate! You can do it without this, but it makes it so much easier.

What can I use if i don’t have the gyro dish?

If you don’t have a Vertical Gyro Oven Plate, cut an onion in half, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment (or foil) and position two wooden skewers vertically into the onion and voila, you made your own spit and don’t need to buy one!

What can I use instead of honey dijon mustard?

You can choose to omit it altogether or substitute it with regular Dijon mustard mixed with a hint of honey in the marinade.

Can I use yogurt to marinate my thighs?

Yes, you can add yogurt to the marinade and make it your own. However, most places in Greece do not use yogurt for Gyro.

What type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is to taste so please always taste and adjust as you cook.

Greek Chicken Gyros

Greek Chicken Gyros

These Greek Chicken Gyros are meticulously seasoned and roasted to perfection. The chicken is marinated in a combination of savory, tangy and herbaceous flavours, stacked on a spit and slow-roasted until the exterior develops a slight caramelized char while the inside remains tender and succulent 🤤.
5 from 5 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1.3kg total
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
  • 6 cloves minced garlic, or 3 very large ones
  • lemon zest , two lemons zested
  • ½ tablespoon salt, you may need less if using regular table salt
  • dry oregano, to taste
  • 1 cup water, or stock (for the bottom of the pan)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425F (220C).
  • In a bowl add the chicken, olive oil, honey Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, lemon zest, and oregano. Mix well. You can marinate for a minimum of one hour (even overnight for best results).
  • Once marinated, take the Vertical Gyro Spit Plate and thread the chicken thighs making sure to rotate each one opposite from the last.
  • Note: if you don’t have a Vertical Gyro Oven Plate, cut an onion in half, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment (or foil) and position two wooden skewers vertically into the onion and voila, you made your own spit and don’t need to buy one!
  • Now, place the gyro in the oven and add 1 cup of water or stock to the base (which will create our sauce).
  • Tip: you can pierce a small piece of foil making sure to cover the top chicken thigh as it will start to burn first on the top as it bakes.
  • Bake for 75-90 minutes or until fully cooked. Mine took exactly 1.5 hours.
  • Take it out of the oven, let it rest and cut! You can enjoy this chicken gyro with loaded Greek fries, on pita with tzatziki, on a Greek Salad and so much more!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 66g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 322mg, Sodium: 1215mg, Potassium: 849mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 82IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious. The chicken was so juicy and tender. So easy to prepare. This will absolutely be a staple in our home.

  2. I am making this tonight for dinner. Glad I measured the two tallest skewers in the pan first as I needed to adjust my oven rack down. I am wondering if I should put the pan on a cookie sheet as well, just for added protection just in case of drips or the skewer falling over? Would it hurt to do this or affect the cooking time? Thank you, looks delicious!!!!

    1. Hi Patsy, never a bad idea to take extra precautions to avoid spills. This will not effect the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Hello! This sounds amazing! If I use the onion and skewers, will the meat take on the onion flavor?

  4. I came for your Garlic Bread. I can’t find the recipe. Would be nice to post it here or back on tic too.Thank you!

    1. Hi Inga! Please type the words garlic bread in the search tab of my website and it pops right up 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Made it last night. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make! I don’t have a vertical spit dish (haven’t seen them in Australia)so used a lemon and two bamboo skewers. Mine fell over half way though cooking but it didnt affect the result. It was beautiful, totally delicious! I cooked it for an hour in my fan forced oven. Served it with a Greek salad which was perfect. Looking forward to making it for friends and family with flat bread and taziki

    1. Sounds phenomenal, Susie!! Love to hear it!! Thank you for sharing your experience and giving a rating! ❤️🥰

  6. 5 stars
    I am so excited to try these recipes! They sound amazing and I am constantly looking for something new and different to try!!