What is a Gyros Kebab?

Last Updated on May 24th, 2023

We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.

Gyros, we all know them as a delicious twist to a taco. Served with a meat of choice, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions, all stuffed into a pita bread shell topped with tzatziki sauce. But, if you’ve ever been to a traditional gyro shop, you might have seen the huge kebab of meat on a warmer.

That’s right, and this meat is cooked on a skewer of sorts, slow-cooked, ready to be cut off, and placed into your meal for you to devour. So what is the meat anyways? How is it made? 

Where does it come from, and how long does it take to prepare? Let’s discuss everything you need to know about a gyro kebab.

Gyros Kebab with onions and Coriander

What is it Made of?

Traditional gyros are made from mutton, otherwise known as hogget or lamb. The meats typically come from mature, domestically raised sheep. While other gyros can also be made using chicken, beef, or even pork. 

Many will mix the meat and other ingredients to create gyro kebabs rather than the typical sandwich itself. Utilize veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes, and onions to mix with the meat of your choice before using the skewer for cooking or consuming it.


How is it Made?

There are many different ways to make gyro kebabs. Some will mix the meat with the entirety of the remaining ingredients before molding it and placing it onto a skewer. Once cooked, you can then add or drizzle the famous tzatziki sauce over the kebab.

Or you can simply focus on the meat and then add the rest of the vegetables and condiments at a later time, allowing everyone enjoying the meal to add on what they like. However, where does this dish come from? 


Where Does it Come from?

Many believe this dish is Italian or even French, which is very incorrect. The gyro is a dish that originated in Greece, more specifically, Athens. The dish itself is still a loved and cherished favorite in 2022, despite its originating in the early 1900s.

The gyro kebab, more specifically, is less popular than the traditional sandwich but is still a rather new way to enjoy the gyro. 

So we can sit back and thank all those Pinterest moms who amplify these dishes to make them not only easier but more convenient for our busy lifestyles.


How Long Does it Take to Make it?

The duration of time it takes to make a gyro kebab greatly depends on the ingredients you purchase. For example, did you purchase the meat already cooked? Or did it come raw? 

It depends on the recipe you choose as well as how the ingredients you’ve purchased for the meal are pre-prepared.

You could be looking at spending anywhere between 15 minutes to nearly two hours preparing this dish. Regardless, it’s always good to give yourself time to choose the recipe that’s right for you so you can make the dish for your guests.


Can you Buy it in a Store?

One thing we should all acknowledge about food markets is that while they sell similar products, there are plenty of things they do not sell. 

For example, while you can purchase the ingredients, you need to make a gyro kebab at your local grocery outlet, and it’s likely you will not be able to purchase the entire kebab.

If you were to find a special little Greek or Turkish food market somewhere nearby, you might be able to find what you are looking for or even maybe have it specially made. However, it’s unlikely to find a specialized meal like that anywhere at a grocery store.


Final Thoughts on a Gyros Kebab?

A gyros kebab is a simplified version of the traditional sandwich, typically less work. While the meat is cooked on a large kebab in a gyro shop, it’s unlikely you’ll find anything of the sort in an actual grocery outlet. 

Gyros & gyro kebabs are traditionally made from lamb meat with an array of veggies and tzatziki.

The gyro itself originates from Greece, not to be mistaken with shawarma or döner kebabs. The meal itself can take between 15 minutes to nearly two hours to be made, depending on the recipes and the ingredients you’ve purchased to make the meal.