This Greek gyro salad is a great family dinner. Quick and easy, it's all about fresh veggies topped with pan-seared marinated lamb and drizzled with Greek yogurt tzatziki dressing. Paprika roasted chickpeas add extra protein and bring so much flavour and texture.
Greek food is healthy, packed with flavor and usually easy and quick to make. I've used lamb in this recipe which is traditional, but you can use turkey, chicken, or even beef to make it lighter if you prefer.
A simple marinade of olive oil, lemon, garlic, and rosemary adds so much flavor to the lamb and tenderizes the meat at the same time.
A traditional gyro is essentially everything in this salad but then wrapped in pita bread. We're skipping the wrap and keeping this fresh and light.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy to make.
- Keep it low fat buy using fat free Greek yogurt and reduced fat feta cheese.
- It's great for making ahead and for meal prep.
- You can substitute the lamb for chicken, turkey, or beef without having to amend the recipe.
- lamb- I've used lamb leg steak, but you can use any tender cut of lamb.
- fat-free Greek yogurt
- feta cheese- regular or reduced fat work great
- romaine lettuce- it stays crisp and fresh for a few hours.
- cherry tomatoes- you can use regular ones here, if that's what you have
- garlic, rosemary, lemons and rosemary- for making the marinade
- dried oregano
- fresh mint
- pita bread (optional but nice to have)
- avocado- not traditional but still really good
- kalamata olives
- extra virgin olive oil
- red onion- these are very traditional in a gyro, but I've omitted them because I can't stand the taste of raw red onion. But you can absolutely add them in if you like.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Step By Step Instructions
1 & 2
- Make the marinade for the lamb by whisking the olive oil, lemon zest, juice, garlic, and rosemary together. Place the lamb in the marinade and leave for about 1 hour. *You can do this ahead and leave the lamb in the marinade overnight too.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium hight heat and sear the lamb on both sides for about 5 minutes. Until the lamb is golden on the outside and the center is just pink. *Cook your lamb for longer if you prefer it well done. Set aside on a plate to rest while you make the rest of the salad.
3 & 4
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350F) and drain a tin of chickpeas. Toss the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until the chickpeas have started to turn crispy.
- Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add some more salt, lemon juice, or herbs depending on what you prefer.
- Once everything is ready, all that's left to do is assemble to salad.
Hint: The chickpeas and dressing can be made the day before or even a couple of days before to help with meal prep.
You can certainly use pre-marinated meat or rotisserie chicken. Even leftover lamb from your Sunday roast would be amazing in this salad.
This gyro salad is absolutely wonderful at catering for many different diets. Vegetarian- skip the meat, and have the feta and dressing.
Keto- have the meat but skip the feta and tzatziki and have olive oil and lemon instead.
Vegan- skip the meat and dairy and have the salad and all the veggies.
Substitutions & Variations
If you know how to make the recipe fit a certain diet, let the reader know here. Don't fake it - only provide guidance on topics you have actual experience with.
- Lamb - instead of lamb you can use chicken breast or thigh, ground turkey or beef . You can also use ground meat like chicken, lamb, beef, or turkey rather than breast meat.
- Tomatoes - I've used cherry tomatoes because I find them sweeter but your can use regular tomatoes if that's what you have. Just cut them into quarters and toss them in the salad.
- Dairy - use low fat or fat free feta and Greek yogurt to keep this really healthy.
Plan ahead and meal prep gyro salad
- Make the chickpeas and keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Marinate the lamb the day before making. Or make the lamb on the weekend and store it in the fridge to use during the week.
- Make the dressing up to 3 days before and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
You really don't need much to make this salad amazing but here are a couple of things that will certainly make the job easier.
Store the wet ingredients (lettuce, tomato, cucumber) separately from the dry ingredients (pita bread, chickpeas), and recombine when ready. Good for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
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Greek Gyro Salad
- Lamb leg steaks
For the marinade
- 25 ml olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
For the tzatziki dressing
- ½ cup fat-free Greek yogurt
- 25 g grated cucumber, skin left on. Squeeze excess moisture out of the cucumber.
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½- 1 clove garlic, grated
- Sea salt and fresh pepper
- 3-5 mint leaves, chopped
For the salad
- 2 romaine lettuces, washed and shredded
- 3 mini cucumbers, finely sliced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Feta, fat-free or regular
- 10-20 kalamata olives
For the chickpeas
- 1 x 240g tin chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients together and place in a ziplock bag with the lamb leg steaks. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour preferably overnight.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan or cast-iron skillet. Once the oil is hot, it will shimmer. Take the lamb out of the marinade and place it in the hot pan. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side until the lamb is golden and slightly charred around the edges. Leave the lamb on a plate and cover with foil to rest.
- While the lamb is resting, make the dressing. Place the Greek yogurt in a medium mixing bowl and stir in the shredded cucumber. Mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic. Add some water to loosen the dressing until you have your desired consistency.
- Assemble the salad by placing the romaine lettuce in the bottom of a salad bowl and season with some salt and drizzle with the tzatziki dressing. Layer the cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, olives, and feta over the lettuce. Slice the lamb, and place it on top of the salad. Drizzle with the dressing and some extra mint leaves. Serve with pita chips.
For the chickpeas
- Preheat the oven to 180c (350F). Drain the chickpeas and toss them with olive oil and paprika. Place evenly on a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the chickpeas are golden and start to go crispy.
- Sometimes raw garlic can be a little bit overwhelming. If you want to skip it in the tzatziki then that's okay. You can also replace it with some powder garlic. Not quite the same flavour but a good option in this case.
- You can use chicken, or turkey in place of the lamb.
- If you use ground turkey, lamb or beef, skip the marinating and add garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to the skillet when browning the mince.