A ground beef gyro sandwich? You betcha! In fact, we think it’s the BEST ground beef gyro sandwich and rated it 7 out of 10 stars… also earning its spot in the family of easy ground beef recipes!

ground beef gyro sandwich

The idea to use ground beef for a gyro sandwich isn’t a new concept, but it was new to us!  Greek flavors are one of my favorite whether it’s a hot gyro sandwich or my Greek Chicken & Lentil salad with hunks of feta cheese, you can’t go wrong!  Developing a recipe that not only I found delicious, but my kids too…IT’S A KEEPER!

My beautiful helper in the kitchen has grown a bit since her last time on the blog.  She was busy slathering our gyro sandwich bread with the “secret” sauce, except for one.  My son loves grilled cheese sloppy joes, so that’s how we chose to make his gyro too.  A little less adventurous he is, but he nibbled his sandwich down to the very edge of the crust.

(also photobombed by our cat-dog, Bailey)

ground beef gyro sandwich panini

As we were browning the ground beef it occurred to us that our sandwich needed something to help it all stick together.  Unlike our favorite sloppy joes, there’s no sauce in this gyro sandwich.

Wanting to stick to our original recipe idea of using thick white bakery bread, we busted out some “secret” sauce (aka, garlic and herb Laughing Cow Cheese) and slathered it on one side of the bread while the other side got a coated in some heavenly tzatziki sauce.

easy gyro sandwich with tzatziki

Not only did we create the best ground beef gyro sandwich, but the leftovers made the best greek noodle salad!  Anytime I get a chance to repurpose leftovers I’m giddy with excitement.

Yes, I’m that much of a dork.

Next time though we will double the tzatziki sauce.  Can’t be having any close calls not having leftovers of THAT around.  Trader Joe’s has a great version but it’s a little thinner with sliced cucumbers in it which doesn’t do well on a sandwich (unless you like sauce dripping from you face to your elbows.)

Either way, tzatziki sauce makes it all come together.

greek gyro salad

*I’ve also made this with lean ground turkey and it’s excellent as well.

Gyro sandwich, salad, or both? Beef or Turkey? Let me know when you try one or both!

 

*recipe slightly adapted from Kayotic Kitchen

The Best Ground Beef Gyro Sandwich
with Easy Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey but beef is better)
  • 1/2 c. chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 TB paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp greek seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp each: curry powder, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme
  • White Italian Bread, sliced thick
  • 1-2 TB light butter
  • Garlic Herb Laughing Cow Cheese (1 per sandwich)
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Tomato slices
  • Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef in large skillet with onion over medium-high heat.
  2. While the meat is browning, add all spices to a small bowl.
  3. Drain and return meat to skillet over low heat. Add minced garlic and all seasonings stirring to combine. A little water can be added to help it come together if needed. Remove from heat.
  4. Spread butter on 1 side of bread slices and place butter side down on griddle or large skillet to toast. Spread laughing cow cheese on one slice before turning on griddle/stove then allow 5-8 minutes for the bread to get nice and browned (like a grilled cheese). Remove from heat and spoon gyro meat onto slice with the cheese spread pressing down to pile it high. Top with shredded onion and tomato. Spread tzatziki sauce onto other slice and smoosh the sandwich together, slice in half and devour!
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Beef Sandwich

Mini meatloaves with a thick homemade BBQ style sauce that bake up in a fraction of the time of a traditional meatloaf.  And if the word ‘meatloaf’ makes you cringe…call them extra large baked meatballs.

mini meatloaves with bbq sauce

What makes these meatloaves so flavorful is the addition of sautéed onions, dried thyme (my favorite herb), and a bbq style sauce that binds it all together.  Using 1 1/2 pounds of meat always gives me 4 nicely shaped mini meatloaves.  I used 93% lean ground beef but you could use whatever cut you prefer, even turkey but they might need more sauce.

extra large baked meatballs with bbq sauce

We don’t eat a lot of red meat I’d say, so tossing in a mini meatloaf night is a nice change of pace.  Of course we love a good burger off the grill, or traditional meat spaghetti sauce, but usually it’s chicken that gets the most attention round here.  Step aside chicky!

Summertime usually means serving more simple meals/sandwiches like my #1 Sloppy Joes or THIS or THIS recipe vs. heating up the oven.  That’s why making mini meatloaves is not only smart because they cut down on oven time but you’ll have leftovers you can make into an awesome panini with melty cheese (I recommend pepper jack) and sautéed onions.  I love recreating leftovers (or what I call double duty dinners)!

Leftover Paninis: Saute onions and mushrooms with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder until softened. (I also like adding a drop or two of liquid smoke.)  Thinly slice two pieces of meatloaf and set aside. Spread butter on one side of good panini bread and assemble with meatloaf, onion and mushroom mixture, a slice of pepper jack cheese and cook in panini press until heated through and desired crispiness.  Serve with extra bbq sauce for dipping!

Mini Meatloaves with
Homemade BBQ Style Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup garlic herb breadcrumbs (or any variety)
  • 1 egg
  • Glaze
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Saute chopped onions 2-3 minutes in a small skillet with non-stick spray or a little butter. Add minced garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce. Saute on low an additional 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs and onion mixture.
  4. Using your hands gently combine it all together but avoid over mixing.
  5. Form into 4 mini meatloaves and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes then coat the tops of each meatloaf with the sauce allowing some to drip off the sides. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked throughout.
  7. Allow the meatloaves to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
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Beef Double Duty Dinner

Flavors so rich it tastes like you’ve slaved in the kitchen all day but this Foolproof Ginger Beef Stir Fry recipe is easy and virtually effortless! See tips below.

foolproof ginger beef stir fry

Stir fry is a perfect meal choice when you need something quick!  Since the entire cooking process goes quickly once started you’ll want to have everything prepped and ready to go. <TIP #1  Dinner can be on the table in less than 20 minutes (not counting any marinating time).

ginger beef stir fry

The star of the recipe is the marinated ginger beef you see sizzling below that is sliced very thin, <TIP #2.   The meat should be sliced into very thin bite sized pieces to allow for shorter cooking times, retaining the tender juiciness of the beef.

Traditional stir fry is a chinese cooking technique done in a larger than life wok (ok maybe not that big, but big).  No wok?  Me either!  (fist bump)  Instead use what skillet you do have and get it smokin hot! <TIP #3  The purpose of using a wok is they are designed to stay hot while you continually stir or rather toss the ingredients around.  Wonderful addition to your kitchen if you have the storage space and make a lot of asian inspired dishes. There was one that caught my eye passing through Target for just under $30.  stir fry beef and noodles  

The marinade-freshly grated ginger, garlic, soy sauce, red wine vinegar,and honey– will also serve as the stir fry sauce! Love seeing those bits of garlic and ginger. Tasty!  Red wine vinegar helps tenderize the meat as it marinades and pulls the other flavors together.  You could substitute it for rice wine vinegar but the red version is my go-to bottle for several recipes, like my quinoa and kale salad with sweet potatoes, and it’s always on hand. 

stir fry sauce and marinade

There are endless possibilities when it comes to what veggies you serve with your stir fry.  Just walk through the frozen food aisle and I’m sure you’ll see a few different options that typically include some kind of combination of snow peas, carrots, broccoli, edamame, mushrooms, bean sprouts, baby corns, water chestnuts, noodles, etc.

Our local Kroger carries this medley of stir fry vegetables and noodles that is a winning combination for my family!  The noodles give the dish a wonderful texture and they don’t soak up all the sauce like rice would. Not to mention my crew isn’t real big on snow peas and most typical stir fry veggies! #weirdos

If you can’t find this vegetable + noodle combination you’ll still be making the best foolproof ginger beef stir fry, so relax and press on with your bad self.  The only downside is the bag is small and we need 3 to have enough.  The upside is they’re super affordable.

stir fry veggies and noodles

 Would you look at that beautiful beef and broccoli!  Mouth watering, fork ready <TIP #4 

ginger beef with broccoli

Foolproof Ginger Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2TB reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 TB honey
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about a 1"piece)
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 lbs topround steak or flat iron steak
  • 2-3 bags frozen stir fry veggies and noodles or other variety you prefer

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice beef against the grain into bite size pieces and add to a large ziploc bag. (Placing the meat in the freezer for 15 minutes will help to get thin even slices.)
  2. In a small mixing bowl add soy sauce, red wine vinegar, honey ginger and garlic. Stir until honey is incorporated.
  3. Add 1/3 cup marinade (half) to ziploc bag with meat. Place meat in refrigerator to marinade for at least 2 hours.Set remaining sauce mixture aside to be used later.
  4. Get your wok or skillet preheated over high heat with a bit of oil. Add meat in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and allow it to sizzle untouched for 1-2 minutes before flipping to other side. Remove from pan (allow 30 seconds-1 minute for it to heat back up before adding remaining batches of meat.)
  5. While meat is cooking toss your frozen stir fry veggies and noodles in another non-stick skillet with a bit of oil. Cook according to package directions.
  6. When all meat has been cooked add 1 tsp cornstarch to remaining sauce and whisk to combine.
  7. Add all meat back to skillet and pour in remaining sauce. Allow to heat through 1-2 minutes to slightly thicken sauce and remove from heat.
  8. Add stir fry veggies to bowl and top with stir fry beef and a few spoonfuls of sauce from the pan.
  9. Dig in and enjoy!
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Beef

Today I’m bringing you two simple meal ideas perfect for a busy weeknight!  Each is protein rich, veggie filled, supplies great macro and micro nutrients and is super speedy to put together!  

Turkey italian sausage has become a regular staple in my menu planning recently.  Read the nutrition labels, because not all are exactly lean!  The sausage gets cooked with chopped onion and garlic and tossed over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash (I make this once a week to have on hand for a variety of dishes) and steamed kale.  And a little grated parmesan cheese sprinkled over top completes the dish! Of course, a side of garlic bread never hurt anyone either.

if the man in your life needs something less frilly and free of squash (speaking from experience) you could easily prepare this dish two ways.  Just toss with spaghetti noodles and light alfredo sauce! Trader Joe’s alfredo sauce is a staple in my pantry.

sausage, kale and squash

Thinly sliced beefsteak is another one of my favorite sources of lean protein.  You might remember seeing the picture below from my post on Cheesesteak Smothered Crispy Hash Browns.  It cooks incredibly fast and  pairs well with all veggies making it an excellent choice for a quick and healthy meal. *updated 3/17…sadly my local grocery stopped carrying this.

thin sliced beef steak package

The beef steak gets seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder then tossed in a pre-heated skillet  over medium-high heat.  A few dashes of worcestershire sauce finishes it off before tossing it with some sautéed zucchini and mushrooms.

Less frilly? Make a bed of hot buttered egg noodles with melted provolone cheese and top with the beef and veggie mixture.  Serve with some cheesy garlic toast and it’s a winner-winner-husband-kind-of-dinner!

And the leftovers? Perfect atop some scrambled eggs and sriracha sauce for breakfast! 

garlic beef and zucchini

The base of these two dishes are perfect as is but yet so versatile to adjust to how you like…hope you’ll try one and let me know what you think! You can never have enough simple meal ideas for busy weeknights! 

Two Simple “Eat-Clean” Meal Ideas

Ingredients

    Italian Sausage, Kale and Spaghetti Squash:
  • Serves 4-5
  • 1 package sweet italian turkey sausage (I use perdue brand, 1 link per person)
  • 1 spaghetti squash, previously cooked
  • 3 cups chopped kale (I use a bag from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Beef, Zucchini, and Mushrooms:
  • Serves 3-4
  • 1 lb thinly sliced beef steak
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into quarters
  • 8-10 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a few dashes worcestershire sauce (about 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • a few dashes of smoked paprika (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese

Instructions

    Italian Sausage and Kale:
  1. Prepare spaghetti squash in advance. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half and rub with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place flesh side down on baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the "noodles" away from the skin.
  3. In a large skillet saute chopped onions and sausage (casings removed) until no longer pink. Add minced garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Remove everything to a serving bowl and set aside.
  4. Add chopped kale and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until it's slightly wilted but still a bit crisp. Remove from heat and add sausage mixture back to skillet. Stir to combine.
  5. Assemble bowls with a serving of spaghetti squash, topped with sausage and kale and finished with some parmesan cheese.
  6. Garlic Beef, Zucchini, and Mushrooms:
  7. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil. Add diced zucchini, mushrooms and season with dried thyme and smoked paprika . Sauté 8-10 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender and mushrooms are softened, stirring frequently. Add chopped garlic during last 2 minutes of cooking, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  8. Remove from heat and set aside in a separate bowl.
  9. Season beef steak with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add beef to the same skillet used for zucchini and cook 3-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add worcestershire sauce before it finishes cooking. Toss zucchini and mushrooms back to bowl and prepare to serve!
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Beef Turkey