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

Flavors abound in this healthy greek grilled chicken and lentil salad with cucumbers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and a light vinegar and oil dressing!

Greek Grilled Chicken and Lentil Salad
Lentils are unique little characters that come in 4 different varieties: brown, green, red, and speciality.  They work well in a variety of dishes and serve as a great vegetarian protein option. This greek inspired salad uses the brown variety which has a nice mild earthy flavor.  Earthy as in a very mild bean texture and flavor, not as in dirt.

Back to their uniqueness…they don’t require presoaking like their dry legume brotha’s and sista’s.  If you’re lucky enough to score a bag (or bag in a box) that’s precooked you’re one step ahead.  Month’s back Trader Joe’s featured a lentil, shrimp and broccoli Alfredo at their sample station.  Never knowing they even carried these handy packages of lentils I quickly grabbed 2 boxes (located in the produce refrigerated section) and walked through the aisles dreaming up recipes.
lentils

Enough about lentils already…let’s talk about this greek marinated and grilled chicken! Yum!

The marinade is a simple cast of characters featuring 1 cup greek yogurt, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tsp dried oregano, fresh squeezed lemon juice and some salt and pepper.  

I always slice our chicken breasts in half and pound them to a uniform thickness.  Allow the chicky to marinate for at least 30 minutes and then toss on a preheated grill for about 6-7 minutes each side.
grilled marinated grilled chicken

After removing the chicken from the grill, cover it with foil and allow it to rest 3-5 minutes before slicing.  When marinating chicken for the grill ALWAYS make extra!  You’ll be so glad you have leftovers to quickly prep healthy lunches throughout the week.

While the chicken rests, whisk up the vinegar and oil dressing: 2 TB red wine vinegar, 1 TB olive oil, 1 tsp dried oregano, squeeze of lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper.  I like to drizzle a bit of dressing over the steamed lentils so they can absorb the flavors. Then layer on some juicy marinated sliced chicken…YUM!
Greek Grilled Chicken and Lentil Salad

And if you don’t polish it all off, the flavors are terrific the next day too.  Lentils can be eaten warm or cold so it makes for a perfect on-the-go lunch.

Grab a fork…I might live on this salad all summer.
Greek chicken and lentil salad

Greek Grilled Chicken
and Lentil Salad

Ingredients

    Greek Chicken Marinade
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Vinegar and Oil Dressing
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • small squeeze of lemon juice
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Salad Ingredients
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise and pounded to uniform thickness.
  • 2 cups steamed lentils (follow directions on package if not using precooked)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup fat free feta cheese
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1/4 red onion, diced

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients for marinade and toss with chicken. Allow chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While chicken is marinating prepare lentils, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and onions. Set aside.
  3. Preheat grill and cook chicken 6-7 minutes each side or until cooked throughout. Remove and cover with foil 3-5 minutes before slicing.
  4. While chicken rests whisk dressing ingredients; set aside.
  5. In a large bowl add cooked lentils, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and feta; stir to combine. Add dressing to taste and stir to combine.
  6. Fill serving bowls with lentil mix and top with sliced grilled chicken!
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Salad