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Kebab Meatballs Served Gyro-Style is a delicious fusion of the flavors in classic Middle Eastern kebabs and Greek gyros.

Kebab Meatballs Served Gyro-Style 1

For some reason, I really don’t make a lot of fusion foods, but I do like to update classic dishes with slight subtle nuances to keep them fresh and exciting. This fusion was born out of necessity to solve a problem I had with making gyros at home (more about that in a second), and it really is a match made in heaven. Kebab is a Middle Eastern dish of ground meat (typically lamb, but beef can also be used) that’s seasoned with parsley, onion, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper (and sometimes other spices such as paprika, cinnamon, etc.). Nimble fingers mold the spiced ground meat into a cylindrical shape on skewers, and then it’s char-grilled to perfection.

Gyro sandwiches are a Greek dish of gyro meat, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce rolled up in pita bread. Gyro meat is often lamb, but can be anything from beef to veal to chicken; it’s spiced with a spice mixture that’s similar to kebab spices (with the addition of oregano) and cooked on a vertical rotisserie. As you can see, making gyros at home poses somewhat of a problem…who has a vertical rotisserie?! (Mike, darling, if you’re reading this, just an FYI…if you buy me one we can also use it to cook shawarma.)

Since the meat in both dishes is so similar tasting, I thought why not make kebab meatballs in the oven and turn them into gyro sandwiches? (Definitely a fun solution to solve the problem of how to make gyros at home without a vertical rotisserie, isn’t it?) These sandwiches were a beautiful combination of flavors (it’s the tzatziki that makes them!) and of course I couldn’t resist adding a little feta to the mix for a little extra oomph. Served alongside salad greens, sliced tomato and cucumber, and kalamata olives, it was a fantastic meal.

Kebab Meatballs Served Gyro-Style 2

Kebab Meatballs Served Gyro-Style
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 servings
Kebab Meatballs Served Gyro-Style is a delicious fusion of the flavors in classic Middle Eastern kebabs and Greek gyros.
Kebab Meatballs:
  • 1 lb (450 g) ground lamb or beef
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley, minced
  • ½ medium onion, very finely diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed or grated on a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne (more or less to taste)
  • 1 pinch ground allspice
Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, but it will be more watery)
  • 1 (3-inch) piece of seedless cucumber, washed, dried, and grated on a box grater
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried crushed dill and/or dried crushed mint
  • Pita, or any kind of flatbread you like (I used pocketless pitas)
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Crumbled feta
  1. For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 350F and brush a little olive oil on a large baking sheet. Use your hands to combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and scoop the mixture into meatballs (I use a 1½ tablespoon-sized scoop and I get about 15 to 20 meatballs) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until fully cooked (about 25 minutes), flipping the meatballs once halfway through.
  2. Stir together all ingredients for the tzatziki sauce and chill until ready to serve.
  3. To serve each sandwich, arrange tomato and onion slices on a pita; top with 3 to 4 meatballs, a dollop of Tzatziki sauce, and a sprinkle of crumbled feta. (If you want to warm the pita, wrap it tightly in foil and put it in the oven for the last 5 minutes or so while the meatballs are cooking.)

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Genius! Its like a play on the American meatball sub. Greece:1 America:0

  2. This looks fantastic! I’m trying really hard to keep fusion and ethnic foods at the top of our menu this year. It’s going okay, but I find it is so easy to get into a US ingredient rut for me. This is the perfect solution!

  3. I love gyro’s and using meatballs is such a great idea! I think I would like to try them with ground chicken….
    thanks for the inspiration!

  4. This looks delicious, fresh and healthy and super tasty! I’m a bit of a fusion fanatic, especially when it comes to leftovers. The other night I made san choy bau with tandoori chicken and quinoa mushroom salad. It seemed so wrong but tasted so right!

  5. These look incredible! I wish the local Greek take out would offer something like this!

  6. Oh My! I have not had dinner yet and I’m looking at the Kebab Gyro pics and mouth is watering! Yum! :)

  7. I always love how u update classics and ur fantastic takes on them :-)
    And am so happy to learn about gyro\’s , first time ever!
    There are 2things i usually walk away with from ur blog , bookmarks and hunger pangs:-)
    Oh i wanna eat one right now!
    ITs soooo good and delicious!
    I lovee how u turned this in to S\’wch and the sauce sounds fantastic!
    Happy friday with lodsa love and hugs to a wonderful friend !

  8. Sounds like a brilliant idea to me! I like the subtle hint for a rotisserie – lol.

  9. 5 Star Foodie says:

    I had a similar dilemma with making gyros at home. i make my meat in the meatloaf style which works too :) I love your idea of the meatballs, so excellent!

  10. Your meatballs look insanely good all dressed up as a gyro Faith! This is a delicious idea!

  11. That looks delicious! And I think a vertical rotisserie sounds like an excellent investment!

  12. This is a great solution and one I will definitely have to keep in mind. Yummy.

  13. Love gyros and, yes, Greek eateries have a corner on the market since most people don’t have a vertical rotisserie :) Your kebab meatballs are a great solution to that problem! Another winner from Faith’s kitchen.

  14. i like gyros. a lot. however, i LOVE tzatziki. i could drink that stuff. :)

  15. Gyros are a favorite of mine! These look delicious! I wonder where I could find ground lamb…hmmmm. I really think the lamb makes it better than beef of chicken! Delicious!

  16. How are you? I have missed seeing your beautiful dishes :) This look so yummy! I haven’t really cooked lamb before…I’d like to get it a try. And the sauce looks delicious. Sorry I have been MIA! I will finally have a post up tomorrow morning

  17. I was just commenting on Justin’s blog that I am not a big fan of cucumbers… unless they are in something like this sauce or raita…. then they are great. Fab recipe for the kebabs.

  18. A vertical rotisserie…really…how many times would you truly use it? Better question…do you have enough kitchen counter real estate? This is the daunting truth we all need to ask ourselves when thinking of adding an extra piece of equipment. I’m still struggling about adding a crock pot or the huge baker’s mixer.

    Gyro sandwiches are eaten at our favourite Greek restaurant. Since we’ve cut down on our meat intake quite substantially…a Gyro with generous sauce and trimmings is a real treat once and a while.

    Thanks for this recipe with your slight spin on it Faith ;o)
    I may one day want to surprise Hubby with homemade Gyros too.


  19. Gyro meatballs? This is the sandwich of my dreams, Faith! What a delicious way to create the perfect Greek sandwich.

    Thank you for your kind words about my dad. I truly appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
    xo, Louanne

  20. Great recipe! It sounds delicious with all of the wonderful flavors you have used. What a great idea to make the meat into meatballs. And that tzatziki sounds like it would be great on anything:)

  21. Delicious! I don’t mind fusion food at all :)

  22. Heavenly Housewife says:

    Okay, my stomach is totally growling now, that looks sooooooo good, exactly the kind of thing that I love.
    *kisses* HH

  23. Kebab meatballs!! Who would have thought. Love this idea. It is neat when recipes don’t go exactly as planned and end up like this :) My kids would love these as would I! xo

  24. Faith, I think that’s a pretty damn good idea to turn meatball to gyro sandwich! I think I was probably able to count how many times I’ve had gyro -yeah not that often. However, the meatballs sound really good to give it another shot for me!

  25. I am drooling over this. Gyros are one of my very favorite things. I can eat them every week if let to my own devices. ;)

  26. Oh girl, I’m all over this! I’ve been eating something similar from a recipe a friend made up called “Mediterranean Tacos” so I know I’d love this! Can’t wait.

  27. This one is going to the top of my to try list! It looks so good, my family would love this! Great looking recipe and great pics, giving me a craving!

  28. This looks amazing. I want two of them. Two gyros, not two meatballs. Extra feta. Lots of onions. Oops. I’m now drooling on the laptop. Send help in the form of pita, please.

  29. I used to really enjoy gyros before becoming pescatarian. Of course there’s the eternal question about the correct pronunciation of the word: “g” like “g” or “g” like “h,” but I don’t really care either way, since a rose still smells as sweet, and a gyro tastes just as good.

    You write that they’re Greek which makes sense. What do you think that the relationship of the gyro is to the falafel wrap? They look awfully similar to your meatball version, but I always think of them as Lebanese or Egyptian.

  30. I adore shawarma; the idea to make it into meatballs is perfect! And you are so right, the tzatziki absolutely makes it. Yum, I’m officially craving a gyro now.

  31. Love this sandwich and the bread looks fabulous! Next time I will add some feta too, great idea!

  32. This is definitely a great solution! Your pics are making my mouth water. I looove Greek food :)

  33. The flavors in this sound so fresh and unique, it would be such a great way to shake off the winter blahs… I must find a way to make this without meat!

  34. I love all of these flavours! Yummy – and it looks like homemade pita, Faith. Is it? Every culture has a meat on a stick. Vanja’s culture has a meat mix flavoured so similarly – but just different enough to be different – called cevapi. That is the yummy part of eating around the world. Following the spice trail.

  35. I m drooling.Cant tell you how much I love feta and kebab combo.A great fusion gyro.And I hope Mike gets you a vertical rotisserie to make shawarma.

  36. It looks so satisfying! I like it’s served on pita and with tzatziki sauce.Fantastic!

  37. Mmm, we love Gyro sandwiches at the fast-food Greek place, but I never thought about trying to make them myself. Great idea, to make them with meatballs :)

  38. Loooove meatballs. What a great way of serving them! Tzatziki: It’s the best. Enough said lol. This looks delicious, I would love to make this for lunch!

  39. What a splendid idea, Faith! I adore tzatziki and you’re right, it DOES make the sandwich. Your post today has me dreaming of my trip to Greece, wishing to be there right now. :-)

  40. I like how you brought together so many flavors in this. Looks great!

  41. Is pocketless pitas the brand? or do you use a specific brand of pita? It looks so fluffy and awesome!!!

    and the toppings…. omg best idea ever! I love gyros!! <3

  42. Wow, Faith, this looks delicious! My husband would absolutely love this. Every time we find ourselves in a food court, he inevitably finds himself at a place that sells gyros, but I’ve never made them at home. I’ll have to try this soon! Thanks for sharing.

  43. oh this looks like it’s straight from a restaurant!
    Fantastic flavors n colors Faith..

    US Masala

  44. What do you mean you do not have a vertical rotisserie, doesn’t everyone have one? ;-) Nice combo indeed…and I always wondered what a gyro was exactly. And feta is an excellent addition!

  45. I am reading this at lunch time, and your beautiful photos of that delicious-looking sandwich have made even more hungry.

  46. This is a terrific looking sandwich. It is fusion food at its best. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  47. Armenians eat kebabs also, and I like the idea of serving them this way with all these yummy Greek flavors. Definitely a nice fusion dish :)

  48. This is what i feel like having for dinner tonight!!
    Yummy, it’s mouthwatering!

  49. the kebob meatballs sound great … thinking, go with half lamb and half falafel … cheers!

  50. What a beautiful combination of flavors! Love those little meatballs!

  51. My hubby is fan of gryo style sandwiches. This one looks awesome.

  52. Mmmmhhh, I am drooling! I love such dishes.



  53. Ok so it’s a shaved meat sandwich. Things you learn through food blogging. VERTICAL ROTISSERIE and SHAWARMA Mr.Mike. Just trying to be helpful ;-)

    1. LeQuan — Lol, love it! That is actually very helpful, thanks! ;)

  54. Faith,

    Definitely a great way to solve your problem. I don’t think I have ever had Gyro meatballs before, but they sound wonderful. That’s actually saying a lot coming from someone who doesn’t eat meat a whole lot. This is a perfect recipe since I’ve just learned hands on how to make tzatziki sauce. This sandwich looks so good! Oh and before I leave, pssst…Mike…2 words, VERTICAL ROTISSERIE. Ok wait, three words…SHAWARMA! Honestly though, I have no idea what shawarma is but i’ma go google it now. Teehee.

  55. I love fusion dishes too especially if they involve flavors so familiar and dear to me. I know it tasted great because I know the flavors you put in it!

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