My Gyro Obsession and The Meatball Solution

In the past few years, I have taken up the hobby of cooking. Not only has it increased the quality of my health and saved me money, but I honestly love reverse-engineering recipes. The one dish over the past few years that has eluded me has been gyro meat. Gyro meat is a mix of ground lamb and ground beef. It is ground very fine, packed with spices and slowly cooked on a vertical broiler. Some of these gyro cookers cost over $1,000. Yeah, I’ve priced them.

That is how much I love gyro meat.

For the past few years, I haven’t tackled this problem head-on. When I do go out to eat, I mostly go to Greek restaurants to get my gyro meat fix. Until recently this didn’t bother me. But I’ve started to notice the quality around Seattle is dropping and the portions are getting smaller. Plus I got a suspicion that some might use vegetable oil in their sauces. In January, I left one of the Greek places in the University District extremely disappointed in the quality of their gyro salad – plus I left still hungry.

Now I was motivated to solve the gyro riddle. That is when I got the idea to replace the spices in the meat and make meatballs. It wouldn’t have the same texture, but it would share a lot of the taste. Plus I could source higher quality grass pasture meat and save money. Game on!

Summary: Gyro-flavored meatballs. Add them to a pita or a salad.


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 onion, diced, dried in paper towel
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees.
  2. Mix every ingredient above. Mix it up well.
  3. Make meatballs
  4. Bake for 20 minutes


Quick notes

I added my Gyro Meatballs to a salad. To complement the salad, make a nice Tzatziki Sauce. Feta cheese and tomatoes too!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Culinary tradition: Greek


The texture of the meatballs is nothing like gyro meat, but the flavor matches. This will absolutely work for me. This dish is going into my rotation. At least until the day that I have my own gyro broiler. 🙂


Add yours

  1. I love the sound of your Gyro Meatballs, and thanks for the shout out for my Tzatziki sauce!

  2. @Kalyn – I loved your sauce recipe. Super easy to make too!

  3. Nice, will try it. I love the middle eastern, north african spice mixes

  4. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Gyro meat is one of my favorite flavors and now I can make them at home. The idea of meatballs is genius! Mahalo Nui Loa from a girl missing good Greek food on an island out in the middle of the ocean.

  5. @Tammi – Excellent! The meatloaf version also works great too.

  6. Just made these for lunch. I was ravenous and feeling lazy so used garlic salt and onion powder instead of fresh. Used the real thing in the Tzatziki though. They turned out great. Definitely a keeper. Thank you! Now I’ll have to check out your Pho recipe…….

  7. Steven Gullett

    Nov 15, 2013 — 3:04 pm

    These are amazing! I never thought I could get that classic gyro flavor from my own kitchen…I was wrong.

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