Authentic Greek Chicken Gyros Recipe with Tzatziki Sauce

Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Greece with an Authentic Greek Chicken Gyros Recipe, complete with a delectable Tzatziki Sauce. This dish, beloved for its rich flavors and tender, marinated chicken, wrapped in a soft pita and drizzled with cooling tzatziki, represents a cornerstone of Greek cuisine. Here, we will explore the art of creating this traditional dish from scratch, focusing on marinating the chicken to perfection and preparing it in a homemade vertical rotisserie style, a method that ensures the chicken remains succulent and infused with the flavors of the Mediterranean.

Ingredients Breakdown and Preparation

For the Chicken:

  • Boneless Chicken Thighs (1.32 pounds or 600 grams): The choice of chicken thighs ensures the gyros meat remains tender and flavorful, as this cut retains moisture well during cooking.

For the Gyro Marinade:

  • Garlic (2 tbsp, finely chopped): Adds a robust flavor foundation.
  • Lemon Juice (2 tbsp): Infuses the meat with brightness and tenderizes it.
  • Black Peppercorns (1 tsp, black): Offers a sharp, pungent heat.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (¾ cup): Acts as the marinade’s base, ensuring flavors meld together.
  • Paprika (2 tbsp): Provides a sweet, smoky depth.
  • Dried Rosemary (2.5 tbsp): Introduces a woody, aromatic element.
  • Whole Coriander Seeds (2.5 tbsp): Adds a lemony, floral hint.
  • Red Chili Flakes (2.5 tbsp): Brings a vibrant heat.
  • Coarse Sea Salt: To season the meat to your preference.

For the Vertical Home-made Rotisserie:

  • ½ Large Onion: Supports the skewer and imparts sweetness as it cooks.
  • 1 Bamboo Skewer: Serves as the spit for the homemade rotisserie.

Marinating the Chicken

  1. Combine the Marinade: In a large bowl, mix together the chopped garlic, lemon juice, crushed black peppercorns, extra virgin olive oil, paprika, dried rosemary, crushed coriander seeds, and red chili flakes. Season with coarse sea salt, adjusting according to taste.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: Add the chicken thighs to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results. The longer it marinates, the more flavorful and tender the chicken will become.

Preparing the Vertical Home-made Rotisserie

  1. Prep the Onion and Skewer: Cut the half onion into a base for the skewer. Insert the bamboo skewer through the center of the onion half, ensuring it stands upright.
  2. Assemble the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread the pieces onto the skewer, pressing them down onto the onion base. The onion will not only help to keep the chicken in place but also add moisture and flavor as it cooks.
  3. Cook: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the skewer upright in a baking dish, ensuring it’s stable. Roast in the oven until the chicken is fully cooked and has a nice, crispy exterior, about 35-45 minutes. Periodically baste the chicken with the remaining marinade to keep it moist and flavorful.
  4. Rest and Slice: Once cooked, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing thinly, mimicking the shaved texture characteristic of gyros.

Serving the Gyros

Warm some pita bread and fill it with the sliced chicken gyros. Top with homemade tzatziki sauce, sliced tomatoes, onions, and a sprinkle of paprika for an authentic touch. The combination of the savory, spiced chicken with the cool, creamy tzatziki wrapped in a soft pita is a delight that brings the essence of Greek cuisine to your table.


Creating Authentic Greek Chicken Gyros at home is a rewarding process that brings a piece of Greece into your kitchen. By marinating the chicken in a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, then cooking it in a makeshift vertical rotisserie, you achieve the perfect balance of flavor and tenderness. Served with tzatziki sauce and your favorite gyro accompaniments, this dish is sure to become a cherished recipe in your culinary repertoire, offering a taste of Mediterranean sunshine and hospitality.