Greek Chicken Gyro Bowls

By Ann Fulton

Fresh, hearty, and customizable, leftovers find their place in a weeknight meal that's sure to please the whole family!
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Greek Chicken Gyros with all the classic add-ons and a shortcut tzatziki are easy to recreate in your kitchen. Try them bowl-style, stuffed in a pita, or even switch out the chicken with beef, shrimp, salmon, or pork.


Last year, a visitor (and close friend!) Christina Phillips Mattson showed us how her Greek family makes Chicken Gyros at home. Bursting with flavor, the gyros are a crowd-pleasing meal for sure, complete with a Shortcut Tzatziki sauce and fresh salad stuffed into thick pitas.

We even learned the details and many options for authentic Greek Lemon Potatoes

Fresh, hearty, and customizable, this authentic Greek gyro recipe is a meal that's sure to please the whole family. Enjoy in a pita or as a rice bowl.

As Christina shared with us, her recipe substitutes chicken for the traditional pork or lamb which is cooked on a vertical rotisserie and shaved onto the pita – hence the origin of the name “gyro,” which literally means “round” or “to go around.”

After the photo shoot, leftover chicken and toppings were in abundance. So, I decided to serve my family the Chicken Gyros as a bowl meal, spooning the toppings over Baked White Rice and chopped romaine. I also toasted some leftover pita wedges to serve alongside.

Turns out this may even be my favorite way to enjoy the gyros. It also happens to be a gluten-free option. It’s a meal I’ve repeated many times after my husband Jack declared he could eat the meal every night. 

This shortcut tzatziki (no cucumbers to drain!) is authentically Greek and completely delicious!

This shortcut tzatziki combines Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper for a shortcut (but equally tasty) gyro condiment. Whole milk yogurt is recommended for best flavor. For a tasty twist, goat’s milk Greek yogurt, which is a touch tangier, offers a lovely alternative.

Fresh, hearty, and customizable, this authentic Greek gyro recipe is sure to please the whole family. Enjoy in a pita or as a rice bowl.

What’s wonderful is that the rice bowls are a perfect bed for the chicken and toppings, but can also be customizable to your family’s tastes and preferences. For example, instead of rice, you could serve with quinoa, couscous, or even black rice. Instead of romaine lettuce, try arugula, baby spinach, or mixed greens.

If you like pita but are looking for crunch, toast the wedges. You could also toast the pita until crisp and break into pieces for a crunchy topping. Alternatively, store-bought pita chips could be used. There are many accompaniments that will make this Greek-style rice bowl a meal to remember.

In fact, gyros in Greece are stuffed with salty french fries in addition to the tzatziki and vegetables. But, instead of breaking out the deep fryer, Christina makes Greek-Style Lemon Potatoes to go along with the gyro meals. Crispy Baked Eggplant, Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, Polenta Fries, or even a side of homemade Smoky Red Pepper Hummus would be great accompaniments as well! 

This adaptable, authentic Greek family recipe for roasted potatoes is simple, fresh, and packs a lot of flavor.  

And if you prefer, build yourself a pita instead!

Authentic Greek gyros with all the classic add-ons and a shortcut tzatziki are easy to recreate in your kitchen. A light but satisfying meal that may also be served over rice or greens or made with beef, shrimp, salmon, or pork.

Kali Orexi! (Good Appetite!)

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Chicken Gyro Rice Bowls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4-6 bowls
Greek Chicken Gyros with all the classic add-ons and a shortcut tzatziki are easy to recreate in your kitchen. Try them bowl-style, stuffed in a pita or even switch out the chicken with beef, shrimp, salmon, or pork.
For the Chicken
  • 1½ – 1¾ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts* (about 4 pieces; you can also make this recipe with boneless pork chops, steak tips, shrimp, salmon, shaved steak, etc.)
  • ½ a medium or large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons (28ml) olive oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¾ each dried oregano, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice (optional for warm, almost garam masala-like flavor undertone)


For the Speedy Tzatziki
  • ½ cup (120g) full-fat Greek yogurt (could sub sour cream)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated or pressed (I have substituted ¼ teaspoon garlic powder when in a hurry)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ⅛ freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water


For the Salad:
  • 1 lightly rounded cup (6oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 1 large/2 smaller vine ripened tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced)
  • ½ a large or 3 mini cucumbers (If English, quarter lengthwise and then cut into ½-inch pieces; if regular, peel, and then cut. Halve minis lengthwise and then slice)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (28ml) olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup (2oz/56g) crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup (3oz/90g) pitted Kalamata olives, sliced or quartered
For Assembling:
  • 3 cups cooked Baked White Rice, Brown Rice, or Black Rice
  • 1 large handful, or 1 cup greens such as chopped romaine or arugula
  • Optional: 4-6 Greek pocketless pitas (I use the Kontos brand which is available in Wegman’s)
Instructions with Make-Ahead Tips
  1. Marinate the chicken: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (approximately 1 inch cubes) and thinly slice the onion (about ¼-inch thick). In a large bowl, toss the chicken and onions with the olive oil, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and allspice to evenly coat with the oil and spices. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the salad, tzatziki, and rice. Make ahead tip: This step may be done a few hours or up to a day in advance.
  2. Make the tzatziki: Finely grate or press the garlic clove and place in a small bowl. Add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk together and add the 1 tablespoon of water to thin the sauce slightly. Set aside. (Make ahead tip: The tzatziki can be made several hours/up to a day in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator.)
  3. Make the salad: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and cucumber with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the feta and olives and give it one last good mix. Set aside until ready to assemble the gyro bowls. (Make-ahead tip: The salad may be prepared up to an hour ahead and left at room temperature.)
  4. Cook the chicken and onions: Heat a 12- to 14-inch skillet (you can use the same pan you used to heat the pitas). There’s no need to oil the pan as the oil in the marinade is sufficient. When hot, add the chicken and onion mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and onions to a plate and immediately sprinkle with a couple of pinches of extra salt and oregano.
  5. Assemble the bowls:

Optional Toasted Pitas: Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, brush pitas on both sides with olive oil – a little less than ½ teaspoon per side (I have also toasted them dry). Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add one pita to the skillet, and toast until warmed through and you see it turn golden in spots. Repeat with the remaining pitas. An alternative is to place the pita on a baking sheet and lay under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.


Want to save time? Some local meat markets (Shenk’s at Central Market, for example) will cut the chicken into bite sized pieces so you don’t have to do it at home.

No red wine vinegar? While this variety delivers classic flavor, you could use white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar instead.

Serving for a crowd? The recipe can easily be doubled. The chicken and onion mixture will simply need to be cooked in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.

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