The gyro is a classic Greek dish. Also known as a kebab, it refers to meat that is spit-roasted on a vertical rotisserie and served on pita bread with vegetables, tzatziki sauce, and other toppings. It’s tasty on its own, but the fun part about any gyro dish is that you can make it your own by designing your own combination of fixings and sides. The following are some delicious options for side dishes to accompany your next gyro meal.
What Are Gyros?
Gyros are a type of Greek food made from a mixture of ground lamb and beef, soaked in a blend of oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. The meat is then formed into round patties and cooked on a vertical spit. Once the meat has cooked, it’s sliced thin and served on bread with tomatoes and onions.
Gyro History A gyro is, literally, Greek for “turn.” The word is used as slang to describe any food that is continuously turning while being cooked—like a rotisserie chicken or a slice of pizza spinning in the oven. In Greece, though, the term “gyro” specifically refers to the vertical spit that chefs use to cook the type of meat that Americans call gyros. The name comes from Greek for “to turn.”
Gyro ingredients Gyros are most commonly made out of lamb or beef—though sometimes other meats are used as well! Typically, either lamb or beef is ground before it’s added to the other ingredients. The meat is mixed with salt, pepper, garlic powder or fresh garlic cloves, parsley (either fresh or dried), onion powder or chopped onion, some extra virgin olive oil or soybean oil (a less expensive alternative), lemon juice and ground oregano.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Gyros?
In a professional tone: The Greek sandwich known as gyros is a popular choice for customers who want something different than the typical hamburger or hotdog. Gyros are packed with flavor, and when served with the traditional toppings of tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce, they make a delicious meal.
But you can enhance the tasty appeal of your gyro by adding some side dishes. You don’t have to go all out with a full plate meal. You can still keep the focus on your signature sandwich, but adding some sides will take it to the next level. So why should you consider serving side dishes for your gyros?
1. Keep customers happy
A gyro sandwich is a complete meal in itself, but many people like to have more than just one thing to eat at a meal. Offering side dishes gives them options that they might not be able to get elsewhere.
2. Offer healthier options
Side dishes such as fresh fruits and vegetables give customers a healthy option if they want something other than pita bread and meat-based foods on their plate. This also allows you to cater to people who must watch what they eat due to dietary restrictions or health concerns.
3. Diversify your menu
Adding side dishes to your gyro menu will give you more choices for customers and allow you to expand the number of people who come in on a regular basis. When you have more products on your menu, you attract more customers, which increases profits and keeps your business growing.
But of course, the most important thing is that your side dishes must taste delicious and complement your gyro sandwiches perfectly. If they don’t, they’ll be a turn off for many customers when they come in to eat.
What to Serve with Gyros? 15 BEST Side Dishes
1. Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki sauce is a Greek yogurt-based condiment that has been seasoned with fresh herbs like mint or dill. It’s typically served alongside other dishes as a topping for meats such as lamb chops or chicken, but it’s also delicious when used to dip vegetables into or spread onto breads like pita or lavash. It goes so well with everything! You can make this at home by mixing together plain yogurt with cucumber slices, chopped onion and garlic cloves (if desired).
2. Pita Bread
Pita bread is a great side dish to serve with gyros as it allows you to create a pita sandwich with your gyros. You can easily wipe the juices and flavorings of gyro meat off your fingers and onto the pita bread, while also using the pita bread to soak up the excess juices and add volume to your meal. Pita bread is also wonderful when dipped into Tzatziki sauce or any of the other sides that you may be serving with your gyros.
Hummus is another great side dish that you can use to eat with your gyros. When eating hummus, try dipping your gyro meat in it, or scooping some hummus up with a piece of warm pita bread for a hearty snack. Hummus makes for an easy addition to any Greek meal, and it’s also fun and tasty to eat!
4. Baba Ghanoush
The roasted eggplant goodness of baba ghanoush pairs well with a gyro as they both have a hint of smokiness, thanks to the charring of the vegetables. It also has a creamy, rich texture that contrasts nicely with the juiciness of the gyro meat.
Spanakopita is a Greek savory pastry filled with spinach and feta cheese. The filling is wrapped in layers of phyllo dough, which provides a delicate crunch to each bite. It can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish, since it’s packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
6. Greek Beans (Fassoulia)
Greek beans are one of the most popular side dishes in Greece, and can be found in just about any restaurant or taverna there. They are made by cooking green beans with onions and garlic until they are soft, then adding tomato sauce and simmering them together until the beans are very tender and the sauce is thickened. They are seasoned simply with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.
7. Feta Cheese Dip (Tirokafteri)
Tirokafteri is a Greek dip that is made from feta cheese and peppers. It can be served hot or cold, so it makes a great side dish for gyros any time of year. The dip is usually made by blending feta cheese, red peppers and olive oil in a food processor until smooth, then adding hot pepper flakes to taste.
8. Fried Eggplant And Zucchini Fries
These fried side dishes pair very well with gyros as they add on to the taste of the meat. The eggplant should be sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices and fried in oil until golden brown. The zucchini fries can be made by slicing them into 1/2 inch thick strips and then coating them in flour mixed with garlic salt and pepper before frying them in hot oil until they turn golden brown. These tasty options will make your meal even more delicious!
9. Greek Potato Salad
Most gyros contain some type of potato side dish. Greek Potato Salad is also a great option because it makes use of ingredients that you have on hand in your kitchen already, but it is an unexpected twist on potato salad because it uses feta cheese and capers for extra flavor.
10. Rice-stuffed Vine Leaves
Rice-stuffed vine leaves are a delicious Greek side dish that are usually served alongside meats and grilled vegetables. They are made from vine leaves that have been stuffed with rice, onions, and parsley, then simmered in a mixture of tomato sauce and broth for about an hour. This recipe is an excellent alternative to the more traditional tzatziki sauce, since it can be made vegan by replacing dairy ingredients with plant-based ones. It’s also quick and easy to prepare!
11. Horiatiki (Greek village salad)
This classic salad is a staple of Greek cuisine and goes well with a gyro platter. The salad features tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion dressed simply with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Feta cheese is the traditional topping for a horiatiki salad, although you can substitute goat cheese if you prefer something milder. If you like spicy food, try adding Kalamata olives to your horiatiki salad.
12. Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Fennel and Mint Salsa Verde
These grilled vegetable skewers are a delicious side dish that can be served as an appetizer or main course. They’re made from zucchini, red onion, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant that are skewered together and grilled until tender. Then they’re drizzled with a zesty fennel and mint salsa verde for an added punch of flavor!
13. Tomato Cucumber Salad
The tomato cucumber salad is a perfect light addition to your gyros. The fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, tossed with red onion and dill, add just the right amount of crunch and freshness to this meal. You can serve it as a side or in your gyro.
14. Marinated Olives with Feta and Oregano Herb Oil
The marinated olives with feta and oregano herb oil are a delicious way to bring out the Mediterranean flavors in your food. This recipe uses kalamata olives, which are also used in the tomato cucumber salad, but you can use any type of olive that you prefer!
15. Lamb Meatballs with Lemon & Herbs
Lamb meatballs are another delicious way to add more protein to your spread. The lemon and herbs give them a fresh Mediterranean flavor that will perfectly complement the gyros on your table.
Tips for choosing your best side dishes
Gyros are a very popular Greek dish and it’s no wonder why: they’re delicious! A gyro is a pita filled with seasoned grilled meat (usually lamb or chicken), topped with onion, tomato, and Tzatziki sauce. Although the sandwich is filling on its own, sometimes you may want to add a little side dish to your meal—but what’s the best way to go about it? Here are some options to consider.
First of all, remember that gyros tend to be pretty salty and heavy, so if you want a side dish, it should be light and refreshing. This can mean fresh vegetables like carrots or cucumbers, or it can mean something like rice. Rice is great because it gives you an easy way to absorb the extra juices of your sandwich so you don’t end up with soggy bread.
Second, make sure that whatever side dish you choose will complement the flavor of your main meal. You don’t want something that will clash with the spices used in your gyro meat or the Tzatziki sauce.
Finally, remember that side dishes don’t always have to be full meals themselves that sometimes just a piece of fruit or even some crackers are enough! These are things you can eat while standing up and will tide you over until your next meal, so it’s always nice to have a little something on hand.
Let’s be honest, you could top your gyros with just about anything and it would still be delicious. But why not give your gyros a little extra flair with one of these 15 side dishes? They’ll take your sandwich from “good” to “holy cow this is delicious,” which is exactly what you want when you go out for lunch. The best part? You can make most of these side dishes at home, so you don’t have to stop by your local Greek restaurant every time you want to get your fix.