These easy gyro burgers are a quick way to have authentic tasting gyros at home. Made of ground lamb or ground beef (or a mixture of both), and topped with a delicious Tzatziki sauce.
The idea of making these easy gyro burgers came after enjoying authentic gyros in Michigan. We lived there for about 2 years, in a beautiful town called Brighton, a 20-minute drive to Ann Arbor. Before moving to Michigan, I didn’t know much about it or other parts of the Midwest.
What I learned almost immediately was how warm and friendly the people were there. Another memory that stays with me is the abundance of wonderful Greek and middle Eastern foods!
My husband often feasted on gyros, and Greek omelets. My favorite foods included hummus, baba ganoush, and fattoush salad.
Oh, and let’s not forget the homemade pitas – they were incredible and would often be served warm. I could never go back to store bought after eating those. Needless to say, I love to bake and so I learned to make a pocketless pita, which I love!
Given the difficulty in making traditional gyro meat, I thought this burger was a very good substitute since it can be prepared in a much shorter period of time. We love burgers, and this puts a different spin on the typical pattie.
Overview of Making Gyro Burgers
- This is a pretty easy process 🙂
- Add all ingredients for the gyro burgers to a large mixing bowl (see photo above)
- Mix the ingredients with your hands or a large spoon
- Shape into 4 patties (if using 1 pound meat total) and grill (either on outside grill or inside on stovetop)
- Allowing the unformed meat mixture to sit overnight will improve the flavor and works well if you are looking for a make-ahead meal. (But you don’t have to make ahead)!
- Temperature and duration of cooking will depend on power of your grill or stovetop
- Top with tzatziki, onion, tomato, lettuce and serve on hamburger buns (or try homemade hamburger buns).
How to know if burgers are done?
- To see if the burgers are done cooking, press lightly on the top of the patty
- Observe the color of the juices that comes out
- Red = undercooked
- Clear = cooked
- No liquid = may be overdone
Topping the gyro burgers: Tzatziki!
I have used store bought (actually from the farmer’s market) tzatziki sauce in the past, but you can easily make your own if you choose to, and so I’ve included a recipe for it.
Traditional tzatziki typically contains plain Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and spices that can include rosemary, oregano, or dill. I’ve also seen lemon juice as an ingredient. Make it as simple or complex as you want. (Hint: I don’t measure the ingredients, which makes it even easier!). Taste and go!
easy gyro burgers
For the Burgers:
- 1 pound ground lamb or beef (or mixture of the two)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 3 cloves fresh garlic finely minced
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt table salt (iodized)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt , plain, 16 ounces
- ½ medium cucumber finely minced
- 3 small garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 hamburger rolls
- onion, lettuce, tomato optional (for topping/serving)
For the Burgers:
- Combine all ingredients (may allow mixture to sit overnight in the refrigerator to improve flavor).
- Preheat gas grill to medium high.
- While the grill is heating up, remove meat mixture from refrigerator if prepared ahead, and form into 4 patties.
- Grill patties about 4 minutes per side for or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees.
- Top with lettuce, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce and serve on a hamburger roll.
For the Sauce:
- Wrap the diced cucumber in a clean white cloth and squeeze out any excess water.
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Refrigerate until cold.
- Keeps in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
Post updated in April 2020 with easier Tzatziki recipe and new photos.