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Vegan Gyro Recipe – A Greek Cuisine To Try

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A vegan gyro Recipe offers a plant-based twist on the classic Greek dish. Marinated slices of tempeh or seitan, crisped to perfection, tucked into soft, warm pita bread. Topped with fresh tomatoes, onions, and a creamy tzatziki sauce made from cashews or soy yogurt, this delightful concoction serves as a hearty, flavorful meal for anyone seeking a cruelty-free option.

Why Does It Work?

  • Utilizes high-protein vegan ingredients such as tempeh or seitan, offering a meaty texture without the meat.
  • Incorporates fresh vegetables for a burst of flavor and crunch.
  • Features homemade, dairy-free tzatziki, ensuring a creamy, tangy complement without animal products.
  • Adapts the traditional gyro into a vegan delight, making it accessible to a wider audience.
  • Perfect for meal prep, as components can be prepared in advance.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding a satisfying vegan alternative to the beloved gyro seemed like a culinary quest destined for compromise. That is until I stumbled upon the ultimate Vegan Gyro Recipe.

Replicating this traditional dish’s savory flavors and textures without meat initially felt daunting. However, the journey led me to a discovery that meets and exceeds expectations. 

This recipe transforms the gyro experience by creatively combining seasoned tempeh or seitan with a medley of fresh veggies and a homemade, tangy tzatziki sauce.

vegan gyro recipe

It’s a testament that you can enjoy your favorite flavors with the right ingredients and techniques while adhering to a plant-based diet.

This vegan gyro is not just a dish; it’s a satisfying, guilt-free indulgence that brings the essence of Greek cuisine to your table with no compromise.

What Is Vegan Gyro? 

A vegan gyro is a plant-based version of the traditional Greek gyro, typically featuring meat. In a vegan gyro, the meat is replaced with alternatives like tempeh, seitan, or even mushrooms, marinated in savory spices to mimic the flavor profile of the original dish. 

Wrapped in soft pita bread, it’s garnished with fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and onions and topped with a vegan tzatziki sauce made from cashew or soy yogurt, cucumber, and garlic. This dish offers a cruelty-free, flavorful experience catering to vegans and those looking to reduce their meat intake.

Fact– Studies show that incorporating plant-based meals like vegan gyros into your diet can reduce environmental impact and promote heart health by lowering cholesterol levels.

vegan gyro recipe

Recipe Directions 

Tofu Gyro

  • Press the Tofu: Press extra firm tofu for at least 30 minutes. For super firm tofu, simply pat dry. Then, thinly slice the tofu and set aside.
  • Marinate the Tofu: Mix the gyro seasoning with the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add tofu slices, gently tossing to coat. Broken pieces are fine.
  • Bake the Tofu: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Arrange tofu slices in a single layer, ensuring they don’t overlap. Bake for 30 minutes until dry and chewy.
  • Finish Cooking: Transfer tofu to a skillet over medium heat, add 1 cup of water, and simmer until water is mostly absorbed.
  • Serve: Enjoy your tofu gyro in a pita with tomatoes, marinated onions, tzatziki, and fries!

Vegan Ground Beef Gyro

  • Prepare the Mixture: Blend shallots and garlic in a food processor. Add the other ingredients to a large bowl and process in batches until smooth.
  • Bake: Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, add the mixture, and spread evenly. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes.
  • Cool and Refrigerate: Let it cool for 20 minutes, then wrap it in foil and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Slice and Fry: Slice the loaf into 1/4″ strips, then fry in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Serve: Enjoy your vegan ground beef gyro in a pita with tomatoes, marinated onions, tzatziki, and fries!

Recipe Directions 

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Variations

  • Protein Base: In addition to tempeh, seitan, and tofu, consider using lentil patties, chickpea-based falafel, or grilled portobello mushrooms as the protein base for a different texture and flavor profile.
  • Wrap Options: While traditional gyros are served in pita bread, you can use lettuce wraps for a lighter option. Whole grain or gluten-free pitas are great for those with specific dietary preferences.

Add-Ons

  • Grilled Vegetables: Add grilled bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant for extra flavor and a boost of nutrients.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Incorporate pickled radishes, cabbage, or carrots for a tangy crunch.
  • Spicy Elements: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, adding sliced jalapeños or a drizzle of sriracha or hot sauce can elevate the dish.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Sprinkle on some toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for added texture and a nutty flavor.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Toppings

  • Sauces: To add creaminess and depth, experiment with different vegan sauces besides tzatziki, such as hummus, baba ganoush, or a spicy vegan aioli.
  • Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or mint can add a burst of freshness and complement the other flavors in the gyro.
  • Cheese Alternatives: Crumbled vegan feta or shredded vegan cheese can add a cheesy flavor and richness to the gyro.
  • Avocado: Slices of avocado or a dollop of guacamole can add creaminess and a source of healthy fats.
vegan gyro recipe

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Tomatoes: If fresh tomatoes are out of season or not to your liking, consider cherry tomatoes for a sweeter taste or sun-dried tomatoes for a concentrated flavor.
  • Onions: Red onions are great for their mild sweetness, but you can substitute with white onions for a sharper taste or shallots for a more delicate flavor. Green onions or scallions can also be used for a milder onion flavor with a bit of crunch.
  • Lettuce: If your recipe calls for lettuce and you’re out or just want a change, spinach leaves make a great alternative with added nutritional benefits. Arugula can also be used for a peppery kick, or kale for a heartier texture (just remember to massage it first to soften it).
  • Cucumbers: For their crunch and freshness, consider thinly sliced zucchini or bell peppers in dishes. Jicama could also be a great alternative for its crisp texture and mild taste.
  • Parsley: If parsley is not available, cilantro can be used for a different but complementary flavor profile. However, for those who don’t enjoy cilantro, try using basil or chives for a fresh touch.
  • Dill: Dill has a unique flavor, but fennel fronds can offer a similar anise-like taste if you need a substitute. Alternatively, tarragon or a small amount of mint might work, depending on the dish.

Quick Tip – For the best texture in your vegan gyro, marinate your protein overnight. This deepens flavors, resulting in a more authentic and satisfying dish.

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  1. Greek Salad A refreshing mix of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and vegan feta with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Lemon Roasted Potatoes Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, with a zesty lemon flavor.
  3. Hummus Creamy and rich, perfect for dipping your gyro or fresh vegetables.
  4. Tabbouleh is a vibrant, herby salad with bulgur, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and lemon juice.
  5. Falafel These crispy chickpea patties add a delicious crunch and protein boost.
  6. Baked Sweet Potato Fries A healthier alternative to traditional fries, seasoned with herbs and spices.
  7. Quinoa Salad A protein-packed salad with quinoa, veggies, and a lemony dressing.
  8. Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas) Grape leaves filled with herbed rice, pine nuts, and raisins, offering a unique flavor.
  9. Roasted Red Pepper Dip A smoky, sweet dip that pairs wonderfully with the flavors of a vegan gyro.
  10. Cucumber Yogurt Sauce A dairy-free version of tzatziki made with vegan yogurt, cucumber, and garlic, adding a cool, creamy texture.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • Warm the Pita: Heat your pita bread slightly to make it more pliable and warm, enhancing its flavor and texture.
  • Spread Sauce: Start with a generous layer of vegan tzatziki or your chosen sauce on the inside of the pita to add moisture and flavor.
  • Add the Protein: Place your marinated and cooked vegan protein (such as seitan, tempeh, or tofu) at the center of the pita.
  • Layer Vegetables: Add fresh vegetables like sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, or cucumber for crunch and freshness.
  • Include Pickles or Olives: For a tangy twist, include pickled vegetables or sliced olives.
  • Sprinkle with Herbs: Garnish with fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or mint for an aromatic touch.
  • Add Extra Toppings: For extra flavor and texture, add additional toppings such as avocado slices, vegan feta cheese, or roasted red peppers.
  • Fold and Wrap: Carefully fold the pita over the fillings, wrapping it securely. You might use parchment paper or foil to hold it together, especially if serving to-go.
  • Serve with Sides: For a complete meal, serve alongside your side dishes, such as Greek salad, hummus, or baked sweet potato fries.
  • Garnish: Lastly, drizzle more sauce over the gyro before serving or offer extra sauce on the side for dipping.

How To Serve?

Quick Tip -Drizzle extra tzatziki sauce inside and on top before serving to keep your vegan gyro moist and flavorful. It enhances taste and adds creaminess.

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigerate Separately: To maintain freshness, store the cooked vegan protein, vegetables, and sauces in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  • Shelf Life: The vegan protein and sauces typically last up to 5 days. For the best quality, fresh vegetables should be used within 2-3 days.
  • Freezing Protein: Freeze the cooked vegan protein in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the vegan protein and sauces in advance. This strategy saves time and enhances flavors, making meal assembly quick and easy.
  • Reheating: Warm the protein in a skillet over medium heat or the microwave, ensuring it’s heated before assembling your gyro.
  • Pita Bread: If you plan to use pita bread, store it at room temperature in a bread box or airtight bag for up to a week or freeze it for longer storage.

Fact -The vegan gyro offers a high-protein alternative to traditional meat dishes. It uses innovative plant-based proteins like seitan and tempeh, which are marinated to mimic classic gyro flavors.

Storage & Make Ahead
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Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Vegetables Ahead: Slice or chop your vegetables in advance and store them in the refrigerator. This makes assembly quick and easy when you’re ready to eat.
  2. Use Pre-Made Protein: Choose store-bought, pre-marinated vegan proteins like tempeh or seitan to save on preparation time.
  3. Batch Cooking: Cook your vegan protein in larger quantities. It can be refrigerated or frozen, allowing you to have a ready-to-use protein base for your gyros throughout the week.
  4. Quick Pickles: Make a quick pickle for your onions or other vegetables by marinating them in vinegar and spices for just a few hours for added flavor without the wait.
  5. Simplify Sauces: Use a simplified version of tzatziki made with vegan yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic, and lemon juice. No need for extensive blending or chopping.
  6. Pita Bread Tips: To save time compared to oven heating, warm your pita bread in a microwave for 10-20 seconds or directly on the stove flame for a few seconds on each side.
  7. Assembly Line: Set up an assembly line for your ingredients. Everything in front of you reduces the time spent looking for ingredients and makes assembling your gyros more efficient.
  8. Double Up: When making sauces or marinades, double the recipe and store the extra in the fridge or freezer. This way, you have a ready-to-use base for next time, cutting down on future prep work.
Vegan Gyro Recipe - A Greek Cuisine To Try

Vegan Gyro Recipe – A Greek Cuisine To Try

Recipe by Julia

The vegan gyro is a plant-based masterpiece, ingeniously substituting traditional meat with marinated tempeh or seitan wrapped in a warm pita. Topped with fresh veggies, tangy pickles, and creamy vegan tzatziki, it’s a culinary delight that satisfies the craving for Greek street food while adhering to a cruelty-free lifestyle. A perfect blend of health, flavor, and ethics.

Course: Main Meal
0 from 0 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

350

kcal
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • Gyro Seasoning
  • 1 Tsp 1 Fresh Chopped Rosemary

  • 2 Tsp 2 Dried Oregano

  • 1 Tsp 1 Cumin

  • 1 Tsp 1 Smoked Paprika

  • 1 Tsp 1 Ground Coriander

  • 1 Tsp 1 Marjoram

  • 1/8 Tsp 1/8 Cinnamon

  • Salt & Pepper To taste

  • Tofu Gyro
  • 1 Pound 1 Super firm tofu

  • Gyro seasoning All of it

  • 1 Tsp 1 Beefless bouillon (or veggie)

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Soy sauce

  • 1 Tsp 1 Marmite

  • 1/2 Tsp 1/2 Liquid smoke

  • 1 Tsp 1 Gravy master

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 Tsp 1/2 Onion powder

  • 1 Tsp 1 Garlic powder

  • 1 Tsp 1 Smoked paprika

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Water

  • Vegan Ground Beef Gyro
  • 1 Pound 1 Plant-based meat (like Impossible)

  • Gyro seasoning All of it

  • 2 2 Shallots (roughly chopped)

  • 4 Cloves 4 Garlic (roughly chopped)

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Breadcrumbs

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Olive oil

  • Marinated Onions
  • 1/2 1/2 Medium red onion (thinly sliced)

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Lemon juice

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Fresh dill (chopped)

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Fresh parsley (chopped)

  • 2 Tsp 2 Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper To taste

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Gyro Seasoning
  • Combine Ingredients: In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried), 2 tsp dried oregano, 1-2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp marjoram, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, and salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Tofu Gyro
  • Prep the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Prepare Tofu: If using extra firm tofu, press it for at least 30 minutes. If using super firm tofu, simply pat it dry. Then, thinly slice the tofu and set it aside.
  • Marinate Tofu: In a large bowl, combine the gyro seasoning, 1 tsp beefless (or veggie) bouillon, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp marmite, 1/2 tsp liquid smoke, 1 tsp gravy master, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 3 Tbsp water. Add the tofu slices and gently toss to coat.
  • Bake Tofu: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Arrange the marinated tofu slices in an even layer, ensuring they don’t overlap. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tofu is slightly dry and chewy.
  • Simmer Tofu: Transfer the tofu to a skillet over medium heat, add 1 cup of water, and bring to a simmer until most water is reabsorbed/reduced.
  • Serve: Fill a pita with tofu; add tomatoes, marinated onions, tzatziki, and fries.
  • Vegan Ground Beef Gyro
  • Process Shallots and Garlic: In a food processor, blend 2 roughly chopped shallots and 4 cloves of roughly chopped garlic until finely diced/minced. Remove and set aside.
  • Mix Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the processed shallot and garlic mixture with 1 pound of plant-based meat, the gyro seasoning, 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix well with clean hands.
  • Blend for Texture: Process half of the mixture until smooth, then repeat with the remaining half.
  • Prepare for Baking: Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer the meat mixture to the pan, spreading it evenly.
  • Bake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let it cool for 20 minutes. Then, wrap in foil and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Slice and Fry: Unwrap the meatloaf, slice into 1/4″ strips, and fry in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Serve: Enjoy a pita with tomatoes, marinated onions, tzatziki, and fries.
  • Marinated Onions
  • Combine: In a bowl, mix 1/2 a thinly sliced medium red onion, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, 1-2 tsp olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately or let marinate for a few hours for a pickled effect.
  • EQUIPMENT
  • Tofu Press
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper
  • Cooking Spray
  • Skillet
  • Food Processor
  • Loaf Pan
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Refrigerator (for storage)
  • Microwave or Stove (for reheating)

Notes

  • Use extra firm tofu for the best texture; press it to remove excess moisture.

  • Marinate tofu or vegan meat overnight to deepen flavors.

  • Bake tofu until dry and chewy for a meat-like texture.

  • Allow vegan ground beef to cool and firm in the fridge before slicing.

  • Marinated onions add a tangy crunch; prepare ahead for enhanced flavor.

  • Warm pitas make for easier assembly and improved taste.

  • Serve with fresh veggies and homemade tzatziki for a balanced meal.

  • Experiment with different proteins like seitan or tempeh for variety.
vegan gyro recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make A Vegan Gyro Gluten-Free?

You can easily make a vegan gyro gluten-free by choosing a gluten-free protein option such as tempeh (ensure it’s labeled gluten-free as some may contain added grains) or a specific gluten-free vegan meat substitute.

Also, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari in the marinade and serve your gyro in a gluten-free pita bread or lettuce wrap. Always check labels for hidden gluten in processed ingredients.

How Can I Ensure My Vegan Gyro Has Enough Protein?

Select a high-protein base like tempeh, seitan, or a commercial vegan meat substitute known for its protein content to ensure your vegan gyro is high in protein. Adding elements like hummus or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast can also boost the protein content.

Combining these ingredients with the protein-rich pita bread (or a protein-packed gluten-free alternative) ensures a satisfying, protein-filled meal.

What Are Some Vegan Tzatziki Sauce Variations?

Vegan tzatziki can be made with various bases to suit different tastes and dietary needs. Common bases include unsweetened plant-based yogurt (coconut, almond, or soy), cashew cream, or tofu.

Add grated cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and salt to taste. For a twist, add mint for extra freshness or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a slight kick.

vegan gyro recipe

How Long Can I Store Leftover Vegan Gyro Ingredients?

Cooked vegan proteins can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Marinated onions and vegan tzatziki sauce can last up to a week when stored properly in the fridge.

Pita bread should be kept at room temperature in a bread box or sealed bag for up to a week, or it can be frozen for longer storage. Always check for freshness before consuming leftovers.

Is There A Way To Make The Vegan Gyro More Environmentally Friendly?

Yes, you can make your vegan gyro more environmentally friendly by sourcing ingredients locally and organically where possible, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation, and supporting sustainable farming practices.

Also, homemade plant-based proteins like tempeh or seitan can minimize packaging waste. Opting for seasonal vegetables for toppings and sides can also contribute to a more sustainable meal.

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HELLO AND WELCOME TO
VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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