Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros

This leftover lamb gyros recipe is the most delicious way to use up leftover roasted lamb or really and truly any leftover large portion of meat like roasted pork, roasted chicken or roast beef. We always have leftovers when we roast a leg of lamb (unless I’m feeding a crowd) so I tend to freeze it and use it to make these delicious quick and easy lamb gyros. I let it thaw in the fridge overnight and its good to slice and sear the next day for this leftover lamb roast gyros. There are many leftover lamb recipes you could use your lamb in like soups, stews, curry, sauces and casseroles like shepherd’s pie or pasta bakes but why not take things to the next level and try something a little different and enjoy it in gyros. No leftover roast lamb - no problem. I got you covered wth an easy alternative below.

Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros

How do you pronounce “gyro”?

Before we go any further, let’s deal with the pronunciation of this Greek word. Im guilty of pronouncing “jairoh” myself cause I usually don’t want to repeat myself when speaking to a non Greek about Gyros but the best way to say “gyro” is “YEER-oh,”/‘YEE-row’ or “yeerohs” without the hard “g.”

Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros

What is gyros?

Gyro a Greek dish that is typically served on a pita. Made with stacked meat that has been cooked on a vertical rotisserie, “gyro” means “round” in Greek. In Greece, gyros are traditionally made with pork, but chicken is also common, and the slices of meat are stacked on a spit. Outside of Greece gyros, are typically made from a loaf comprised of ground beef and lamb that is also on a vertical rotisserie, its sliced and then seared before adding it to a gyro plate or platter or on a pita.The Greek gyro is primarily seasoned with a blend of lemon juice, oregano and garlic with a few additional herbs like thyme and rosemary for a strong, bright lemon/oregano flavor. if you want to make this Shawarma style - you would season instead with cumin, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves to create a warm, earthy, smoky, pungent flavor. This gyro version if made with leftover roast lamb that is sliced, seasoned and seared before serving - a super simple way to do lamb gyros and a great way to repurpose a roast. It is often served as a dinner with rice, potatoes and salad or on a pita.

Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros

What if I don’t have leftover cooked lamb?

No leftover lamb but you still want to make this delicious lamb gyro? No problem you can make this recipe with just a few tweaks using 1 pound of boneless lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks or Lamb Sirloin boneless seared or grilled then sliced onto strips. You will marinade the lamb (either the chucks or the sirloin) wth the exact same seasoning blend noted in the recipe for at least 30 min (feel free to increase the amount of spices and seasoning to taste). Seaon the lamb well with salt and pepper before cooking. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat and drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the lamb cubes to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides and cooked to medium-rare, about 4 minutes on each side. For the sirloin you could either cut it in strips first then marinate and searing in a hot skillet or cooking first then slice after its rested a few minutes. then you are ready to top or fill you pita with it.

Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros

What goes in a gyros on a pita?

Greek gyros are served in a pita homemade or store-bought, stuffed with chopped or wedge cut ripe tomato, sliced red onion, a few French fries, and a healthy dose of tzatziki (a Greek sauce or dip made with strained Greek Yogurt, garlic and finely grated cucumbers). Some also serve it with a spicy cheese dip, and a mustard mayo sauce. Outside of Greece lettuce cucumbers and sliced olives are sometimes added to the mix, and the addition of French fries is usually only on the side. I like a little bit of everything and in Greek we say -A Pita Gyros with everything (Pita Gyro Apo Ola). When making it a home you can customize with the ingredients you like and the amounts you like too.

Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros

What to Serve with Gyros?

Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros

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Recipe

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 min (more if using uncooked lamb)

Ingredients

For the Lamb

  • 1 lb of leftover cooked lamb (see notes about cooking lamb if needed)
  • ½ teaspoon each of chopped fresh or dried rosemary and thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for the pitas
  • 1 lemon sliced into wedges for squeezing over lamb and for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

For Serving (optional)

  • Homemade tzatziki sauce or storebought (my homemade recipe is easy and delicious)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced or diced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers cliced or chopped
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Kalamata Olives or black olives
  • Fries
  • Sliced lettuce
  • 4 Greek pita bread rounds (try my homemade easy recipe for pita bread)

Directions

  1. Prepare all your serving ingredients -slice tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers if using and set aside.
  2. Slice cooked lamb into bite size pieces or strips and toss with 2 tablespoon of olive oil and the spices to coat.
  3. Warm pitas: Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add a touch of olive oil to pan or brush the pitas with a little olive oil, place pita in skillet and allow to warm up and sizzle approx 30 seconds per side - you don’t want it too cook too much just to warm through. A dry skillet works too, but I always use a little olive oil in the pan or on the pitas. Set pitas aside and wrap with clean cloth or foil to keep warm.
  4. Slice cooked lamb into bite size pieces or strips and toss with 2 tablespoon of olive oil and the spices to coat.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat and add the lamb meat slices to hot skillet - do not crowd (feel free to do in two batches if it all doesn’t fit in the pan at once) pan fry until heated through tossing meat so all sides get heated through just a couple of minutes. If you would like crispy edges cook a couple of extra minutes but be careful not to over cook the lamb so its doesn’t dry out.
  6. Remove lamb from heat and squeeze fresh lemon juice over and chopped parsley.
  7. Assemble: top the warm pita with whatever toppings you like. I like to start off with some tzatziki then some veggies followed by the lamb and some fries too, then a sprinkle of feta. Then you are ready to dig in!

Recipe Notes

  • What if I don’t have leftover cooked lamb? No leftover lamb but you still want to make this delicious lamb gyro? No problem you can make this recipe with just a few tweaks using 1 pound of boneless lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1½-inch chunks or Lamb Sirloin boneless seared or grilled then sliced onto strips. You will marinade the lamb (either the chucks or the sirloin) wth the exact same seasoning blend noted in the recipe for at least 30 min (feel free to increase the amount of spices and seasoning to taste). Seaon the lamb well with salt and pepper before cooking. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat and drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the lamb cubes to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides and cooked to medium-rare, about 4 minutes on each side. For the sirloin you could either cut it in strips first then marinate and searing in a hot skillet or cooking first then slice after its rested a few minutes. then you are ready to top or fill you pita with it.

Leftover Roasted Lamb Gyros