Ground Turkey Gyros
This was by far, my most favourite recipe of the week! Reminiscent of my travelling days in Turkey, these homemade gyros are AMAZING!! When I travelled in Turkey, I could not get enough of the Turkish döner kebap. I had so many of these in the month that I travelled there, that I actually drew a picture of one in my journal so I would never forget how good they were. Traditionally they are usually lamb but I always got the chicken one’s- they were my favourite! Another bonus was that they only cost me about 50 cents each (a blessing for a backpacker!). I still can never pass up an opportunity to get a Gyro from the food truck if I am near one.
I wasn’t sure how the ground turkey would fare but it was absolutely delicious with just the right amount of spice. The tzatziki sauce was so easy to make and so delicious! I have never made homemade pitas before but now that I have- I will be doing it from now on. They were incredible! So soft, delicious and easy to make. Zoë helped me and loved how they puffed up like a pillow in the oven- she was so cute!
It didn’t take too long. I made my stuff in stages as I quite often have to (with 2 little one’s) but it was very straightforward and I am making this a “go-to” recipe when we have company. Give it a try… it’s well worth it!
Ground Turkey Gyros
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup oatmeal (quick oats)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
A pinch of cinnamon
Extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Put all of the ingredients in a bowl, and spend a few minutes kneading the mixture with your hands so that everything is very well combined. (I like to mix all the ingredients together, minus the ground turkey, first. Then add the ground turkey in last, and knead for a few minutes.)
- Put the mixture onto a lightly oiled 9×13 pan. Line with non-stick foil, for easy clean-up.
- Smash the meat mixture down with your hands a bit until it looks like a very large hamburger patty.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove, then cut the meat into thin slices.
- If you want a crispier, more authentic gyros texture, lay the sliced meat down on the pan and place in the broiler for 5 more minutes.
- Layer the meat on fresh pita bread, then garnish with desired toppings.
1 cup sour cream
1 medium cucumber (skinned, shredded and drained on paper towel to remove much of the water)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh dill (chopped)
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
- Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl, or container with a lid.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour (or, let sit over night to let the flavors meddle).
Homemade Pita Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 packet quick rise yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cup water, roughly at room temperature
an extra 1/4 cup of water, roughly at room temperature
- Mix the yeast, flour, and salt in a large bowl or stand mixer.
- Add the honey, olive oil, and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon, or on the low setting.
- All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water (the extra 1/4 cup).
- Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes (or until your hands get tired). If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.
- When you are done kneading the dough, form it into a ball, & place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil. Just pour about a teaspoon of oil into the bowl and rub it around with your fingers. Roll the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.
- When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases.
- Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a cutting board, remove the dough from the bowl onto the board and divide it into 8 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball.
- Cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
- After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there.
- Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.
- Open the oven and carefully place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary.