Satisfy your cravings with vegan gyros made with tempeh, fresh veggies, and tangy tzatziki sauce. A healthy twist on the Greek classic!
You can also use portobello mushrooms to make this recipe. Just as easy, but with a slightly different texture. Make one or even both for a perfect family meal!
This recipe was originally published on 2/27/2014
This vegetarian gyros twist on the meat based original is a great choice for meatless Monday. Keep it dairy free using my amazing vegan tzatziki sauce.
When it comes to the best vegan Greek food, gyros must be part of the discussion! This homemade gyros recipe ditches the meat and uses plant based ingredients instead.
For the vegan gyro meat choose either:
- Portobello mushrooms
For the gyros marinade:
- Greek oregano (use regular oregano if you don't have Greek)
- Dried thyme
- Lemon juice
- Tamari (or soy sauce for a non gluten free version)
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Veggie broth
Load the sandwich with:
- Pita bread
- Red onion
- Lettuce (optional, not a traditional topping)
- Vegan Tzatziki
- Oven Fries (optional)
There are so many ways to make a gyro. In addition to tempeh and mushrooms, there are loads of options. Here's what I found when I did a search:
How to Make Vegan Gyros
This mushroom or tempeh gyro sandwich recipe is an easy build your own dinner idea. Follow these steps to get them done with little prep:
- Marinate the tempeh or mushrooms.
- See the recipe card for detailed instructions on preparing the tempeh for marinating.
- Bake the marinated tempeh or mushrooms.
- Meanwhile prepare the toppings.
- Build the gyro sandwiches and enjoy!
What to Serve With Gyros
Now that you know how to make gyros they'll likely be on your regular menu rotation. The gyro seasonings will pair great with any of these vegan Greek recipes:
- Gyros sauce - we prefer the classic choice of tzatziki, but you could also use hummus, tahini sauce, ranch, or sour cream.
- Bell peppers
- Cheese - for a vegetarian gyro add any cheese you like, to keep this recipe vegan use dairy free feta
- Hot sauce
Serve as a meal along with:
- Greek Salad
- Green salad with Greek dressing
- Greek Farro Salad
- Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes
- Grilled Veggie Kabobs
- Yemista (Stuffed tomatoes and peppers)
More Uses For Vegan Gyro Meat
This easy gyro recipe can be used for more than pita sandwiches! Try using the vegan gyro meat in any of the following ways:
- In a sliced bread sandwich or wrap
- As a pizza topping
- On top of fries
- Add to pasta salad or this Orzo Salad
- In a bowl
- On mac and cheese
- As part of a mezze platter
Meal Prep and Storage Tips
- Marinate the tempeh or mushrooms the night before.
- You can even cook the marinated tempeh or mushrooms up to 2-3 days in advance.
- Store cooked tempeh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Cooked mushrooms will keep in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.
- Slice the toppings up to 2 days ahead of time.
- Make the tzatziki up to 5 days in advance.
- Reheat the vegan gyro meat in a pan on the stove with a little olive oil, or in the microwave until heated through.
It depends on what the gyro consists of, and what your definition of healthy is. Using lamb or beef results in high saturated fat, whereas loading up a gyro with plant based fillings will not have as much fat. Keep your toppings fresh for a healthy gyro sandwich.
The meat itself is gluten free. However, the seasonings (especially store bought) may contain gluten so make sure to check the label.
A gyro (pronounced "YEE-roh" or "ZHEE-roh") is a popular Greek dish that typically consists of seasoned meat, usually lamb, beef, or a combination of the two, cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The meat is typically thinly sliced and served wrapped in a warm pita bread or flatbread along with toppings.
Vegan Burgers, Wraps and Sandwiches
Vegan Gyros (Tempeh or Mushrooms)
- 8 oz tempeh (package in block form), or use two portobello mushrooms very thinly sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic , finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Greek oregano , use regular oregano if you don't have Greek
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Tamari , low sodium if needed (or soy sauce for non gluten free version)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt , see notes
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup veggie broth , low sodium if needed
- 8 pita bread
- 2 fresh tomatoes , sliced
- ½ red onion , sliced
- 2 cups lettuce , sliced (optional, not a traditional topping)
- Vegan Tzatziki
- Oven Fries , optional but so good
Marinating the tempeh (you can do this first before you prep everything else or the day before for maximum absorption and flavor):
- Cut the block of tempeh in half width wise so it makes two shorter blocks.
- Boil or steam in a pot of water for about 20 minutes. This cuts the bitterness from the tempeh.
- Meanwhile, make marinade by combining everything in a large container or large ziplock bag.
- Once the tempeh is done, allow to cool. Then cut into thin slices, about ⅛ inch thick. Using a very sharp knife will make this easier.
- Add thinly sliced tempeh into the marinade and allow it to soak for at least 4-6 hours, overnight is best.
- If using mushrooms then put thin slices right into marinade.
Once tempeh (or mushrooms) is ready:
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Take tempeh slices out of the marinade (save it!) and spread them out in a thin layer in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Do this with mushroom slices too but no need to save the marinade.
- Gently pour about ¼ cup of the marinade over the tempeh slices.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are brown.
- Meanwhile you can prep the tomatoes, red onion, lettuce and make tzatziki if you haven't yet. If you use potatoes then make sure to make them as well, they take a while to bake so you may want to do this first.
- Once tempeh (or mushrooms) is done, remove from oven and cover with foil to keep warm. Set aside.
- Warm the pita bread in a damp towel for 2-3 minutes in the microwave to soften.
- Build your gyros with the tempeh gyro slices, potatoes (if using), tomatoes, red onion and lettuce if preferred.
- Drizzle tzatziki over the top and devour!
- Adjust the amount of salt based on your taste. You may need more or less depending on what broth and Tamari/soy sauce you use.
- You can substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic if you don't have it, but the fresh garlic yields a more authentic flavor.
- Nutrition info is for baked tempeh only.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
Loved this! Made a great dinner and used extra marinade for a quick squash sauté. Lots of flavor and veggies and textures. We will definitely have this again. The tzatziki sauce is fantastic and will be slathered on everything this week
I am so happy you liked it Carolyn!! Thanks so much!
These were tasty, I thought I didn’t like tempeh but this recipe changed that. But with all the chopping and grating and juicing, it took me almost 3 hours to make this, so if you’re going to make it, at least double the batch of tempeh so you have 2 meals out of it. I, like some others, didn’t see the 4hour minimum marinating time on the tempeh, so I only marinated for about 45 minutes while I made the potatoes and sauce, and it still turned out delicious. I have a second batch of tempeh marinating for tomorrow, as my husband and I ate the whole first batch in one sitting 🤭. The tzatziki is outstanding, but next time I’ll reduce the garlic by a clove. Thanks for sharing this recipe, and I hope my tips may help some other people like me who prefer to batch cook to get more bang for your time in the kitchen.
I'm so happy you liked it Lara!! Yes, if you don't have the sauces, etc done already or aren't using store bought stuff it can take a little while. But hope it was easy along the way! I always encourage batching too! Such a productive way to get your week ready and easy. Thank you so much for your great review!
Thank you for this recipe! One of my close friends and I are stepping into the vegan world. We LOVED it! I am so glad I found you and your blog! I love to try new things and adding comfort foods, foods I love, now in a vegan form definitely helps the transition!! I am excited to try so many of your recipes, especially now that I've made this and found it to be truly and unbelievably as delicious (in my opinion - better!!) than meat gyros! I can't wait to make it for my wonderful Greek sister in law! Also, I much prefer the Tzatziki recipe over traditional as well. What next?!!!
I am so happy to hear!! Made my night!!
So yummy! How long does the tzakziki sauce last in the fridge?
Thanks Dee! I'd say it lasts about 5-7 days!
Brilliant! Loved your story as I lived and worked in Greece for 1.5 years too and had many a Gyros at 2 or 3 in the morning too. I since managed to turn mine vegan and found our recipes to look alike a lot, only that I am making mine with Portobello Mushrooms soaked in Worcester Sauce a little maple syrup and a little soy sauce. Just loving it! Thanks for bringing this recipe over to the vegan side too.
Thank you Carmen! Those 2 am gyros sure were good! LOL!
OPA!! My husband & I were dancing around the room with joyful tastebuds when we tried these tonight. Like many of the other folks who’ve commented before me, I’ve really missed gyros & now they’re back! The tzatziki sauce is also dynamite & a new staple.
Thanks & well done !! Just hope Thanksgiving dinner can measure up after that. If not, we still have leftover gyros...
I'm so so happy you liked it!!
This was amazing. Thank you!
So happy to hear you liked them!
OMG this blew us all away! Fantastic recipe! The flavors are excellent and I'm so happy. I've been missing gyros address these really fit the bill. These are going to be a staple in our meals from now on. I can't wait to make them for my non-vegan children when they come to visit. Thank you!
I am so happy you liked it Carol!! Thank you so much for the great review and letting me know.
This was my first experience with tempeh and it was EXCELLENT!! I did substitute wild rice (cooked in the Instant Pot) for the potatoes and included a palm-sized amount of grass-fed beef, but even without the beef, it was GREAT! I'm looking forward to the leftovers! Thank you!
Hi Cherish! Yay! I am so happy you liked it! And glad you were able to make it your own!
Wow these were good! I would've never thought of including potatoes, but they were great and I'm always looking for ways to use up any potatoes that come in my CSA box. This was my first time eating tempeh, and I thought it was a very good meaty type substitute. I also served these sandwiches with some curried red lentil hummus and pickled turnips. Loved the tzatziki sauce, although next time I'd use less garlic as I'm not really a fan of super strong raw garlic flavors, and I used dried dill because I didn't have fresh.
Hi Laura!! Thank you so much for the awesome review! Yes, in Greece they put potatoes in the gyros! They are so good! I was touch and go with Tempeh for a while but once I learned to boil it, I have used it in so many ways! I so appreciate all your support!
I woke up to a text from my son, it was your shopping list for these gyros. 🙂 I prepped the tempeh and the cashew tzatziki (YUM) and he prepared dinner. OMG! This was fantastic!! I am a little embarrassed to say, this serving for 8, fed our family of 3 w/ only one leftover lunch. This recipe made the cut and will now be in our rotation. You are a master! Thanks Sophia!
Hahaha!! Don't be embarrassed, we eat them all too!! I am so happy you guys love them as much as we do. Thank you so much for the great review!
Thanks for helping me get my Greek food fix again! It was one of the things I missed most after going vegan. Your marinade and tzatziki are right on--real keepers.
While trying to find good vegan Greek food, I stumbled across the Pita Street Food chain. They have a decent-ish falafal, which when covered with their garlic sauce, helped quell my Greek food cravings. But their sandwich isn't as good as yours. One thing I did learn from them, though, was to use chopped dill pickles. I added them to your recipe as part of the toppings and it was totally delicious. But I'm wondering if that's an authentic Greek thing to do or if they just made it up. It doesn't matter because it's delicious and I'll keep doing it but I was just curious.
Thanks again to you (and your mom!) for such great recipes. 🙂
Hi Carla!! I am so happy you loved the recipe!! The dill pickles are not a greek thing, in Greece the gyro have fries, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki. Simple and delicious. But I LOVE pickles and am totally trying it!! Thank you so much for the great review!
These look AMAZING! I am so excited to try them. My only request is maybe change the prep time to include the marinating time. I bought everything to make them and came home to start and then saw the marinating time kind of knocks these out of contention for dinner tonight (and my fiance and I were so excited!). Personally, when I meal prep and find recipes, I look at the ingredients and the prep and cook time but not the full steps. But we are still psyched to have them tomorrow!
Hi Alexandra! So, when I first got this recipe card, they did not have an option for an extra time slot and I didn't want to include the marinating in the overall time, which is why I put it as the first instruction in bold. Now they do for things like marinating or freezing, so I can go back in and add it. I am slowly adding things like this, just don't have time to go through every recipe so I add them as I go. Hope you enjoy them!
I like this recipe because it doesn’t have cumin. Cumin in my experience isn’t used much in traditional Greek cooking though it is present in a lot of dishes that came from the influence Turkish cuisine had on Greek cuisine... it just overwhelms all other flavors and makes everything taste like generic Middle Eastern food...also for some reason cumin makes food so hard to digest (just me maybe?) but honestly
Thank you Mila! Yes, cumin is not an ingredient in traditional Greek food. My mom actually can't stand cumin, probably because she is 100% Greek and doesn't have the taste for it. So none of my traditional Greek recipes have the spice. Glad you enjoyed it!
Oh my lanta!
I’ve never had a meat gyro, but these are incredible! We just got back from Greece, so this recipe feels like we’ve extended our vacation. I can’t wait to make your moussaka tomorrow!
Thanks so much Annika, I'm so happy you enjoyed them. Moussaka is one of my favorites, enjoy!