Lamb Tenderloin Gyros

Last year I made a gyro meat recipe based on Alton Brown’s method, which I really like. It’s a great way to use ground lamb, and it produces some really great results. The only thing that prevents it from being an all-time great is that it involves a bit of work – blending everything in a food processor, wrapping it with plastic wrap, letting it sit out for two hours, then roasting it in a water bath. It’s not a huge deal, but not a quick and easy meal by any means. So I’ve always wanted to work out a grilled gyros recipe that produces similar tastes but with minimal work. When US Wellness Meats asked me to try their new lamb tenderloin, it was time to put my new idea to the test.

Gyro meat, often referred to as doner or shawarma meat, is meat roasted on a rotating vertical spit and shaved off. Most Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern countries have some variation of this dish as a common street food. Depending on where you’re getting it, the meat can be made of lamb, beef, goat, chicken or a combination of meats.

Slightly off-topic, but I was recently a guest on the Born Primal podcast, where I talked about my health history and some of my culinary inspirations. Let me know what you think.

Serves two

2 lamb tenderloins or 1 lb lamb shoulder
1/4 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp water
1 tsp each dried marjoram and mint
1/4 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Slice the lamb into 1″ chunks that are the width of the tenderloin.

Blend your remaining ingredients, then place them in a ziploc bag with the sliced tenderloin, and marinate for at least two hours in the fridge (four is ideal).

Skewer the meat with two skewers, be sure not to overcrowd your skewer – you want a good distance between your pieces of lamb so they cook thoroughly. Grill over direct heat, on high, until medium-done, about three minutes per side. Serve with chopped tomatoes, cucumber slices, and my homemade tzatziki if you’re dairy-inclined.

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15 thoughts on “Lamb Tenderloin Gyros

  1. This looks like a great alternative/addition to the original gyro meat recipe, which was cool because nearly anything Alton Brown is doing is worth emulating on my end. My recipe arsenal is growing by the day; thanks for this one too…!


  2. Hi Russ, I just listened to the podcast – fantastic! Very well done. I’ve known your story from your blog, and it was great to hear you actually talk about it. I love your approach to health, food, cooking and making the food look great! It’s very inspiring.


  3. Hey Russ — thanks for this! My daughters love gyro and I think this would be a great, easy way to make it at home. Going to put this in the rotation soon. The girls are going to be very happy.


  4. I will be trying this recipe out! I love gyros, but haven’t quite mastered cooking lamb to my liking. This seems straightforward and worth a try. Thanks for this less-involved recipe!


  5. Great recipe for the gyro, one of my favorite meals. I’ll be honest, though. I have a tendency to be impatient, so I usually get mine made to order at a restaurant in our local mall. I’m fairly sure, though, that the one you present is probably just a little better for my health. I am looking for some ways to get my stomach to like me better. Maybe trying paleo recipes is one way to go!?


    1. Hey Cliff, I’m like you in that I feel that gyros almost epitomize the idea of fast/convenient food. Unfortunately, the stuff they sell at many restaurants use a bread-based binder to keep the meat squishy and moist, and some even add MSG to make the meat extra tasty – both are hard for some people’s digestive systems to process.


      1. Hi, Russ. I appreciate the response. I’m not exactly sure what they put in the gyros. They do taste great, but, just like with hamburgers, they leave me feeling like I swallowed a large rock that just sits there for a day or 2. It’s tough changing eating habits after years and years of eating what you want. But, I am tired of my stomach always griping at me.


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