Greek salad with tzatziki dressing

gyro-inspired salad

This sort-of-Greek salad was inspired by a gyro wrap: it has all the contents of a gyro, minus the pita wrap, with a modified tzatziki dressing. Gyro is a Greek dish featuring meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, and usually served wrapped in pita bread, with cucumber, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki is traditionally made using yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill, mint, or parsley. Sometimes they’re also served with french fries stuffed inside.


My salad is making no claims about being authentic to either a gyro or a Greek salad: just inspired by them.

While the dressing contains some dairy, the dish is completely gluten-free and grain-free, so it is “primal.” If you’re strict Paleo or Whole30, you could certainly substitute a non-dairy sour cream or yogurt.

In a real gyro, the meat is most often lamb, but can also be beef, pork, or chicken, and it’s carved off the rotisserie in thin slices. For my quick-and-easy version, I just use ground meat. (“Mince,” for the Aussies.) I use either pork breakfast sausage or seasoned ground beef — whichever I had on hand — but you could use ground lamb, turkey or chicken, too. If using a plain meat (not sausage), season it generously with oregano, as well as some onion and garlic. Fresh parsley if you have it. Maybe some paprika. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tzatziki salad dressing recipe

Makes one or two servings. Scale up as you wish.

2 T. finely diced cucumber

1/4 cup sour cream or whole-milk Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt

2 T. mayo (homemade if you have it)

1 t. garlic-infused olive oil

OR 1/2 clove garlic, microwaved for 30 seconds and minced fine)

3/4 t. dill (my preference, but you can use parsley or mint, or a combo)

pinch of coarse salt


Dice the cucumber to 1/4″ or smaller.

Spread it out on the cutting board. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit for at least 10 or 15 minutes. Press over it with paper towels a few times to remove most of the excess moisture. (Note: If you’ll be using all of the dressing right away, you may skip this step. It keeps the sauce from getting too watery in storage.)

Combine with all remaining ingredients, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Use immediately or store for up to two days. (Maybe more. It’s gone before then in my house.)


Other salad ingredients:

Romaine lettuce – chopped for salad, or use whole leaves as a wrap

ground beef or other meat of your choice, 2 – 4 oz. per person

chopped tomatoes

chopped or very thinly sliced onion

chopped cucumber


Toss all ingredient except dressing; drizzle generously with dressing and serve.


I often make this easy gyro-inspired salad for myself for lunch, but it makes a great throw-together dinner, too! Almost Paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free.


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