How to make vegan gyro meat (also gluten-free and soy-free!) with a tasty combination of mushrooms, aromatics, and homemade seasoning. Once cooked, serve up the tasty vegan gyros with salad vegetables, and homemade tzatziki, all wrapped up in pita bread!
Flavor-packed Mushroom Vegan Gyro Meat
When it comes to dinner time, I’ll often make an International ‘themed’ spread, but lately, I really craved Greek food. So, along with my recently posted Greek tomato rice and vegan tzatziki, now it’s time to share my preferred vegan gyro meat to make the perfect veggie gyros!
Rather than relying on meat, this vegan gyro recipe comprises meaty mushrooms and a carefully selected list of aromatics and homemade gyros seasoning. I love using mushrooms as a meat alternative for plenty of hearty meals like mushroom bourguignon, mushroom risotto, portobello steaks, and mushroom stroganoff. And, while I recently made a similar ‘kebab’ dish of vegan shawarma (using jackfruit), I love the umami-rich meatiness of mushrooms for this dish.
This vegan gyro meat is plant-based, gluten-free, and far lighter than regular gyros takeout. Enjoy it loaded onto a pita wrap with salad and tzatziki (or garlic sauce), or enjoy it as part of another meal.
Why is it called gyro?
While this vegetarian gyro is made 100% meat-free, a traditional gyro is made with kebab meat. Gyro (or gyros) comes from a Greek word meaning ‘turn’ or ‘circle’ and refers to the spinning kebabs that the gyro meat is shaved from.
A Greek gyro recipe, as a meal, combines the meat slices with various salad vegetables and creamy tzatziki served in a pita bread wrap.
The Gyro Ingredients
The vegan gyro “meat”:
- Mushrooms: You can use portobello or oyster mushrooms, which work particularly well as vegan ‘meaty’ alternatives. Alternatively, use rehydrated dried mushrooms. I used a dried mushroom mix (including shiitake, button mushrooms, etc.). Using enoki mushrooms works well as part of a blend for their small size.
- Olive oil: Or another neutral cooking oil like avocado oil.
- Aromatics: I use a simple combination of onion and garlic (or garlic paste).
- Gyro seasoning: I used homemade gyro seasoning – described in the recipe card! Feel free to use a store-bought option, though, too.
- Vegetable broth: You can use liquid vegetable broth/stock or make up the broth with a stock cube/powder and water.
- Tomato paste: You can use regular or low-sodium tomato paste.
- Soy sauce: Or use tamari (GF) or coconut aminos (soy-free). I recommend using dark soy for flavor. However, feel free to use reduced-sodium for dietary issues.
- Maple syrup: Maple or date syrup work particularly well for vegan gyros.
- Vinegar: Regular vinegar will work fine, but other vinegar like apple cider vinegar could also work.
- Pita bread: I used homemade gluten-free pita bread. Feel free to use store-bought. If you can’t use a pita, then a regular tortilla would work in a pinch.
- Vegetables: A simple combination of lettuce and sliced cucumber and tomatoes works well for vegan gyros.
- Tzatziki: I used homemade vegan tzatziki– which takes just minutes to prep and a few simple ingredients. Feel free to use a store-bought option, though, or your sauce of choice (like a vegan garlic sauce).
- Fresh herbs: Like dill or parsley.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Vegan Gyros
- First, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and gyro seasoning and fry for a further minute.
- Add the vegetable broth and tomato paste and stir. Then add the soy, maple, and vinegar.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and evenly coats the vegan gyro meat. Then, remove it from the heat.
If you want to make the vegetarian gyro even crispier, you could transfer the pan (if oven-proof) to your oven to broil for a few minutes, or until crisp.
- Top the pita bread with the salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, etc.), the vegan gyro mixture, tzatziki, and fresh herbs. Enjoy!
You can top the pita while cold or warm them up first – either way; it tastes delicious! Also, feel free to add another popular addition to any gyros- French fries!
How to Store
The prepared gyro is best eaten immediately, as the tzatziki and moisture from the vegan gyro meat will cause the pita to go soggy over time. However, if you place the tzatziki somewhere in the middle of the wrap, you can wrap it in foil. Store it in the fridge for 1 day for a simple grab n’ go lunch!
You can alternatively store the prepared vegan gyros in an airtight container for several days (2-4 days). You could also prepare the tzatziki in advance. Feel free to reheat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds, or until warmed through.
How to Serve
The traditional way to serve gyros is in a pita bread wrap with tzatziki sauce, tomato, cucumber, lettuce (and often onion). However, that isn’t the ONLY way to enjoy this vegan/vegetarian gyro. You can also:
- Use the veggie gyro as part of a sandwich or wrap with hummus or baba ganoush and salad.
- Use it as a topping for pizza or a quick flatbread pizza (i.e., using naan)
- Add it into a grain bowl – perhaps with Greek tomato rice or Mediterranean quinoa salad.
- Serve over fries with tzatziki sauce
- Add to a Greek/Mediterranean style pasta salad
- Use as a topping for vegan mac n’ cheese (it might sound weird, but it’s surprisingly delicious!)
- Serve as part of a Mediterranean spread alongside various dips, salads, falafel, etc., for people to make their own salad/grain bowls or wraps.
You can optionally serve the vegan gyros wrapped up in some parchment paper/foil and string to help hold it together while eating!
Recipe Notes and FAQs
- Onion: For this vegan gyro recipe, I cooked the onion with the mushrooms. However, you could optionally omit it from that and, instead, thinly slice it to serve it with the salad vegetables in the pita wrap.
- Swap the mushrooms for jackfruit: If you want to use jackfruit instead of mushrooms, that’s possible. Use young green jackfruit (readily available tinned in many places now) and follow a similar method to this vegan shawarma (but with this recipe’s seasonings, etc.) for the perfect jackfruit gyro. You could also substitute soy curls or seitan (for a non-gluten-free version) – but I haven’t tried.
- Using liquid smoke: If you want to mimic regular kebab/gyro’s slight smokiness, you can add a little liquid smoke to the veggie gyro mixture. A little goes a long way, so I recommend adding just ½ tsp, increasing to personal taste.
- Batch prepare the gyro spice mix: If you know you’ll be using it often, I recommend making a large batch of the 11-spice blend to save time and effort!
More Vegan Sandwich/Wrap Recipes
- Vegan grilled cheese sandwiches
- Sloppy Joe with beans
- Spinach and eggplant quesadillas
- Vegan cheesy quesadillas
- Vegan lentil enchiladas
If you try this vegan gyro recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Vegan Gyro Recipe
Vegan gyro "meat":
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onion and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and gyro seasoning and fry for a further one minute.
- Next, add the vegetable broth, tomato paste and stir to combine. Also, stir in the soy sauce, maple syrup, and vinegar.
- Let the mixture simmer for a few more minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Top a pita bread with the vegan gyro mixture, with salad veggies of choice (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber...), tzatziki, and fresh herbs. Enjoy!
- Mushrooms: You can use portobello mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, etc. I used a dried mushroom mixture (shiitake, white button mushrooms...) which I rehydrated.
- I used homemade gluten-free pita bread, tzatziki, and gyro seasoning (recipe below), but you can use store-bought bread, gyro seasoning, and your favorite sauce/dip.
- 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder
- 1/4 tsp thyme, dried
- 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper, ground
- 1/4 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp marjoram, dried
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp chili flakes
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically