Beef Gyro Meatballs with Tzatziki

When a theme gets stuck in my head, it gets stuck there for quite some time. Some of you may remember the chili phase of 2010. Some may also remember the casserole days, the burger days, and even more recently, the cupcake days.

With our theme of "Green or Greece" for our last Traveling Pans meeting, I had a major taste for Greek food for days before and after. One of my go-to cooking blogs, Kalyn's Kitchen, fed this hunger (pun intended) by posting a recipe for Ground Beef Gyro Meatballs served in lettuce wraps.


I pinned the recipe and knew that I'd be making it soon, and when we got ground beef on killer sale not too long ago, it was on! There was one problem: Kalyn used a pre-made Spice House Greek seasoning mix to season her meat, and I didn't have that. Luckily I have a fairly good knowledge of spice combinations that are appropriate for various food cultures (would you want a post on that?), so I made up my own.


I can't believe I'd never used butter lettuce before. It's delicious and sturdy, and didn't fall apart under the weight of the fillings. I went back for seconds and pretty much made a meatball salad. The flavors were right on, and if I hadn't known better, I would've thought I was eating a traditional gyro.


Ground Beef Gyro Meatballs with Tzatziki

by What's For Dinner?

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: saute appetizer entree salad sauce ground beef Greek

Ingredients (30 meatballs)

For the meatballs
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the tzatziki
  • 14 ounces low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt to taste
to serve
  • large lettuce leaves
  • cherry or grape tomatoes


For the meatballs

In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients, making sure a cohesive mixture forms. Form into balls, about 2 Tablespoons a piece. Cook in a frying pan over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through.

For the tzatziki

Grate the peeled cucumber into a fine mesh strainer. Use the back of a spoon or potato masher to remove as much liquid as possible. Place the grated cucumber in a bowl and mix with the yogurt, garlic, and salt. Allow to sit at least 20 minutes for the flavors to meld.

To serve

Place lettuce leaves (I used butter lettuce) on a plate. Top with meatballs, tzatziki, and halved grape tomatoes.

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Adam ate his meatballs in a whole wheat pita instead of on a lettuce wrap, and he agreed that the flavor was right on. I did leave out the onion from Kalyn's recipe, which I may put in next time. And there will be a next time! Perhaps a burger phase will begin again and I'll make gyro burgers…


For now though, we have about 15 meatballs left… I can't wait for leftovers!



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10 Responses to Beef Gyro Meatballs with Tzatziki

  1. This looks absolutely fantastic! I love Greek food!!
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape´s last blog post ..Three Bean Salad

  2. Oh yum! I’d swap the onions for tomatoes, but this looks great! And you’re right- I don’t eat butter lettuce as often as I should!
    Dinner at Christina’s´s last blog post ..Our Keurig

  3. Agreed on the butter lettuce. It’s really hearty, and it’s great with creamy dressings or vinaigrettes. Plus, it has a nice curl. That’s great for little wraps!
    The Duo Dishes´s last blog post ..Happy Taco Tuesday

  4. Angela says:

    I need to make this! Bookmarking 🙂
    Angela´s last blog post ..May Cats and Dogs

  5. kljasdfh says:

    as a Greek person, you forgot a very important spice in Greek cooking: mint!!

  6. Amy says:

    These look REALLY GOOD… something fresh and healthy about the lettuce vs. pita…wonder if chicken or turkey would work to lighten it further since it’s the spices that shine through in gyros meat?? And I can eat tzatziki by the spoonful, YUM. I’m with you too on the “themed eating” kinda like coming home from a vacation and wanting to eat whatever the place was known for…I’m STILL on avocados from being in Mexico!
    Amy´s last blog post ..Irish Brown Bread

  7. Biz says:

    Yep, this definitely made my lunch menu for next week – I think my SIL would love it too.

    FYI. . . I used to make tzatziki sauce at home, until I realized Joseph’s in Crystal Lake sells it by the deli for I think $2.99 for a 16 ounce container and it’s delicious!
    Biz´s last blog post ..Biz Ate Meatloaf?

  8. Pingback: If you find my mojo, can I have it back? « My Bizzy Kitchen

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