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Loaded with plenty of fresh herbs, lemon, garlic, and Mediterranean flavor, these Crock Pot Chicken Gyros are a healthy, 10-minute dinner for your busiest days! The juicy, tender chicken is delicious when stuffed in a pita, piled high on rice, or tossed in a salad. Finish the gyro chicken with tzatziki sauce, hummus, olives, pickled red onions, or any of your other favorite toppings.

Close up side shot of a crock pot chicken gyro on a plate

What is a Chicken Gyro?

These slow cooker chicken gyros are a simplified shortcut for the classic Greek dish. While traditional gyros are made with meat that’s cooked on a vertical rotisserie and then shaved off, this easy homemade version takes advantage of the set-it-and-forget-it Crock Pot method. After all, most of us don’t actually have a vertical spit of stacked meat in our American kitchens!

In Greece, pork and sometimes chicken are the most common meats used in gyros. Other countries, however, often use beef or lamb. The gyro meat is then served wrapped or stuffed in a pita or other similar flatbread, along with other toppings and ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, fried potatoes, and tzatziki.

Chicken thighs in marinade in a bag.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pot chicken gyros. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe at the bottom of the post.

  • Chicken: boneless skinless chicken thighs work well in the slow cooker, since they stay moist and juicy, even during the longer cooking time. If you prefer, you can substitute with boneless skinless chicken breast.
  • Red onion and carrots: aromatics that sit at the bottom of the slow cooker and flavor the meat as it cooks. You do not need to serve the cooked carrots and onions with the meat in your finished dish.
  • Lemon: the juice from a lemon gives the chicken a nice acidic component and bright, fresh flavor.
  • Oregano, basil, and thyme: fresh herbs are always my preference for the best flavor, but dried herbs will also work.
  • Garlic: for extra savory Mediterranean flavor.
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper: to season the meat and enhance the other flavors in the dish.
Adding red onions and carrots to a slow cooker

Tzatziki Sauce

A common condiment for gyros, and one of the most delicious options that you can add to the meat, is a cool, creamy, sauce called tzatziki. Tzatziki is made with Greek yogurt or other strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes with vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs such as dill, mint, parsley, and thyme. You can make your own tzatziki sauce at home using this recipe, or keep it really simple and just purchase a container at the store. I typically find tzatziki sauce in a refrigerated case in the deli section of my grocery store, not far from the hummus.

Squeezing lemon juice into a slow cooker

How to Make Chicken Gyros at Home

Admittedly, these are not authentic Greek gyros. I’m not shaving meat off the spit; I’m not necessarily whipping up my own Tzatziki (although you can easily do so with this recipe); and I’m certainly not baking fluffy, soft flatbread in my oven.

But you know what? This dinner is so full of fresh, healthy, Mediterranean ingredients that nobody cares if they are technically “real” gyros. They’re just really good and really easy.

For those of you with picky eaters at home, this is a great way to keep the entire family happy at the table. Just set out the toppings on the counter and let everyone design their own gyros to suit individual tastes. It’s a simple mealtime solution that will make your life just a little bit easier!

  1. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag (or bowl). Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the garlic and herbs to the chicken mixture; toss to coat.
  3. Let the chicken sit in the marinade in the refrigerator to marinate for a few hours (or overnight), or cook the meat right away — whatever is most convenient.
  4. Place the onions and carrots in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  5. Add the marinated chicken to the pot, then squeeze the lemon juice over top.
  6. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
  7. Chop or shred the meat, discarding the cooked carrots and onions.
  8. Season the chicken with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve!
Square side shot of a plate of the best chicken gyro recipe with toppings in the background

How to Serve Chicken Gyros

Serve the chopped or shredded chicken inside pitas, on top of naan bread, over rice, or on a salad. You’ll also want to pile on the toppings, such as:

Pair the chicken gyros with a side of rice, a Greek salad, rosemary roasted potatoes, or crispy baked potato wedges.

Overhead shot of a plate of chicken gyros with a side of tzatziki

Storage

Leftover chicken will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to Freeze

To extend the life of your gyro chicken, store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

How to Reheat

Place the cooked chicken (and juices) in a saucepan on the stovetop. Cover with a lid and warm over low heat, just until the meat reaches the desired temperature (stirring regularly). You can also reheat individual servings of the chicken in the microwave for about 60 seconds.

Close overhead shot of chicken gyro on a plate

Chicken Gyros Recipe Variations

  • Serving a larger group? Double all of the ingredients.
  • Instead of the fresh lemon juice, add a splash of red wine vinegar to the Crock Pot right before cooking.
  • Don’t have fresh herbs? You can substitute with about 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried basil, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
  • Season the finished chicken with additional salt and pepper and plenty of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or fresh dill.
  • For a stronger garlic flavor, use 3-4 cloves garlic.
Side shot of chicken gyros on a dinner table

Tips for the Best Chicken Gyro Recipe

  • Use either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. We find that the dark meat thighs stay a bit juicier during the slow cooking process, but they are both great.
  • Marinate the chicken with the garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight). This isn’t necessary if you don’t have the time, but it adds even more flavor to the meat.
  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken. I find that the chicken breast or thighs have the best texture when cooked in my slow cooker on HIGH for about 2-3 hours (at the most — sometimes they’re done in just 90 minutes). That keeps them moist and juicy, and prevents them from drying out. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Also remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the meal is best when cooked on HIGH for about 2 hours or on LOW for about 4 hours. Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly.
The best chicken gyro recipe served on a plate

More Crock Pot Chicken Recipes to Try

Close up side shot of a crock pot chicken gyro on a plate

Crock Pot Chicken Gyros

5 from 10 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Calories 312 kcal
These Crock Pot chicken gyros are loaded with fresh Mediterranean flavor, and only require 10 minutes of prep!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 red onion, sliced (plus additional for serving, if desired)
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper (to taste)
  • For serving: pita bread or rice or salad; Tzatziki sauce; feta cheese; sliced red onion; sliced olives; sliced tomatoes; lettuce; sliced cucumber

Instructions

  • Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag. Drizzle with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic to the bag. Seal the bag, toss to coat the chicken. You can let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (or overnight), or you can just use it right away.
  • Place onion and carrots in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with chicken and herbs from the bag. Squeeze lemon juice over top.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for about 4-6 hours, or on HIGH for about 2-3 hours.
  • Remove chicken to a plate, bowl, or cutting board. Chop or shred the meat, then stir it back into the pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Use a slotted spoon to pile the chicken on top of pita bread, rice, or salad. I typically discard the carrots in the pot, which were just used to flavor the meat as it cooked. Garnish the chicken with Tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, and other toppings of choice.

Notes

  • Use either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. We find that the dark meat thighs stay a bit juicier during the slow cooking process, but they are both great.
  • Marinate the chicken with the garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight). This isn’t necessary if you don’t have the time, but it adds even more flavor to the meat.
  • Be careful not to overcook your chicken. I find that the chicken breast or thighs have the best texture when cooked in my slow cooker on HIGH for about 2-3 hours (at the most — sometimes they’re done in just 90 minutes). That keeps them moist and juicy, and prevents them from drying out. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Also remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature (which is why the recipe gives you general time ranges, rather than exact times). Since my slow cooker tends to cook at a relatively high temperature, I find that the meal is best when cooked on HIGH for about 2 hours or on LOW for about 4 hours. Just get familiar with your pot and adjust accordingly.
  • Serving a larger group? Double all of the ingredients.
  • Instead of the fresh lemon juice, add a splash of red wine vinegar to the Crock Pot right before cooking.
  • Don’t have fresh herbs? You can substitute with about 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried basil, and 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
  • Season the finished chicken with additional salt and pepper and plenty of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, or fresh dill.
  • For a stronger garlic flavor, use 3-4 cloves garlic.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 49gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 307mgPotassium: 1153mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 10410IUVitamin C: 25.7mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 2.5mg
Keyword: chicken gyro, chicken gyro recipe, Chicken Gyros, Greek Chicken, slow cooker chicken
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Greek
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in April, 2017. It was updated in April, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Good morning, Blair. Couple of questions. I’m still shopping around for a crockpot/instant pot Do you use a Crockpot brand crockpot? What size do you use for family size recipes such as this?
    This sounds delicious and I can see where I could eat a serving or two and freeze the rest with good results.
    Beth, you are so kind to answer my rookie questions. At 61, you would think I would have learned how to cook by now but I really haven’t, But going by prices alone,,the time to learn has come.
    I really have a faith in your blog. My best wishes to you and your wonderful family. Your photos are lovely and it’s nice on Sundays to read about your part of the world and to hear what y’all are up to. Is soccer really big in your area or do all your boys just like it? Take care!

    1. Hi, Marion! I use a slow cooker that’s made by All-Clad. It’s this one, which has a 7-quart capacity: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/all-clad-gourmet-slow-cooker-with-all-in-one-browning/

      I know that Crock Pot sells good slow cookers as well, and anything in the 6-7 quart range will be plenty big enough for most recipes. Hope that helps!

      My boys have all played a variety of sports, but they seem to enjoy the soccer most, so that’s what they’ve focused on. They play basketball in the winter, and soccer pretty much year-round. It’s not any more popular than baseball, basketball, or football around here, but it’s what they gravitate to. 🙂

  2. These look amazing!! Can you please tell me the source of the paper you wrapped them in??