Seitan Gyro

There’s nothing like the flavor of an authentic Greek gyro sandwich. The marriage of the flavors and textures from the slow roasted tender lamb, the warm, chewy pita bread, the creamy, tangy Tzatziki sauce, and the crunch from the fresh spinach and red onion hit all the senses.

As I was transitioning to a plant-based way of eating, that yummy gyro sandwich was one dish I refused to give up!  So while searching for an alternative protein to use as the gyro ‘meat,’ I happily stumbled upon seitan which has been a common meat substitute in Asian cuisine for more than a thousand years.  You can buy pre-made seitan in certain stores; however, I chose to make it myself using vital wheat gluten powder which when prepared, transforms into delicious ‘ meat.’  Seitan is packed with 60 grams of protein per cup, is cholesterol free and low in carbs.  But most importantly, it picks up any spice profile you use it with so for this recipe, it had the near perfect flavor of slow roasted lamb.  I got to keep my gyro!


For the Seitan:

3 cups vegetable stock

3 cups vital wheat gluten

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons vegan beef bouillon granules

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons each of:

Black pepper

Celery salt

Dried basil

Dried oregano

Dried thyme

Garlic powder

Ground mustard seed

Onion powder

Sea salt

Smoked paprika

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups vegan Greek yogurt

1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped

1 medium English cucumber, grated

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Zest from one lemon

Juice from one lemon

For the Gyros:

6 rounds of pita bread

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and air dried

2 cups red onion thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh dill


For the Seitan:

1) Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

2) Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3) Combine all the wet ingredients into a smaller bowl.

4) Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together until you have a large ball.

5) Knead the dough a few times, pressing and folding to encourage the gluten to bind with the remaining ingredients.

6) Using two sheets of aluminum foil, crimp them together to form a center seam, transfer the seitan dough to the foil and close the foil up around the seitan forming a large, airtight pouch.

7) Place the foil pouch on a baking sheet, place it in the oven and bake the seitan for 90 minutes.

8) Remove the seitan from the oven and allow it to cool completely.  Leave it in the foil, and place the cooled pouch into the refrigerator overnight.

9) When you’re ready to serve the seitan, slice into very thin slices and heat it in the microwave or a foil pouch in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes.

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

1) Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

To serve the Gyros:

1) Warm the pita bread in a foil pouch in the oven for 5 – 7 minutes before serving.

2) Place a pita bread round on a plate and line a layer of spinach leaves on top.

3) Add a layer of the sliced, warm seitan, followed by 2 tablespoons of the Tzatziki sauce, a pinch of fresh dill and several slices of red onion.

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