Healthy (and Kid-Friendly) Turkey Gyro

meat with vegetables in pita bread
arfo / Getty Images
Total Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Servings: 6 (1 pita)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

273 calories
6g fat
29g carbs
29g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (1 pita)
Amount per serving  
Calories 273
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 591mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 3g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 29g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 175mg 13%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 462mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

These healthy Greek gyros are delicious and nutritious and could easily take up a spot on your family’s regular dinner rotation. Made with lean ground turkey, these kid-friendly gyros are packed with protein to promote cellular growth and repair and support children's fast-growing bodies.

The best part about this recipe is you can make it ahead of time. Simply mix all of the ingredients for the meat mixture and freeze until you're ready to defrost and cook on another night. Just take the mixture out of the freezer 2–3 days prior to serving so that it can defrost in the refrigerator. Then all you have to do is shape it into a meatloaf or divide it into muffin tin cups and cook.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey (lean)
  • 10 oz. spinach (frozen package; thawed and squeezed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp + 3/4 tsp cumin, divided
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cucumber, grated and pressed in a kitchen towel to remove extra moisture
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 whole-wheat pitas

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.

  2. Place all ingredients for the meat—turkey, spinach, salt, pepper, cumin (2 tsp), chili powder, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and feta cheese—into a large bowl and mix together. Shape into a loaf or divide evenly between 12 greased muffin cups.

  3. Bake at 425F for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 165F. If you're using the muffin tins, cook for about 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 165F.

  4. While the turkey is cooking, make your tzatziki sauce. Mix the yogurt, cucumber, lemon, garlic, ​and remaining cumin together then refrigerate.

  5. Wrap the pitas in foil and place in the oven with your baking turkey for a few minutes to warm.

  6. When the turkey is done, slice it. Add the sliced turkey to your pita. Then add any optional ingredients that your family would enjoy and top with tzatziki sauce.

Variations and Substitutions

Optional ingredients for topping your gyro include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Romaine lettuce

If your ground turkey comes in a 1 1/4-pound package, you can use the whole package without adjusting the other ingredients.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • If you plan to freeze your meat mixture for cooking on another day, add all the meat ingredients to a labeled freezer-safe food storage bag and mix. Remove as much air as you can, and freeze it as flat as possible for quicker defrosting. It’s best to use the meal within three months.
  • Some kids like to enjoy this dish as a "turkey meatloaf" muffin or sliced in a pita with mayonnaise, and others enjoy it as part of a Greek salad.
  • You can also cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, add some torn fresh spinach, feta, and cherry tomatoes, and then top it with the tzatziki sauce.

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Article Sources
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  1. Jen V, Karagounis LG, Jaddoe VWV, Franco OH, Voortman T. Dietary protein intake in school-age children and detailed measures of body composition: The Generation R StudyInt J Obes (Lond). 2018;42(10):1715-1723. doi:10.1038/s41366-018-0098-x