Can I have gyro meat on keto?

If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy gyro meat. Gyros are a popular Greek sandwich typically made with slices of rotisserie lamb or beef, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onions, and feta cheese wrapped in pita bread. While the pita would be too high in carbs for keto, you can definitely still have gyro meat as part of a low-carb meal.

Gyro meat is usually very low in carbs, so it can easily be incorporated into a ketogenic diet. The keys are choosing the right cooking method and skipping the pita bread.

What is Gyro Meat?

Gyro meat refers to thinly sliced cuts of lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, or a blend that are cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The spinning cooks the meat evenly and allows the fat to drip down, resulting in tender, juicy slices of meat.

Traditionally, gyro meat is made from lamb shoulder or leg that has been marinated in oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, thyme, and other Greek flavors before cooking. Beef is also commonly used. The meat is shaved off the rotisserie in thin slices to make gyros or doner kebab.

Nutrition Facts

The nutrition facts for gyro meat can vary based on the type of meat used and cooking method. Here are the general nutrition stats for 3 ounces (85g) of gyro meat:

Calories Fat Protein Carbs
230 15g 21g 0g

As you can see, gyro meat is high in protein and fat, but contains no carbs. This makes it a great choice for keto as long as you avoid the pita bread.

Choosing Your Cooking Method

To make sure your gyro meat fits your keto macro goals, pay attention to the cooking method. Rotisserie gyro meat is your best bet, since the fat drips off as it rotates over the heat source.

Some restaurants and gyro shops cook large batches of meat on a spit then shave it to order. The meat waiting to be shaved can sit in the rendered fat, so this style may have more fat calories than rotisserie.

You’ll want to avoid gyro meat that is grilled after being sliced, as the fat is more likely to be retained. If you’re making gyro meat at home, rotisserie is still the best cooking method for keto.

Watch Out for Marinades and Sauces

Gyro meat marinades and sauces may also contain sugar or starch thickeners like cornstarch. Ask about ingredients if these are pre-made rather than added individually when your gyro is prepared.

On keto, you’ll want to stick with lemon and olive oil-based marinades and low-carb tzatziki without added sugar. Some gyro sauces also contain yogurt or tahini, which are fine for keto in moderation.

Building a Keto Gyro

While you’ll need to skip the pita, there are still plenty of tasty ways to enjoy gyro meat on a ketogenic diet. Try these ideas:

Gyro Bowl

Build a gyro bowl with sliced gyro meat, chopped tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce over a bed of lettuce or cauliflower rice.

Gyro Salad

Top a green salad with shaved gyro meat, feta cheese, onion, cucumber, tomato, Greek olives, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

Lettuce Wraps

Use lettuce leaves such as romaine or butter lettuce as lower-carb wrappers for gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, and veggies.

Zucchini Boats

Scoop out zucchini halves and stuff with gyro meat, onions, tomato, and feta or creamy goat cheese.

Cauliflower Pitas

Make low-carb pita bread using grated cauliflower, egg, and cheese to use as a vessel for your favorite gyro fillings.

Taco Shells

Warm cheese taco shells and fill with slices of gyro meat, tzatziki, tomato, onion, and avocado for a Mexican-Greek fusion meal.

Tips for Finding Keto-Friendly Gyro Meat

Not all gyro spots may offer carb counts or nutrition info, so you’ll need to ask questions about their cooking methods and ingredients. Here are some tips:

  • Ask if they use rotisserie meat or grill the slices
  • Request sliced meat without pita bread
  • Ask about marinade and sauce ingredients
  • Choose tzatziki made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon, garlic
  • Avoid pre-made marinades or sauces with sugar
  • Opt for veggie sides like Greek salad over rice or couscous

With the right choices, you can definitely enjoy quality gyro meat while staying in ketosis. Look for authentic Greek restaurants using traditional rotisserie preparation methods and fresh ingredients. You may be able to find keto-friendly gyro options at halal carts and Mediterranean spots as well.

Can I Make Gyro Meat at Home on Keto?

Absolutely! Making your own gyro meat is a great way to control the ingredients and carb count. Here are some tips for making keto-friendly gyro meat at home:

Choose Your Meat

Use fatty cuts like lamb shoulder, beef chuck roast, or boneless chicken thighs. Lean ground meats like lamb, beef, turkey, or chicken can also be used.

Make a Keto Marinade

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, and Greek seasonings like oregano and rosemary. You can also use small amounts of onion and mustard.

Rotisserie It

Cook the meat on a rotisserie, either on your grill or using a countertop appliance. This allows the fat to render out.

Slice Thinly

Thin slices of the gyro meat will be easier to serve in lettuce wraps or zucchini boats.

Add Toppings

Serve your homemade gyro meat with tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, red onion, feta, olives, and lemon wedges for a Greek keto meal.

Sample Keto Gyro Recipes

Here are a few delicious keto-friendly recipes to make gyro meat and low-carb sides at home:

Greek Gyro Meat

Marinate lamb, chicken, or beef in a Greek marinade, then cook on a rotisserie. Slice thinly and serve in lettuce wraps with tzatziki sauce and vegetables.

Chicken Gyro Salad

Top a spinach salad with sliced rotisserie chicken, feta, onion, cucumber, tomato, kalamata olives, and red wine vinaigrette.

Beef Gyro Zucchini Boats

Fill scooped out zucchini halves with gyro meat, sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic, and feta cheese then bake until hot.

Cauliflower Pita Gyros

Make low-carb cauliflower pitas and fill with lamb gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onion, and lettuce.

Greek Lamb Meatballs

Make baked Greek-seasoned lamb meatballs and serve over cauliflower rice with tzatziki, olives, feta, and diced cucumber.

Common Questions about Gyro Meat on Keto

Is gyro meat keto-friendly?

Yes, gyro meat is very keto-friendly. Traditional rotisserie preparation results in tender, juicy cuts of lamb or beef that contain no carbs. Be sure to skip the pita bread.

What is the best meat to use for gyro on keto?

Lamb shoulder or leg is the most authentic choice. Beef chuck roast also works well. Chicken thighs are great for keto-friendly chicken gyro meat.

Can I use pork for gyro meat on keto?

Ground pork or pork shoulder can be used to make keto-friendly gyro meat, but it is not traditional. Always check the carb count if using a marinated pork product.

What is the lowest carb tzatziki sauce?

Make your own tzatziki with full fat Greek yogurt, peeled and seeded cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and dill. Avoid store-bought brands with added sugars.

Can I have gyro meat with hummus?

Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are too high in carbs for keto. Stick to tzatziki or tahini-based sauces instead when eating gyro meat on keto.

The Bottom Line

Traditional gyro meat made from lamb, beef, or chicken and cooked rotisserie style can definitely be part of a ketogenic diet. Just skip the pita bread and pair it with delicious low-carb toppings and sides. You can enjoy quality gyro meat at many Greek or halal restaurants, or easily make your own keto versions at home. With so many tasty options, gyro meat provides a satisfying way to add variety to your keto meal plan.

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