Gyros for a Party

A dear friend of mine is turning 50 this week.  Her husband decided to throw a party in her honor; such a sweet thing to do.  The invite said “no gifts”.  Hum, not my favorite party theme!  I have to bring something!  Wine?  That is too obvious and Lynn already said they bought cases of the good stuff for the occasion.  So what’s a girl to bring?  Gyros Meatballs!

I have made these little lovelies a few times for appetizers for parties.  They are good hot, cold and everything in-between (ha, pun intended!).  I slightly changed the recipe from Alton Brown from FoodTV.  I LOVE him and his quirky ways!  Nerd meets chef… nice!

Gyros Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped or shredded
  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried ground rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (Greek preferably)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Tzatziki Sauce, recipe follows


Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and turn out into the center of a tea towel. Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed. Discard juice.

Return the onion to the food processor and add the lamb, garlic, marjoram, rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil and process until it is a fine paste, approximately 1 minute. Stop the processor as needed to scrape down sides of bowl.

Roll out meatballs that are roughly quarter size, a nice mouthful size.  Place on baking tray that has been sprayed with olive oil.  Once all are rolled, spray the tops of the balls with olive oil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for 6 minutes then turn them over and bake for an additional 8 minutes.  Let cool in the oven then place on a paper towel to remove the remaining grease.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 16 ounces plain Greek yogurt (2% fat is preferred)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped (if using an English, leave skin and seeds)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

It is important that you use Greek yogurt, it is thick and creamy.  If you don’t have Greek, use plain and drain it for a few hours in the fridge so the extra water can come out.  Water is bad for this recipe!  Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Aren’t they pretty?  Can you smell the garlic?  The rule when you make these is that everyone must eat a few so everyone can smell like garlic!  There is safety in numbers with this one, trust me!


Candis aka West


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa C on February 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Must try…soon!


  2. I have to say my favorite way to eat these is cold. I munched them all night with my champagne and had a LOVELY evening with my friend Lynn. I am pretty sure she doesn’t remember them as she was champagning more than me. Guess I will have to make her more!


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