The best plant-based alternative for vegan gyros is without doubt shredded oyster mushrooms (not cut, but torn apart). The texture and the taste are just perfect. We filled our pita pockets with lots of vegan gyro meat, fresh veggies and a homemade vegan tzatziki sauce.
We love to work with oyster mushrooms. We have even written a Guide to Oyster Mushrooms with the Best 20+ Oyster Mushroom Recipes to give you even more ideas to enjoy this awesome ingredient. Our love for this fungi started with this Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe, where we wanted to find a plant-based, soy-free, gluten-free, not to mention delicious alternative to shredded chicken. And we found it in Shredded Pearl Oyster Mushrooms. The rest is history. 🙂
What is gyros?
Gyros is a popular Greek street food, where meat slices (pork or chicken usually, sometimes lamb or beef) are stacked on a large skewer. The skewer is turning around its axis to get all sides roasted. The server trims the edges of the meat as it gets crispy. Then the meat are wrapped up or stuffed into pita breads with tomato, onion and tzatziki.
The best vegan gyro meat
I would say the most important part to get right is what would you use instead of meat. I have been seeing recipes using
- jackfruit (in this recipe),
- seitan (in this recipe),
- tempeh (in this recipe),
- portobello mushrooms (in this recipe),
- grilled tofu (in this recipe).
However, it seems nobody thought that the best plant-based alternative is shredded oyster mushrooms, not king oyster but regular ones. I have 5 reasons for you:
- allergy-friendly -> no soy, no nuts, no gluten
- pantry staple -> you probably already have a handful at home
- easy to buy -> available in all local stores compared to jackfruit or seitan, tempeh
- cheap -> way cheaper than e.g. buying Gardein products
- quite neutral in taste -> they soak up any seasoning you add
- tough spongy texture -> perfectly replicating meat
I mean look at the below picture, can you tell whether it is meat or mushroom?
How to make vegan gyros?
- Cut the end of the stem of pearl oyster mushrooms and tear the cap into small shreds with your hands. If the stem is soft enough you can shred them as well.
- Take a small bowl and mix the marinade (olive oil, soy sauce (or one of the gluten-free substitutes), freshly squeezed lemon juice, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, sweet paprika powder, salt, and black pepper).
- Place a parchment paper in a sheet pan and spread the marinated oyster mushroom shreds in one layer.
4. Bake them in the oven on 425 Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) for 40 minutes or until crispy. I mean look at the below picture. Would you have guessed that these are mushroom and not meat? It looks pretty amazing, right? I promise you, not only does it look good, it taste good as well.
Vegan tzatziki sauce
Tzatziki sauce is a must-have condiment generously drizzled over your vegan gyros. What do you need to make them at home?
- Grated cucumber
- Dill (fresh or dried)
- Vegan yoghurt
- Vegan sour cream (you can use store-bought, or try our Vegan Sour Cream (Nut-free, Soy-free) recipe)
- White vine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
How to make homemade tzatziki?
Wash the cucumber and use a cheese grater to make grated cucumber. Take a bowl and transfer the cucumber to it. Sprinkle it with salt and wait for 5-10 minutes for the cucumber to release water. When you see water, squeeze the grated cucumber in between your palms. If you skip this step, the cucumber will release the moisture directly to the sauce and your vegan tzatziki will be super runny.
Take a bowl and add all sauce ingredients (yoghurt, sour cream, white wine vinegar, olive oil, finely chopped garlic, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix them well. Finally, add the grated cucumber and mix again. Now it is ready for your vegan gyros.
How to serve vegan gyros?
In pita or in wraps with lots of fresh veggies and tzatziki sauce.
This Vegan Gyros recipe is meat-free, egg-free and dairy-free. It is suitable for a vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free diet. It is not WFPB-friendly (whole foods plant-based) as it is not possible to make this way without oil.
More vegan grab-n-go recipes
You can browse through our Quick & Easy Vegan Meals or check out
- The Best Damn Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
- Vegan Portobello Fajitas
- Vegan Egg Salad Sandwich
- Chipotle Veggie Burrito with Fajita Veggies
- Chipotle Veggie Bowl with Fajita Veggies
Vegan Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Vegan gyro meat
- 18 oz Oyster mushroom not king oyster, but pearl oysters
- 1 + ½ tsp Soy sauce -> gluten-free soy sauce alternatives like tamari
- 5 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 2 tsp Oregano
- ½ tsp Ground cumin seeds
- ½ tsp Sweet smoked paprika powder
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Onion powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Black pepper
Making vegan gyro meat
- Take your pearl oyster mushrooms. Cut the end of the stem off. Tear both cap and stem with your hand into shreds.
- Take a bowl and make the marinade by mixing olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, oregano, cumin, paprika powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix this marinade with the oyster mushrooms.
- Place a parchment paper in a sheet pan. Spread the shredded oyster mushrooms preferably in one layer.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) and baked them for 40 minutes or until crispy on the edges. Watch how it progresses, and flip occasionally to make sure all sides are nicely baked and crispy.
Making vegan tzatziki
- Wash the cucumber and use a cheese grater to make grated cucumber.
- Take a bowl and transfer the cucumber to it. Sprinkle it with salt and wait for 5 minutes for the cucumber to release water. When you see water, squeeze the grated cucumber in between your palms. If you skip this step, the cucumber will release the moisture directly to the sauce, and it will be super runny.
- Take a bowl and add yoghurt, sour cream, white vine vinegar, olive oil, finely chopped garlic, dill, and pepper. Mix them well. Finally, add the grated cucumber and mix again.
Assembly your pita or wrap
- Wash and slices tomatoes. Peel and slices purple onion. (You can slice more cucumbers to add if you want.)
- Take your pita pocket or wrap and stuff them with all the goodies: vegan gyro meat, tomatoes, onion slices, vegan tzatziki. Enjoy!