When time is short, but you need an easily customized healthy meal, make some slow cooker chicken gyros!
Summer is a busy time! Longer days definitely don’t mean more down-time. If your summer is anything like ours, it’s filled to the brim with lots of summer things. We aren’t taking any big trips this summer, but our days have plenty of pool time, outside adventures, and local fun on the schedule. Which leaves little time for dinner. Did you know you dinner happens every night? Especially if you’re feeding a family? Dinner doesn’t go on summer vacation. 😉
So I plan easy meals, that I can prep in advance, and have ready somewhere between nap time, and swim lessons. These slow cooker chicken gyros fit the bill perfectly!
In fact, if you’re into the once a month cooking, you can prepare your chicken in the marinade, then freeze it until you’re ready to pop into the slow cooker. I don’t usually plan out more than a week, so I prepare mine the night before if I remember. Sometimes the morning of. There is no wrong way to make slow cooker chicken gyros.
My circus loves how easy it is to tailor this recipe. Everyone gets to top their own gyro the way they’d like! We usually use a pita flatbread for a classic gyro, but have also swapped out for cauliflower rice (if we’re in a low carb mood) or regular rice (because rice), or even zoodles! The chicken is so good, and the sauce so versatile, it’s easy to serve up in so many ways.
You can also make this in the Instant Pot or another pressure cooker if you’re short on time. Having tried both, I think the onions turn out a little better in the slow cooker, but that is entirely personal preference. I’ll include instructions for pressure cooker chicken gyros in the notes.
Embrace the busy season, darlings! And maybe saving a little time on dinner prep means finding 5 minutes to sit on a porch swing. 😉
For the Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs, either type of meat works well
- 1 medium red onion, sliced thin, you may also substitute sweet onion
- 5 cloves minced garlic, add extra if you love garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Easy Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and grated
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
Additional Gyro Items (Optional)
- pita bread, warmed
- fresh tomato, diced
Slow Cooker Instructions:
- Combine the chicken, onion, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, and spices in your slow cooker. Set to low and allow to cook 6-8 hours until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 F and shreds easily.
- At some point while the meat is cooking, combine all your tzatziki sauce ingredients and allow to sit in the refrigerator, covered, at least 30 minutes before serving if possible.
- Shred the meat and serve warm with your gyro toppings. Enjoy!
Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker Instructions:
- Combine the chicken, onion, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, and spices in a large mixing bowl or gallon-sized plastic bag. Allow to marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- When you are ready to cook, place the chicken mixture in the pressure cooker. Set to high for 15 minutes.
- Mix your tzatziki sauce ingredients and refrigerate, covered, until time to serve.
- Allow 5 minutes of natural release before manually releasing pressure. Shred and serve warm with the other gyro ingredients. Enjoy!
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