Is Gyro Meat Gluten Free? (You’d Be Surprised!)

Is Gyro Meat Gluten Free

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods often make use of gyro: spiced and carefully roasted strips of beef, lamb, or chicken. The gyro meat is then placed on pita bread or added to kebabs. It’s delicious, filling, and gluten-free, right?

Gyro meat is considered gluten-free. However, some restaurants may use breadcrumbs or cereal binders when making their gyro meat. Additionally, brands like Kronos Gyros Slices and Daphne’s Beef & Lamb Gyro Meat are not gluten-free. The best gluten-free alternatives to gyro meat include Old Neighborhood Shaved Beef, Plant Basics Hearty Plant Protein Strips and Perdue Gluten-Free Chicken Breast Tenders.

With that in mind, let’s break down what usually goes into gyro and what you can expect when searching for precooked gyro meat strips from the grocery store.

Gluten-Free by Default, But Beware

Gyro meat is just that: meat. Usually, it’s strips of lamb or beef. In this way, gyro is pretty similar to prosciutto and other thin strips of meat. Like gyro, prosciutto is gluten-free since it’s made from pork and doesn’t typically include ingredients that rely on wheat or gluten. The same holds true for beef jerky, which is just dried strips of meat with spices.

But whether or not gyro is really gluten-free is dependent on individual recipes. It’s the same for beef jerky, which can occasionally not be gluten-free depending on what spices are added.

Most street gyro you can purchase, or even gyro from restaurants, will include spice mixtures such as onion, garlic, and lemon or lime juice. But some restaurants or street food vendors may make their gyro using cereal binders, including oat flour, wheat flour, or other gluten derivatives.

In this way, gyro itself is usually gluten-free. But the gyro you can purchase from other people may not be. Of course, you can circumvent this risk entirely by making your own gyro sandwiches or kebabs at home!

If needed, you can ask a restaurant or street vendor for their gyro recipe. The ingredients you want to look out for include:

  • If the breadcrumbs used aren’t specifically listed, assume that wheat or oats are used
  • Cereal binder. Again, if the ingredients aren’t listed, assume that there’s a little bit of gluten
  • Wheat flour or oat flour

Oat flour, while technically gluten-free, usually isn’t in practice since most oat flour is made in a shared environment with wheat flour, allowing for the possibility of cross-contamination.

Gyro Meat Nutritional Breakdown

Since gyro meat isn’t made by a single organization and is instead a kind of meat seasoned in a particular way, it’s tough to break down the raw nutrition info for all gyro on the market. That said, we can look at some of the most popular gyro meat options you can purchase at supermarkets or online.

This way, you can see for yourself how premade gyro meat is almost always not gluten-free, as most cooked gyro meat producers add wheat or other types of gluten-based flour products to ensure that the seasonings and other ingredients stay in the meat or to improve preservation.

Kronos Authentic Gyros Slices

Kronos is a well-known preparer of Greek food and condiments, and it’s no surprise that they offer Authentic Gyros Slices, precooked and ready to go in your own sandwich or street foods. These gyros strips are delicious and a great example of basic gyro seasoning. However, they are one of the many gyro meat options that are not gluten-free as they use oat and wheat flour as a binding agent for many of the seasonings.

Its ingredients are:

  • Beef
  • Water
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cereal binder, including wheat flour, rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, and rye flour
  • Lamb
  • Salt
  • Seasonings, including onion powder, garlic powder, soybean oil
  • Methylcellulose
  • Canola oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Cellulose powder
  • Sodium gluconate
  • Spice extract
  • Sodium phosphate
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Yeast extract

Nutrition Facts (per 3 oz):

  • 270 cal
  • 22 g fat or 34% DV
  • 50 mg cholesterol or 17% DV
  • 710 mg sodium or 3% DV
  • 8 g carbohydrates or 3% DV
  • 1 g fiber or 4% DV
  • 11 g protein
  • 2% DV calcium
  • 10% DV iron

Daphne’s Beef & Lamb Gyro Meat

Daphne’s Beef & Lamb Gyro Meat also comes precooked and ready to add to any recipe you desire. That said, it also includes wheat flour in the form of breadcrumbs, so it’s not suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Its ingredients are:

  • Beef and lamb
  • Water
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cereal binder
  • Seasoning, including garlic powder and onion powder
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Lemon juice

Nutrition Facts (per 2 oz):

  • 190 cal
  • 16 g fat or 25% DV
  • 35 mg cholesterol or 12% DV
  • 430 mg sodium or 18% DV
  • 5 g carbohydrates or 2% DV
  • 5 g sugar
  • 7 g protein

Corfu Foods, Inc. Gyro

Once more, Corfu Foods shows that most premade gyro meat includes gluten in the form of wheat flour and other breadcrumbs. This particular gyro meat mixture is about 80% beef and 20% lamb, making it suitable for folks who appreciate more beef meat in their gyros sandwiches than not.

Its ingredients are:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Water
  • Breadcrumbs including wheat flour
  • Hydrogenated soybean oil
  • Sugar
  • Ammonium chloride
  • Chopped onions
  • Corn, wheat, oat, and rice flour
  • Salt
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Sodium phosphate
  • Sodium glutamate
  • Powdered garlic
  • Powdered onion
  • Black pepper
  • Oregano
  • Mint leaves

Nutrition Facts (per 3 oz):

  • 270 cal
  • 21 g fat
  • 59 mg cholesterol
  • 660 mg sodium
  • 6 g carbohydrates
  • 14 g protein

Healthy Gluten-Free Alternatives to Gyro Meat

Remember, gyro meat is not usually gluten-free if you purchase it premade at the store or even if you eat gyro meat from a restaurant. But you can always make your own gluten-free gyro meat by simply avoiding wheat flour or oat flour.

Alternatively, you can check out a few gluten-free healthy meat options. They may be similar enough to gyro that they’ll work in gyros sandwiches or street food. Let’s take a look at some of these healthy and gluten-free alternatives in more detail.

Old Neighborhood Shaved Beef

Old Neighborhood’s Shaved Beef Steak strips are a great choice for cooking up your own gyro sandwiches at home or enjoying in any other way. Most importantly, these are naturally gluten-free, low-fat, and low-sodium, making them among the best shaved beef strips you can find on the market today. Naturally, there’s only one ingredient in these shaved beef steak strips.

Its ingredients are:

  • Beef

Nutrition Facts (per 2 oz):

  • 100 cal
  • 6 g fat or 8% DV
  • 35 mg cholesterol or 12% DV
  • 40 mg sodium or 2% DV
  • 11 g protein
  • 10 mg calcium or 2% DV
  • 7 mg iron or 4% DV
  • 180 mg potassium or 4% DV

Plant Basics Hearty Plant Protein Strips

Plant Basics - Hearty Plant Protein - Unflavored Strips, 1 lb, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Vegan, Meat Substitute If you’re a vegetarian or vegan but still want to enjoy the flavors of gyros sandwiches, you might be able to bootstrap your own gluten-free version using these plant protein strips from Plant Basics. They have a hearty flavor and are easy to prepare by simmering in broth for between 8 and 10 minutes. These strips are a perfect replacement for beef, lamb, or even chicken. Plus, they are non-GMO by default and made in the USA.

Its ingredients are:

  • De-fattened soybean flour

Nutrition Facts (per ½ cup dry):

  • 80 cal
  • 1 g fat or 1% DV
  • 9 g carbohydrates or 3% DV
  • 5 g fiber or 19% DV
  • 4 g sugar
  • 14 g protein
  • 8% DV calcium
  • 10% DV iron
  • 20% DV phosphorus
  • 20% DV magnesium
  • 30% DV copper
  • 6% DV zinc
  • 70% DV manganese
  • 19% DV potassium

Perdue Gluten-Free Chicken Breast Tenders

On the other hand, you could go for regular chicken meat and try some gluten-free chicken breast tenders. These are roughly the same shape as traditional gyro meat strips, so they should fit within pita bread or other sandwiches fairly easily. These gluten-free chicken breast tenders from Perdue are also non-GMO and harvested from chickens that are fed a 100% veggie diet without any hormones or steroids.

Its ingredients are:

  • Organic boneless chicken breast with rib meat
  • Water
  • Organic rice flour
  • Organic yellow cornflour
  • Organic yellow cornmeal
  • Sea salt
  • Organic cornstarch
  • Organic garlic powder
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Organic onion powder
  • Raisin juice concentrate
  • Organic honey
  • Organic white pepper
  • Organic black pepper
  • Organic yeast extract

Nutrition Facts (per 3 pieces):

  • 210 cal
  • 10 g fat or 15% DV
  • 40 mg cholesterol or 13% DV
  • 480 mg sodium or 20% DV
  • 17 g carbohydrates or 6% DV
  • 1 g sugar
  • 13 g protein

Final Thoughts

In the end, gyro meat is always gluten-free unless someone adds wheat, breadcrumbs, or other gluten-based products on purpose. If you’re ever in doubt, simply ask a restaurant whether their gyro is gluten-free. You can also check out the healthy gluten-free alternatives to gyro above if you want to be doubly sure that you aren’t adding any gluten to your diet.

Related Questions

What is gyro normally made of?

Gyro is classically made with lamb, though it can also be made with a combination of lamb and beef or chicken.

Is gyro processed meat?

It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

Are gyro wraps gluten-free?

It depends on the ingredients included in the wrap and whether the bread or pita has gluten in it.

Related Guides

Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

Recent Posts