What Sauce Goes on Gyros? Top 12 Picks for Flavor Lovers

The gyro, that delicious Greek sandwich filled with savory sliced meat, veggies, and tzatziki sauce, is a favorite for good reason. The combination of flavors and textures makes each bite satisfying. But what really takes the gyro to the next level is finding the perfect sauce to complement the ingredients.

While tzatziki is the most traditional sauce for gyros, there’s a whole world of flavors to explore. From cooling cucumber yogurts to spicy harissa, the sauce you choose can make your gyro experience unique.

Here are 12 of the best sauces to consider for your next gyro:

The classic sauce for gyros is tzatziki, a refreshed yogurt sauce with cucumber, garlic, and dill. But other great options include herbed yogurt sauces, hummus, tomato sauces, pesto, tapenade, and harissa. The choice of sauce can complement or contrast the gyro flavors. Popular alternatives to tzatziki include lemony yogurt sauces, spicy arrabbiata, herby pesto, and briny olive tapenade.

1. Tzatziki Sauce

As the quintessential Greek yogurt sauce, tzatziki is the perfect complement to gyros. It has a refreshing flavor from the cucumber and mint that balances the richness of the meat and bread. The garlic adds a bit of zing too.

Making homemade tzatziki is easy. Just combine strained yogurt, grated cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Let it chill for the flavors to meld. Some additional flavor mix-ins could include mint, roasted garlic, or red wine vinegar.

Tzatziki sauce adds a cooling contrast to hot sliced gyro meat. Its bright flavors enhance the sandwich without overpowering it. For an authentic Greek gyro experience, tzatziki is a must.

2. Cilantro Lime Sauce

For a fresh, tangy flavor, whip up a quick cilantro lime sauce. This bright green sauce packs a flavor punch from the herbaceous cilantro and tart lime juice. Greek yogurt provides a creamy base.

Blend cilantro, Greek yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with extra chopped cilantro. The vibrant flavor of this sauce pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of gyro meat and toppings.

3. Lebanese Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Similar to tzatziki, this Lebanese yogurt sauce uses lemon instead of vinegar. The result is a super refreshing sauce ideal for gyros.

To make it, grate cucumber and squeeze out excess liquid. Combine with Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For more flair, top it with sumac powder or crushed walnuts.

This sauce delivers a bright, lemony flavor that cuts through the gyro’s richness. It’s light and compliments the sandwich nicely.

4. Spiced Mediterranean Yogurt Sauce

For those who like a bit of a kick, try making a zesty spiced yogurt sauce for your gyro. Start with a base of creamy Greek yogurt and mix in lemon juice, olive oil, and minced garlic for tangy flavor. Then add in a combo of fresh herbs – cilantro, parsley or dill work well.

Now kick it up a notch with spices like cayenne for subtle heat, paprika for smoky depth, and a dash of cinnamon for warmth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The spices add great complexity to complement the hearty gyro meat and bread.

The cayenne slowly builds heat while the paprika and cinnamon provide an earthy tone. This spiced yogurt sauce gives all the coolness of tzatziki with a lively blend of spices.

5. Herbed Yogurt Sauce

For a simple sauce, the classic combination of yogurt, herbs, and garlic always satisfies. Use your favorite fresh herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, or dill.

Stir together Greek yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and any herbs you have on hand. Season to taste. For more flavor, add ingredients like honey, mustard, or chopped olives.

The fresh herby flavor acts as a palate cleanser between bites of juicy gyro meat. This yogurt sauce adds moisture and brightness to every bite.

6. Easy Lemon Yogurt Sauce

With just a few ingredients, you can make this easy lemon yogurt in five minutes flat. It has a nice tangy citrus flavor from fresh lemon juice.

Whisk together Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper. For more complexity, add minced garlic or herbs. Garnish with a sprinkle of lemon zest.

Bright and refreshing, this lemony sauce complements gyros perfectly. It also works great as a veggie dip or dressing for salads.

7. Tomato Sauce

While not traditional, tomato sauce can be a great complement to gyros. The richness pairs well with the seasoned meat.

To make a simple sauce, combine canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until thickened. For extra flavor, add kalamata olives, feta, or pine nuts.

The tangy tomato flavor contrasts nicely with the savory gyro. Try it for something different than the usual yogurt sauces.

8. Arrabbiata Sauce

For spicy tomato flavor, arrabbiata sauce really brings the heat. This Italian sauce infused with red peppers and herbs is bold enough to stand up to flavorful gyro meat.

Sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, parsley, and red wine vinegar. Simmer until thick. Season with salt and pepper.

The lingering heat from the red pepper flakes complements the zesty gyro flavors. Arrabbiata sauce adds a nice kick for those who like some extra spice.

9. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is an excellent alternative to tzatziki, offering creaminess and bright flavor. For gyros, try this roasted red pepper hummus for a twist.

To make it, combine chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, and salt in a food processor. Fold in roasted red peppers. Blend until smooth and creamy.

The sweetness of the peppers balances nicely with the earthy chickpeas. This hummus has a richer, nuttier flavor that pairs wonderfully with sliced gyro meat.

10. Green Olive Tapenade

For a briny, intense flavor, spread gyro meat with homemade green olive tapenade. Tapenade is a versatile sauce that packs a punch.

In a food processor, combine green olives, capers, anchovies, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and any fresh herbs. Process until it forms a rough paste. Season with pepper to taste.

The saltiness of the olives and capers gives great flavor contrast to juicy gyro meat. Tapenade is simple to make but complex in taste.

11. Classic Basil Pesto

Herby pesto is a great alternative to tzatziki, with a fresh basil flavor that enhances gyros. Try spreading pesto directly on the meat or bread.

To make it, process basil leaves, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. For a twist, use cilantro instead of basil.

Pesto adds a wonderful herbal quality that brings all the flavors of the gyro together. The lemon brightens while the cheese and nuts add richness.

12. Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

For a bolder, more complex pesto, try this roasted red pepper version. The sweet peppers contrast the savory basil and cheese.

Roast red bell peppers until charred. In a food processor, combine roasted peppers, basil, Parmesan, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon juice. Process to a smooth paste.

This pesto has a slight smoky sweetness from the peppers that pairs deliciously with juicy gyro meat. It also adds moisture and flavor to the sandwich.

Putting It All Together

The sauce can truly make or break a great gyro. While tzatziki is the tried and true choice, don’t be afraid to branch out with bolder, spicier, or herbaceous flavors.

When deciding what to spread or drizzle on your gyro, consider what will best complement the flavor profile you want. Cooling cucumber sauces balance the meat’s richness. Tomato-based sauces add tangy flavor. And pestos or tapenades bring herbal complexity and intensity.

How you build the sandwich also impacts how the sauce works with the other ingredients. Spread it directly on the warm meat or pita for the most flavor blending. Or add dollops of sauce with each bite for bursts of flavor. Drizzle extra sauce on top for even coverage.

At the end of the day, the beauty of the gyro is just how customizable they are. The sauce you choose can make it your own. Whether you prefer a classic tzatziki or spicy harissa, there’s a gyro sauce to suit every palate.

So don’t be afraid to get creative with your gyro toppings and sauces. The right sauce can take your gyro from great to exceptional. With so many delicious options, it’s fun to try new flavor combinations until you find your perfect match.


1. What is the traditional sauce for gyros?

The traditional sauce for gyros is tzatziki – a yogurt-based sauce made with strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, mint, and spices. Tzatziki adds a refreshing, cooling contrast to the savory gyro meat.

2. What’s the difference between tzatziki sauce and other yogurt sauces?

While tzatziki is the classic, you can make many variations of yogurt sauce for gyros. Lebanese or herb yogurt sauces swap in different herbs and spices. Tzatziki gets its unique flavor from its ingredients – strained yogurt, cucumber, mint, dill, garlic, lemon.

3. What are some yogurt sauce alternatives?

Popular alternatives to yogurt-based tzatziki are tahini or hummus for creaminess, tomato sauce for richness, pesto for herbal flavor, and tapenade for briny intensity. Harissa or sriracha can also be used if you prefer spicy heat.

4. How do I make yogurt sauce at home?

Making homemade yogurt sauce is easy! The basic method is to stir together Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs/spices of your choice. Let the flavors meld in the fridge before using. Customize it to your taste.

5. What sauce goes best with lamb gyros?

For lamb gyro meat, mint yogurt sauce is a perfect pairing. The bright mint brings out the flavor of the lamb. Tzatziki, hummus, and tomato sauce also complement lamb’s rich flavor.

6. What sauce goes best with chicken gyros?

For chicken gyro meat, try cilantro, basil, or dill yogurt sauces. Pesto is also excellent with chicken. The herbal flavors enhance the lightness of chicken. Tangy arrabbiata sauce adds nice heat.

7. How should I add sauce to my gyro?

The sauce can really bring all the flavors of a gyro together, so get creative with how you add it! For maximum coverage, you could drizzle the tzatziki or hummus over the hot sliced meat before topping it off. Another option is to spread some pesto or tapenade directly onto the pita bread, infusing taste in each bite. Or just add little dollops of your favorite cooling yogurt sauce between meat and veggie fillings.

8. How long does homemade gyro sauce last?

Most homemade yogurt or herb sauces will last 3-5 days refrigerated. Tomato-based sauces last around a week. Store sauces in airtight containers. Olive oil-based sauces like pesto have a shorter shelf life of 3-4 days.

Featured image for an article about What Sauce Goes on Gyros?

What Sauce Goes on Gyros?

Discover the best sauces for gyros, from traditional tzatziki to unique options like spiced yogurt, hummus, and tapenade. Elevate your gyro experience with these flavorful combinations.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course sauce
Cuisine greek
Servings 1


  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • Cilantro Lime Sauce
  • Lebanese Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
  • Spiced Mediterranean Yogurt Sauce
  • Herbed Yogurt Sauce
  • Easy Lemon Yogurt Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Arrabbiata Sauce
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  • Green Olive Tapenade
  • Classic Basil Pesto
  • Roasted Red Pepper Pesto


  • Prepare gyros meat by cooking sliced lamb, beef, or chicken on a rotisserie or grill.
  • Warm pita breads or gyro wraps to make them pliable.
  • Slice or shred the cooked gyro meat.
  • Make tzatziki sauce by mixing Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh dill.
  • Assemble gyros by layering meat in pitas or wraps.
  • Top with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and feta cheese.
  • Drizzle extra tzatziki sauce over top.
Keyword What Sauce Goes on Gyros?

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating