Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe

If you've never had an alligator gryo before, you are missing out! The meat in this recipe is flavorful, the tzatziki yogurt sauce is cool and tangy, and the veggies are refreshing.

Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe
Pair this Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe with a side a French fries to complete the meal. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

I love gyros, which are basically the Greek version of the sandwich. Traditionally, the thinly sliced gyro meat is a mixture of lamb and spices, or if you want a lighter meat, chicken is also popular. For this gyros recipe, I decided to use alligator meat and it turned out great!

The yogurt and lemon marinade helped tenderize the alligator meat, and so did pounding the meat with a mallet before cooking. Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients. Most of it can be prepped ahead of time, and once the meat is cooked, it’s a cinch to put these gyros together.

Ideally, you want to grill the meat over a hot fire – pierce them onto skewers for easy turning. But it was snowing while I made this recipe, so I opted to pan sear the meat instead, which worked out just fine.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 8 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound alligator meat, cut into large strips
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced English/Persian cucumber
  • Crumbled Feta cheese, optional
  • 4 pita breads
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Marinade:

  • ⅔ cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of dried basil
Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe
Tzatziki sauce gives the gyro a refreshing and tangy taste. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • ¼ cup of finely chopped English/Persian cucumber
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of minced dill
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of a quarter lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour into a zip-top bag. Add alligator meat, massage the bag and refrigerate for 8 hours/overnight.

  2. Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe
    The various spices combined with lemon and garlic create a balanced flavor to soak into whatever meat you decide to use. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo).

  3. Combine all tzatziki sauce ingredients in a bowl, cover and keep cold until you’re ready to use it.

  4. Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe
    The great thing about gyros is that you have a wide variety of meat options to choose from. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo).

  5. Rinse off marinade on alligator meat and pat dry with paper towels. Place meat between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten with a mallet to tenderize.

  6. Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe
    If you don’t have a mallet, you can also use items like a rolling pin or a heavy saucepan to flatten the meat. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo).

  7. Season tenderized alligator meat with salt and pepper on both sides and brown in oil until golden, about 3-4 minutes each side.
  8. While the alligator cooks, heat the pita breads in the microwave with a damp paper towel on top for about 10-20 seconds until warmed and pliable.

  9. Alligator Greek Gyros Recipe
    Enjoy your homemade pita and customize with your favorite toppings. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo).

  10. Assemble pita breads with shredded lettuce, browned alligator meat, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, Feta cheese and a dollop of tzatziki sauce on top. Fold the pita bread to make a taco-like shape and wrap with foil. Serve immediately. Restaurants often serve French fries on the side.

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