What Is the Different Between a Shawarma and a Gyro?

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The almost primordial fascination of roasting meat over a hotspot of crackling flames has raged on since the invention of fire some 2 million years ago.

Spit-roasted meat will never go out of style, whether you’re thinking about crispy chicken skewers or a medieval hog revolving over an open fire.

Considering the popularity of street food and food trucks, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the many ethnic meat-on-a-stick cuisines accessible. Nothing beats a well-made shawarma or gyro out of all the possibilities.

They are not the same, despite their appearance. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between shawarma and gyros.

What Is Shawarma?

Shawarma, pronounced shuh-war-muh, is a largely Middle Eastern invention that originated somewhere in the Levant area, despite its Turkish connections. Unlike other hand-held street cuisine, a crucial distinction that sets it distinctive has everything to do with the meat utilized in the filling as well as the garnishes.

Shawarma Ingredients

Shawarma is produced with tenderized meat portions like as chicken, lamb, or turkey that are wrapped in excellent pita bread and smeared with tahini and hummus. The meat is seasoned with a variety of spices indigenous to the Middle East. Cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, and other spices are among them.

Mangoes and pickled vegetables, which are generally seasoned with curry spices, are also included in the stuffing. In addition, vegetables such as shredded red cabbage, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and so on may be utilized.

What Shawarma Isn’t

While there are various other Middle Eastern meals made with comparable components, shawarma is not one of them. If you’ve never tasted it before, don’t confuse it with other equally great regional cuisines. Here’s a list of things that shawarma isn’t.

Shawarma vs Kebab

Kebab is a marinated grilled meat cooked on shish skewers. Shawarma, on the other hand, is simply a pita with a variety of toppings and grilled meat cooked on a rotisserie.

Shawarma vs Doner Kebab

Doner kebab is a Turkish dish that is also rotisserie grilled. It is often served in a particular form of Turkish flatbread rather than a pita wrap. In contrast to a shawarma filling, which has a variety of components, it may have some chopped onions or tomatoes.

Shawarma vs Falafel

Falafel are deep-fried tiny balls of ground chickpeas that are often eaten with pita or another kind of flatbread. Falafel, unlike shawarma, is not a hand-friendly wrap. It does, however, provide a slew of health advantages.

What Is a Gyro Sandwich?

Gyro is a Greek word that meaning “turn” and is pronounced “yee-roh.” It’s comparable to Middle Eastern shawarma, but it’s a popular food with origins in South-Eastern Europe.

It’s simply a vertically spit-roasted stack of thinly sliced beef broiled in a rotisserie. Although traditional gyros are prepared with pig, their American counterparts are frequently made with beef, lamb, or a delectable mix of the two.

They are then wrapped in pita bread and garnished with onion, tomato, and tzatziki, a delightful yogurt sauce.

Gyro Ingredients

While pita is often used in gyros, classic gyro bread is more akin to a thin flatbread. When it comes to filling meats, hog, beef, and lamb are the most common choices. Chicken gyros have also gained popularity in recent years.

Unlike shawarmas, which include a plethora of complex ingredients, gyros are more simpler. All you need are finely sliced onions, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce if you want to go fancy, and the distinctive tangy tzatziki sauce.

What a Gyro Isn’t

You may come across Greek dishes that have a lot in common with gyros, but they are not the same thing. Here’s a list of things that gyro isn’t.

Gyro vs Souvlaki

Although each of these recipes involve grilled meat, the distinction lies in how they are prepared.

Souvlaki is produced by skewering portions of pig, lamb, cattle, or chicken and grilling them over an open flame. Gyro, on the other hand, is cooked using shaved or thinly sliced meat roasted on a rotisserie.

Gyro vs Greek Donair

A gyro is a descendent of the Greek donair, which is a distant cousin of the Turkish doner. A Greek donair is prepared with sliced or shaved meatloaf and a sweet garlic sauce rather than the creamy tzatziki found in gyros.

Gyro vs Pita

Pita is one of numerous forms of flat pocket bread that may be used as a wrap in various hand-held sandwiches. It may be used in conjunction with gyro, although it is not synonymous with it.

Basic Shawarma Recipe

Here’s a quick shawarma recipe that makes around six wraps.


  • 2 pound fatty pork, cut into inch-thick strips
  • a cup of olive oil
  • vinegar made from apple cider
  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or crushed peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Bread pita
  • Hummus
  • Tahini
  • Your choice of pickled and shredded veggies


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, all of the dry spices, and the pork strips. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it aside to marinade overnight.
  2. After that, skewer the meat and roast it on a typical rotisserie. If you don’t have an outside barbecue, you may substitute an inside grill. Cook the beef over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Instead, shredded vegetables such as red cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and carrots may be used. Enjoy! Spread the tahini and hummus over warm pita bread, then top with the meat and your favorite pickled vegetables.

Easy Greek Gyro Recipe

This dish may be made with any fatty meat, however lamb and beef are favored. Here’s what you’ll need.


  • 2 pounds ground fatty meat
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • a few rosemary and thyme sprigs
  • Hummus
  • Tzatziki dressing
  • Tomatoes with onions


  1. In a large mixing basin, combine all of the ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for at least two hours.
  2. Next, press the mixture firmly into a well-greased loaf pan and pour boiling water halfway up the sides of the pan. Then bake for 50 minutes to an hour in a preheated oven at 350°F.
  3. Remove any residual liquid and thinly slice the meatloaf for your gyros.
  4. Smear hummus in the pocket of the heated pita bread and load it with meat, onions, and tomatoes. Finish with a large dollop of tangy tzatziki.
  5. Wrap it up and eat it!

All for the Flavor

There are likely more parallels than differences between shawarma and gyro. Although both meals are delicious, they are not the healthiest options. Nonetheless, they are quite gratifying.

If you’re searching for a healthy option, check out our blog for 20 amazing wrap ideas.


What is the difference between a lamb and shawarma and a lamb gyro?

Although both gyro and shawarma are typically prepared with lamb, shawarma may also be made with chicken or turkey and served with tahini and pickles, while a gyro is generally made with lamb, beef, or sometimes chicken and pork. The toppings are another distinction between gyro and shawarma.

What is the difference between a shawarma plate and a gyro plate?

Whereas gyros are often topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, shawarmas are frequently covered with a mix of pickled fruits and vegetables. Shawarma is a forerunner of tacos al pastor, a spit-grilled pig dish from Mexico.

What is shawarma vs doner vs gyro?

These are all referring to meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie at a high temperature. Shawarma is an Arabic term that means “turning.” Doner is Turkish for “turn about,” and Gyro is Greek for “circle.” The outside of the beef or poultry is crisp, yet the insides are moist.

How is shawarma different?

Shawarma is made with lamb, turkey, or chicken. The gyro, on the other hand, is cooked with either beef or lamb. Another distinction is the manner in which the meat is cooked and seasoned. Shawarma is made more flavorful by the use of spices like as cinnamon, turmeric, and cardamom.

What are the three types of gyros?

The three kinds of gyroscopes are as follows:
Gyroscope that works mechanically.
Gyroscope that uses light to move.
Gyroscope with a gas bearing.

What is the main meat in a gyro?

It’s traditionally prepared from lamb, a combination of lamb and beef, or even chicken, and is lavishly seasoned with salt, herbs, and spices. It’s nothing short of a taste explosion.

Why is it called shawarma?

Shawarma is an Arabic word for “turning,” referring to the rotisserie-cooked form of the meat, which “turns” around an axis. The Turkish döner and the Greek gyro have similar naming practices, both of which relate to the rotating movement of the accompanying cooking mechanism.

Why do they call it a gyro?

Traditional gyros are created from separate chunks of meat packed together on a revolving spit, or from slices of a uniform loaf of ground spiced meat wrapped in flatbread or pita. The name gyro is derived from the Greek word “turning,” which alludes to the slow cooking of meat on a spinning vertical rotisserie.

What comes on a shawarma?

Shawarma consists of thinly sliced meat cuts such as chicken, cattle, goat, lamb, and occasionally turkey packed inside a big piece of steamed or heated flatbread or pita. Hummus, tahini, pickles, veggies, and even french fries are stuffed into pita bread.

What are the two types of shawarma?

Read over them, pin your favorites, and finish it up tonight.
Simple Vegan Mushroom Shawarma…. Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma…. Keto Beef Shawarma…. Easy Homemade Chicken Shawarma…. Vegan Shawarma with Spicy Tahini Drizzle…. Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma.
Additional details…•August 19, 2021

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