Sheet Pan Meatball Gyros
Is everything better wrapped in a pita? Well, these Sheet Pan Meatball Gyros are one reason to say yes. Roasted veggies and tender lamb meatballs emerge from the oven simultaneously, making up the gyro's components.
I know what you are thinking: this isn’t a gyro. Technically, you are correct. The words sheet pan and meatball are the adjectives here. They are telling us more about this type of gyro.
Gyro sandwiches are made from meat, usually pork or chicken, stacked on a vertical rotisserie. The meat is seasoned, stacked into a conical shape, and slow-roasted on a turning spit. The outer parts of the roasted meat are cooked, shaved off, then served on a round of pita bread with garnishes of fresh veggies and sauces.
Doner kebab is the grandfather of gyros and the closely related shawarma. Gyros are Greece’s interpretation of the doner kebab from the old Ottoman Empire. In present-day Turkey, doner kebab is mostly made from beef and lamb.
If you don’t like lamb, read on.
Like many of you, I wonder sometimes about the quality of meat available at my local grocery store. Is it hormone-free? Grass-fed? Ethically-raised? Does it really matter all that much?
Personally, I like to eat meat from free-range, grass-fed, happy animals that were treated kindly. I know that isn’t always going to happen. However, I do my best to choose ethically-sourced meat that is healthy for me.
The price of lamb has declined this year. Recently, my local WinCo grocery store had ground lamb on sale and it was cheaper than premium ground beef. So I bought it to try something different.
Previously, I was not a fan of lamb chops or roasted lamb, as most Americans are not. Less than 25 percent of the U.S. eats lamb. Annually, the average American eats one pound of lamb a year compared to 98 pounds of chicken and 55 pounds of beef.
I was hooked once I had tried lamb. It tasted clean and delicious. Even better news? The lamb sold in my local store comes from New Zealand.
Why is that a good thing? New Zealand lamb is hormone-free, grass-fed, and free-range. Plus, they live in New Zealand near Frodo’s home in The Shire.
- No one needs to know. The meatballs can introduce lamb into your meal planning without too much ruckus or pushback in your household. My policy: if they don't ask, don't tell.
- Squeeze the meatballs and veggies onto one sheet pan if you want to minimize clean up. Just ensure that everything remains in a single layer so that nothing gets soggy.
- This marinated, crunchy, and zingy fresh vegetable side would be delicious with your gyro sandwich!
- ⅔ cup crushed saltine crackers (about 16)
- ½ cup milk (any kind)
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs (parsley, oregano)
- ½ large red onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Pita bread
- Goat cheese crumbles
- Lemon quarters
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/204 C. Prepare two rimmed baking sheets. Grease one with olive oil and line the other with parchment paper.
- Make the meatballs by combining the crushed crackers with the milk. Let it set for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. Add the ground lamb, shallot, garlic, salt, and herbs. Lightly combine with a fork or your hands until it just comes together. Form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs with your hands or an ice cream scoop and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Arrange the vegetables on the greased baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
- Place both sheets in the preheated oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom halfway through. Vegetables should be tender and meatballs starting to get charred edges.
- Remove from the oven and squeeze half a lemon over everything. Serve with hummus, crumbled goat cheese, and warm pitas.
Keywords: sheet pan meatball gyros