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German Gyros (or Döner Kebab)

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German gyros or doner kebab recipe is probably the most popular street food in Germany. You will love this easy homemade version.

German-Style Gyros Recipe

child holding a german gyros with tomatoes and onions

OK, so probably the currywurst is the only street food here more popular than the German gyros, but otherwise, I can’t think of anything else.

Flatbread filled with spicy meat strips, either pork, lamb, turkey, or chicken, lots of onions, cabbage, and tzatziki sauce. So good!

You will be able to buy at every street corner in Germany, so to say. For instance, there is nothing around here where I live, just some small villages and two supermarkets, but there are two places selling gyros or doner. They have exactly the same menu, everything tastes, looks, and costs the same, but obviously, they both have enough customers that have been keeping them in business for years.

And considering that the gyros are street food or fast food, it is rather healthy actually. When made with chicken or turkey breast, it has less fat and calories than most other fast foods.

marinated and cooked turkey stripes

Gyros or Doner?

I’ve always wanted to know what was the difference between a gyro and a döner. You can eat one in the Greek restaurants and the other in the Turkish ones. Both taste great but are quite similar, so I wondered.

I read a little and found out that both are actually quite the same thing, that is pieces of meat placed on a vertical rotisserie, which turns slowly in front of an electric broiler.

So, can you actually make a gyro or a doner at home? Definitely! Just cut your meat into fine slices, marinate them for a while and cook them in a pan. Wonderful!

What kind of meat do you need?

  • For a German gyro (the Greek style) you can use any meat you like, including pork.
  • For a German döner (the Turkish style) you will forget the pork and use lamb, turkey, or chicken. I’ve never had a beef gyro or döner, I am not even sure if beef is an option. The most common döner you will find around here is made with turkey. Because too many German people don’t eat lamb, turkey is fine for everyone.
  • I used two kinds of meat to make today’s German gyros: pork and turkey, so pork for the gyros and turkey for the döner one could say :). Take what you like best, both versions taste great and there is no difference in preparing them.
the ingredients needed to make gyros or doner


  • We stuffed the meat into thick Turkish flatbread wedges, which are available anywhere around here.
  • They are very large and I could get four bread pockets out of one bread.
  • Alternatively, you can use the thinner flatbread sold in Oriental shops.
  • Pita bread is also a good option.

Spice mix

The German gyros spice mix and marinade are very flavorful and easy to put together. You will need:

  • Sweet paprika powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Dried herbs like oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil


  • Finely shredded red cabbage
  • Tomato slices
  • Onion slices
  • Homemade tzatziki
hand holding a german doner kebab

How to make it?


  • Thinly slice the meat. (1)
  • Place it in a bowl, and add all the spices, grated garlic, and the onions half rings. Pour in the lemon juice and olive oil. (2)
  • Mix everything very well, and massage the meat well using your hands. Leave to marinate for several hours in the fridge. Give it at least 1 hour, preferably 3-4. (3)
  • Once ready to serve, stir fry the meat in a large cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan until brown. Do that in several batches, if necessary, you should not overcrowd the pan. (4 and 5)
  • Add salt to taste. (6)
marinating and frying turkey meat


  • While the meat marinates, you can prepare the sauce.
  • Roughly grate the cucumber, place it in a colander, sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt, and leave to drain for about 30 minutes.
  • Place them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much water out of it as you can. (1,2,3,4)
  • Place in a bowl, add the yogurt, lemon juice, grated garlic cloves, dill, salt, and pepper. (5)
  • Mix well. (6)
pressing water out of cucumbers and mixing tzatziki ingredients


  • While the meat cooks heat the bread wedges or the flatbread in the oven, a few minutes will be enough.
  • Split the wedges to obtain bread pockets.


  • Finely shred the cabbage and slice the onions and tomatoes.

Assemble the gyros

  • Toast the bread in the oven and cut it into wedges. (1)
  • Smear with tzatziki. (2)
  • Fill with meat. (3)
  • Add tomatoes and onions. (4)
  • Add red cabbage. (5)
  • Add more sauce. (6)
  • And if you like things hot, do sprinkle some red hot chili flakes inside your gyros as well.
filling flatbread with tzatziki, meat, onions and red cabbage

Expert tips

Prepare in advance:

  • Prepare everything and keep each item refrigerated in a separate container. Reheat the meat before serving.
  • I prefer to cut the tomatoes just before serving.

Recipe FAQ

Is this a genuine Turkish or Greek recipe?

No. This is a typical German-style interpretation of a Turkish doner or Greek gyro, the kind you will be able to buy at every street corner in Germany, but probably not in Turkey or Greece.

How to store?

Keep the leftovers in separate airtight containers, they will be fine for 2-3 days.
Only stuff a new doner before serving.
If you could not eat your doner entirely, wrap it in aluminum foil and refrigerate it. It will get slightly soggy but it will be fine until the next meal or day.

More street food?

Do you like this recipe?

Please leave a good rating in the recipe card below. Stay in touch through social media: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me #whereismyspoon when you try a recipe!
hand holding a german doner kebab

German Gyros (or Döner Kebab)

German gyros or doner kebab recipe, probably the most popular street food in Germany. You will love this easy homemade version.
4.72 from 7 votes
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Course: German Main Course
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 568kcal
Author: Adina


  • Meat:
  • 1 lb turkey breast See note
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • fine sea salt
  • Tzatziki:
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lb Greek yogurt
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • a bunch of dill
  • salt and pepper
  • Serve:
  • ½ red cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 flatbread
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 1 onion sliced


Marinate the meat:

  • Slice the meat into very thin slices, about 4-5 cm/ 1.5-2 inches long, and place them in a large, non-reactive bowl.
  • Marinate: Add all the spices. Grate the garlic cloves and slice the onion into thin half-rings. Add them to the meat together with the lemon juice and olive oil. Do not add any salt at this stage, salt the meat after cooking it. Mix well and place the bowl in the fridge. Leave the meat to marinate for at least 1 hour, but preferably for several hours.


  • Roughly grate the cucumber (large side of the box grater). Place in a colander, sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt and leave to drain for about 30 minutes. Place in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
    Mix the cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, grated garlic cloves and finely chopped dill in a bowl. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.


  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook meat: Heat a large cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan and cook the meat on high heat until browned and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes, but check. Salt the meat to taste. Don't overcrowd the pan, if it is too small, it is preferable to fry the meat in two batches.
  • Heat bread: In the meantime, place the flatbread in the hot oven and heat for about 2-3 minutes until heated through and lightly crisp on top. Take it out and quarter it. Cut each piece horizontally (don't cut through) to obtain a pocket.
  • Cabbage: Finely slice the red cabbage and place it in a bowl. Add some salt and knead the cabbage for a minute or so to soften it. Add the olive oil, some pepper, and more salt, if necessary. Mix well.


  • Slice the onions and tomatoes.
    Smear the inside of the bread with some tzatziki, add some onion and tomato slices, some shredded red cabbage, and the meat. Serve with more tzatziki and vegetables on the side.


Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or pork neck are also great. It’s a German-style doner, so pork it’s allowed.


Serving: 1gyros | Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 901mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 26g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating


Saturday 5th of February 2022

This was the most authentic tasting Döner Kebab I’ve made! Thank you for this recipe, it will be our go to from now on!


Saturday 5th of February 2022

So happy to hear it, Claudia. Thank you.


Sunday 7th of June 2020

Oh I like this! This would make a great lunch for us and allows me to use some of the small packages of chicken I have in the freezer. Great sandwich Adina!


Thursday 4th of June 2020

Hier in Berlin bekommt man Döner und auch Gyros wirklich fast an jeder zweiten Ecke, leider nicht wirklich immer gut und es ist kein Deutsches esse! Dein Rezept klingt sehr lecker! Viele Grüße, Jesse-Gabriel


Friday 5th of June 2020

Hi Jesse-Gabriel. I definitely remember the Döner- Läden in Berlin. My first city trip when I came to Germany, we only had Döner, several days in a row. My version is definitely less greasy and heavy. :)


Monday 31st of August 2015

Hi Thao. Turkish food is really great, we are lucky to have so many Turkish restaurants around here. If you feel like cooking Turkish, I can recommend you these 2 blogs: and

Thao @ In Good Flavor

Sunday 30th of August 2015

I have never heard of a döner before, but then again, I have never had Turkish food. This looks scrumptious, Adina! I can see why your son asked for it for his birthday.