Grilled Seitan Gyros with Vegan Tzatziki and Homemade Pitas



I’ve been holding out on y’all. I’ve been making these for years, long before I had this blog, but I haven’t posted them yet. I’m glad I waited, though, because I only started making the tofu tzatziki  and homemade pitas to have with them in the last year or so, and that makes them even better.

I’ve mentioned before that marinating and grilling seitan makes it wonderfully flavorful and chewy.

This is yet another delicious way to do that.  Pitas are fun and easy to make, and the tzatziki could not be easier. The herbs in the marinade could be pricey if you had to purchase all three at the supermarket. I’m lucky to be able to grow oregano and mint, and I can get inexpensive cilantro here. If you can’t grow your own herbs, another alternative is to pick up the mint and cilantro at an Asian market, where they’re usually less expensive, and use dried oregano in place of the fresh.

A note about the pitas: they have much less sugar and virtually no oil compared to typical bread recipes. This helps them puff up, but it also causes them to dry out quicker than you’d expect, so eat or freeze them within a day. We had gyros left over, by which time my pitas were two days out of the oven and wanting to crack in half. I ended up eating a gyro salad, with toasted pita wedges on the side. Still delicious, though!

I am sending this to Meatless Mondays, even though it’s probably not something you would put together on a week day. Maybe you could put the ingredients on your shopping list on Monday, make it on Saturday, and have some delicious leftovers for your next Monday’s lunch.

Is anyone else grilling vegetarian food this summer? I’d love to hear what you’re making! 

Pita Bread 

1-1/4 cup warm water, about 105 F
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and 1 cup white flour with a fork. Cover and let stand for about an hour. Add sugar, salt, remaining white flour, and the whole wheat flour. Knead with dough hooks for 5 minutes on low, or turn out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes.

Pour a couple of teaspoons olive oil into a medium bowl. Add the dough and turn it over to coat the whole ball with oil. Cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Heat oven to 450. Preheat a cast iron pizza pan or dark baking pan in the oven while you’re preparing the pitas. Divide dough into eight equal pieces and roll into balls with your hands. Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball to about 7 inches in diameter, less than 1/4-inch thick. Transfer two or three rounds, whatever your baking pan will hold, to the oven. Bake for about 3 minutes on a cast iron pan or 4 minutes on a regular pan, until pita puffs up completely. Stack pitas on a plate and continue with remaining rounds.

Makes 8. 

Vegan Tzatziki 

This will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. It’s also great with falafel, on a Greek salad, or as a dip. 

1 medium cucumber
1/2 (14-ounce) package tofu, about 1-1/4 cups crumbled
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Peel and seed the cucumber and cut into a few big pieces. Fit a food processor with the slicing disk and slice the cucumber. Transfer to a medium bowl. Replace the slicing disk in the processor with the regular blade. Process the tofu, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, salt, dill and pepper until smooth and creamy. Stir into the cucumbers. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.

Serves about 6. 

Grilled Seitan Gyros 

1 pound seitan 
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup fresh oregano or 2 tablespoons dried
1 tablespoon cumin
1 scant teaspoon allspice
1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Lettuce and tomato to serve

Cut seitan into strips about 1 inch by 1/2 inch and as long as you like. Whisk together the remaining ingredients, balsamic vinegar through pepper. Transfer seitan and marinade to a zip-top plastic bag or shallow non-metal container. Coat the seitan well in the marinade and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for cooking. Drain the seitan, discarding the marinade and as much of the herbs as practical, but keep the garlic. Grill the seitan and garlic until heated through and dry on the outside.

Divide the seitan among the pitas and serve with lettuce, tomato and tzatziki sauce.

Serves 6.


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4 Responses

  1. Hi Claire,

    Just a quick note as it is super late & I have to get up for work in a few hours.

    I am celebrating National Vegetarian Week this week on my blog and I did a piece today on my top 7 vegetarian food blogs. I included Chez Cayenne, but was cheeky and took photos to add to the review. Hope that is ok?

    Top Vegetarian Bloggers

    Thought I had an email for you, but couldn’t find it.


  2. That’s great, Jac! I’ll get with you tomorrow.:-D

  3. Hi Claire. Just wanted you to know that this recipe gets 2 thumbs up from my entire family. That’s a rarity considering my eldest son is a diehard carnivore! Even the picky 7-year old had seconds! I used greek yogurt instead of the tofu in the tzatziki and I had to have some thinly sliced onion topping my gyro, but otherwise your seasonings and the texture are spot on! I love this dish and I love your blog. Thank you! <3

    • Claire

      Thanks so much, Diane! I’ll have to try some onion the next time I make them – that’s a great idea.

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