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Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps have all the amazing flavors found in Gyros, without the pita bread, and this delicious recipe is low-carb, low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com
This recipe for Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes is for everyone who loves the complex flavors of Greek Gyros (pronounced yeer-ohs), but it’s especially for my brother Mark.  When the idea first popped into my head to make a lettuce wrap with Gyro flavors, I immediately thought of Mark and his love of Greek food.

It might have been a good thing that I had that image of him enjoying this in my mind, because it took Jake and I five tries to get the seasoning for the Gyro meatballs just right.  When I came back to the kitchen from taking photos and Jake sheepishly admitted he had eaten quite a few of the meatballs, I knew this final version was a keeper!

It’s impossible to completely duplicate the flavor of Gyro meat at home, since it’s cooked on a spit with a heating element behind the meat, and crisp pieces are shaved off to be made into Gyros.  I found lots of recipes online for Gyro meat, but it was the Gyro Meat recipe from The Spice House that Jake and I thought had the best flavor.

I’m a big fan of The Spice House, so I happened to have the Greektown Billygoat Seasoning which gives the meat mixture that “Greek” flavor.  If you don’t have it you can probably use another brand of Greek seasoning or see the list of spices in The Spice House mix (in the recipe below) and just mix those spices individually to get the same flavors.

We made our version of the Greek meatballs with slightly less Greek seasoning than the recipe called for, since it’s fairly salty, but the combination of flavors was fantastic.  (And for the record, no one at The Spice House has given me any of this seasoning or knows I’m writing about it, although I have met the owner a few times and like her a lot!)

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com
Coarsely chop 1/2 of an onion and then chop it in the food processor until it’s finely chopped.  Add the Greek seasoning, ground cumin, and garlic powder and buzz a couple more times so the seasonings are well combined.

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com

Mix the onion-spice mixture into the lean ground beef.

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com

We used a plastic tablespoon to scoop out the meat and rolled it into 20 smallish meatballs.

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com

We cooked the meatballs in a stove-top grill pan over medium-high heat.

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com

While meatballs cook, chop up some cherry tomatoes to go in the lettuce wraps.

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com
You’ll also need Tzatziki sauce, which you can buy (or use my recipe and make the Worlds Greatest Tzatziki Sauce.)

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com
We used iceberg lettuce, two leaves together for each wrap, and put three meatballs into each one.

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com
Then put a generous amount of Tzatziki sauce and some chopped tomatoes over the meatballs, fold over the lettuce and eat!!

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes
(Makes 6-7 lettuce wraps; recipe for the meatballs adapted from the Gyro Meat recipe from The Spice House.)

Ingredients:
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I used beef with 7% fat)
1/2 onion, finely chopped in food processor
1 T Greek seasoning (I used The Spice House Greektown Billygoat Seasoning, see note after recipe.)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
olive oil, for brushing grill pan
1 large head iceberg lettuce
Tzatziki sauce, about 3/4 cup (I love homemade Tzatziki, but you can use purchased Tzatziki as well.)
3/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

Instructions:

Coarsely chop the onion; then put it in the food processor and pulse until onion is finely chopped.  Add the Greek seasoning, cumin, and garlic powder and pulse a few more times until the seasonings are well blended with the onion.  (You can also do this by hand, but it’s easier in the food processor.)

Put the ground beef into a bowl, add the onion-spice mixture, and use your clean hands to mix the spices into the meat.  Then use a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to scoop out the meat and form into meatballs.  (I got 20 meatballs.)

Brush a stove-top grill pan or frying pan with olive oil, then heat the pan over medium high heat and cook the meatballs, turning often, until they are well browned and completely cooked through (about 10-12 minutes.)  

Cut out the core of the lettuce and cut the lettuce head into two halves, then break the leaves apart, making each lettuce cup out of two leaves.  Put three meatballs into each lettuce cup, top with Tzatziki sauce, and sprinkle over chopped tomatoes.

The Gyro meatballs were great after they had been in the fridge overnight.  I wouldn’t recommend microwaving them; I just heated them in a mini-frying pan on the stove.

Greek Seasoning Note:  The Spice House Greektown Billygoat Seasoning contains “coarse flake salt, granulated garlic powder, Tellicherry black pepper, onion powder, Greek fancy oregano and powdered lemon peel.”  I particularly love this blend, but I think most brands of Greek seasoning have similar ingredients.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:

As long as the meatballs are made with lean ground beef, this is a great low-carb and low-glycemic main dish, and suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Some low-carb eating plans might prefer beef with more fat.

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?

If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Recipes with Greek Flavors:
Very Greek Grilled Chicken from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Greek Burgers and Tzatziki from Andrea Meyers

Greek-Seasoned Grilled Pork Chops with Lemon and Oregano from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Greek Red Pepper and Feta Turkey Meatball Salad from The Perfect Pantry

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes found on KalynsKitchen.com

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54 comments on “Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes”

  1. I made this for dinner and it was just want I wanted. So delicious!

    I've been a big fan of your Greek meatball recipe for years, but I like this just as much, and it's a little bit less of a fuss to cook. ALSO, I was thinking about what gives it that gyro flavor, and I definitely think it's the addition of cumin and lemon!

    A few tips/changes:

    I do not have a grill pan, but I cooked the meatballs in my regular cast iron skillet, and still got a nice char. I made the meatballs more nugget-shaped for easy flipping.

    I didn't have a Greek seasoning mix, so I added salt, pepper, lemon zest, a bit of lemon juice, and a dried Italian herb mix that had a lot of oregano. Turned out great!

  2. being greek, there's nothing like a good gyro. i can't wait to try these! i don't care much about the charred edges, so i'm going to make the meat into a meatloaf for convenience. this way, i'll just have to slice a bit for each portion and EAT. there's nothing more arduous than rolling meatballs.

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