August 18, 2021

Vegan Eggplant Gyros

Need a simple eggplant recipe? Try these vegan gyros with hummus sauce.
Makes 4 Gyros

Vegan Eggplant Gyros! Za’atar seasoned eggplant stuffed into a warm pita and topped with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and the BEST hummus-dill sauce. This easy eggplant recipe is perfect for both lunch and dinner!

Meaty vegan eggplant gyros stuffed with vegetables, herbs and the best hummus sauce. So good! #vegan #vegetarian | www.delishknowledge.com

I’m bringing back this eggplant gyro recipe that I originally shared in 2015. Life was a little bit crazier then; I was living in Stockton, CA in a tiny studio apartment while BL was already in St. Louis. I was finishing up my job at University of the Pacific, getting ready to embark on a new journey of this– working on my blog and nutrition services full-time.

Flash forward six years and I’m a mama to the two sweet toddlers and happy in the midwest. Crazy how things can change so quickly. Anyways, we made these gyros this weekend and I loved them so much, I wanted to put them back on your radar.

This is one of the best vegan eggplant recipes! Refreshing, full of nutrients, and oh, so easy… you will love these simple pita bread sandwiches! 

Three pita breads filled with eggplant and fresh vegetables

Move over meat, eggplant has taken center stage. As a long-time vegetarian, I am always looking for plant-based alternatives that mimic the same meaty, savory texture that meat provides. While I love the usual suspects: lentils, beans, and tofu, my favorite meat substitutes are actually vegetables.

What is vegan gyro made of? 

You will love how easy these vegan gyros are. All you need are just a handful of ingredients. For the full list of ingredients, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card. This recipe is so easy and perfect for any eggplant bumper crops you currently have in your garden.  

Eggplants: Any size eggplant will work, though I’m partial to Japanese or smaller Fairy Tale eggplants as I find that they have more flavor. 
Za’atar: Za’atar is traditionally earth and nutty in flavor– perfect for these gyro inspired pita breads. You can find a variety of spices in za’atar blends like sesame seeds, sumac and chili pepper. Here is a recipe for making your own blend. 
Parsley: Fresh parsley is best for this recipe; I don’t recommend substituting dried. 
Tomato: One fresh tomato for these vegan gyros. Any type of tomato will work though if you can get your hands on heirloom tomatoes this time of year, it will put these sandwiches over the top. 
Pita Bread: Make your own pita bread or use storebought–either way, the results will be great. 
Hummus: You can easily make your own hummus or use storebought. Both options are fine!

Three gyro sandwiches on cutting board

Can vegans eat pita bread?

For my vegan friends, most the of time, pita bread is vegan-friendly. I often substitute naan in these sandwiches if I can’t find fluffy pita bread, which is usually made with yogurt and therefore not vegan. 

pita bread filled with gyro ingredients

The inspiration for these sandwiches came a few years back when I was visiting a friend at the Lodi Farmers Market. In addition to Lodi being one of the cutest towns, it sure knows how to throw a street party.  Every Thursday evening throughout the summer, Lodi’s downtown streets are converted to endless rows of vendors selling everything from wine, olive oil, berries and vegetables.  Throw in a variety of food trucks alongside beer tents and acoustic music, and it’s a fun way to socialize while also stocking up on just-picked produce.

Drawn in by the garlic-on-everything aroma, we decided to grab a bite to eat from the local Greek food truck. Crispy Falafel, freshly-made hummus, warm pita. Drool. Since I put hummus on my hummus, there really wasn’t any doubt on where I would be sourcing my dinner.

Half-way through stuffing my face with falafel while watching my friend go to town on her gyro, I realized that I have never had a gyro. Like, ever. Since my mission in life is to make vegetables just as appealing (if not more so) than their non-veg counterparts, I ran back to a vendor stall to pick up a few more ingredients: eggplants, tomatoes and cucumber. After all, we had a vegetarian gyro that needed to be made.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have anything to compare it to, but this gyro completely blew me away. It’s packed with incredible flavor, texture, and ALL the vegetables (again).  It’s not your traditional gyro, but what’s not to love?

three vegan gyros on wooden cutting board

What do you eat with gyros? 

You can eat a variety of things with gyros such as falafel salad, Greek quinoa fritters,  and my Instant Pot hummus.

Do you peel eggplant before cooking? 

You do not have to peel the eggplant before cooking! Once the eggplant has been cooked, the skin becomes quite tender. 

More Summer Vegetable Recipes You Will Love:

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You'd never guess this was vegan! Meaty eggplant gyros stuffed with vegetables, herbs and the best hummus sauce. So good! #vegan #vegetarian | www.delishknowledge.com

Vegan Eggplant Gyros

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 flatbreads 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch, healthy, eggplant, gyro
  • Method: Stove top or oven
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Vegan Eggplant Gyros! Za’atar seasoned eggplant stuffed into a warm pita and topped with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and the BEST hummus-dill sauce. This easy eggplant recipe is perfect for both lunch and dinner! So easy to make!


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 flatbreads 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch, healthy, eggplant, gyro
  • Method: Stove top or oven
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 flatbreads 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch, healthy, eggplant, gyro
  • Method: Stove top or oven
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onions, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 pita flatbreads, warmed

    Hummus Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup hummus
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill

Instructions

  1. Make the eggplant: Place the eggplant in a large bowl and rub with olive oil, za’atar seasoning and oregano until well coated. You can either roast or use the skillet to cook, both work! If you are doubling the recipe, then I recommend roasting.
  2. To roast: Place the eggplant in a baking dish and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until very soft.
  3. To saute: Heat a bit more oil in a large cast iron skillet (or other non-stick skillet) over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook for 10-15 minutes until very tender.
  4. Make the pickled onions: Combine the very thinly sliced onion and vinegar in a bowl. Let sit while you cook the eggplant and make the hummus sauce. Drain before serving.
  5. Make the hummus sauce: Whisk together the hummus, lemon juice, garlic, dill and a pinch salt/pepper to taste. Set aside.
  6. Assemble the gyros: pile the onions, cucumber, tomato, cucumber and cooked eggplant on the flatbreads. Drizzle with hummus sauce and eat immediately.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

Originally published July 20th, 2015. Updated August 7, 2018 and August 18th, 2021. 

You'd never guess this was vegan! Meaty eggplant gyros stuffed with vegetables, herbs and the best hummus sauce. So good! #vegan #vegetarian | www.delishknowledge.com

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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  1. I didn’t have eggplant but I do have tons of zucchini growing in the garden. So other than that I followed the recipe exactly except for using fresh dill instead of dried. My hubby and I LOVED these. Excellent flavors. I think I will try them with eggplant one day as I understand they might add a chewier texture than my zucchini. I really enjoyed the marinated onion in these, the vinegar added a lovely pickled flavor. Great recipe. Thank you!

  2. This is really a great recipe. The combination of ingredients as well as the sauce really elevate this sandwich. We needed more cucumbers and tomatoes. I used Italian seasoning because that was what I had. My family gave this recipe an “A” and it will definitely join the rotation this summer. You really did a fine job with this Alex. Thanks.

  3. These were PHENOMENAL ! Even my non vegan/non vegetarian husband loved them. I’ll be making these a lot.

  4. This looks amazing, Alex! What a great (and unique) way to use eggplants. Can’t wait to try this – added it tour plant based pinterest board.

  5. I made this tonight, and though I rushed and some parts due to two little ones under my feet it was soooooo good. I added roasted red pepper and that helped since I didn’t have time to do the vinegar and onion since I cooked the eggplant in the morning when the house was cool. Thank you!!

  6. Your descriptions alone were enough to make me drool. The gyros look and sound delicious for sure! I love eggplant whether it’s the roasted or pureed avatar. And I love zaatar just as much. Of late, I find myself adding it to most dishes I cook at home. Good quality Za’atar does add a punch to any dish, but only if it is a quality zaatar. Some brands add ground wheat or peanuts for weight. Few people realize that best flavor comes from pure mixes with real zaatar herb, sumac, and sesame, and little of sea salt. That’s why I get mine from https://www.eatzaatar.com which offers blends directly from a zaatar farm in Lebanon.

  7. The pictures look amazing and I recently bought an eggplant so I was looking for a maiden recipe to try it on. I suspect that maybe the eggplant wasn’t fresh enough or something. The flesh become soft but the skin remained almost unchewable. I live in Mexico and our produce quality, sadly, is not what we are used to up North. It looked fine but then, I’ve never bought an eggplant before. On a positive note, I made homemade pitas which were fantastic!! I’m going to serve the leftover pitas with some of my lentil/spinach burger “meat” so it’s not a total loss. Sauce is delish!! I’ll be back to check out other recipes.

  8. It’s amazing how you made a pita gyros with aubergines. I love the idea! The only thing I would change is to deep fry the aubergines to add some greasiness to them so they would remind gyros a bit more. Thank you for posting this recipe!

  9. My whole family loved this recipe (5year girl and 3year boy included) and it was perfect to use the zaatar I had on my pantry. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I followed the recipe exactly. About the eggplant I cooked them 15 mins on a cast iron skillet as suggested.

  10. Followed recipe and made my family and I sick.

    I followed the sauteed eggplant instructions (for over 15 minutes) and I think it was under cooked (I am not that familiar with eggplant). Followed the rest of the recipe and did not enjoy the overall taste as much as I would’ve liked (the recipe is missing something), but my stomach absolutely refused the meal and flushed out my intestines.

  11. Just made this for dinner tonight, and I can testify it was wonderful! I love aubergines (eggplant) and I’ve had zaatar in the cupboard for a couple of months but not got round to using it, having read about it and wanted to try it. I tossed in a few pine nuts and apricots to the pan at the end of the cooking. We had the aubergine with wraps, red pepper salsa, lemony hummus and salad.

    I have a couple of meat eaters in the house, so they had left over meat as well, an all round success. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be back to try some more. X Sarah

  12. Whoa, these vegan eggplant gyros look incredible, Alex! There’s a Greek place next to my job that serves vegetarian gyros made with eggplant. They are good but to tell you the truth, yours looks much better! I love that you used hummus sauce in place of the traditional tzatziki sauce. This is a winning meal for sure!

  13. The best part of the gyro is the sauce and the tomatoes. I’ll definitely give these a try with eggplant…it’s right up my alley.

    • I hope you do! This sauce is a little different than traditional tzatziki but I think it pairs perfectly with the eggplant!

  14. I LOVE eggplant and this is such a creative way to use it. Beautiful photos and presentation too!

  15. I love this meatless version! Plus, gyros are all about the sauce for me anyway and this hummus one sounds epic!

  16. I think you’re a genius to make gyros with eggplant, and I’m not even a vegetarian! I sure do love my vegetables and can’t wait to give this a try.

  17. Mmmm these look so tasty! Gyros are one of my favorite foods but I’ve never thought to make them vegetarian!

  18. Wow wow wow. You had me at the description and then I saw the photos! I’m sure hoping there’s some eggplant in my CSA share today 🙂 (And can’t wait to be in Lodi with ya next month!!

  19. YUMMM!!! What a unique and AWESOME idea. Don’t worry, if you plan your harvest right, you’ll have a plentiful garden in no time in St. Louis… I may know a farmer or two in town if you need any help out there 🙂