Finding wholesome, hearty plant-based meals that are approved by everyone is not always easy
One day Jillian tried a vegan spin on gyros, a Greek dish traditionally made with roasted meat served in a folded pita. Rather than filling them with the traditional meat, Jillian decided to fill hers with roasted butternut squash, and they were an instant hit with her family! Both the kids and Justin loved these squash gyros, and they have since earned a permanent slot in their dinner rotation.
These gyros taste great with a side of classic chickpea hummus, and should you feel ambitious, try making pita-style flatbreads. Use hot paprika instead of sweet paprika to add heat to the gyros. Pepperoncini peppers will also do the trick!
Butternut Squash Filling
- 1 medium butternut squash (2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes (6 1/2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon pickled red onion brine or white vinegar
Garlic Dill Sauce
- 1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt or non-dairy plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large Greek pitas
- Olive oil, for toasting the pita
- Quick pickled red onions
- Feta cheese or vegan feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- Fresh dill
- Make the butternut squash filling: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the squash, avocado oil, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss to mix well. Spread the squash mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the squash is golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Meanwhile, make the salad: In a medium bowl, mix together the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, olive oil, dill, and pickled red onion brine. Season with salt.
- Make the garlic dilll sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, dill and salt.
- Assemble the gyros: Heat a dry medium nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Working with one pita at a time, drizzle a little olive oil on each side and heat in the pan until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side.
- In the centre of each pita, layer the roasted butternut squash, salad, garlic dill sauce, pickled red onions, and a sprinkle of feta, if using. Garnish with the dill and fold the sides together.
Serves 4; Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes
Vegan: Use non-dairy yogurt, vegan mayonnaise and vegan feta cheese; Gluten-free: Use gluten-free Greek pitas.
Excerpted from Fraiche Food Fuller Hearts by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. Copyright © 2023 Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. Photography by Rachelle Beatty. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.