"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
October 21, 2014
Big Fat Greek Tacos
by Melanie Gunnell

Big. Fat. Greek. Tacos.

Or in other words: balm to my food-loving soul.

Or to put it another way: You make me Big Fat Greek Tacos? I weep with joy.

The combination and layers of flavor in these bad boys are too much. Tender, succulent meat topped with a fresh, zesty cucumber salsa smothered in creamy, heavenly tzatziki sauce and all of it wrapped in soft wrap bread.

I need a minute to breathe. Or maybe I just need a Big Fat Greek Taco in my little grubby hand rightthisveryminute.


I know I claim to love every single recipe on this site but I’m not going to lie that I have my recipe pets. My favorites. The ones I could eat every day for the rest of my life and never grow weary of and these Big Fat Greek Tacos (I can’t bring myself to just call them a Greek taco — super lame and boring) are so up there.

I beg and plead and implore you to give these a shot. I’ll send some tissues for when the weeping commences. Just know, I’ll be putting my virtual arm around you in support. Lovers of Big Fat Greek Tacos must stand together.

Oh, and did I mention that although the recipe has several components, they can all be made ahead of time (we’re talking hours or days ahead of time) which makes the actual dinner hour a breeze. Thanks to Sally for the tips on making everything in advance (she made these for a group of 20, so she’s basically a Big Fat Greek Taco expert; something I can only aspire to be someday).


Big Fat Greek Tacos
Yield: Serves 6-8

The cucumber salsa and the tzatziki sauce can be prepared up to a day in advance and refrigerated. Sally mentions that she's made the meat mixture and kept it on low in a crockpot for up to 4 hours to let the flavors develop (and help when entertaining or if you need some flexibility).

Ingredients

Cucumber Tomato Salsa:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 firm large tomatoes, seeded and diced

  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced

  • 1/2 cup diced red onion

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Feta Mint Tzatziki:

  • 1 English cucumber

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Lamb or Turkey:

  • 2 pounds ground lamb or turkey

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 cup minced red onion

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/4 cup broth (chicken, vegetable or beef)

For the pitas:

  • 6-8 non-pocket pita or soft wrap breads (I used our favorite soft wrap bread)

Directions

  1. At least one hour or as early as one day before you are serving, prepare the salsa and tzatziki. For the cucumber salsa, toss the olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a bowl and season with salt and black pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or up to 24 hours to marry the flavors.

  2. For the tzatziki, peel the cucumber and shred on the large holes of a box grater. Place the shredded cucumber in a clean kitchen towel and wring out the excess water until the cucumber is very dry. In a medium bowl, stir together the strained cucumber, yogurt, feta, garlic and mint. Again, season with salt and pepper to taste. The tzatziki can be refrigerated up to 24 hours. Give it a good stir before serving.

  3. For the meat, heat a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the ground lamb or turkey with the salt, pepper, onion and garlic, breaking up the meat into small pieces and cooking until the meat is cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

  4. Drain any excess grease. Stir in the oregano and tomato paste and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the broth and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Warm the pita breads in a cast iron skillet or in the microwave until soft and heated through. Serve the tacos by spooning meat into the center of a pita bread and topping with cucumber salsa and tzatziki.

Recipe Source: adapted from my friend Sally at Good Dinner Mom (increased amount of meat, simplified some of the steps)


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About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/

Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

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