Homemade Donairs

When I was 20 years old, I took a year off from university and took off to Germany for 6 months of bible college.  Besides the fair bit of homesickness, it was a great experience.  It was really neat to live in Europe for 6 months, and I’m glad that I was able to do it.

One of the foods I discovered while there were donairs, although the Turkish guy at the little corner place that sold them called them donar kebabs.  Since coming home I’ve learned that you can actually get them at plenty of places here too, but I had never had them before.

At any rate, whenever the food at school wasn’t very good, that’s where a bunch of us would go to get supper.  It was just down the street, and the donairs?  So, so good.  Now I still don’t think I’ve ever bought one since being home, it was one of those things that I really enjoyed while in Germany, but haven’t looked for since coming home.  But this recipe reminds me of those donairs.

homemade donairs

It’s not even that they’re the same, the meat he used I think had lamb involved, which I definitely want to try adding to this, because I think it would be awesome.  And I don’t have a giant rotisserie to cook the meat and shave it off.  Oddly enough.  But for a homemade version, it’s pretty darn close.  And the bread is definitely close.  Now if only I knew what kind of cheese he used, they would be pretty close to perfect.  If anyone knows please enlighten me!  I used feta which was good, but not the same.  Even with the differences though, every time I make these it reminds me of school in Germany and buying donar kebabs from the Turkish shop on the corner.

Now if I can just find a recipe for apple strudel that’s the same as the bakeries there!



Homemade Donairs

Yield: serves 4

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For the meat:
1/2 pound (225 g) ground beef
1/2 pound (225 g) ground turkey
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the donair sauce:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
For the donairs:
some kind of wrap style bread (flatbread, tortillas or pita bread work well)
hot sauce (we like Frank's Red Hot)
lettuce (whichever kind you like, we like romaine)
red onion (yellow is good too, that's what we used this time)
feta cheese
black olives (these are great on them, I didn't have any this time)
any other toppings you like!


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine the meat, flour and spices in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until very well combined. You want it to be a very uniform mixture, much more processed than for something like meatballs.  You can even use a food processor if you like, but I usually just mash it well.
  3. Dump the meat mixture onto a broiler pan or rimmed cookie sheet, and form it into a long, wide loaf shape, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches tall.  Place in the oven and bake for 55 minutes or until cooked through.  The internal temperature should be 180 degrees F.
  4. While the meat is cooking, whisk together the mayo, milk, vinegar and sugar for the donair sauce and put in the refrigerator until meat is ready.  Chop up your toppings for the donairs.
  5. When the meat is cooked, slice into thin slices and serve with the bread, toppings and sauces.


I made a double recipe for my family of 5 which gave us supper and leftovers for a couple of lunches.  I used this bread recipe for the bread (also a double recipe), using half whole wheat flour in it.  Also, I've only made it with the combination of beef and turkey, but I am going to try it with lamb replacing the beef at some point, and I think it would be good with whatever combination of ground meat you prefer.  We like them with a combination of donair sauce and hot sauce, but the sauces are certainly optional!

Source: Adapted from Eating Forward .


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    • stacey says

      Hi Rachel – sorry about that, I updated my recipe card plugin recently and some of the old recipes didn’t transfer properly. I’ve added the links back into the recipe card on this recipe now so it should work for you!

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