The Original Donair From the East Coast of Canada


This homemade donair recipe is based on the legendary East Coast donair created in the city of Halifax by a Greek restaurateur in the early 70s. Originally made with ground lamb, it is now more commonly made with beef. Favorite garnishes are chopped onions and fresh diced tomatoes.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr
Additional Time:
8 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 45 mins



  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • ¼ cup white vinegar, or to taste


  • 6 large pita bread rounds


  1. Make the meatloaf: Mix ground beef, cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, paprika, and oregano together in a large bowl until combined. Shape mixture into a loaf and place on a baking tray; cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  3. Bake meatloaf in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes, turning the loaf over halfway through cooking. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Allow the meatloaf to cool so it holds together for slicing.

  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Stir evaporated milk and sugar together in a bowl until sugar is dissolved; add vinegar, 1 teaspoon at a time, to taste. Refrigerate sauce until ready to serve.

  5. Slice meatloaf into 1/4-inch thick slices; brown each slice in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes per side.

  6. Sprinkle pita bread rounds with a little water; warm briefly in a dry skillet over medium heat.

  7. To serve: Place several slices of meatloaf into each warmed pita bread; spoon about 2 tablespoons of sauce on top and roll into a cone shape. Wrap each donair in aluminum foil to keep the sauce from dripping out; serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

450 Calories
14g Fat
57g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 450
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 814mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 214mg 16%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 435mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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