If you've ever been to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, hopefully you had the chance to try a donair. This is the recipe used to make those donairs in some places in town. Remember to knead that meat until it's almost a paste!


Recipe Summary

40 mins
2 hrs 30 mins
6 hrs
9 hrs 10 mins
15 servings


Original recipe yields 15 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease a large baking pan with sides.

  • Place beef, lamb, flour, salt, oregano, dry mustard, 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chile pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning in a bowl; knead all ingredients together with your hands until mixture is like a paste, about 10 minutes. Roll the meat mixture into a large loaf shape, and place into the prepared pan.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Remove from oven; place meat on a drip rack until completely cool to allow juices and fat to drain. Refrigerate meat for 6 hours or overnight.

  • Stir evaporated milk, sugar, and 2 teaspoons garlic powder together in a small bowl; gradually stir in vinegar just until mixture thickens.

  • Slice donair meat into strips about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick. Fry meat strips in single-sandwich batches in a skillet over medium-high heat until meat begins to crisp at the edges; remove from pan. Quickly rub 1 pita round lightly with water; fry pita in same frying pan, turning once, just until warm, about 1 minute.

  • Spread pita with about 1/2 tablespoons of sauce mixture, top with donair meat, and garnish with onion, tomato, and more sauce; repeat with remaining meat and pita.

Cook's Notes:

Beef can be used in place of lamb if desired.

Flour acts as a binder, but it is possible to make the recipe without using flour.

In place of kneading meat mixture in Step 2, you can pass mixture through a grinder until finely ground. The finished product should be similar to processed meat, so that it can be thinly sliced and then pan fried without crumbling.

You can also top with mozzarella cheese if you like.

Nutrition Facts

511 calories; protein 32.7g 66% DV; carbohydrates 44.9g 15% DV; fat 21.6g 33% DV; cholesterol 103.3mg 34% DV; sodium 1003.8mg 40% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (3)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
Will definitely make this again. Like the sauce this needs to sit overnight to give the best flavour. Read More
3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
Will definitely make this again. Like the sauce this needs to sit overnight to give the best flavour. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
let me say this is spot on! I didn't have time to make the complete loaf so I thought a little out side of the box. I combined all the spices to make my donair spice blend. for the meat portion I used a box of steak-umms! take your time cooking these. slice in three; pan fry don't flip or stir as the strips will fall apart and turn into cheesestake meat. While cooking the meat add the spice. This recipe is for 5lbs of meat. using the spice blend I used 4.5 tsps for the one pound box of steak umms. AMAZING! Just like home Listuguj QC The sauce is good however next time I would use about 1/2 tsp less of garlic powder. Thanks for sharing! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
It texture is perfect made it exactly as directed. A little to spicy for my husband will cut back on the heat to half and it really doesn't need that much salt. All things aside and done great recipe taste and texture just like a Donair. I did not make the sweet sauce I don't like a sweet sauce with Donairs I preferred the cucumber sauce. Read More