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Donair – Easy and Delicious!

Donair are so simple and delicious! Spiced meat cooked on a skewer, shaved thin and pan fried until golden brown. All wrapped up in a pita with a sweet and tangy sauce, onions and tomatoes.

Halifax donair wrap and skewer with tomatoes, onions and donair sauce

Donair Recipe

Halifax Donair is a true Canadian food treasure and the official food of Halifax. You don’t have to go to Halifax to enjoy one because now you can make it right at home with this recipe. Bold flavors, easy to follow steps and convenient ingredients, Donair will become a sure win and family favorite!

This is perfect for making ahead, refrigerating or freezing, and pulling it out for a quick and delicious weeknight meal, or to pack in a lunch if you’re going to be somewhere with access to a microwave to heat things up. Donair sauce is also something that’s unique to the dish. It’s flavor is deliciously garlicky, tangy and sweet.

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What is in Donair?

ingredients to make halifax donair
  • The donair meat is made with ground beef, a mix of spices and breadcrumbs. The meat is mixed until it is a smooth texture so it does not crumble when sliced.
ingredients to make halifax donair
  • The secret to a great donair is the famous sweet and tangy donair sauce. Made with sweetened condensed milk, vinegar and garlic powder
  • A classic donair is topped with tomatoes and onions only but another common topping is shredded mozzarella cheese!

How to make Donair

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

steps for making halifax donair

Checkout my short video tutorial here

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Prep

1 Prepare the donair sauce by whisking the sweetened condensed milk, garlic powder and vinegar together until evenly combined. You can use this right away but it tastes best if it sits 1 hour – overnight in the fridge.

2 In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the ground beef, spice and breadcrumbs. Mix on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Mix until the texture of the meat has changed from a ground beef consistency to a smooth texture, or mix by hand in a large bowl for 15 – 20 minutes.

3 Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Shape the Donair

4 Place meat mixture onto a clean working surface (counter or cutting board or on a piece of parchment paper on your kitchen counter). Shape into a log.

5 Pick up the log several times and throw it down on to the counter to help get out any air pockets that may still be in the meat. Shape the meat into a smooth log.

6 Carefully slide a metal skewer through the center of the meat. Wrap fully in foil and tighten the edges to cover the meat at the ends of the skewer.

7 Bake for approximately 2 hours on the middle rack of oven.

8 Remove the foil from the donair log and place the skewers in the donair log on the baking pan. Bake for another 20 minutes or until browned all over and cooked through. Or place the donair in an air fryer or rotisserie oven to brown the outside.

Halifax donair wrap and skewer with tomatoes, onions and donair sauce

9 Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Holding the skewer slightly at an angle, carefully shave thin slices off the donair.

Assemble the Donair Pita Wraps

10 Prepare your toppings. Dice onion and tomato into bite sized pieces. Cut as many square pieces of foil you need for the number of wraps you are making, slightly larger than your pita for wrapping.

11 Pan fry the donair in a small amount of oil until golden brown. Place a pita on top to warm up the pita and soften it. This will make the pita more pliable.

12 Place the pita on top of a square of aluminum foil, top with donair sauce, meat, onion, tomato and more donair sauce on top.

Halifax donair wrap and skewer with tomatoes, onions and donair sauce

13 Wrap the aluminum foil around the donair and place into the oven for 5 minutes to warm at 350°F.

Repeat these steps for as many donairs as you are making.

Enjoy!

Halifax donair wrap and skewer with tomatoes, onions and donair sauce

Looking for More Canadian Classic Recipes?

Try some of my other easy Canadian recipes!

  • Beaver Tails – light and airy dough tried and shaped into a ‘tail’. Coated in cinnamon and sugar!
  • Poutine – Canada’s most iconic dish! It may seem like a simple gravy and fries but the secrets are in the spices of the gravy and the delicious cheese curds!
  • Butter Tarts – my personal favorite dessert! Creamy filling with a hint of maple syrup baked in a light and crispy tart shell.

Enjoy!

– Sab

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.

Halifax donair wrap and skewer with tomatoes, onions and donair sauce

Donair

Halifax Donair is a true Canadian food treasure and the official food of Halifax. You don’t have to go to Halifax to enjoy one because now you can make it right at home with this recipe. Bold flavors, easy to follow steps and convenient ingredients, Donair will become a sure win and family favorite! This is perfect for making ahead, refrigerating or freezing, and pulling it out for a quick and delicious weeknight meal, or to pack in a lunch if you’re going to be somewhere with access to a microwave to heat things up. Donair sauce is also something that’s unique to the dish. It’s flavour is deliciously garlicky, tangy and sweet.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 12 Donairs
Calories 531 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Donair Meat

Donair Sauce

  • 300 ml sweetened condensed milk , (one can 10 oz )
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic, powder

Toppings

  • onion, sliced
  • tomatoes, sliced
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded, optional
  • 10 pita bread

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the donair sauce by whisking the sweetened condensed milk, garlic powder and vinegar together until evenly combined. You can use this right away but it tastes best if it sits 1 hour – overnight in the fridge.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the ground beef, spice and breadcrumbs. Mix on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Mix until the texture of the meat has changed from a ground beef consistency to a smooth texture, or mix by hand in a large bowl for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place meat mixture onto a clean working surface (counter or cutting board or on a piece of parchment paper on your kitchen counter). Shape the meat into a log.
  • Pick up the log several times and throw it down on to the counter to help get out any air pockets that may still be in the meat. Shape the meat into a smooth log.
  • Carefully slide a metal skewer through the center of the meat. Wrap fully in foil and tighten the edges to cover the meat at the ends of the skewer.
  • Bake for approximately 2 hours on the middle rack of oven.
  • Remove the foil from the donair log and place the skewers in the donair log on the baking pan. Bake for another 20 minutes or until browned all over and cooked through. Or place the donair in an air fryer or rotisserie oven to brown the outside.
  • Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Holding the skewer slightly at an angle, carefully shave thin slices off the donair.
  • Prepare your toppings. Dice onion and tomato into bite sized pieces. Cut as many square pieces of foil you need for the number of wraps you are making, slightly larger than your pita for wrapping.
  • Pan fry the donair in a small amount of oil until golden brown. Place a pita on top to warm up the pita and soften it. This will make the pita more pliable.
  • Place the pita on top of a square of aluminum foil, top with donair sauce, meat, onion, tomato and more donair sauce on top.
  • Wrap the aluminum foil around the donair and place into the oven for about 5 minutes to warm at 350°F.
  • Repeat these steps for as many donairs as you are making.
  • Enjoy!

Video

Notes

If you don’t have a stand mixer to combine the meat that’s fine, you can use a food processor or mix by hand for 15 – 20 minutes so that it’s very thoroughly combined.
Many donair enthusiasts insist there is no cheese on a donair. I put cheese on mine sometimes and it’s delicious and so do a lot of other people. Even the original makers of the donair (King of Donair) allow customers to add cheese if they want
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NUTRITION

Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 52gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 908mgPotassium: 920mgFiber: 2gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 292IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 154mgIron: 6mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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Recipe Rating




Rhonda

Thursday 1st of September 2022

I love donairs and this such an amazing recipe!

fedbysab

Friday 2nd of September 2022

Thanks Rhonda! I love donairs too, they are so unique and delicious!

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