These homemade donairs (gyros) are so easy to make and the whole family will love them! Serve them with flatbread and lots of toppings for a fun and easy meal!
When I was 20 years old, I took a year off from university and went to Bible college in Germany for 6 months. I’m not even gonna do the math on how long ago that was now because I don’t want to feel old! But it was a great experience and I loved being able to live in Europe for 6 months.
One of the foods I discovered while I was there were donairs, although the Turkish guy at the little corner place that sold them called them donar kebabs (and I’ve also seen them called gyros). 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.
Those donairs were so, so tasty. I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought one since coming home, but they were one of those things that I really enjoyed while I was in Germany. And this recipe reminds me of those donairs.
They’re not exactly the same. I don’t have a giant rotisserie to cook the meat and shave it off. Oddly enough. But for a homemade version, they’re pretty close.
This soft flatbread is perfect with these homemade gyros and it’s pretty similar. The donair sauce is close and the toppings are the same. 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 quite 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. Plus the whole family loves these and they’re easy to make so it’s a great dinner recipe!
Now if I can just find a recipe for German apple strudel that’s the same as the bakeries there, I would be very happy! (Although that may be a bit dangerous, I seem to recall eating far too many of those pastries – and the metabolism is not what it once was!)
Tips for perfect Homemade Donairs or Gyros:
- make sure to mix the meat and spices together really well, using a potato masher to really process it well – this gives it the right texture when you slice it
- I’ve used different ground meats in these donairs – beef, turkey and lamb – and they’re all delicious so use any combination you like. I have made them all beef too, but we do prefer it with half turkey or chicken instead as it’s leaner, and the combination gives a nice flavour.
- the toppings are all optional so skip anything you don’t like – the combination of both donair sauce and hot sauce is pretty fantastic so I definitely recommend using both!
- this soft flatbread is our favourite bread to use, but any store-bought flatbread or pita bread will work just fine too
- here are a few more easy dinner recipes for you: Slow Cooker Chili, Pesto Chicken Pull Apart Sliders, and One Pot Turkey Mushroom Tortellini
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Thursday 12th of July 2018
Meat was ok, but I only used beef. Need a little more fat and will probably add pork next time! The sweet sauce was better than many I have tasted, but hmm ... just needs a little more umph
Monday 6th of February 2017
Is there a bread recipe attached somewhere? I can't see it! :)
Monday 6th of February 2017
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!
Thursday 12th of May 2016
Bodenseehof? I was at Capernwray 25 years ago.
Friday 13th of May 2016
Small world! Yup, Bodenseehof - 16 years ago!