Donair Sauce

I didn’t want to split up this recipe into the sauce and entree but I had to. You see I’m pretty sure that you will have no idea what donair sauce or what a donair is unless you have spent any time in the Maritimes. Have no fear, I’m here to help you out.

Donairs are a regional dish of Nova Scotia, which sounds classy but this is totally a greasy, alcohol absorbing, late night gnoshing indulgence food. Traditionally donairs are pita sandwiches (similar to a gyro) made of thinly sliced ground meat. The meat is spit roasted and choked full of savory and slightly spicy flavours, which is added to a pita and topped with chopped tomatoes, diced onions, sometimes grated mozzarella cheese but always this sweet tasting sauce. Traditionally the sauce is made with evaporated milk, but I was putting myself up to a vegan challenge so this time, it’s not. For anyone who has a coconut allergy or wants the traditional sauce recipe I’ve included it at the bottom. Also I promise a perfect vegan donair ‘meat’ recipe is coming this week.

Recipe notes you should know. I used coconut cream which is found in the international food aisle but canned coconut milk will give you a smoother sauce.The white beans thicken the sauce and if you are making it for a vegan make sure the sugar you use is processed without animal products. Makes 4-6 servings.

Vegan Donair Sauce

  • 4 tbs coconut creme + 1 cup of hot water or 1 cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup of canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 2-3 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt or to taste


If you are using coconut cream, boil water in a kettle and add to the solid coconut cream. Stir until all is dissolved and allow to set for about 5 minutes.

In a small saucepan heat coconut milk, sugar, and garlic over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and add vinegar and beans. Allow to cook over medium for about 5 minutes. Puree mixture with a blender or hand blender and if needed return to burner to thicken further. Season with salt to taste.

Traditional Donair Sauce

The traditional donair sauce is super quick to throw together. Add one can of evaporated milk to a small sauce pan with 1/2-3/4 cup of white sugar, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and about 4-5 teaspoons of white or apple cider vinegar. Cook over medium heat until it reaches your desired thickness somewhere between 5-8 minutes. Serve warm over donair ‘meat’ or with garlic cheese fingers/breadsticks.

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