Vegan Donair

Since going vegetarian about 14 years ago I haven’t wanted for much. I understand that a lot of non-vegetarians may view my chosen diet as limiting but for me it was the exact opposite. When I became vegetarian, I still wanted to eat great meals that were filling and full of satisfying flavours and textures . In order to do that, I was forced to branch out  from how I was taught to cook (no more meat and potato dinners), into a different culinary world. 

You learn quickly how to appreciate each ingredient because generally, any produce can be the highlight of your meal. You learn tricks to how to prepare foods to mimic childhood favorites and that leads me to this recipe. I’ve been trying for the better part of my adult life to re-create a vegan facsimile of the donair I remember from 14 years ago. I’ve learned a few tricks since then and after many trials I think I have perfected it. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Vegan Donair (Seitan)

adapted from the Vegan Dad’s recipe for Veggie Lunch Meat

  • 1 cup of canned white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 small onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbs dehydrated chopped onion
  • 1 tbs garlic salt
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs miso paste
  • 2 cups of cool water
  • 2 + 3/4 cup of vital wheat gluten
  • tin foil
  • non-stick spray
  • something the steam in


Get water boiling in your steamer.

Add garlic, onion and spices to a food processor and process until you form a paste. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but cannot have any visible chunks. Empty the spice paste into bowl.

To the same food processor, add beans, olive and sesame oil, miso paste and liquid smoke and process until completely smooth. Add to the bowl with the spice paste and stir with a spoon until all is combined.

Stir in the cool water and once everything is consistent, add the vital wheat gluten. The mixture will almost instantly becomes hard to stir, the gluten forms fast and while you don’t want to over mix it, make sure there is no sign of raw flour in the dough.

Spray a large piece of tin foil with non-stick spray. Place the dough in the centre of the tine foil and shape into a fat log about 10″ in length and about 4″-6″ tall/wide. Wrap well in foil making sure that water cannot get into the seitan and steam for an hour.

At the 45 minute mark, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Once the seitan is finished steaming, remove all the foil and place on a prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature.

I let mine rest over night to make it easy for slicing. Slice with a serrated knife, enjoy!

 How to assemble a Donair

  • 1 recipe donair seitan
  • 1 recipe of donair sauce
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 6 small whole wheat pitas
  • mozzarella flavoured daiya (optional)


Prepare the donair seitan and sauce. Dice tomatoes and onions and set aside. In a non-stick frying pan heat over medium heat. I added oil but non-stick spray also works well. Thinly slice donair seitan and lightly fry on each side to crisp up the edges and heat through. Heat each pita, until warm, top with seitain, onions, tomatoes and sauce and daiya. Shove in your pie hole as, soon as possible!

20 thoughts on “Vegan Donair

  1. Hi there, me again haha I’m currently making this for about the tenth time for all of my friends. Everyone who has tried it so far is LOVED it (non vegans included). Thank you sooooooo much for this recipe!!!!!!

  2. Pingback: M is for … | V-Spot

      • I just used a bakers scret pan, they usually do the job, should I flip it?

      • That should work fine, There is need to flip it. It will bake up kind of like a meat loaf and let it cool before to slice into it. Use a serrated knife.

    • I went along with not flipping, going to let it cool in the fridge… I’ll cut then fry for supper…. Hope its good! And for the donair sauce im unsure about it but who knows. Does it make a difference if I use white vinegar much? I remember a recipe which was garlic, milk, sugar, vinegar. All this would be doing is sub for the coconut milk
      Probably work better?

      • The recipe I have on my blog for donair sauce which has two versions – white vinegar will make it taste more authentic. Enjoy!

    • Hi Danette, you could use tofu but its not going to have the right texture. I don’t think you’d be able to slice it. Check out my tofu-turkey recipe it might help you mold it but seitan imitates donairs the best. I did many trial recipes and could never get the right effect with tofu. Good luck!

  3. My donair seitan is steaming away….I can’t wait to try it. It’s been over ten years since I’ve had a donair and I’m so hungry!!!!


    I’ll report back in a few hours – I’m so excited! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Turned out very tasty! Just a smidge of heat and nice and garlicky. Only problem is I can’t stop nibbling and I haven’t made it into a donair yet. At this rate I’ll be too full!

      I was having a crappy day in the studio and this has fortified me enough to go tackle my canvas again 🙂 thanks again for sharing!

      • Thanks so much for trying out this recipe, so happy it turned out well for you. I like it better the next day as it tends to firm up and it good it you reheat it in a frying pan with a little oil – you definitely need to make donairs though! Good luck in the studio today!

  4. Just wanted to say I’ve made this vegan donair meat again yesterday for around the tenth time and it turned out amazing as usual. Thank you for sharing such an awesome recipe! I do sometimes tinker with the seasoning adding more smoke, Italian seasoning or less red pepper flakes depending on who is going to be eating it. Several self declared meat lovers have enjoyed this recipe with no complaints or comments about it being vegan/vegetarian.

    If you are skimming comments to see if it gets good reviews, it gets 5/5 stars from me 🙂

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