DIY doner kebabs that satisfy your craving in a hurry

Mar 14, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. ET
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

You don't need a big, vertical rotisserie to make this spice-rich doner kebab on a soft, fluffy pita.

The gyro or shawarma-style meat not only makes the kitchen smell amazing while it's cooking, but it also tastes wonderful when served wrapped in a pita smothered with tzatziki sauce and topped with tomatoes, lettuce and onion.

doner kebab pita
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

The delicious lamb strips start out with spices.

spices on plate
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

The spices are ground coriander, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cayenne pepper, dried oregano leaves, salt and pepper.

spices in ground lamb
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To a large bowl, add the ground lamb, spices and flour.

add lemon juice to lamb
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Then add fresh lemon juice. Using your hands, mix together until the ingredients are completely incorporated.

ground lamb in pan
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Spray cooking spray on the bottom and sides of a bread pan. Put the meat in the pan, and pat it down firmly against the bottom and all sides of the pan.

cooked lamb in pan
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Bake until the meat is completely cooked. This is when the kitchen smells so good.

slice cooked lamb

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

After the cooked lamb is cool, cut it into thin slices.

meat for doner kebab
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

On a cookie sheet (and a rack if you have one), lay the slices of meat flat. Drizzle a little olive oil on top.

bake doner kebab meat
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Bake for just a bit, until the edges start to get crisp.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows
tzatziki sauce in bowl
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To make the tzatziki sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Give the sauce a taste test to see if you prefer more salt or perhaps a bit more lemon juice.

lettuce onion tomatoes for kebab
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Shred or thinly slice the lettuce, and slice the onion and tomato. I like to add a bit of salt and pepper to the tomatoes.

tzatziki on pita
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To me, what really makes this especially tasty is a supersoft and fluffy pita. Spread the tzatziki sauce on the pita (I love tzatziki sauce, so I slather it on). Next, top with tomatoes, slices of meat, onion and lettuce.

done kebab with tzatziki sauce
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Wrap the bottom half of the doner kebab with foil (because it's so packed full of deliciousness), and then dig in.

doner kebab pita on plate
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Doner kebab recipe

Serves 5

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes | Inactive time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients:

For the pita

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to add heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Cooking spray
  • Olive oil (to drizzle on the meat)
  • 5 soft pitas
  • Tzatziki sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded head lettuce
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • Salt and pepper (optional, for the tomatoes)

For the tzatziki sauce

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber, skin and seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill)
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tablespoon diced onion
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 dashes ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

For the pita

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To a large bowl, add the ground lamb, oregano, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, coriander, garlic powder, salt, pepper, lemon juice and flour.
  3. Mix the meat and spices together with your hands until all are completely incorporated.
  4. Spray cooking spray to the inside of a loaf pan.
  5. Put the meat in the pan, and pat it down firmly to get rid of air pockets.
  6. Bake until the meat is completely cooked (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
  7. Remove from the oven, and let the meat cool.
  8. After the meat has cooled, thinly slice it widthwise.
  9. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  10. On a large cookie sheet with a rack on it (if available), lay each slice of meat flat. Drizzle olive oil on top.
  11. Bake until the edges of the meat begin to get crispy (about 10 – 15 minutes).
  12. Remove from the oven, and add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and a little ground black pepper, to taste.
  13. Warm the pita bread slightly (a few seconds in a microwave or the cooling oven) so that it's pliable.
  14. Spread tzatziki sauce on top of each pita.
  15. In the middle of each pita, lay slices of tomato (top the tomato with salt and/or pepper, if desired).
  16. Top with slices of meat, onion and lettuce. Serve while warm.

For the tzatziki sauce

  1. To a medium-size bowl, add all the ingredients, and stir together. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

More pita sandwiches

Grilled Greek chicken pitas with tzatziki sauce
Chicken taco pitas
Pita bread salad sandwich with Bolognese sauce

Comments