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Fluffy pita bread, creamy garlic yogurt sauce or spicy red sauce, crispy falafels and crunchy vegetables – nothing beats a vegetarian döner kebab for lunch. I’ll show you how to make a vegan doner yourself. It’s not hard at all, by the way. What you can take besides falafels for a vegetarian kebab, you can also learn here. A detailed vegan döner (doner) recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found below.
What is döner (doner) kebab?
Döner kebab is a common dish of Turkish cuisine, which is now also popular in Germany. Translated from Turkish, “doner” means “spinning”. And “kebab” means “grilled or roasted meat”. So with that, a ” döner kebab” translates to “spinning grilled meat”. For a kebab, the meat is first marinated in a special sauce, then put on a vertical rotating spit, grilled and finally cut thinly from the spit in layers. In the meantime, however, there are also vegetarian and vegan doner kebabs, which consist of various meat alternatives, such as falafels or feta.
Particularly popular in Germany is the döner sandwich – pita bread filled with (vegan) döner meat, vegetables and a sauce. In a dürüm doner, a wrap dough is filled with the same ingredients and rolled up. A doner box – a box filled with (vegetarian) doner meat, fries, the sauce and possibly vegetables – is also often offered in Turkish doner stores. In a döner plate, all the ingredients are served on one plate. As a side dish, there is rice in addition to French fries as an alternative.
Vegetarian döner: this goes as a meat substitute
There are many different options with which you can make a vegetarian or vegan doner. I’ll list some of them for you here and explain how to prepare them.
Vegan doner with falafels
Very tasty is a vegan kepab with falafels, especially if they are homemade. I also made my kebab with them. You can prepare the falafels beforehand, store them in the fridge and then use them to make your own kebab. How to make falafels yourself, you will learn in the article How to make falafel – recipe for popular chickpea balls.
Vegetarian döner with feta cheese
Although not vegan, but vegetarian is a kebap with feta cheese. Or you can just use vegan feta cheese. Just cut the cheese into cubes and fill the pita bread with it. Add vegetables and the kebab sauce.
Vegetarian kebab with jackfruit
Even healthier is a kebab with jackfruit, which is rich in nutrients and vitamins. Then, for the recipe below, instead of falafels, you need:
- 100 g of dried jackfruit,
and for the marinade add:
- 1 onion,
- 2 cloves of garlic,
- 1 tbsp tomato paste,
- 1 tbsp lemon juice,
- 1 tsp oregano,
- 1 tsp hot paprika powder,
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika,
- 40 ml vegetable broth.
How to prepare jackfruit:
- Pour hot water over jackfruit, let soak for about 15 minutes, then drain and cut into strips.
- Grate the onion and press the garlic. Mix all ingredients for the marinade.
- Add the jackfruit to the marinade and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes, or preferably overnight. Then take it out of the marinade and fry it in a pan in some vegetable oil.
Alternatively, you can use canned jackfruit. You don’t have to soak it in water beforehand, but wash it, drain it thoroughly, pluck it into pieces and then marinate and fry it just like dried ones.
Vegan kebap with soy shreds
You can also make a vegan kebab with soy cutlets. To do this, first prepare the soy cutlet as follows:
- Pour boiling water over it and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Then pour off the water and squeeze the liquid out of the soy kebab thoroughly.
- Fry the soy cutlet in plenty of vegetable oil until crispy, seasoning it with kebab seasoning and soy sauce.
Instead of soy cutlets you can use soy steaks. Soak them in the same way in water, then cut them into thin strips and fry them.
To make soy steak even spicier, you can marinade it after soaking it in water (as for jackfruit) and only then fry it.
Vegetarian doner with seitan
For this you either take seitan fillets, cut them into pieces and fry them in vegetable oil until crispy (don’t forget to season well), or you use the already prepared seitan for kebab. Alternatively, you can marinade seitan fillets beforehand (as for jackfruit) and fry them afterwards.
Vegan döner with mushrooms
Don’t like meat substitutes like seitan or soy kebabs? Then make your vegan kebap with mushrooms. Slice them beforehand and fry them in vegetable oil.
From kebab bread to filling to sauce: everything homemade
To make a vegetarian döner, you need vegan meat substitute, vegetables, kebab sauce and pita bread. You can make all this yourself beforehand. How to bake fluffy doner bread, I show you in the article How to make kebab bread – vegan recipe for Turkish pita bread. How to prepare a delicious doner sauce, you can learn here: How to make kebab sauce – 2 delicious vegan recipes. As a meat substitute, you can make your own falafel, for example. Or you can prepare one of the meat alternatives mentioned above. All that’s left is fresh vegetables, which you just have to cut into pieces.
Homemade vegan kebab tastes best
You can easily buy a doner in a Turkish snack bar. But homemade tastes best, as we all know. So let’s make a vegan kebab ourselves! You can decide what you want to prepare it with. Should it be falafel, seitan meatballs or jackfruit? Homemade kebab bread and a homemade kebab sauce make the taste of your kebab perfect.
Serve and store vegetarian döner
You should serve the homemade doner immediately after preparation. It tastes best when it is fresh. If you store the kebab longer, the sauce and vegetables will soak the kebab bread and make it soggy. However, you can prepare individual ingredients for the vegetarian döner in advance and store them in the refrigerator. You can bake the kebab bread a day in advance. You can also prepare the falafels or other meat alternatives a few days earlier. If you want, you can also make the sauce a day or so ahead, put it in a sealable container and keep it in a cool place. Before serving, you just have to cut the vegetables and fill the kebab bread with the falafels, vegetables and sauce.
This kebab is
- vegetarian and vegan,
- incredibly delicious,
- filled with falafels,
- changeable as far as the filling is concerned,
- healthier than the traditional kebab,
- easy to make yourself,
- perfect for lunch,
- ideal to take away.
How to make vegan doner: the recipe
The exact quantities and step-by-step instructions, according to which you can make the vegan doner itself, you will find below in the box recipe.
For the vegan kebab recipe you need
- doner bread,
- doner sauce,
- vegetables (I had lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, onion and additional pickled corn),
- chili flakes to sprinkle on top if you like the kebap spicy.
How to make vegetarian döner: this is how it works
- Cut vegetables.
- Cut open the kebab bread and fill it with falafels, vegetables and kebab sauce. Your vegan kebab is ready!
How to make vegetarian döner: tips and tricks
- You can prepare the pita bread, kebab sauce and falafels (or another meat substitute) in advance and store them in the refrigerator.
- You can warm up the kebab bread briefly in the oven or in a toaster before topping, if you don’t use it immediately after baking.
- Instead of falafels, you can use other meat alternatives. See my suggestions for doing so here above.
- Depending on your taste, you can make your kebab with the vegan garlic yogurt sauce or the red kebab sauce. I had tried the vegan doner with both the sauces. Both had tasted very delicious. Alternatively, you can also create your own sauce.
- Use vegetables according to your taste for the homemade vegetarian döner. You can leave out the vegetables you don’t like in the recipe and add ones you do like instead.
- If you don’t like your kebab spicy, you can leave out chili flakes.
- You can serve your vegan kebab not only with a pita bread as a kebab sandwich, but also as a kebab box, plate or as a dürüm kebab. See the notes above for this.
- Serve the vegetarian doner fresh, right after preparation.
Did you make the vegan döner yourself using this recipe? I’m looking forward to your result, your star rating and your comment on the kebab recipe below, how it turned out and tasted to you.
Fancy more popular dishes in vegan versions? Also try:
Vegan kebab (vegetarian döner)
- Cut tomatoes and cucumbers into thin slices, red cabbage and white cabbage into thin strips, onion into rings.
- Cut the kebab bread about 2/3 lengthwise and fill it with lettuce, falafels, the sliced vegetables, corn and sauce, sprinkle with chili flakes.
- Instead of falafels go other meat alternatives. Suggestions for them are here above.
- Use any vegetables to taste.
- The vegan kebap can be served not only with a pita bread as a kebab sandwich, but also as a kebab box, plate or dürüm kebab. Notes for this can be found above.
- Serve the vegetarian döner fresh, immediately after preparation.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making a vegan doner yourself at the top of the post.