low-carb donair meatballs with low-sugar donair sauce

REVAMPED! Donair Meatballs with Low-Sugar Donair Sauce ~ Low-Carb, Keto

Have you been to Halifax, NS? No?! Well you should go for a number of reasons 1.  It’s one of the friendliest places in Canada 2. It has the most bars per capita in the country and 3. Donairs!

You can’t walk down the street without passing a donair shop.  These sweet and spicy bad boys are long hailed as a late-night delicacy.  Back in the day, stumbling out of the bar and grabbing one on the way home was the perfect end to the night.  I’d like to think I’ve grown up a bit since those days!

Traditional donairs are served on a doughy, delicious Lebanese pita slathered with a sugary, sweet and tangy donair sauce.  Well low-carbers, I’ve come up with a pretty close substitution that cuts back on the sugar and carbs.  I decided to make them in the form of meatballs (fun, right?!) and serve them on lettuce.

For the sauce, instead of using sugar or sweetened condensed milk, I used cream and sugar leaf baking stevia, which is a blend of cane sugar and stevia extract.  To reduce the sugar and carbs even more you can use approximately 10 drops of liquid stevia to your liking – this is supposed to be a sweet and tangy sauce!

Double up the meatballs and freeze for when that late night craving hits….you’ll thank me later 😉Donair_Meatballs_with_Low_Sugar_Donair_Sauce_www.thehappyhealthfreak.com #LowCarb #Keto

Print Recipe


Serves 4

For the Meatballs (makes approx. 20 meatballs)
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2 Tbsp almond meal or bread crumbs
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
**Don’t be shy on the spices!**

For the Sauce (yields 1 cup)
1 cup 10% organic cream
1 Tbsp sweet leaf baking stevia or 10 drops of liquid stevia
1 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp white vinegar

You will also need:
Romaine lettuce for the wraps
Diced tomatoes
Diced onions

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with tin foil or parchment paper.  Add ground beef and spices to a medium bowl, mix well!  Roll into balls and place in baking dish.  Donair Meatballs1Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.Donair Meatballs2Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.  In a bowl, whisk cream, garlic powder and sugar until dissolved.  Stir in the vinegar.  Cover and refrigerate.  Note: you will have leftover sauce, freeze it for your next batch!Donair_Sauce_Low_SugarServe meatballs on lettuce wraps and top with sauce, diced tomatoes and onions.  Enjoy!Donair Meatball Lettuce Wraps2REVAMPED! Donair Meatballs with Low-Sugar Donair Sauce #keto #lowcarb Click To Tweet Donair Meatball Lettuce WrapsIt’s also delicious over cauliflower rice.

This isn’t my first rodeo.  I’ve made legit donairs for my east coast hubby many times.  For the Traditional Donair Recipe, click here.

Nutritional Info per serving (5 meatballs with 2 Tablespoons of sauce)
408 Calories, 8g Carbs, 1g Fibre, 7g Net Carbs, 27g Fat, 29g Protein, 5g Sugar

Please Note:  Nutritional info is gathered from MyFitnessPal and may vary depending on your ingredients.  Therefore, it is not always 100% accurate and meant to be used as a reference only.





  • GiGi Eats September 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I FRIGGIN LOVE Lebanese FOOD!!!!!!!!!!! SHAWARMA IS THE SHEEEEZE NEEZE BUT I can also get it on with these FOR SURE! 🙂

    • happyhealthfreak September 15, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Shawarmas are definitely my fav too…Donairs have grown on me over the years. I make them mostly for the hubbs! I haven’t mastered the shawarma yet…gotta get on that!

      • GiGi Eats September 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm

        I’ve been wanting to try a recipe on the blog! ONE of these days!! 😉 Until then… I will just hit up the SHAWARMA around Los Angeles! ha ah.

  • Jenn August 19, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Omg thank you!!! I’m a maritimer on the west coast and planning on going to a donair night with another east coaster but had no idea what I was going to be able do for sauce!! Trying to stick to keto and knew that was going to be a challenge when presented with sweet beautiful donair sauce lol

    • happyhealthfreak August 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Jenn! I hear ya, it’s next to impossible to find actual donair sauce in the west let alone a keto version. I hope you like it!

  • Nathalie February 15, 2019 at 2:35 am

    This is fantastic…do you have to whisk the sauce for long?
    Thank you. I can’t remember the last time I had a garlic finger with donair sauce…

    • happyhealthfreak February 15, 2019 at 7:35 am

      Hi Nat! No, just whisk a normal amount, it thickens in the fridge. We miss garlic fingers, they dont have the same ones in BC 🙁

  • Gina January 17, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    I’m so happy I found this post!!!! I’m in Cape Breton and I’ve been looking for a donair sauce recipe from someone who knows what it’s actually supposed to taste like! Thank you. 😁


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