German Doner Kebab

german doner kebab

The German Doner Kebab, often known as Döner, holds a special place in Germany’s culinary landscape and is a beloved fast-food staple. Its history is intertwined with the immigration of Turkish and Middle Eastern communities in Germany, dating back to the 1960s. The dish is a delicious fusion of Middle Eastern flavors and German preferences. In this version using chicken thighs, the meat is marinated with aromatic spices like cumin and coriander, resulting in tender, flavorful chicken.

One of the defining features of the German Doner Kebab is its unique sauce, often referred to as “Knoblauchsoße” or garlic sauce. This creamy garlic sauce adds a zesty and garlicky kick to the kebab, enhancing its taste. When assembling the kebab, fresh vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions are added, providing a refreshing contrast to the seasoned meat. The use of pickled red cabbage is a nod to Germany’s love for pickled vegetables and adds a delightful crunch and tanginess. Whether enjoyed on the go or as a sit-down meal, the German Doner Kebab is a delicious reflection of Germany’s multicultural influences, offering a taste of the Middle East with a German twist.

german doner kebab
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5 from 2 votes

German Doner Kebab

Best sandwich ever?
Course Main Course
Cuisine german, Turkish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Author Jim


  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 large pitas or french rolls
  • Sliced tomatoes and onions
  • Fresh parsley leaves


  • In a bowl, combine the minced garlic, olive oil, ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well. Cut the chicken thighs into chunks and add them to the marinade. Ensure the chicken is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight, for the best flavor.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and has a nice char. Remove from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes.
  • Assembling the Doner Kebabs:
  • Warm the pitas or rolls on the grill. Spread a generous amount of garlic sauce over the bread. Add grilled chicken strips, sliced tomatoes and onions, and fresh parsley leaves on top. Enjoy!

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