Poutine is one of Canada’s notable dishes and some of the most delicious comfort food you’ll ever have.
Experience pure delight with this delicious dish that blankets homemade French fries in cheese curds, smothered in a savory brown gravy sauce.
It’s simply the best!
What is Poutine?
A traditional poutine recipe is a bed of fries topped with cheese curds (not mozzarella cheese) and gravy.
Poutine is undoubtedly Canadian. This dish originated in Quebec in the 1950s although, like many dishes, the true origin is debated with many restaurants claiming the dish. It is pronounced ‘poo-teen’ or ‘poo-tin’ in English or ‘poo-tsin’ in Quebec.
Now, different variations can be found throughout the country and there are all kinds of variations and even entire poutine restaurants! In Canada, poutine graces almost every menu and is served at fast-food restaurants too.
Why We Love It
- Poutine can be made with homemade fries that have been baked or fried (or even store bought in a pinch).
- It’s full of crispy cheesy goodness.
- Customize it with your favorite toppings, like caramelized onions or bacon (although not traditional, it’s still delish!).
- It’s an inexpensive and easy recipe for any home cook and so much fun to eat!
Fries – The sky is the limit here. Use oven fries, deep fry your own french fries, or make air fryer french fries (or even use frozen if you’re in a hurry).
If making homemade fries, choose starchy potatoes like russets so they’re crispy on the outside and fluffy inside.
Sauce – Poutine is topped with a rich gravy which makes the cheese melty and delicious. We love the homemade gravy below but if you have leftover gravy (or even packaged) that works too! For a fun twist, try bacon gravy!
Cheese – Store-bought cheese curds are sold in bags and are often found in the deli area (and not always in the dairy case). If you don’t see them, ask at the store where they are.
Cheese curds are crumbles of cheese that have been separated from the whey and have a mild salty flavor. They won’t melt entirely in Poutine, instead, they add a chewy texture to the dish…and they squeak as you eat!
- Depending on where you are in Canada (or the US), poutine can come in different forms but always with the same three ingredients: fries, gravy/sauce, and cheese curds.
- Waffle fries, wedge fries, string fries, even tater tots, or sweet potato fries are sometimes used but good ol’ french fries are traditional.
- For a heartier Poutine, a topping of pulled pork, chopped bacon, ground sausage, or seasoned taco meat is an option.
- Squeaky cheese curds are used for poutine but can be hard to find depending on where you live. If you can’t get cheese curds you can substitute with cubes of very mild cheddar or mozzarella (although it is technically not poutine if not made with cheese curds, but cheese fries with gravy is delicious too).
How to Make Poutine
- Cut potatoes into equally sized pieces & soak them in cold water.
- Season with oil, salt & pepper, & bake or air fry (per the recipe below).
- Cook onion in a skillet until tender. Add seasonings.
- Add beef broth & water, whisking until smooth. Simmer until thickened.
To Assemble and Serve
- Assemble the poutine by placing hot fries on a plate or even in a paper boat or bowl.
- Top with cheese curds.
- Pour hot gravy over the top and serve immediately.
PRO TIP: Ensure the fries and the gravy are really hot, this helps the cheese get melty.
- The air fryer will make French fries from fresh or frozen in minutes!
- Cheese curds are best served at room temperature so set them out while the rest of the dish is being prepared.
- Ensure the fries and the gravy are hot so the cheese curds get melty.
- Have lots of napkins on hand!
Our Favorite French Fries
Did you make this homemade Poutine? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
- 8 ounces Cheese Curds
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- seasoned salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 ¼ cups condensed beef broth
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash potatoes (peel if desired) and cut into ¼" fries.
- Let potatoes soak in cold water in the sink or in a bowl for at least 30 minutes. Remove from water and dry very well.
- Toss with oil and salt. Spread on the prepared pan in a single layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven up to 425°, stir, and cook fries until golden, about 20-25 minutes more.
- While fries are baking, cook onion in oil over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and seasonings. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add butter and stir until melted, add flour and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add beef broth and 1 cup of water a bit at a time stirring after each addition until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Strain through a mesh strainer.
- Place fries on a serving plate and top with cheese curds. Pour very hot gravy over the fries and cheese.
- Serve immediately.
- Fries can be cooked in the air fryer.
- Homemade fries can be replaced with frozen fries.
- Leftover gravy or packaged gravy can be used in place of homemade brown gravy.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This looks really good and I’d like to try it. The curds aren’t available in my area (remote Texas) but could I use large curd cottage cheese instead? Thanks.
Hi Dayna, if you can’t find cheese curds I recommend using a mozzarella. While it will not be exactly the same, it will still be delicious.
Do you happen to have the measurements for a crowd of 20?
You can adjust the number of servings on the PRINT page once you click print. Please note that adjusting the servings will adjust only the amounts on the ingredients list (and not the written directions).
It turned out great. I messed up the timing of the cooking order but a quick reheat of the gravy worked just as well. I will definitely make this again.
I am so glad you enjoyed this poutine recipe Kevin!
Wow wow your gravy was amazing! Totally sealed the deal on this long awaited craving of mine. Got the curds from target and a bag of frozen fries. Followed your gravy recipe to a T, and wow so delicious and savory my new go to beef gravy recipe for sure thank you!
Yay!! So happy to hear that, Maria! Poutines are a regular item on my menu, they are so yummy!
Poutine is undoubtedly from Québec but other countries are trying to take credit for this meal. But don’t get it wrong, it’s a 100% Quebecer’s dish.
Salut la poutine viens tu Québec à préciser merci.