Poutine is one of Canada’s notable dishes and some of the most delicious comfort food you’ll ever have. 

This delightfully delicious dish smothers homemade French fries in cheese curds with a savory brown gravy sauce. The best!

fork full of Poutine with plate full behind it

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 1950’s 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 deep-fried (or even store bought in a pinch).
  • It’s full of crispy cheesy goodness.
  • It can be customized with your own favorite toppings from caramelized onions to taco meat (although these are not traditional ingredients, it’s yummy).
  • An inexpensive and easy recipe for any home cook and so much fun to eat!

ingredients to make Poutine

Ingredients

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!

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!

Variations

  • 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).

process of pouring gravy over fries to make a Poutine

How to Make Poutine

  1. Cut potatoes into equally sized pieces & soak in cold water.
  2. Season with oil, salt & pepper, & bake or air fry (per the recipe below).
  3. Cook onion in a skillet until tender. Add seasonings.
  4. Add beef broth & water, whisking until smooth. Simmer until thickened.

To Assemble and Serve

Assemble poutine by placing hot fries on a plate or even in a paper boat or bowl and top with cheese curds. Pour hot gravy over the top and serve immediately.

Tip: Ensure the fries and the gravy are really hot, this helps the cheese get melty.

plated Poutine with ketchup gravy and cheese curds in the back

Poutine Tips

  • 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 Fave French Fries

Did you make this homemade Poutine? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

fork full of Poutine with plate full behind it
5 from 17 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Poutine

Crispy fries are topped with cheese curds and smothered in a flavorful gravy to create this Canadian classic!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Soak Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients  

  • 8 ounces Cheese Curds

Fries

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • seasoned salt to taste

Brown Gravy

  • 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

Instructions 

Fries

  • 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.

Gravy

  • 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.

Assembly

  • Place fries on a serving plate and top with cheese curds. Pour very hot gravy over the fries and cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Remove cheese curds from the fridge to come to room temperature. This helps it melt when the hot gravy is poured over top.
Ensure the fries and the gravy are hot so the cheese curds get melty.
Short Cut Tips
  • 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.
5 from 17 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 1108 | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 182mg | Sodium: 1542mg | Potassium: 1746mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 801IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 894mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Party Food, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Canadian

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. 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!5 stars

    1. Yay!! So happy to hear that, Maria! Poutines are a regular item on my menu, they are so yummy!

  2. 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.