Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe

Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe

Learn how to make real poutine at home with my Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe. I will show you how to make it, as well as explaining exactly what exactly poutine is, for the uninitiated.

What kind of a Canadian food blogger would I be if I didn’t have a recipe for Canadian Poutine on this blog? Poutine is a wonderful and delicious concoction of fries, gravy and cheese curds and is one of the most quintessential Canadian dishes! So if you already know how great this dish is and are just looking for a great, authentic poutine recipe to make at home, skip on down to the recipe. I’ve got you covered! If you’d like to learn more about Poutine, read on!

What cheese to use for poutine?

When it comes to poutine, it’s really all about the cheese curds. Real cheese curds are what makes a poutine “authentic”. Cheese curds are simply solid pieces of curdled milk, that can be either eaten alone as a snack or, in Canada, added to fries and gravy to make poutine :) Cheese curds can be found in white or yellow colour. White cheese curds are the ones you want for poutine.

Substitute for Cheese Curds in Poutine:

If you can’t get cheese curds, the closest possible substitution if you want the poutine experience, would be torn chunks (not shredded!) of a full-fat mozzarella cheese (not fresh mozzarella – use the kind you’d put on top of pizza). You want it in chunks so it doesn’t melt completely. Don’t be skimpy. Some cheese curds are the size of my baby finger. That’s part of the poutine experience – the chunks of warm, softened cheese and shredded just won’t cut it because it melts completely and mixes in with the gravy. (Cheddar is not the best substitute. Even though cheese curds are technically cheddar they don’t taste like it. The taste is much more mozzarella-like – soft, pliable, subtle taste, squeaky :)

Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe

How do you make poutine gravy?

I’ve included a perfect poutine gravy recipe below for you! If you’ve eaten a lot of poutine, you’ve probably experienced a wide range of gravy tastes. Some are clearly chicken, some are dark and beefy. I think the perfect one is somewhere in between. I looked to French-Canadian chef Ricardo for a reliable and authentic recipe. Let’s face it, the French-Canadians know poutine! His gravy is 2/3 beef stock and 1/3 chicken stock, for a lightened up beef gravy. I think it’s perfect.

How to pronounce Poutine:

If you are an English speaking Canadian, you’ll almost certainly pronounce it “poo-teen” (emphasis on the last syllable). French Canadians might suggest that it should be pronounced as “poo-tin” (again, with the emphasis on the last syllable). I say, if you find yourself in Quebec, you could try the latter – pretty much anywhere else in Canada and elsewhere, the former will serve you well.

How to eat poutine

Even if you are strictly a person who eats fries with your hands, when it comes to poutine, a fork is the only way to go! The combination of lots of gravy and melted cheese is a mess to eat any other way.

Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe

Cook’s Notes for Authentic Canadian Poutine

French-Canadians would probably recommend starting your poutine gravy with canned broth (vs. the boxed variety). I personally find it a little too salty for my taste, but that might be just the brand I use.

If you use canned, definitely taste before adding additional salt to your gravy. Don’t skimp on the freshly ground pepper in the gravy, though :)

Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe

Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe

Authentic Canadian Poutine

Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: authentic Canadian poutine, how to make poutine, poutine gravy recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 3 people
Energy: 528 kcal
Author: Jennifer
Authentic Canadian Poutine featuring deep-fried fries, poutine gravy and white cheddar cheese curds all tossed together. Do be careful with deep frying. A proper deep fryer is recommended.


Poutine Gravy:

  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 20 oz beef broth
  • 10 oz chicken broth
  • Pepper, to taste

For Deep Fried Fries:

  • 2 lbs Russet potatoes (3-4 medium potatoes)
  • Peanut or other frying oil


  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese curds (Or torn chunks of mozzarella cheese would be the closest substitution)


  1. Prepare the gravy: In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns golden brown.
  3. Add the beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with pepper. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary, to taste. Make ahead and re-warm or keep warm until your fries are ready.
  4. For Deep-Fried Fries: Prepare your potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch thick sticks. Place into a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Allow to stand at least one hour or several hours. When ready to cook, heat your oil in your deep fryer or large, wide, heavy cooking pot to 300° F.
  5. Remove the potatoes from the water and place onto a sheet of paper towel. Blot to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
  6. Add your fries to the 300°F oil and cook for 5-8 minutes, just until potatoes are starting to cook but are not yet browned. Remove potatoes from oil and scatter on a wire rack. Increase oil temperature to 375°F Once oil is heated to that temperature, return the potatoes to the fryer and cook until potatoes are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined bowl.

  7. To Prepare Poutine: Add your fried or baked fries to a large, clean bowl. Season lightly with salt while still warm. Add a ladle of hot poutine gravy to the bowl and using tongs, toss the fries in the gravy. Add more gravy, as needed to mostly coat the fries.
  8. Add the cheese curds and toss with the hot fries and gravy. Serve with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!


Shop This Recipe

Admiring my beautiful fries? I cook all my fries in an air fryer! While it’s no quicker than other methods, it has the advantage of using only a small amount of oil to cook the fries with none of the mess and smell of deep frying.

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  • Hello! I’m interested in making poutine for my coworkers at a potluck we’re having. Since I will be short on time I was thinking about just getting the fries from a restaurant the day before, and just making the gravy part myself. Any suggestions for this?
    Also, I was wondering how big the portion sizes are as I was planning to just provide everyone with enough to fill a medium ice cream sized cup. Given that size, if I’m making for about 16 people, how many people should I actually adjust the recipe for?

    Thanks for much for your help :)

    • Hi Brianna, Hmmm. So the gravy makes about 3 1/2 cups and you’d probably use 1/2 cup per serving, so about 7 servings per recipe as listed. So if my logic is sound, you’d probably want to double the gravy/curds to feed your 16. Hope that helps :)

  • I have a grandson who is half Canadian and American. His mother is a mostly vegetarian (no meats. Only eggs and dairy.). Can the gravy be made with vegetable broth? So she can eat it with everyone..

    • Hi Rhonda, you can certainly make the gravy with vegetable broth if you like, though it will be lacking considerable depth of flavour. Since my daughter is vegetarian I can tell you that there are “no meat” beef and chicken gravy mixes that are pretty easy to find at most grocery stores. I have no idea what they are made of, but it’s not meat, so good for vegetarians and test a little “beefier” than using a veggie broth probably. Just throwing that idea out there for you.

  • I have 2 questions. 1. Will frozen fries work as good as fresh? 2. Will wheat flour work in place of corn starch? Thank you.

    • Hi Jason, and yes, frozen fries will work (just won’t be as delicious :) You can’t mix flour directly into hot liquid like you can with the cornstarch, as it will just lump up and not thicken. If you don’t have cornstarch, simply increase the amount of flour to start the gravy to about 1/3 cup, then the gravy will probably be thick enough from that, that you won’t need the cornstarch. (It may taste a little more “flour-y”, but should work).

  • Thank you for helping the poor American who went to Canada and was introduced to poutine and then sent back to America where no one has heard of poutine. I was craving it so much and decided making some for Canada Day was only appropriate but needed a recipe!

    • Yes, it is very thick. Be sure to cook it in the pan for a minute or so though, to cook off the raw flour flavour. (Just sort of move it around the pan so it doesn’t scorch)

  • Would Haloumi work in lieu of cheddar curds? It definitely has the ‘squeak’ of curds….my precious little niece is coming to visit me again, and after 2 weeks last summer – she was going through withdrawal for poutine!

    • Hi Hrysoula, Haloumi does have the squeak, but it doesn’t melt. I’d still go with mozzarella if you can’t get your hands on real curds :)

  • Hello there, we just returned from Canada where we experienced poutine for the first time and are already craving it! We have an air fryer that doesn’t require any oil, so would you still take them out and turn it up and then cook them longer? Can’t wait to try this!!!!!

    • Hi Theresa! No, if you’re using an air fryer, just cook them until they are nice and golden brown :) Then you can toss them with the warm gravy and cheese curds. Enjoy :)

  • Thanks man. I am going to make it this evening.
    I still cant forget the wonderful poutine i had last November at Alfa, Longueil-St hubert. Hope it tastes similar.

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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