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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  • 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.

    • Hi Laury, the combination of broths is important for flavour and so that the gravy is neither too light or too dark. If you use canned broth, there’s less waste/left-over.

  • I’m making a turkey dinner for my family mon 10/13/14 wich happens to be canadian thanksgiving(not planned) I’m making poutine instead of mashed potatoes, my best friend is coming,she grew up in canada, I’m going to use this recipe, thank you

  • We have this in the UK, its called gravy and chips lol. That said this look so tasty I’ll be trying this as a matter of urgency.

    Thanks for the recipe :-)

    • We call it fries and gravy in Canada, too. Poutine is all above the addition of cheese curds. That’s where the magic happens ;)

  • This recipe for real imitation poutine is what I’ve been looking for! Thanks so much! I love that you described so well what the cheese curds were like– to a Californian who knows nothing about real cheese curds. I’ve been unable to try Poutine until now I couldn’t try poutine. Hooray!

  • I love poutine! There is this place in Cincinnati called “Senate” and they have a putine that is “amaze-balls”. It consists of the same ingredients you have and cheese curds and braised beef. I don’t go often because the food is too amazing and its kind of far. But now I have a recipe that I can turn to whenever I need a poutine fix! Thanks for this.

  • Hello there. Thank you for posting this recipe so that other people may enjoy this great Quebec lunchtime favorite.

    Someone had asked what is serve with this meal. A typical poutine lunch would be: poutine with a Pepsi and a Mae West for dessert (a Mae West is a brand name for a moon pie style cake. It’s a 2 layer white cake, the whole thing covered in white frosting).

    Living in Indiana now. Can’t find a good cheese curd to make this for my boys. Your post made me sentimental for home…

    • Hi Marc. Thanks. I’ve never heard of a Mae West. It hasn’t spread to Ontario, anyway. Sounds like we’re really missing something though, because it sounds delicious!!

      • Jennifer. If they still make them, they were made ny the Vachon company, the same people that made the Joe Louis and the Caramello cakes.

        • I’ve eaten a few Joe Louis in my life ;) I’m going to look for them. Could be they’re on the shelf and I’ve just never noticed!

  • I’ve been living in New Zealand for a few years now and one night while in a pub in a small town of 300 people found poutine on the menu! I GOT SO EXCITED, then a little skeptical.. to my surprise, the chef was from Montreal and brought me my mouth watering dish of what I craved.

    Authentic Poutine, in a tiny town, in the southern hemisphere. :)

    I now have a source for cheese curds and really have no reason to return to Canada. HEAVEN!

  • Okay so I have never even heard of this food until I searched a recipe to use my pulled pork on. It came up with poutine and here I am. My question is, I have sweet potatoes I need to use and obviously the pulled pork, do you think those would go well in this recipe. Substitute the fries for sweet potato fries and put pulled pork on top of them?

    • Ok Alexandra. I’m going to be completely honest. I love sweet potato fries. I love pulled pork. But honestly, when it comes to Pulled Pork Poutine, I’d use regular fries. That said, I don’t think it would be bad. Sweet potatoes are well … sweet, and the finished dish will be different than if using regular potatoes. They also don’t crisp up all that well, so you might end up with a bit of a mushy finished dish. Just my thoughts :)

  • Hey there!
    Thanks for the recipe! I look forward to trying it out! My husband and his family are from Canadian and keep telling me about the Gouda cheese that was always on their Poutine. Is that a form for cheddar curds?

    • Hi Heather. Sorry for the delay. Missed your comment somehow. Anyway, I’ve never heard of Gouda used in Poutine (and I’ve eaten a lot of it). Cheese curds are produced through the process of making cheddar cheese. They are very mild tasting and melt easily. The closest in taste, would be chunks of mozzarella.

  • oh ya, i want to ask you something. when are usually Canadian serve this dish? and what kind of drink usually perfectly match with it? thank youuuu

    • Poutine is a lunch or dinner dish. I like it on it’s own, but many with bigger appetites have it as a side for a hamburger, for example. It’s diner/fast food, so often eaten with a carbonated soft drink (Coke/Pepsi).

  • thank you very much.
    i’m from Indonesia, and i have never try the authentic recipe of Poutine before. but now i’m attending Culinary Arts class which is lets me to looking for an interesting food from another country. then i found this website, so i’m very grateful to know this recipe, so i can try and modify this recipe in my cooking class.

  • The most important is to use Canned Broth, preferably Campbell. More concentrated Flavors. and give to the flour a brown color. This is poutine sauce, it’s not fancy ingredients who give the good gravy.

  • Thanks so much for posting about poutine. I’ve never had it before, but I’m going to surprise my husband with it. He’s from Toronto and moved to Virginia two years ago. I whipped up some Nanaimo bars during the holidays and they were a hit with him and our friends here. I’m so glad I found your site (via foodie crush) and am looking forward to exploring past posts and new posts.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Celestine. I hope you can find real cheese curds in Virginia for you poutine. He will love it. Trust me :)

    • Thanks so much, Stephanie. First time I tried to make at home and it was more than worth it! Btw, I’m still dreaming about your breakfast taquitos. I’ll be trying those this weekend.

    • Thanks Renee. It had to be, since I actually got cheese curds in my Christmas stocking! (My husband gets very creative with his stocking stuffers :)

    • We’ve tried hard to keep poutine “our little secret”, Alexandra, to keep it all to ourselves. Don’t want to have a run on cheese curds or anything ;)

      Seriously though, it probably looks like a hot mess to some people but it really is the ultimate comfort food. It will cure whatever ails anyone! Hope you get a chance to try it.

  • Gracious, I love poutine! It is certainly a rarity in restaurants around here, but whenever I see some I pounce on it and order a full portion. This is not always a great idea as I have had nearly-inedibly salty to terribly bland poutine, or with silly additions such as bell peppers, or bacon (really? Can’t we leave bacon out of it once in a while?). This is a wonderful way to make it RIGHT! I agree that the gravy should be between chicken and dark beef. Perfection :) Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Thanks Sophie and enjoy! We don’t get as many really bad poutine offerings in Canada, because they’d never get away with it ;) The gravy always seems to be what makes or breaks a poutine.

      There are a lot of “gourmet” poutines here, as well, usually with meat on top (pulled pork, brisket, chili). I’m a purist though. I always order it straight up :)

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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