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Food & Recipes

Canadian Poutine Is a Cheesy, Gravy-Soaked Comfort Food Delight — Ready in 30 Minutes

It’s the best way to celebrate Canada Day on July 1

Ever since I traveled to Canada for the first time this past year, I’ve been obsessed with poutine. That magical combination of crispy fries, melty cheese curds and rich gravy is just comfort food heaven. But finding a good poutine outside of Canada can be a real struggle. So, I decided to whip up an incredible poutine at home. Let me tell you, it’s the real deal! This shortcut recipe takes just 30 minutes with frozen fries, but the homemade gravy might make you want to book a flight to Montréal. Plus, learn what to substitute for cheese curds and other tips for an authentic bite. This is your guide to Canadian poutine.

What is Canadian poutine?

Poutine is a beloved Canadian dish originating in Quebec. It consists of crispy fries topped with cheese curds (solid pieces of curdled milk) and smothered in gravy. While that’s the classic version, variations include different types of fries, gravies and additional toppings.

Tips for making the best Canadian poutine

Making great poutine at home can be easy and delicious, especially with a few expert tips below.

1. Choose the right fries

Opt for thick-cut or steak fries, as they hold up better under the gravy and provide a satisfying crunch. While I prefer frozen fries for convenience, you can also make your own fries with russet potatoes. Additionally, season and bake your fries in the air fryer for enhanced flavor. (For a fun twist, you could also use waffle fries.)

2. Perfect the gravy

A homemade gravy is key. Use beef and/or chicken stock as a base and thicken it with a roux made from butter and flour. Season with salt, pepper and also a splash of Worcestershire sauce for depth of flavor. Ensure the gravy is hot and smooth before pouring it over.

3. Use fresh cheese curds

Fresh white cheese curds are essential. They should be room temperature and squeaky when bitten into. If you can’t find them, small chunks of full-fat block mozzarella can be a decent substitute, though they won’t provide the same texture.

4. Assemble quickly

For the best texture, assemble the poutine quickly. Place hot fries on a plate, scatter the cheese curds over them and pour the hot gravy on top. The heat from the fries and gravy should slightly melt the cheese curds, creating a nice gooey bite.

Related: Pizza Fries Are the Perfect Cheesy Snack Loaded With Flavor — and So Easy to Make!

Shortcut Canadian poutine recipe

Canadian poutine in white bowl
Natthaphon Thanaruethai/Getty

I followed this authentic poutine recipe from Seasons and Suppers (she’s Canadian!). But I made prep easier with frozen fries, so you don’t have to worry about deep-frying.



  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 20 oz. beef broth
  • 10 oz. chicken broth
  • Pepper, to taste

Fries and curds

  • 1 bag frozen fries
  • 1 – 1½ cups white cheddar cheese curds (or block mozzarella)


  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings
  1. Prepare the gravy: First, in a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set aside.
  2. Then, in a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Then, add the beef and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Stir in about half the cornstarch mixture and simmer for a minute or so. To thicken, add more of the cornstarch in small increments. Season with pepper and salt. Keep warm until fries are ready.
  4. Prepare frozen fries according to package directions
  5. Assemble: Add the 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. Then, add the cheese curds and toss. Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper.

Storage instructions:

Poutine is best served and enjoyed immediately. However, it does not store well, as the fries become too soggy.

Try some of our other delicious fries recipes:

Give Chili Cheese Fries a Delicious Upgrade With *This* Secret Ingredient — Easy Air-Fryer Recipe

Funnel Cake Fries Are Sweet + Crispy Dessert Dippers That Cook in 3 Minutes — Easy Recipe

Chickpea Fries Are the Perfect Crispy Snack That’s Packed With Protein — So Easy to Make in an Air Fryer

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