Easy Canadian Poutine Recipe with Mushroom Gravy


Try this easy Canadian Poutine recipe with melty cheese curds and the best Vegetarian Mushroom gravy you will ever taste! The perfect meatless alternative to a Canadian classic.

overhead shot of a serving of homemade poutine with mushrooms gravy and cheese curds

What is Canadian Poutine? 

 Poutine is a classic Canadian dish consisting of french fries topped with fresh cheese curds and smothered in a rich gravy. It supposedly originated in Quebec in the ’50s.

If the idea grosses you out, please bear with me! You will see that there’s something irresistible about the combination of salty fries, squeaky cheese curds, and warm gravy. 

Over time, chefs all over Canada have come up with many weird and wonderful versions of the traditional Canadian national dish. Think toppings like lobster, shredded duck, pulled pork or foie gras. I mean, is there anything that does not go with French fries? 

Classic Canadian poutine recipe calls for chicken or turkey gravy, but to keep this poutine meatless and because it’s fall we are making a rich mushroom gravy instead! 

Why you will love this easy Canadian poutine recipe: 

Poutine is the perfect dish to enjoy on game days, or on a chilly fall or winter night when you’re craving hearty comfort food.

It might not be the healthiest meal around but trust me, this Canadian classic is worth the calories. The homemade mushroom gravy is rich, delicious, and just about perfect poured over fresh crispy homemade fries.

This authentic poutine recipe comes together really easily with simple ingredients like potatoes, onions, mushrooms, butter, and cheese. 

With a simple meal like poutine, you want to make sure to use the best ingredients that you can! While store-bought French fries do the trick as a simple side, I recommend you go for homemade when making poutine. 

overhead shot of authentic Canadian Poutine with vegetarian Mushrooms Gravy

What cheese to use for this poutine recipe?

Poutine is really all about the cheese curds. Real “squeaky” cheese curds are what make a poutine “authentic Canadian”. Think of them as solid pieces of curdled milk, that can be either eaten alone as a snack but are really best enjoyed half-melted on a mountain of hot crispy fries and gravy.  Cheese curds can be found in white or yellow but to have that nice contrast to the fries, white cheese curds are the ones you want. 

You can also make them yourself. Here’s a recipe. 

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 of full-fat mozzarella cheese (not fresh – use the kind you’d put on top of pizza).

You want it in big old chunks so it doesn’t melt completely. Don’t go too small with the cheese curds.  The big chunks of warm, softened cheese are part of the Poutine experience and shredded cheese would just melt completely into the mushroom gravy.

Even though cheese curds are technically cheddar, cheddar is not the best alternative. Cheese curds really don’t taste like cheddar. The taste is much more subtle and mozzarella-like. 

How to make this Canadian Poutine recipe:

homemade double fried French fries for poutine recipe in a small bowl

1. How to make the best French Fries

Making the best homemade French fries is hands down the prime option if time allows. Most Canadian chefs would recommend you to fry them not once but twice for the best result. For the best Canadian poutine, I am also twicefrying my French fries to get the perfect texture. Crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside! 

As an additional step, I cook the potatoes in vinegar water before frying them. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 l oil for frying
  • salt
  1. Take a bit pot, a kitchen thermometer, and a slotted spoon.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into fries. Place in a bowl with water.
  3. Cook the fries in 2 l water to which you add 2 tbsp of vinegar. They should be perfect after about 8 minutes depending on how thick you cut them. Cooked but still firm.
  4. Drain and let dry on kitchen paper. Heat oil to 200 C (392F) and fry the potatoes in small amounts so that they have enough room to brown and the temperature does not drop below 180 C (356 F). Fry for 50 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on kitchen paper towels! Pros now go ahead and freeze the pre-fried French fries overnight to get them super crispy.
  5. Fry again. This time we want to get the oil all the way up to 210 °C (410F) so that the temperature does not sink below 190 °C once we add the fries. Fry the potatoes for 3 ½ minutes and salt immediately. 

If you’re strapped for time, you can absolutely use frozen French fries. For a healthy version, they can be baked. But then again, this is Poutine guys – who are we kidding! 

Here is what I sometimes do when I do not have time for fryine: I bake the fries in a bit of oil on parchment paper. This allows them to get crispy on the outside and tender on the inside without ever sticking to the sheet pan. 

brown cremini mushrooms on a kitchen counter ready to be turned into gravy for poutine

2. How to make the best gravy for poutine: 

Classic poutine uses a simple poultry gravy but given that it’s fall, I went with a vegetarian mushroom gravy completely made from scratch. 

I started the mushroom gravy by sauteeing some onions along with the mushrooms. Now we add some garlic, thyme and a decent splash of red wine. The vegetarian gravy is thickened with a simple roux and then thinned out to the consistency of gravy with broth. 

overhead shot of homemade Canadian poutine with cheese curds and vegetarian mushroom gravy

3. How to assemble poutine: 

Now the fun and easy part. Take freshly made fries and top with plenty of vegetarian mushroom gravy. Sprinkle with cheese curds and some freshly chopped herbs. 

overhead shot of a serving of Canadian poutine

Homemade crispy double-fried French fries, cheese, and mushroom gravy! What is not to love, eh?

Can Poutine Be Reheated? 

Yes, kind of. To reheat poutine, place it on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 300 F hot oven just until warmed through, about 10 minutes. 

Tips for making the best Canadian poutine: 

  • I discovered that cooking the fries in vinegar water before frying them twice gives them the perfect texture. See homemade French fries recipe above.
  • Use cremini, portobello, button or mixed wild mushrooms for this recipe. Chanterelles would also be delicious!
  • Rosemary can be substituted with fresh thyme.
  • The homemade vegetarian mushroom gravy will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can reheat it on your stovetop adding a splash of milk.
  • Homemade French fries are best eaten fresh but leftovers will store for 2 days. You can reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F (176 C). If you need to keep your fresh fries warm for a bit, place them in an 80 C or 176 F hot oven. 

Did you make and love this easy Canadian poutine recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Easy Canadian Poutine with Mushroom Gravy

Try this easy Canadian Poutine recipe with melty cheese curds and the best Vegetarian Mushroom gravy you will ever taste! The perfect meatless alternative to a Canadian classic.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Canadian poutine, gravy for poutine, mushroom gravy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 500 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 200 g cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 twig rosemary
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine or white wine 60 ml
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 2/3 cups broth 400 ml
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Assemble:

  • 1 x recipe gravy
  • homemade fries enough for 2 - recipe see post
  • 1 cup cheese curds

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and fry the onions for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms and butter and fry until the onions are golden brown around the corners.
  2. Add garlic, rosemary, and sugar and fry for another minute. Add wine and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to get the good bits.
  3. Reduce the temperature and let the liquid reduce down a bit.
  4. Melt butter in a small pan, stir in the flour and fry for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Add this roux to the mushrooms, then add the broth bit by bit. Let everything simmer until the gravy it thick and shiny. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Prepare the French fries following the recipe in the post.

  5. Assemble: serve the fries topped with the cheese curds and mushroom gravy.

Recipe Notes

Tips for making the best Canadian poutine: 

  • I discovered that cooking the fries in vinegar water before frying them twice gives them the perfect texture. See homemade French fries recipe above.
  • Use cremini, portobello, button or mixed wild mushrooms for this recipe. Chanterelles would also be delicious!
  • Rosemary can be substituted with fresh thyme.
  • The homemade vegetarian mushroom gravy will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can reheat it on your stovetop adding a splash of milk.
  • Homemade French fries are best eaten fresh but leftovers will store for 2 days. You can reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F (176 C). If you need to keep your fresh fries warm for a bit, place them in an 80 C or 176 F hot oven. 

authentic Canadian poutine recipe pin graphic

 


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