Classic Poutine


 The Spruce / Leah Maroney

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Soak: 60 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Poutine is a classic Canadian dish originating from Quebec, Montreal. Crispy French fries are smothered in a tangy gravy and salty cheese curds to form the perfect late-night indulgence or hearty snack.

The fries are traditionally homemade from russet potatoes. We fry them twice for extra crispiness. You can use a bag of frozen fries to save time, but there’s something so delicious about the texture and flavor of the homemade kind.

Cheese curds are sometimes hard to find depending on where you live. Some grocery stores will carry them, but you can also find them online. You can even find different flavor curds—a roasted garlic or jalapeno variety would be a tasty take on this classic dish. 


  • 5 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil (for frying)
  • 2 cups cheese curds

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this poutine is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the French Fries

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Gather the ingredients
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  2. Cut the potatoes into fries. They should be about 1/2-inch in diameter. Leave the skin on for a more rustic feel. It will also save you a lot of time. 

    Slice the potatoes
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  3. Place the potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Allow them to soak for at least one hour or up to 24 hours. 

    Soak the potatoes
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Make the Gravy

  1. Add the butter and olive oil to a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until the butter has melted. Add in the shallots and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent. 

    Saute the shallots
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  2. Add the flour to the pan and whisk until it has combined completely with the fats. Cook on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes to cook off the flour flavor. 

    Add the flour
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  3. Add the beef stock, chicken stock, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce to the pan. Whisk quickly to combine all of the ingredients. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least five minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. 

    Simmer the gravy
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  4. Keep the gravy warm on low heat as you prepare the fries. 

Cook the Fries and Assemble the Poutine

  1. Drain the fries and pat them dry with paper towels.

    Drain the potatoes
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  2. Heat the frying oil to 350 F in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the fries in batches to the hot oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the fries are tender. 

    Fry the french fries
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  3. Drain each batch on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batches. 

    Drain the fried potatoes
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  4. Turn the heat up on the frying oil to 375 F. Add the cooked fries back into the oil in batches. Fry for another 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. 

    Fry the french fries again
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  5. Remove the fries from the hot oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel-lined tray. 

    Drain the french fries
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  6. Add the fries to a sheet tray or warm cast iron skillet.

    Add fries to a warm skillet
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  7. Top the fries with the hot gravy. Add the cheese curds on top, then add another ladle full of gravy over the curds immediately and serve right away. The cheese curds will start to melt just slightly. If you want them to be fully melted you can put the poutine under the broiler for a minute or two. Top with chopped parsley or scallions if you wish. 

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Recipe Variations

The variations are endless! You can legitimately top poutine with anything savory. It's such a great base for so many flavors.

  • Bacon cheeseburger poutine: Add cooked seasoned ground beef, cooked bacon bits, and chopped scallions on top of the gravy and cheese curds.
  • Short rib poutine: Make a homemade short rib and add it to the top of the gravy and cheese curds.
  • Barbecue chicken poutine: Add some slow-cooked barbecue chicken on top of the gravy and curds. Top with more barbecue sauce and chopped scallions.
  • Buffalo chicken poutine: Top with shredded chicken, Buffalo wing sauce, and crumbled blue cheese.