Canadian Poutine Recipe

Poutine plate from afar

Ah, Canadian Poutine. The Canadians’ most delightful invention for the perfect, stumbling-home-from-the-bar-need-a-greasy-snack treat. Poutine features crunchy french fries soaked in brown gravy and then topped with cheese curds. Can you imagine anything more perfect?

What first began as a menu item on one restaurant’s offerings near Drummondville, Quebec in the 1950s has quickly become a staple across Canadian cuisine. 

I don’t know about you, but as someone that lives in the United States (and VERY close to Canada), I know a little bit about Poutine. At least Michigan– and I suspect most states in the USA– is no stranger to Canadian Poutine being on the bar appetizer menu. 

Where Was Poutine Invented? What Does Poutine Mean? 

There is much debate over the true origins of Poutine? Was Poutine invented in 1957 at L’Idéal in Warwick, Quebec? One customer in a rush asked the restaurant to throw each of his separate menu items– cheese curds and fries– together in the same to go bag. When he opened the bag and peered inside, the customer allegedly exclaimed that his to go order was “poutine!” meaning “a mess”. 

Perhaps, instead, poutine can be credited to Jean-Paul Roy, the owner of the restaurant Le Roy Jucep. Roy noticed that his customers would often combine the french fries, gravy and cheese curds that he sold separately into one large meal. Eventually, he put the combination on his menu…. And later patented the idea. 

close up of poutine fork

When did Poutine Become Popular in Canada? 

Poutine became popular in Canada shortly after its invention, but for quite some time, the dish wasn’t called “poutine”. The mixture of fries with cheese curds was called “mixte” for quite some time. Once larger restaurant chains started selling the dish, its name transformed. 

Now, poutine has become so popular in Canada that it is the country’s national dish. McDonalds and Burger King even sell their own versions of the infamous Canadian treat.

Different regions of Canada feature their own versions of Canadian poutine. For example, Newfoundland will also serve a dish called “poutine”, but instead of cheese curds, the dish will feature “dressing” or “stuffing”. 

Poutine on white background

Are Canadian Poutine and Disco Fries the Same? 

At first glance, it seems to be so. In fact, Disco Fries are New Jersey’s answer to the infamous Canadian poutine. However, there is one glaring difference between the two: 

While Canadian Poutine features fries, gravy, and cheese curds, disco fries features fries, gravy, and cheese sauce. (Here is a recipe for Jersey Diner-Style Disco Fries from Parsnips and Pastries).

You know what? That doesn’t sound the same to me at all 😉 

Seriously, though, Canadians take their cheese curds seriously, and for good reason! A poutine without cheese curds is not a poutine at all. 

Cheese Curds for Your Canadian Poutine

One of the most important tips that I received from my Canadian friends about making Canadian poutine is to look for high quality cheese curds. Your curds should squeak when you bite into them! If they don’t they’re not high quality enough curds. 

Don’t judge me, but my curds didn’t squeak….. Oops… 

Canadian poutine close up

What is Poutine Gravy Made Of? 

Olive Oil
Beef chuck
Beef broth 
Black pepper

What Else Do I Need to Make Poutine? 

Cheese Curds
Idaho Potatoes
Sunflower Oil 

For full measurements and instructions, see the recipe card below. 

How to Make Canadian Poutine

Follow my recipe for how to make the BEST crunchy fries (inspired by Belgium). 

Heat oil in pan. Stir beef chuck 5-7 minutes until beef begins to brown. 

Add butter. Reduce heat to medium and stir until it melts.

Add diced onion, salt, black pepper

Wait until onion browns. 

Add flour for roux and whisk. Let sit for 3 minutes. 

Add the beef broth. 

Turn your heat to high so your gravy can hit a simmer

Cook for 15-20 minutes uncovered, depending on the consistency you’d like your gravy to reach

Top fries with gravy and cheese curds and enjoy  

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you do, don’t forget to leave a comment on my post letting me know. And if you did like it, make sure to check out these other recipes that you might also like: 

Canadian Poutine Recipe


Poutine Gravy

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. beef chuck chopped into tiny bits
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 quart Beef broth
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • Fresh ground Black pepper to taste

Poutine Fries

  • 5 Idaho Potatoes
  • 1 Container Sunflower Oil for deep frying
  • Sea Salt


  • Cheese curds


Poutine Gravy

  1. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in pan. Stir beef chuck 5-7 minutes until beef begins to brown.
  2. Add butter. Reduce heat to medium and stir until it melts.
  3. Add diced onion, salt, and black pepper. Continue stirring until the onion browns.
  4. Add flour for roux and whisk to combine. Let sit for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the beef broth and turn the heat to high so that the gravy reaches a simmer.
  6. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, uncovered depending on the desired consistency.

Poutine Fries

  1. Peel potatoes and cut into fry shapes (about ½ inch thick and 4 inches long).
  2. Fill a bowl with water and add the raw potatoes. Let sit for a few minutes until the water becomes cloudy, empty the bowl, refill with fresh water, and put the raw potato fries back in. Continue until the water remains clear.
  3. In a large pot, heat oil to 325 degrees. Add the potatoes (about ¼ at a time) and fry for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oil and let drain on paper towel. Ensure that oil comes back to 325 degrees before adding your next round of fries.
  5. Allow the potatoes to cool completely– for at least a half an hour. When the potatoes are completely cooled, reheat the oil to 375 degrees.
  6. Sprinkle salt on the potatoes. Put them in the oil again, this time frying to your liking (about 3-6 minutes).
  7. Remove, drain, and salt again.


  1. On a plate, layer the fries, a spoonful of poutine gravy and your cheese curds. Enjoy!
  2. Leave a comment on this page letting me know what you think!

Recipe Notes

Recipe copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational and personal use only. 

How to Make Pap from Botswana

A black bowl filled with Batswana pap

Pap is a staple in Botswana. It is made from cornmeal and beef broth and is a base at most meals. Read on to find out how to make this authentic Batswana recipe!

One of my favorite memories from the blog so far has been the Angola cookoff that I had with Mama Foreign Fork. Do you remember? If you’ve stuck around for long enough to know what I’m talking about… thank you and I love you. 

Basically, Mama Foreign Fork and I made Funje from Angola, which is a staple dish from the country. Funje a mixture of cassava flour and water, and acts as a base for quite a few Angolan meals. Funje wasn’t my favorite dish on the planet, but the experience of cooking it was fun… and now I’m back for more. 

Botswana has a dish very similar to funje called Pap. Instead of being made out of cassava flour and water, though, Pap is made by mixing cornmeal and beef broth. Everything else about the dish is the same. 

Pap is one of the most authentic dishes you can make from Botswana. Click here for a culinary experience!

What is It?

Pap, also known as mieliepap, is a staple in Botswana. It acts as the base for many dishes because it’s inexpensive and filling. In fact, cornmeal (or maize meal) is so inexpensive in Botswana that it’s common to mix Pap with vegetables. This makes the dish heartier and adds more nutrients to it. The Batswana also add butter and sugar to their Pap in the morning and eat it as a kind of porridge to start their day. 

Tips for Making Pap

When making your Pap, make sure to serve it immediately, because it will stiffen as it cools. Also, be sure to use white cornmeal in place of yellow cornmeal if you can help it. The Batswana always use white cornmeal because it has a more roasted flavor, so that is the way to get the most authentic Pap. 

This dish is best served as a base for another classic Batswana dish, Seswaa. Click here for a link to a great Seswaa recipe.

Pap Pinterest Graphic

Did you have a fun time trying to make this dish? Did you love trying something authentic from another country? Be sure to check out this recipe for funje from Angola or this Pispili from Albania. If you’ve challenged yourself to your own culinary adventure, be sure to let me see photos on Facebook or Instagram by tagging @TheForeignFork and hashtagging #TheForeignFork. Thanks for stopping by! 

Pap (Botswana)

Pap is a staple in Botswana. It is made from cornmeal and beef broth and is a base at most meals. Read on to find out how to make this authentic Batswana recipe!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine botswana
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • 1 quart beef broth


  1. Bring the beef broth to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Once the broth is boiling, use a whisk to stir in cornmeal slowly.
  3. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until it thickens. You may need to transition to a wooden spoon as the pap continues to thicken.
  4. Make sure to serve immediately, because the pap will thicken as it cools.
  5. Leave a review telling me how your pap-making went!