This easy, cheesy tater tot poutine is a nod to traditional poutine with a loaded tater tot, or "totchos" flair. Crispy tater tots are topped with gravy, cheese curds and extra toppings that send this recipe over the top!
What is Poutine?
Originating in Quebec, Canada, poutine is a popular appetizer and everything about it is wonderful. The traditional version consists of crispy French fries topped with gravy & cheese curds. Simple, yet amazing.
Between my junior and senior year in college I obtained an internship at a historic resort of the north shore of Lake Superior. I worked in the food & beverage department learning the in's and out's of their fine dining restaurant, catering and their bar or "pub".
One of the appetizers on the pub menu was poutine. We were only an hour from the Canadian border so it had to be good, right? Well let me tell you, it was love at first sight.
I've based this recipe off of the poutine I fondly remember from my summer at the resort. This is not traditional poutine, but this variation is equally amazing.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy-peasy - With the help of store-bought ingredients, this recipe comes together quickly and easily!
- Versatile - Serve this poutine as a party appetizer or as a main dish alongside fresh fruit or a salad. Is there really a bad time for poutine?
- Delicious - While this recipe may contain extra ingredients than traditional poutine, the flavors work so well together to create a delicious dish that will have you coming back for seconds.
Here are some tips & tricks for the ingredients needed for this recipe. Find exact measurements in the recipe card below!
- Tater tots - Am I showing I'm Minnesotan here? While traditional poutine is made with French fries, the ease and crispiness of tater tots works wonderfully for it too! Use your favorite brand of frozen tater tots.
- Beef gravy - Store-bought or homemade. For store-bought, I prefer the packets versus canned. Check out my popular pot roast recipe for an easy homemade gravy recipe. Some of the beef could even be added to the poutine! You will need about 2 cups total.
- Cheese curds - In my neck of the woods, white cheddar cheese curds are a grocery store staple. If you can't find them where you live, you can substitute mozzarella cheese sticks that are cut into bite size chunks.
- Other toppings - To replicate my favorite poutine memory, add diced tomato as well as both red and green onion (scallions). This may seem like onion overkill, but each provide their own unique flavor and texture that work really well together. I use Roma tomatoes as they tend to not be as juicy.
Step 1: The Tots - Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the frozen tater tots evenly on a sheet pan.
Bake the tater tots according to package instructions, likely adding extra time. In my experience, I've had to bake the tater tots up to 10 minutes extra than bag suggests to get the tots as crispy as I want them.
Start with the upper end of the time listed on the bag, and increase 5 minutes at a time until the tots are nice and crispy.
Step 2: The Toppings - While the tater tots are cooking, now is the time to get all the other ingredients prepped so everything comes together quickly.
Heat or make gravy according to package or jar directions. If using homemade, reheat if necessary.
Grab the cheese curds out of the fridge.
Dice the tomato into a medium-dice. Chop the red and green onion to desired size. Red onion can be overwhelming so I'd aim for smaller pieces.
Your mise en place is set! A.k.a. you have everything prepped and measured out to easily assemble the recipe!
Step 3: Assembly - Take the tater tots out of the oven and place on a serving platter to leave on sheet pan. Nestle the cheese curds all over. Drizzle warm gravy over the top. Then top with tomato and all the onions.
Tucking some of the cheese curds around the tater tots will allow the heat from them to start to warm the cheese curds to perfection. The goal isn't to have completely melted curds.
This is the ultimate comfort food appetizer.
Serve the tater tot poutine immediately as an appetizer or as a main dish alongside fresh fruit or a salad.
I can't wait for you to try it!
- The tater tots could also be deep fried or made in the air fryer. If frying or air frying, move the tots to a serving platter or baking dish to finish assembling.
- Feel free to switch to a chicken gravy if beef is not your thing.
- Create a heartier dish by adding shredded beef or even chicken to the poutine!
When baking the tater tots in the oven, the key is to almost over bake them. The suggested cooking time is often not quite long enough for the tater tots to get to nice and crispy. You will likely want to give them an extra 5-10 minutes longer than the package directions. Just watch them closely!
Using regular frozen French fries, potato crowns or steak fries will also create a delicious version of poutine when topped with all of these wonderful toppings. I just happen to love the crunchy exterior of tots.
Leftover poutine can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavor will still be great, but the tater tots will get soggy over time. Place leftover poutine on a foil lined baking sheet and reheat at 325 for about 10 minutes. If possible, remove the veggie toppings before reheating.
Other Appetizers You'll Love
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Cheesy Tater Tot Poutine
- 32 oz. frozen tater tots
- 1 cup beef gravy homemade or store-bought
- 8 oz. cheese curds
- ½ cup diced tomato
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 sliced green onions
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the frozen tater tots evenly on a sheet pan.
- Bake the tater tots according to package instructions, likely adding extra time. In my experience, I've had to bake the tater tots up to 10 minutes extra than bag suggests to get the tots as crispy as I want them.
- Heat or make gravy according to package or jar directions. If using homemade, reheat if necessary. Grab the cheese curds out of the fridge.
- Dice the tomato into a medium-dice. Chop the red and green onion to desired size.
- Take the tater tots out of the oven and place on a serving platter or leave on sheet pan. Nestle the cheese curds evenly all over. Drizzle warm gravy over the top. Then top with tomato and all the onions.