In a nod to traditional Canadian poutine, this recipe for Poutine French Fries takes homemade French fries, tops them with gravy, cheese curds and extra toppings that send this appetizer over the top!
What Are Poutine French Fries?
Originating in Quebec, Canada, Poutine French Fries are 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.
The hot gravy poured over the warm French fries begin to melt the cheese curds ever so slightly, creating the ultimate comfort food appetizer.
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 were Poutine French Fries. 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 for Poutine French Fries off of the Poutine I fondly remember from my summer at the resort. This Poutine has the traditional components of French fries, gravy & cheese curds, but also adds diced tomato and red & green onion to finish them off.
In my neck of the woods 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.
The Best Homemade French Fries
The base for any great Poutine French Fries begins with crispy, golden brown French fries. This method involves frying the fries twice to create the perfect fry.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into fries somewhere between ⅜ and ½ inch thick. Put the potatoes in a bowl of cold water and refrigerate for at least an hour or even overnight. Soaking the potatoes releases the starch, which will allow the fries to crisp up when fried.
- Heat the oil in a deep fryer or heavy duty deep pan to 300 degrees. I use either vegetable or canola oil, but peanut or corn oil would also work. Fry the potatoes in batches for 4-5 minutes. This cooks the potatoes, but doesn't crisp them up yet. Place the fries on a paper towel to drain.
- Increase oil temperature to 400 degrees. Fry the potatoes in batches again for another 2-3 minutes. This is when the fries will get their golden brown color and crisp that we know and love. Place the fries on fresh paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Quick Tip: While I'm prepping the rest of the toppings, I place the sheet pan of French fries in a 200 degree oven to keep them warm.
Making the Gravy
This gravy starts with a roux made with equal parts butter and flour. Some diced onion is also added to bump up the flavor. Cook the roux in a saucepan over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes until it reaches a dark caramel color. This helps to create a flavorful and rich gravy.
This gravy includes both beef and chicken broth, which creates a unique flavor. All the broths into the roux along with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Whisk over medium high heat until the gravy thickens. Reduce heat to low to keep warm until you are ready for it.
Assembling the Poutine French Fries
Once the French fries are made, the gravy is simmering and the toppings are diced, it's time to make some Poutine French Fries! There are two serving options here. Either make all the Poutine fries on a large serving tray or make individual servings on smaller plates.
Either way you choose to serve it, place the French fries on a plate and top with cheese curds, making sure to tuck some under some fries so they get nice and melted. Top with a good drizzle of gravy along with the diced tomato, red onion & green onion.
There is something about the combo of both red & green onion that make these Poutine French Fries what they are. Don't skimp out on using both!
French Fry Variations
While homemade French fries are delicious, they do take some extra time. For Poutine French Fries in a pinch, frozen French fries could be used and could either be fried, air-fried or baked.
Don't want to fry? Feel free to bake the French fries in the oven or make them in your air fryer. Here are some recipes to try for these variations:
Baked French Fries recipe from Dinner at the Zoo
Air Fryer French Fries from Natasha's Kitchen
Can I Use Gravy in a Jar?
You can use your favorite jarred gravy for another shortcut in making these Poutine French Fries. The combination of chicken and beef gravy is what makes the flavor what it is, so I'd still use both if using jarred gravy. If the thought of making your own gravy sounds intimidating, I encourage you to try it as the flavor is so worth it.
Other popular appetizer recipes:
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Poutine French Fries
- 4 # russet potatoes 5-6 potatoes, depending on size
- oil for frying
- kosher salt
- 4 tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup onion finely diced
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup beef broth
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 12 oz. cheese curds
- ½ cup diced tomato
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 3 sliced green onions
- Peel potatoes and cut them into fries ⅜-1/2 inch size. Place fries in a bowl of cold water. Soak potatoes in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to overnight.
- Drain potatoes and rinse well in cold water. Place fries on a paper towel & pat dry.
- Heat oil in your deep fryer or heavy deep pan (amount of oil will depend on size of fryer) to 300 degrees.
- Fry French fries in batches for 4-5 minutes. Place on a paper towel to drain. Once all potatoes are fried the first time, increase heat to 400 degrees. Fry French fries again for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain again on paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- While prepping the gravy & toppings, place the pan of French fries in the oven at about 200 degrees (or your oven's WARM setting)
- In a saucepan melt butter over medium high heat. Add diced onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Whisk in flour and continue to heat until the mixture turns a dark caramel color, about 5-6 minutes, stirring often.
- Add chicken & beef broth along with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Whisk together and continue to simmer gravy until it thickens.
- Turn heat down to low to keep until ready to use.
Assembling the Poutine French Fries
- Place the fries on a serving platter and top with cheese curds. Drizzle with gravy and top with tomato, red onion and green onion. Serve immediately.