Food / Main Dishes / Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks

Lazy Classic Poutine

Classic Poutine 3

Since this recipe was originally posted, Killing Thyme has shifted it’s focus to the pesco-vegetarian diet. I’ve decided to keep a few popular meat recipes in my index for your convenience, including this one.

This one is for the poutine purists: Crispy French fries, legit cheese curds so fresh that they squeak, and gloopy brown gravy that sticks to your ribs. Any additions will turn this dish into ‘fancy fries’; anything done differently will create an imposter.

Though poutine is commonly thought of as a French Canadian original, some articles claim it’s likely to have been inspired by the “chips, cheese, and gravy” dish in the UK. Regardless, poutine has definitely become it’s own thing and is recognized as a Canadian classic around the world. When I moved to the Southern US, the Southerners immediately asked about poutine. It is possible to find it on a menu here in the South, but there is usually something amiss. Some people think it’s acceptable to swap the cheese curds for grated mozzarella; some start throwing meat, veggies, and fancy sauces into the mix. I’m not saying these variations aren’t delicious, but for a poutine purist, it’s downright blasphemous to call these concoctions “poutines”.

However, if you run a joint like Smoke’s Poutinerie, you have a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card because you’ll find the classic poutine on their menu, and along with it, other variations to keep things fun and exciting. (And have you seen their “Hangover Poutine”? Good christ.) But if you’re not a poutinerie and you have a “Chorizo and Bean Poutine” on your menu… NO. Just no. Fancy fries, guy. Those are fancy fries.

A proper poutine only comprises three ingredients:

  1. Crispy deep-fried French fries
  2. Cheese curds so fresh they still squeak
  3. A velvety brown gravy that is thick enough to stick to your ribs but runny enough to flow through the fries and give you good coverage. Most times, I’ve been served a poutine with dark beef gravy, but it’s more common to have chicken or turkey gravy seeping through your fries. It really depends on where you go. The closer you get to Quebec, the more pure the poutine.

(It is possible that I am being a snobby French Canadian right now.)

I call this particular poutine the Lazy Classic Poutine because it takes little effort with crispy baked fries, cheese curds, and stove-top gravy, all while still paying homage to the classic flavors. There are a lot of great classic poutine recipes on the Internet, but a lot of them call for making your own fries in which case you need a deep fryer. Not everyone has time for that–and honestly, isn’t poutine supposed to be a quick and dirty treat? There is no real reason to get all fancy dancy with a dish that will taste exactly the same when made with ready-to-bake fries–as long as you get the right kind. And if someone is going to argue that making homemade fries is healthier I will simply retort with this: you are eating poutine.

The gravy recipe here comes from Ricardo Larrivée, because who better to turn to than a French Canadian chef? He balances things out perfectly by cutting his beef stock with chicken stock. His recipe is super easy; one might even say it’s all gravy, baby.

You can imagine the pain I went through while taking these photos and not being able to sample. I wanted to blog the poutine in it’s purest and most classic form despite not being able to eat it myself. So, I passed this off to my husband after the photo shoot and gazed at him with great sorrow as I munched on my Toasted Sesame Salad with Spicy Shrimp (which is flippin’ delicious by the way, so whatever).

Classic Poutine 2

Classic Poutine 6

Classic Poutine

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Lazy Classic Poutine



  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of cold of water
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 10 oz of beef broth
  • 5 oz of chicken broth
  • Ground black pepper to taste

CHEESE1 cup of cheese curds (fresh, if available!)

    FRIESAny type of "Extra Crispy" French Fries from the frozen section of your supermarket


      • Bake the French fries in the oven as per the packages instructions.
      • Set your cheese curds aside.
      • In a small bowl or mug, combine the cornstarch and water. Stir until the corn starch has completely dissolved. Set aside.
      • In a large saucepan, melt the butter.
      • Add the flour, whisking often, for approx. 5 minutes or until the mixture turns golden brown in color.
      • Add the garlic and simmer for another 30 seconds.
      • Finally, add the beef and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, whisking regularly.
      • Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
      • Season with ground black pepper.
      • Taste and season further if needed.
      • Cover and keep warm until the fries are ready.
      • Once the fries are ready, distribute them into their respective dishes.
      • Spoon some gravy onto the fries, add the cheese curds (approx. 1/2 cup per serving), and then drizzle with more gravy so the curds get all melty.
      • Indulge and enjoy!


      • Susan Chapman
        April 15, 2018 at 2:08 pm

        Your recipie doesn’t list the cornstarch and water. How much do I need to use of both?

        • Christopher
          October 7, 2018 at 8:47 pm

          It lists cornstarch, water, and amounts of broth

      • Kathleen Gillick
        January 3, 2018 at 11:25 pm

        In the Niagara Falls NY area that I grew up in, we just called it “French fries and gravy”. And, yes, it is still just as delicious….even without the fancy name!

        • Killing Thyme
          January 4, 2018 at 7:58 am

          The beauty is in the fresh cheese curds, not the name ;)
          If you’ve been able to score a proper poutine in NY, I’m happy for you! No matter what it was called!

      • Holly @ 3 Yummy Tummies
        February 24, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        I have never had Poutine before, but it looks amazing! You can’t go wrong with a good french fry dish.

      • Sam | Ahead of Thyme
        February 23, 2016 at 10:24 pm

        Poutine is one of my weaknesses!! Love your photos and wish I could eat this right now!!

        • Killing Thyme
          February 24, 2016 at 10:26 am

          Thanks, Sam! Poutine is so friggin’ delicious. I’m trying to perfect a vegetarian-friendly version. Haha. I need to be able to eat it!

      • Swati @Watch What U Eat
        February 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm

        I never heard of Poutine before. It sounds interesting and looks yummy! Great as a side dish :).

        • Killing Thyme
          February 24, 2016 at 10:25 am

          It’s pretty common for non-Canadians to have no clue about poutine–so I’m happy to share it with the world! Haha.

      • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence
        February 22, 2016 at 5:39 pm

        YUM! I just love poutine. Need to give this “lazy” version a try. Sometimes I like to put crispy bacon on top :)

        • Killing Thyme
          February 23, 2016 at 10:41 am

          I hope you enjoy it! And yes, gosh… crispy bacon is delicious on everything.

      • April @ Girl Gone Gourmet
        February 22, 2016 at 5:12 pm

        Poutine is new-to-me, too, and now I must try it! Looks so good :)

        • Killing Thyme
          February 22, 2016 at 6:55 pm

          Thanks, April! It’s a total delicacy :)

      • lisa @
        February 22, 2016 at 4:13 pm

        I’ve never actually had poutine, but it looks quite addictive! I live in South Florida and I’ve never seen cheese curds sold in the market. Where do you get them?

        • Killing Thyme
          February 22, 2016 at 6:54 pm

          It’s super tasty! Cheese curds can be tough to find. You could definitely check with any cheesemonger, though. They could fill you in on it. If that fails, you can actually order them online! Here is a link I found:

          Hope that helps! Good luck in finding some. It will be worth the effort :)


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