If your happy place includes fries, gravy, and cheese, you’ll love this easy vegan poutine. These smothered fries are pure decadence on a plate. Make a meal out of it. Or enjoy it as an appetizer or side dish.
There is comfort food, and then there is COMFORT FOOD. When you really need to pull out all of the stops, look no further than poutine.
For the uninitiated, poutine is fries covered in gravy and cheese. It originated in Quebec in the 1950’s. From there it spread to the rest of Canada. Nowadays you can even find it in fast food chains and on vegan restaurant menus.
Poutine wasn’t something I grew up eating.
The first time I heard about it as a kid, I remember thinking that gravy was supposed to be the domain of mashed potatoes, not fries. And cheese with gravy seemed an unlikely combo.
However, once I tried it for myself, I learned how wrong I was. Fries, gravy, and cheese combine into a satisfying mammoth of a dish that you have to eat with a fork. It’s gluttony in the best possible way.
Now when I’m traveling, vegan poutine is always a big draw on a restaurant menu.
But poutine needn’t be saved for travels alone! It’s simple to make at home, especially if you have any leftover gravy from the holidays on hand.
Here’s what you’ll need
To make vegan poutine at home, there are three major components.
Baked French fries
Poutine is an indulgent dish that I like to make a little less heavy by using oven baked French fries.
You can either peel the potatoes first before cutting. Or leave them unpeeled, which is my preference.
Hand-cut potatoes get beautifully browned in the oven on parchment paper.
(For more tips on getting crispy oven baked fries, check out my baked fries recipe.)
Of course, you can also use store-bought frozen fries or tater tots. Then cook in the air fryer, oven, or stovetop in oil using package directions.
Vegan turkey gravy
My favorite all-purpose easy vegan gravy is made with pantry staples. It comes together in about 15 minutes.
It has the flavors of thyme and herbs de Provence, as well as umami from tamari soy sauce and nutritional yeast flakes.
Vegan turkey gravy keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer. So it’s ideal to have on hand when a poutine craving strikes.
Vegan feta cheese
For the cheese component, I like to use homemade vegan feta cheese. It’s made with almonds, and has a lovely, creamy texture.
In non-vegan poutine, cheese curds are the default. They’re often described as being “squeaky.” Vegan feta is soft and smooth. But it pairs nicely with the flavors of the gravy.
It also freezes well, if you want to make a big batch, and then pull out chunks when you have a poutine emergency. (Just thaw in the refrigerator or quickly use the defrost function on the microwave.)
If you don’t have or don’t feel like making your own vegan feta cheese, any non-dairy cheese will work here like mozzarella or cheddar.
How to make it
Cut Russet potatoes into ½ inch thick sticks. Toss them in oil along with a pinch of salt and optional paprika.
Bake them in the oven on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, stopping once or twice to flip the fries.
Put the fries on a platter. Top with vegan turkey gravy & vegan feta cheese.
If you like, finish with an optional garnish of green onions.
Make it your own
You can make vegan poutine your own by altering the ingredients or making some delicious additions.
- Gravy and cheese should be measured by your heart, not Tablespoons and cups. So while I give general amounts in the recipe card, feel free to add the amount that satisfies your appetite.
- Instead of vegan feta cheese, use store-bought non-dairy cheddar, vegan mozzarella, or your favorite plant-based cheese. Use shreds or cut it in small-ish cubes.
- Instead of vegan turkey gravy, use cashew gravy with chestnuts, seitan bacon gravy, or store-bought vegan gravy.
- Instead of cutting fries from scratch and baking them, use frozen fries, sweet potato fries, or tots. Then cook them in the oven, air fryer, or fry in oil.
- Replace the fries with an air fryer baked potato for a fully loaded spud.
- Replace the gravy with chili for chili cheese fries. Use three bean chili, Soy Curls chili, or lentil chili.
Repurpose holiday leftovers
It turns an appetizer into a complete & filling meal with protein from the seitan and sweetness from the cranberry sauce.
It’s also great for groups. You’ve heard of a baked potato bar? Make a poutine bar with lots of fun toppings!
What to serve with poutine
Poutine is hearty enough that it can be a full meal on its own. Or it can be a starter to a larger meal.
Here are some dishes that go well with it:
- Vegan French dip sandwich with au jus
- Vegan Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich
- Rachel sandwich with coleslaw
- Vegan reuben jackfruit sandwich
- Thanksgiving kebabs
- French lentils with caramelized onions & pistachios
- Salad with persimmons & delicata squash
- 1 pound Russet potatoes cut into ½ inch thick sticks
- 1 Tablespoon organic canola oil or other high heat oil
- Pinch salt
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon paprika optional
- ¼ cup vegan turkey gravy plus more if desired
- 2 Tablespoons vegan feta cheese plus more if desired
- 1 Tablespoon sliced green onions optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Put potato sticks onto baking sheet and toss with oil. Spread the sticks evenly across the baking sheet, being careful that the potatoes aren't overlapped or touching. If there's not enough room, put half of the potato pieces on the second baking sheet. Top the potatoes with a pinch of salt & sprinkling of paprika (optional).
- Put the baking sheet(s) into the oven. Roast the potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with a spatula for even browning. Return to oven and roast for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Put baked fries on a platter.
- Top with warmed vegan turkey gravy and a sprinkling of vegan feta cheese. Finish with an optional garnish of sliced green onions. Serve right away.