And you won’t believe it either! Prepare to be impressed friends because I’ve got a vegan poutine for you with cheese curds that SQUEAK!!! Let’s just call this the ULTIMATE vegan poutine because it truly tastes like the real deal, and it doesn’t get any better than this!
This recipe was originally published in September 2019. It has been updated for content and photos.
What is vegan poutine?
Well first let’s start with traditional poutine. If you’re not familiar with this Canadian comfort food, you’re truly missing out.
Originating in Quebec, a classic poutine consists of a layer of crispy french fries, followed by cheese curds and then smothered in delicious, warm gravy.
A traditional poutine is something you can find in virtually every street corner in Montreal. But nowadays, you can even find vegan poutine in Montreal and in Toronto, too.
Okay, now I realize this is not exactly a health food like most recipes on the blog. BUT, it’s definitely more wholesome than classic versions.
And here’s why!
- The fries are baked instead of fried, and using very minimal oil, with an oil free option, too.
- These vegan cheese curds are made using wholesome ingredients like cashews, seasoning and vinegar. No yucky hormones and FAR less saturated fat.
- As for the gravy, we’re using mushroom gravy here that is free from butter and oil and virtually fat free. But you’d never guess!
And voila! A healthier vegan poutine.
How to make vegan cheese curds (that SQUEAK!!!)
Vegan poutine is all about the cheese curds!
So follow the directions for my vegan mozzarella cheese, using only half the recipe ingredients. (Or make it all and save half for something else, or freeze it.) Then refrigerate the cheese while you prepare the rest.
Vegan cheese curds that squeak! Okay, what am I talking about?
“Real” cheese curds squeak when freshly made. You’ll hear this squeak as you’re chewing, if it’s fresh enough. But, after sitting in the fridge for a day or more, that squeak goes away. As moisture gets into the cheese, the texture changes and bye bye squeaky cheese curds.
In the case of my vegan cheese curds, I discovered it’s squeak completely by accident!! But boy oh boy did it ever excite me!
After refrigerating the cheese and scooping it with a melon baller, I heard a squeaky sound. Totally thought I was hearing things at first, but sure enough, it squeaks when scooping it out!!! How cool is that???
How to make your poutine
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Once the cheese is made and refrigerated, gather your remaining ingredients.
NOTE: I like russet potatoes for poutine because they make longer french fries. If you don’t have russet on hand, choose another variety.
For the fries
Preheat your oven and peel and cut your potatoes into french fries using a french fry cutter or a sharp knife. Then place them in a mixing bowl with the oil, seasoning and cornstarch. Mix well. (photos 1-2)
Arrange your fries on a baking tray lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Leave some space between your fries to prevent them from sticking to one another. (photo 3)
NOTE: Poutine fries should be crispy, but since we’re making a healthier version, I’m using very little oil and baking, rather than frying. The cornstarch will help make up for any lost crispiness.
For the mushroom gravy
Gravy usually contains a ton of butter or oil, but in the interest of cutting calories, I’m skipping those ingredients. The taste is still phenomenal.
Add the sliced mushrooms and Tamari to a small sauce pot and sauté until reduced. (photos 4-5)
Then pour in the broth and let that come to a boil, cooking for a couple of minutes. (photo 6)
While waiting for your broth to boil, prepare your slurry by combining one tablespoon of flour with one tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Mix well. (photo 7)
Pour the slurry into the pot and whisk well. Continue cooking for another minute or so, until slightly thickened, and then remove from the heat. (photos 8-9)
NOTE: The gravy will thicken more as it cools.
Add a layer of french fries in a serving dish and scoop out dollops of your cheese curds and scatter on top. (photos 10-11)
Then pour the warm mushroom gravy over everything to slightly melt the cheese. (photos 12-13)
Sprinkle your vegan poutine with green onion, if using, and dig in!!
Vegan Poutine FAQ
Yes, just sub the oil for some vegetable broth, instead. The fries will still be crispy, as long as you’re using the cornstarch, and arranging them in a single, spaced out layer on your baking tray.
Yes, you may fully prepare the cheese and refrigerate a couple of days ahead. You may also fully make the gravy and just reheat when needed. However, the fries taste best when freshly made.
Assembled poutine should really be eaten immediately before the hot gravy makes everything all soggy. So if you think it’ll be too much to eat in one sitting, assemble only what you will consume. Store everything else in the fridge, separately!
- Make sure to arrange your fries in a single layer with plenty of space in between for the crispiest baked french fries and to prevent sticking.
- For a non convection oven, the fries may need a little more cooking time. Keep baking until desired crispiness level is reached.
- For a smooth gravy without mushroom pieces, you may blend it once cooked.
- If you don’t like mushrooms, you can follow the same technique using thinly sliced onions, or try this onion gravy instead.
- Don’t skip making a slurry! You may be tempted to add the flour directly to your hot gravy, but doing so will result in lumps.
More vegan comfort foods
- Vegan Baked Pasta
- Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Easy Vegan Carbonara with Soy Curl Pancetta
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
French Fry Cutter
For the Fries
- 1.5 lbs russet potatoes approx. 3 large potatoes
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil sub for a tablespoon of broth for oil free
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the Cheese
- 1/2 recipe vegan mozzarella cheese
For the Gravy
- green onion
- First, make your vegan mozzarella cheese, transfer to a container or bowl and refrigerate to let cool.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F convection bake and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Peel or scrub your potatoes and slice into fries using a french fry cutter or a sharp knife.
- Toss the french fries with the oil, salt, rosemary and cornstarch until evenly coated. Then spread into a single layer on your prepared tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, then flip your fries and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispiness level is reached.
- While the fries are baking, make the gravy. Add the sliced mushrooms and tamari to a small pot and cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are reduced, approx. 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the tablespoon of flour with a tablespoon of water in a separate small bowl to make your slurry. (This will thicken your gravy.) Then pour the slurry into the pot and whisk well to combine. Cook for 1 more minute and remove from the heat. The gravy will further thicken as it begins to cool.
- Assemble your poutine by layering the fries first, and then scoop the vegan cheese using a melon baller (or teaspoon) to add the "cheese curds" on top. (As you scoop the curds listen for the SQUEAK! :)) Finally, pour the gravy on top and sprinkle with green onion, if desired. ENJOY!!!