This vegan poutine is easy to make and delicious. Made with squeaky vegan cheese curds and a simple gravy, it's perfect comfort food!
Ah, Canadian poutine. Is there a more delicious dish?
When I first moved to Canada from the UK, I'd never heard of poutine. I was introduced to it by friends, but it was several years before I got to try a vegan version.
Imagine my delight when my local restaurant started offering vegan poutine on their menu, complete with vegan cheese curds!
It was a complete revelation as I hadn't realized it could be vegan, so this recipe is an homage to my favourite Canadian dish, with my own plant-based twist.
What is Poutine?
Poutine is basically french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.
It is a traditional Quebec dish that first appeared in the 1950s. Its exact origin is debated however, with many places claiming to have invented it. Find out more about poutine's history.
Why you'll love this recipe
Budget-friendly - I wanted to make a poutine that not only tastes delicious, but is also budget-friendly. Many vegan poutine recipes use cashews for the cheese curds and while they taste delicious, nuts aren't the most cost-effective. My recipe uses tofu as the main ingredient for the vegan cheese curds.
It's nut free - Unlike almost all other vegan poutine recipes I've seen, this one is completely nut-free (provided you use a nut-free milk). Yay!
Baked not fried - These fries are baked in the oven so they're a healthier version of the traditional recipe.
Gluten free - This recipe can be gluten free as long as you use a gluten free soy sauce, flour and vegetable broth.
Easy mushroom gravy - This might be the easiest gravy I've ever made, as you just blend all ingredients and then heat until thickened. Simple! (And if you're not a fan of mushrooms, don't despair! You can use this simple vegan gravy recipe instead.)
Details on main ingredients
Tofu - The base of our vegan cheese curds. I love tofu as it's inexpensive and virtually flavourless, so pretty versatile!
Tapioca starch - This magical ingredient is what will make your cheese curds stretch and squeak (yes! I know!), and cannot be omitted! Don't try.
Nutritional yeast - Helps give the vegan cheese curds that extra 'cheesy' flavour!
Potatoes - Russet, or Yukon Gold varieties work well here. Basically, use any large potato that you would use for baking.
Vegan butter - You can also use olive oil here, but I love the rich taste vegan butter gives to the gravy.
Mushrooms - I like to use cremini/chestnut mushrooms here to flavour the gravy and give it body.
Miso paste - Adds a great savoury taste to the gravy. You can find this in many Asian grocery stores, but these days many supermarkets will stock it too.
Tofu - Although I recommend medium firm tofu, any type will work in this recipe. The firmness of your curds might just vary slightly.
Nutritional yeast - You can omit this if you don't have it. Not essential but it does add a cheesy taste.
Lemon juice - Vinegar works instead if you don't have any lemon.
Potatoes - Kind of an essential ingredient here for true poutine, but you could try using sweet potatoes for the fries instead if you don't have regular!
Cremini mushrooms - These can be switched for any other type of mushroom. Try using porcini for a more intense flavour.
Miso paste - Not completely essential to the flavour, and can be omitted if you don't have it. Just use an extra glug of soy sauce instead!
How to make vegan poutine
For the Cheese Curds
Add tofu, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, milk and oil to a blender. Blend on medium until mixture is smooth.
Transfer to a small saucepan, and cook for 10-12 minutes until 'cheese' is smooth and stretchy. The mixture will become lumpy at first and may stick to the pan a bit but that's ok - just keep stirring until it becomes smooth!
For the Fries
Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C. Slice potatoes into strips 1cm wide.
Place on baking trays and toss in remaining unflavoured oil. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes, flipping fries over after 15 minutes.
For the Gravy
Add vegan butter, mushrooms, miso paste, soy sauce, onion powder, flour and broth to a blender. Blitz on high power until smooth.
Transfer to a saucepan and heat until bubbling. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes until gravy has thickened. Taste and add salt if needed.
Place fries in a large serving dish, and dollop with small piles of cheese curds. Pour over gravy and decorate with sliced green onions if desired.
STIR those cheese curds! The mixture will become lumpy and look like it's sticking to the pan at some point - this is normal. Just keep stirring until it becomes smooth and stretchy!
Prep in advance - You can make the gravy in advance and reheat as needed. You can also do the same with the cheese curds, and both can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days. The potato fries taste best when made fresh.
This vegan poutine is best eaten immediately. If you need to store any leftovers, keep them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Usually, no. The cheese curds are made from dairy, and the gravy is normally made from meat stock or broth. Luckily, this recipe is completely vegan!
For this recipe, you blend tofu (although I have seen cashews used elsewhere) with tapioca starch, nutritional yeast and some other simple pantry seasonings before cooking it briefly in a saucepan. The mixture will thicken and become stretchy, looking like traditional cheese curds.
You can, but you'd be missing an essential ingredient! Without the cheese curds, you're really just having fries and gravy (which is still delicious, it's just not poutine).
What to serve with vegan poutine
Easy Beet & Black Bean Burgers
Easiest Vegan Poutine
- 1 Blender
- 1 200g pack medium firm tofu
- 2 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoon dairy-free milk, unsweetened (I like soy)
- 3½ tablespoon unflavoured oil
- 2 lb yellow or russet potatoes (3-4 medium potatoes)
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil
- 3 small cremini mushrooms
- 1½ tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 tablespoon brown rice flour (can use regular flour if not gluten sensitive)
- 1½ cups vegetable stock or broth (water can be used in a pinch)
For the Cheese Curds
- Add tofu, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, milk and 2 tablespoon unflavoured oil to a blender.
- Blend on medium for about 15 seconds until mixture is smooth and ingredients are completely combined.
- Transfer to a small saucepan, and cook on low temperature (stirring regularly) for 10-12 minutes, until 'cheese' is smooth and stretchy. The mixture will become lumpy at first and may stick to the pan a bit but that's ok - just keep stirring until it becomes smooth!
- Transfer to a bowl until ready to use.
For the Fries
- Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C.
- Slice potatoes into strips 1cm wide.
- Place on baking trays and toss in remaining unflavoured oil. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes, flipping fries over after 15 minutes.
For the Gravy
- While the fries are cooking, add vegan butter/olive oil, mushrooms, miso paste, soy sauce, onion powder, flour and broth to a blender. Blitz on high power for 15 seconds until smooth.
- Transfer to a saucepan and heat until bubbling. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes - stirring frequently - until gravy has thickened. Taste and add salt if needed.
- (If you're not a fan of mushrooms, don't despair! You can use this simple vegan gravy recipe instead.)
- Place fries in a large serving dish.
- Dollop with small piles of cheese curds and pour over gravy. Decorate with sliced green onions if desired.
- Enjoy immediately!
Nutrition per serving
Stress less. Cook fast. Eat well.
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If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!
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This recipe is amazing! I had it for dinner, the curds were the best bit!
I love that you enjoyed it so much! Those curds are so stretchy aren't they? 🙂
I'm just glad someone out there is willing to go through all this trouble to experiment with it all! A tofu-based spinach and artichoke dip is also good, with water chestnut for consistency. In case anyone doesn't know, Bulk Barn sells nutritional yeast. Pretty sure it's cheaper to get it that way than on Amazon or what not, where it would likely make this recipe cost a bit more, only because you'd need to buy a package of it. That said it's a good ingredient to learn how to use in other dishes. Like making vegan macaroni and 'fake' cheese!
That's a great tip, thanks Priti! Bulk Barn is great for a lot of those ingredients you wouldn't need much of. So glad you like the look of this recipe - and I agree, tofu-based spinach and artichoke dip is amazing! 🙂
Oh thank you, you beautiful Canadian for veganizing poutine!! I am so excited for this I can’t stand it.
Haha I am so happy to hear that! Hope you tried it and loved it. It's one of my favourite recipes. 🙂
I love that this poutine is vegan! Great recipe. Saving for later.
Thanks so much Dee! I know, vegan poutine can be hard to find!
Finally a vegan poutine worth making over and over again! Even my meat eating bf loved it. Thank you for the great recipe!
I'm so glad to hear it! So satisfying when meat eaters love it too. 🙂
i'm so excited for those vegan cheese curds ! They are squeeky and so delicious!
Agreed! Thanks Nancy, hope you're loving them.
Thanks so much for this nut free recipe. I have been looking everywhere. tasted so good!
Oh I'm so glad you liked it Meg. Yes, for some reason there aren't many nut-free vegan poutines out there!
I'm a big fan of mushroom gravy so I think this is my kind of dish! Plus oven baked french fries are great!
I agree, it's the best kind of gravy isn't it?