Poutine is a Canadian fast-food specialty with roots in Quebec. Basically, it consists of French fries smothered in gravy and topped with cheese. This vegan poutine recipe swaps out a beefy gravy for a mushroom gravy, and, of course, uses nondairy cheese.
You might compare the enjoyment of poutine to watching a movie because it’s so bad that it’s good — something a bit weird, somewhat of a guilty pleasure. And because of that, it’s good to serve something fresh and green with this dish. A colorful salad or a big batch of broccoli that you can roast while the poutine is in the oven will do nicely.
Make sure to see the shortcut (using organic frozen fries) and the variation (adding plant-based protein) at the end of the recipe box, in the Notes section.
Baked fries (or see shortcut)
- 2 pounds potatoes, preferably golden, medium size
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup chopped white or brown mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 large or 2 regular salt-free vegetable bouillon cubes
- 3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cheddar-style nondairy cheese shreds, as desired
- 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 425º F.
- Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 wedges. Place in a mixing bowl.
- Drizzle in the olive oil and add a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir, then transfer the potatoes to a parchment-lined baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Stir a couple of times as they bake.
- Once the fries are nearly done, start the gravy. Combine the mushrooms with a little water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until they’re wilted, about 3 minutes.
- Add the water and bouillon. While it’s warming up, dissolve the flour in enough water to make it smooth and pourable.
- When the water comes to a simmer, turn the heat down and drizzle in the dissolved flour, stirring all the while with a whisk. Stir in the nutritional yeast if using, and cook just until thickened.
- Season the gravy to taste with soy sauce and pepper and remove from the heat. Transfer about half of the gravy to a spouted container.
- When the fries are done, transfer to a serving container — a shallow casserole dish works well. Pour the gravy remaining in the saucepan over them, followed by an even sprinkling of the cheese and the scallions. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve at once, passing around extra gravy to whoever would like extra.
Shortcut: Though it isn’t a whole lot of work to cut 2 pounds of potatoes into fry shapes, and it is quite a bit cheaper. But if you’d like to skip a step you can use two 16-ounce bags of all-natural frozen fries.
Variation: To make this more of a protein dish, add an 8-ounce package of baked tofu (cut into strips) or an 8- to 10-ounce package of your favorite plant-based meat alternative. Chick’n strips, "beef" tips, or vegan sausage all work.