Whether you’re vegetarian or not, you’ll LOVE this vegetarian poutine made with rich mushroom gravy and served over baked french fries.
This recipe was originally posted in March 2014 and was updated with an improved recipe and new photos in September 2021.
I’ve been post (and eating!) so many delicious Mexican-inspired recipes lately that I figured I’d switch things up and feature our neighbors to the north for a change.
OK, that’s a total lie, but it makes a good story, right?
The truth is that I saw poutine on a menu a few weeks and got an instant craving that hasn’t gone away. That happens a lot – there’s just something irresistible about the combination of salty fries, squeaky cheese curds, and warm gravy that I can’t turn down.
The thing is, I rarely order it because I’m really picky about my gravy.
To satisfy my poutine craving, I came up with this mushroom gravy that’s rich, delicious, and just about perfect poured over oven fries.
This mushroom gravy is SO GOOD! It’s also great over mashed potatoes, stuffing, or any of your other gravy needs.
If you’re looking for a meatier gravy, you can also try my homemade chicken gravy without drippings.
Ingredients for mushroom gravy:
This vegetarian gravy comes together really easily with simple ingredients. The vegetables and spices get strained out to make a traditional, smooth gravy but I like to add a few of them back onto my fries for good measure.
You could also serve the cooked mushrooms on a burger or stuffed into a grilled cheese sandwich. Whatever you do, just don’t let them go to waste – they have a ton of flavor!
To make the gravy, you’ll need:
- Cremini mushrooms. These have a more robust flavor than their white and I love the earthy flavor they give this gravy
- Unsalted vegetable stock. Since the stock will reduce as the gravy thickens, I like to use an unsalted version. Otherwise, your gravy can wind up way too salty. You can always add mroe salt to taste at the end!
- White Wine. I use white wine to deglaze the pan before adding the broth. It gives the gravy a nice flavor, and adds a touch of acid to brighten it up. If you don’t have any or if you avoid alcohol, you can use water instead.
- Sage. Sage is an herb that tastes peppery and slightly sweet. It’s commonly used in sausage, sauces, stuffing, and many other types of food and I love the way it seasons this gravy!
- Peppercorns. I add whole peppercorns right into my gravy as it simmers. This gives it a beautiful peppery flavor! You’ll strain them out at the end but don’t worry if a few remain; they’ll soften up and become less intense in flavor as they cook.
Tips for making the best vegetarian gravy
If your gravy is too thick, add more vegetable stock to thin it out.
If your gravy is too thin, whisk together 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with a little warm water. Whisk it into the gravy and bring it to a boil to thicken things up.
To prevent lumpy gravy, whisk it constantly while you pour in the stock. This will prevent the flour from clumping. You can also strain through a sieve or colander to get rid of any lumps.
Are all cheese curds vegetarian-friendly?
Not all cheese is vegetarian, since some is processed with enzymes derived from animals. If you’re making this poutine for a vegetarian friend, here are some tips on choosing vegetarian cheese. I’m a big fan of Yancy’s Fancy cheese curds, which are made with vegetarian rennet.
You can also use your favorite American or mozzarella fries for a fresh take on cheese and gravy fries or disco fries!
- 24 ounces frozen shoestring fries
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup white wine or water
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 8 ounces vegetarian cheese curds such as Yancy’s Fancy
- Bake or air fry the fries according to the directions on the package.
- While the fries cook, prepare the gravy: Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided saute pan. Add the onions and cook 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, or until they soften and the color deepens. Add the garlic and peppercorns; cook 1 minute.
- Stir in the flour; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute, until no white remains.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine (or water), scraping up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetable stock and sage. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Strain the gravy through a mesh strainer to separate out the solids.
- Add the fries to a bowl or serving dish. Toss with cheese curds. Pour gravy over top. If desired, top with some of the mushrooms and onions that were strained from the gravy.
Below are the original photos that appeared in this post!