Poutine Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Today’s sandwich is the “Poutine Grilled Cheese” It combines french fries and cheddar cheese curds on oatmeal bread, with a side of pork gravy.

Notes: As you start to peel off the layers of clothing you’ve been wearing all Winter, exposing pale, pasty flesh to the sun for the first time in months, you may confront your ghostly visage in the mirror and decide that it’s time to start considering lighter lunch options. A sensible fruit cup, say, or a nice vegan soy scrambler.

This sandwich, in short, ain’t that. This isn’t the lunch you turn to when your jeans are too tight. No, this is a grilled cheese sandwich with french fries, dipped in gravy. It’s our spin on classic Quebec comfort food, and our French Canadian neighbors to the North have a name for it: Poutine.

A staple of late-night dining and post-pubcrawl gastrointestinal healing across Canada, poutine is served in both small diners and national fast food chains. In its original form, crisp and fluffy french fries are piled high with cheese curds, and then covered in a light gravy. It’s soul-satisfying, belly-filling, alcohol-absorbing stuff. For our grilled cheese version, we kept things as simple as possible, using store-bought frozen french fries, canned pork gravy, and a tub of prepackaged cheddar cheese curds.

The cheese curds melt slightly, but remain satisfyingly stringy, and dipping the sandwich into a sidecar of pork gravy is, well, “the gravy on the sandwich,” as they say. I couldn’t come up with a better analogy, because there isn’t one. You could make the recipe even simpler, and run out to the nearest drive-through to pick up an order of fries, though if you are considering this sandwich, your current state of inebriation probably prevents the safe operation of a motor vehicle. Better stick with the frozen kind.

Poutine Grilled Cheese

Poutine Grilled Cheese
Makes one sandwich


  • 2 slices oatmeal sandwich bread
  • 1 cup frozen french fries, cooked according to directions
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese curds
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 cup pork gravy


Poutine Grilled Cheese

Remove cheese curds from refrigerator, and allow to sit at room temperature while you cook the frozen french fries.

Poutine Grilled Cheese

Arrange french fries on one slice of the bread.

Poutine Grilled Cheese

Top with the cheese curds, using your fingers to break apart any particularly large bits.

Poutine Grilled Cheese

Butter the outside of each side of the sandwich, and grill over low heat until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted. While sandwich cooks, warm gravy in a small saucepan. Serve with the sandwich, on the side.

Poutine Grilled Cheese


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road." He currently owns and operates the Ancho Honey restaurant in Maine.


    1. Do you not have to refrigerate cheese curds? I dunno, I tend to keep things in the state they were in when I bought them. If I buy something refrigerated, I keep it that way.

      1. Well, real freshly-made cheese curds are supposed to be fridged only 24 hours after fabrication, and if you eat the cheese, fresh from the day, it’s just crazy good ! Once you put it in the fridge, it’s done, everything is ruined. (Still eatable, of course, but God it tastes different)

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