This Thanksgiving poutine I’m about to share with you is one of my absolute favorite leftover Thanksgiving dinner meals. It is easy to make, it looks fabulous, and no one would ever guess that it is made entirely out of Thanksgiving leftovers.
I love the month of November with all that it brings to our tables. The harvest is in, the temperatures are dropping, and we can begin to enjoy comfort food again without the guilt.
One of my favourite meals in November has to be Thanksgiving dinner, which comes close to the end of the month.
It is a time for reflection, great food, a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude for all of our bounty!
It’s a wonderful time when we have our friends and family gathered around us to enjoy a delicious meal together and celebrate our thanks for the many blessings in our lives.
There is so much to love about the holiday meal. The smell of the turkey roasting that tantalises our taste-buds all day. All of the delicious side dishes that go along with it, and don’t get me started on dessert!
It is a time of feasting and celebration. I just love it!
I also get really excited when I think about the leftovers and what I can create with them! Turkey pot pies, delicious sandwiches, and a hearty soup with the carcass. There is so much possibility in Thanksgiving leftovers!
Today I want to share a recipe that is a little bit different than the usual! Thanksgiving Turkey Poutine!
Not only is it delicious, but it is a quick and easy make and one of my favourite leftover Thanksgiving dinner meals. One of my go-to’s! Everyone loves it.
Short Intro to Poutine
Poutine is a Canadian creation, consisting of hot French Fries, topped with cheese curds and hot gravy. The heat from the fries and gravy melts the cheese, creating a fabulously tasty, rich and indulgent dish!
This recipe is a riff on that same idea, except it incorporates some of our delicious Thanksgiving leftovers, adding to the deliciousness of the whole dish!
Sandwiches can get a bit boring and you can only make so many pot pies. Both are fabulous but sometimes the heart longs for something a tiny bit different! Thanksgiving Poutine fits the bill perfectly!
Let’s Look at the Ingredients
This satisfying dish will help you to put a nice dent in those leftovers and your family is sure to really enjoy it. You need only some leftover turkey gravy, a quantity of leftover stuffing, some cooked turkey, frozen French Fries, and grated cheese.
As you can see, this is a great example of simple ingredients put together beautifully to give you a delicious meal that tastes every bit as good as the original Turkey did on the day, if not better!
You can of course make your French Fries from scratch, but let’s face it, after all of the work you have put in creating that delicious holiday meal the last thing you want to do the day after is to spend more hours in the kitchen.
Deep frying anything involves a bit of faffing about. You can find some really good quality frozen French Fries on the market these days, so I recommend buying your favourite brand and taking the easy way out!
In this house we like chunky steak cut fries, but you can just use whatever brand and cut your family enjoy the most.
You could also use frozen Sweet Potato Fries if you wanted to, or even a mix of potato and sweet potato fries. Its up to you and according to what your family will enjoy! You know them best!
What About the Gravy?
I have a huge confession to make. The stuffing is my favourite part of the holiday meal and it has always played a huge part in my leftover feasts!
I layer it into sandwiches and I even like to add a layer or a topping of it to my pot pies (think open-faced pot pie here).
Because my family and I love it so much, I always make oodles of it! I prefer to make my own stuffing from scratch, and I think it is delicious. You can also use boxed stuffing if that is all you have. It will still taste good no matter what.
I like to cook plenty of delicious gravy as well when I do my holiday meals. Again, this is because of the leftovers. I want to have plenty of gravy leftover to use for hot sandwiches, pot pies and yes Thanksgiving Poutine!
If you don’t have much gravy leftover, you can use a good quality canned gravy, or a gravy powder made up to the amount of gravy you need.
Quantities will depend on how many people you are feeding, and how much they enjoy gravy!
Cutting into the Meat
You will want to dice your leftover cooked turkey into bite sized pieces. I try to use all breast meat if I can. I aim for ½ inch sized cubes. This is the perfect size for re-heating and works well when layered in the dish with everything else.
Cooking the Fries and Reheating the Leftovers
You begin by cooking your frozen French Fries according to the package directions. If you want to create even less mess, line your baking tray with aluminium foil so you can just throw the foil away when you are finished.
The aim of this meal is to create something which is quick and easy, yet still delicious! Clean-up is all a part of that ease!
While your fries are baking you can pop your gravy into a saucepan and reheat it gently over a low heat. Once you have it bubbling, just stir in your chunks of turkey and let them heat through until they are also piping hot.
It is important that all your leftovers which need heating up are heated through properly and are hot all the way through. This is a matter of good food hygiene practice.
You wouldn’t want anyone to get ill from improperly reheated leftovers! Also make sure that you use different cutting boards for handling cooked meats, raw meats and other ingredients to avoid cross-contamination!
I have one for each, and another one that I use only for fish, plus a small one for when I am chopping smaller items such as onions or nuts.
Grating the Cheeses
I like to grate my own cheese for this. Cheese curds are traditional in Poutine, but they are not always available. I find a mix of a good cheddar and mozzarella cheese work beautifully. I always grate my own cheese because it melts much nicer with a smoother finish.
Manufacturers add things to pre-grated cheeses to help make them flow more easily out of the package. I just want “cheese” in my cheese and so I grate my own. It really doesn’t take a lot of time. I use an old-fashioned box grater for this, but a food processor also does a really dab job of it!
Grate both the mozzarella and the cheddar and then mix the two together. Both are great melting cheeses and mozzarella will give you a really nice “ooze factor!” who doesn’t love that!
Putting Everything Together
About ten minutes before your French Fries are done, take the pan out of the oven and push the fries to one side.
Crumble your leftover stuffing onto the baking sheet and pop it back into the oven. You can also leave the Fries in one layer and crumble the stuffing over top, before popping it back into the oven.
I find it much easier to put the finished dish together however, if I have heated them separately. You can just do this in the microwave if you wish as well. Pop it into the microwave in a covered container and heat it on high for 60 second intervals until it is piping hot.
If you are using the microwave you may want to do this about five minutes before your fries are finished. Either way works well.
Once you have all of your ingredients, prepared, cooked and heated through it is merely a matter of putting them together to serve. I have used small individual casserole dishes here, but you can use individual plates if you want. I like to heat them first.
Plate and Serve!
When your serving dishes are heated properly the food you serve on them stays hot longer. You can simply pop them in the warming oven while you are preparing the remainder of the meal.
You will want to divide the hot fries between each heated dish, putting an equal portion in each.
Crumble some stuffing over each serving and then ladle on the hot turkey and gravy. Quickly, while it is still hot, sprinkle your cheeses over top and let the heat of the turkey and gravy melt the cheese!
If you can get real cheese curds this will be even better! Don’t forget to pass the cranberry sauce! I really think your loved ones are going to enjoy this tasty dish.
No fuss, no muss, very little clean up, no waste, and most important of all, great taste!
Tasty Thanksgiving Poutine (Using Leftovers) Short Recipe
One of my favourite things after the holiday meal has always been a sandwich made with leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. For this delicious dish I have rolled the flavours of our favourite holiday dinner into a fabulously tasty Hot Turkey Poutine.
After all the work that has gone into the holiday dinner, I think the cook deserves a day off, don’t you? No waste here!
- 1 4-serving size bag of frozen oven cook French fries
- 2 cups diced leftover cooked turkey
- 3 cups leftover turkey gravy
- 1 cup grated strong cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups leftover cooked stuffing
- Cranberry sauce (optional)
- Prepare the French fries according to the package directions.
- While they are cooking, combine the two cheeses in a bowl and set aside.
- Put the turkey gravy into a saucepan, along with the diced turkey and heat them gently over medium low heat, until everything is completely heated through and bubbling. Set aside and keep warm.
- About ten minutes before the French fries are done, push some of them aside and crumble the stuffing into one corner of the pan.
- Once the French fries are cooked, divide them amongst 4 heated dinner plates. Crumble some hot stuffing over each and then spoon an equal portion of hot gravy and turkey over each.
- Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve. The heat from the turkey and gravy should melt the cheese. Serve immediately with or without cranberry sauce! Everybody’s happy!
Note – if you wish you can use a mix of frozen oven-bake Sweet Potato Fries and regular Potato Fries. Bake according to the package directions and proceed as above.
Check out some of my other recipes:
Marie Rayner is a Canadian, who moved over to the UK and began a new life in the year 2000. At the age of 45 she decided she needed a career change and went back to College to take a Chef’s course, after which she worked as a Personel Chef for a number of years.