Traditional French Canadian Tourtiere Recipe: How To Make Canadian Meat Pie

Delight in French Canadian cuisine with our authentic tourtière recipe. Learn how to make this savory Canadian meat pie, a beloved Quebecois tradition, right in your own kitchen.

French Canadian Tourtier Recipe

When it comes to French Canadian cuisine, the first item that pops into most people’s minds is poutine. Now, as a proud Canadian, I can definitely stand behind my love for this greasy dish of french fries smothered with cheese curds and gravy. There is a dish that is far more “authentically” French Canadian than even poutine.

Tourtière is a beloved and iconic Quebecois dish. These savory Canadian meat pies are a symbol of Quebec’s rich culinary heritage and a testament to the province’s unique cultural identity.

I have spent a lot of time exploring Quebec. I’ve traveled up and down the wilds of the St. Lawrence River, exploring the food in Quebec City and the wonders of the Mingan Archipelago on the Cote Nord (north shore) to the Gaspesie Peninsula on the Cote Sud (south shore). This authentic tourtiere recipe brings together the best flavors that I experienced along the way.

Where Did Tourtiere Come From?

This tourtiere recipe has origins dating back to the early 1600s. Tourtière has deep historical roots in Quebec, often associated with the French-Canadian settlers who introduced it to the region after the explorations of Samuel de Champlain.

This traditional dish has since become a staple on Quebec’s dinner tables, especially during special occasions and holidays, carrying with it a legacy of family gatherings and cherished memories. It’s now served restaurants throughout Quebec City, even some of its finest.

What Does Tourtiere Taste Like?

Canadian Meat Pie recipe
To change up your tourtier recipe, try adding diced carrots, peas, or peppers.

The flavors of tourtière are a blend of seasoned meats, typically a combination of pork and veal. These meats are marinated and spiced with aromatic herbs like cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Once mixed, the filling is encased in a flaky, golden pastry crust and served as a meat pie.

The dish offers a mouthwatering contrast of hearty, well-seasoned filling and the buttery, crisp shell. The result is a delicious and comforting food experience that resonates with both locals and visitors alike, especially during the long, cold Quebec winters.

This is a must-try food in Quebec City and one of the top foods from the Canadian culinary scene.

Beyond its delicious taste, tourtière plays a significant role in Quebecois culture, serving as a symbol of unity and tradition. It brings families together during special occasions, fostering a sense of belonging and celebration.

The preparation and sharing of tourtière recipes are often passed down through generations, making it a cherished tradition that connects Quebecers with their roots and the enduring spirit of their culture.

So, when you savor a slice of tourtière in Quebec, you’re not just enjoying a meal; you’re partaking in a centuries-old tradition that embodies the heart and soul of this vibrant Canadian province.

How To Make French Canadian Tourtière 

The magic of any great tourtière recipe is in choosing the right ingredients. Combining the meat and spices together to slow-cook the meat pie and trapping the rich flavors inside is key.

  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water.
  • Mash the potatoes, reserving 1/2 cup of the potato water.
  • Brown the onions and meat, removing any excess fat.
  • Mix the meat and onions with the water and spices and simmer.
  • Crust the bottom of your pie dish, add the mixture, and seal with the top pastry.
  • Brush with egg and make some small incisions for ventilation.
  • Bake until golden brown.
  • Serve hot.
French Canadian Tourtier Recipe

French Canadian Tourtiere Recipe

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Tourtiere is a traditional Canadian meat pie deeply rooted in French Canadian culinary history. It has a delicious blend of seasoned meats encased in a buttery, flaky pastry crust.

Experience the comforting taste of cloves, cinnamon, and allspice harmonizing with a mixture of pork and veal, all wrapped up in a golden, crispy shell.

Whether served at holiday gatherings or enjoyed as a comforting family meal, this classic Quebecois dish is a true embodiment of culinary tradition and warmth.


Tourtiere Pastry

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Tourtiere Filling

  • 1 tbsp savory
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb medium ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 large potatoes. Peeled.
  • 1 large onion. Diced.
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 5 cloves of garlic. Peeled and minced.
  • 2 large eggs


Make The Tourtiere Filling

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until fork tender.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tbsp butter, then onions and garlic. Saute until fragrant.
  3. Add ground beef and ground pork to the pan along with the seasonings. Cook for three minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking.
  4. Add beef stock and scrape any areas that might have stuck to the pan. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated (approximately 30 minutes).
  5. While meat simmers, dice potatoes into 1/4" thick pieces. Add to the mixture as you dice.

Once the liquid has evaporated, remove it from heat and allow it to cool (approximately 1 hour).

Make The Tourtiere Crust

  1. In a large glass bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2/3 cup butter, and 6 tbsp of cold water.
  2. Cut the butter and flour mixture until you've achieved a crumbly texture. Add water as needed until the dough achieves the desired result.
  3. Divide the dough into equal sections.
  4. Lightly flour a large, flat surface. Roll out the dough into circles until it's approximately 1 cm thick.
  5. Place the bottom pastry crust into your pie plate. Gently conform it to the shape of the baking pan.
  6. Using a ladle, add your filling to the pan. Fill it right to the top and press down with a ladle until it's compact.
  7. Place the pie crust over the filling. Using scissors, trim the edges to remove excess dough. Using your fingers or a small spoon, pinch around the crust edge to ensure a tight seal.
  8. In a small bowl, beat the eggs.
  9. Brush the egg wash over the top of the crust ensuring that the outside edges are also brushed.

Bake The Tourtiere

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the pie in the middle rack and cook until the crust is golden brown and the filling is heated through (approximately 45 minutes).


Canadians have a bit of an obsession with ketchup, so you may find many people eating tourtiere with a side of it for dipping. But no one will hold it against you if you opt to enjoy the flavors straight up.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 461Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 675mgCarbohydrates: 42gSugar: 3gProtein: 15g

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