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Italian Poutine Pie | A savory pie with a hash brown crust, marinara, meatballs and gooey mozzarella

Italian Poutine Pie

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Italian Poutine Pie is a twist on the classic Canadian potato recipe. This Italian Poutine Pie recipe uses a hash brown crust, marinara and meatballs topped with gooey Mozzarella!

Italian Poutine Pie

What is Poutine?

When I was a junior in high school, my dad took a sabbatical year and moved the family up to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he taught physics at UBC. Moving from the flat farmland in central Iowa to the Pacific Northwest with beaches and mountains was not difficult. But adjusting to a new school and leaving my dearest friends behind was tough on a teenage girl. I shouldn’t have fretted as being an American with a southern drawl drew lots of attention and soon I had many new friends.

There was no language barrier (other than a few words I had to relearn—aboot for about, bean for been, zed for “Z”), but there were some cultural differences. I remember sitting in the cafeteria observing my classmates shaking vinegar on their French fries. I continued to eat mine with a light sprinkling of salt. No funny stuff. But I was delighted when my friends introduced me to Nanaimo barsand Cadbury Caramilk (the US version is not nearly as sublime).

But poutine, the Canadian dish of French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds, was never on my radar. Knowing that I was not enamored with what my Canuck friends did with their fries, I doubt I would have gone for poutine, either. Many years later, I’m the least picky eater in my family; so when thinking about a twist on these cheesy fries, I knew I’d have to create something my gang would adore. When I mentioned a hash brown crust to the hubby, he nodded in agreement. I had a starting point.

White ceramic pie plate full of Italian Poutine Pie
Italian Poutine Pie

My plain Jane family loves Italian food.  Simple meatballs, marinara, and mozzarella are A-OK with the crew. With a pie plate filled with hash browns made with my favorite russet Idaho® potatoes, I popped it in the oven to get nice and crispy.

Then I filled the crust with homemade meatballs and a marinara gravy before topping with a sprinkling of Parmesan and fresh mozzarella. Another stint in the oven warmed my Italian poutine pie. The aroma was heavenly—a wonderful sign. Bill’s, “Hey, this is good,” was all I needed to know I had a winner. A “poutine” that pleased even the pickiest palate.

Italian Poutine Pie | A savory pie with a hash brown crust, marinara, meatballs and gooey mozzarella

 

How to Make Italian Poutine Pie

  • Get all your ingredients ready before you shred your potatoes. They oxidize quickly when exposed to air and will turn brown. They’ll still be safe to eat, though.
  • Squeeze all the liquid out of your shredded potatoes to ensure a crispy crust. I do this will a potato ricer or my hands.
  • Use homemade or storebought meatballs to top the crust.
  • Same for the marinara. A good jar of marinara is a nice shortcut.
  • Top with your favorite melting cheese. Mozzarella fits the Italian theme but feel free to use a favorite variety that will work with the other ingredients

There are a few things you may need to make this poutine recipe:

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Italian Poutine Pie

Italian Poutine Pie

A twist on the classic poutine using hash browns, marinara, and mozzarella

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 3 cups shredded potatoes, squeezed dry of any liquid
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Toppings:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 pound Meatballs, homemade or store-bought (enough to cover the bottom of the pie plate)*
  • 8 ounces marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle over top, optional

Instructions

  1. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 450º.
  3. Mix shredded potatoes with melted butter and seasonings, then press into pie plate. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till lightly browned and crispy. Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
  4. After crust cools slightly, spread sour cream onto bottom of crust. Follow with meatballs, then marinara and finally the mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or till cheese is melted and filling is hot.
  6. Cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Notes

I made homemade meatballs using 1 pound of ground beef
To squeeze potatoes dry, place shredded potatoes into the center of a thin dishcloth, roll up to enclose potatoes, then twist tightly.

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34 comments on “Italian Poutine Pie”

  1. Gosh, I love hash browns and having hash browns as a pie crust? Amazing!! Yes, I want this Italian Poutine Pie! But hold the Parmesan 😀

  2. Love the idea of a hash brown crust:@)

  3. I’ll bet the Canadian just adored you, Liz! How could they not? What a great idea for the potato crust!

  4. That potato crust sounds so GOOD!

  5. Just look at all that cheesy goodness!

  6. We love Italian food too over here and I’d love to try this delicious twist on Poutine Liz!So so yum!!

  7. Delicious! I went with an Italian kinda poutine, too. Your pie looks fabulous, Liz.

  8. Potato crust, sounds amazing Liz, then you added cheese, i could make this a whole meal, just add a salad. Take care!

  9. That sounds like a fun teenage life! And mozzarella on poutine? That’s absolutely stunning and no wonder it smells delicioso!

  10. Such a great idea – I love the idea of that crispy potato crust with tomato sauce and meatballs- yummy!

  11. What a delicious way to enjoy potatoes! xxx Happy new year lovely Liz.

  12. My pizza monsters would go crazy for this, and I love that I can enjoy an Italian-style dish that’s already gluten free!

  13. What a creative twist on poutine – it looks delicious!

  14. Oh my gosh Liz, this looks amazing! And you’re right Idaho potatoes are the best, must be something about the soil or sun or…

  15. You got me with this Italian version, yum!

  16. I wish I would have thought of this. A great way to infuse Italian flavors into this dish.

  17. Your crust is a brilliant creation, Liz. Thank you for the recipe…And yes the “real” Cadbury are the best!

  18. This is comfort food at its finest! NO better way to end the weekend!

  19. This would please my husband’s picky palate too.

  20. This is such a creative idea for a crust! My boys would go CRAZY for this comforting dish!

  21. Nanaimo bars rock. but as a Quebecer, home of the poutine, I cannot help but laugh and I am impressed by your interpretations. Poutine is junk food, I am embarrassed that it is know as a cultural food here. I do like you classy poutine dish a lot.

  22. If you start with a hash brown crust, it cannot go wrong! I love your Italian version, which would be a great family-pleaser. So fun to create with you for this Poutine project!

  23. Ha, I heard you guys were doing this and I had a good giggle. I’m probably the only Canuck who doesn’t care for poutine. I think it’s the combination of gravy with cheese curds that does it for me. Separately yes, together, not so much. I keep expecting to get kicked out of here for my dislike of it, and hockey, it’s downright un-Canadian of me. I also don’t like vinegar on my fries, but I do it like it on my potato chips. Weird, I know. Ha!

    Now this poutine is a whole different story. It’s poutine flipped on it’s head. I dig the idea of a potato pie. There’s another Canadian dish called rappie pie, this sort of reminds me of that a little bit. You did an amazing job Liz. This is wicked cool and very inventive. Plus I’d eat the heck out of it and you know that’s high praise from this girl. I bet the family gobbled it up. I know my bunch would demolish this.

    Talk really soon about our upcoming adventures. I’m so stinking excited for this year’s antics. Happy New Year to you and the family. xx

  24. I love how you tell your memories. Changed the town center to the mountains in full adolescence is amazing and so rich in emotions. I’m sure you learned a lot from that time. The prauve, this dish looks so good!

  25. To be honest, the idea of poutine always intrgues me because I adore cheese curds but the actual soggy fries under gravy does nothing for me. Then you mentioned crispy hash browns, I was hooked. The meatballs and marinara sound dreamy under the crispy hash browns with melted cheese. I can just imagine that first bite with the long string of cheese stretching like a high wire rope from my mouth to the fork. I had no idea Idaho potatoes were superior, but I’m not surprised it’s because of the soil. I wonder if we can get potatoes from Idaho in Toronto (ours mostly come from PEI) but I’ll be sure to try some if I see them.

  26. What a great dish! I didn’t know what a poutine pie was so when I saw the pictures, I thought the potatoes were the filling. What a great surprise to see that they were the crust. I love that! This is a recipe I need to try! Thanks!

  27. I’ve never seen anything like this before, Liz! Love to dig in! xoxo

  28. I loved the surprise of potatoes as the crust instead of pasta. This is a brilliant twist on poutine and I love the fusion of Italian with Canadian.

  29. I love you take on this and Mr. Sweets would have more than his fair share I’m sure.

  30. I”ve only recently discovered how delicious Poutine is and your has so many flavors and ingredients I know my family would really appreciate!

  31. Lizzy,
    My family would love this dish too. I may have mentioned our affinity for Italian food.
    Annamaria

  32. What an interesting, innovative dish! It’s the perfect choice for leftover meatballs or even Bolognese! We don’t have hash browns here and we’re definitely gonna try your version in the crust! Does it work better if you add some salt in the grated potatoes before squeezing them dry? Have you tried that?
    Thank you for the absolutely DELICIOUS idea Liz!
    xoxoxo

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