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

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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