Originating in Quebec, Tourtiere is a traditional French Canadian Christmas recipe. Learn how to make this Canadian meat pie recipe with flaky crust and hearty, spiced filling, just in time for the holidays. Makes 1 pie or 8 servings.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie, plated with a small salad and a fork

Why I love this tourtière recipe

Some of you may already know this, but my husband is Canadian. Since we’ve been together, I have learned a whole new set of traditions, especially when it comes to food and holidays, but Marc’s favorite holiday tradition is tourtière (mine is vin chaud and shrimp with cocktail sauce).

I can’t remember when I first had it, but I think it was when we were living in France and one of his teammates from Quebec hosted holiday dinner, but I could mistaken. Either way, I knew it was for me a my first bite.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie

What is the spice in tourtiere?

It was hearty, and it was spiced with some of my favorite flavors. It reminded me so much of my favorite Irish sausages and Cincinnati chili, and that’s because the key spices are cloves, all-spice and cinnamon.

There are other spices in there, too, but if you’re looking to pinpoint what gives this Canadian meat pie it’s unique flavor, that’s undoubtedly it.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie
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Here’s what you’ll need to make your tourtiere:

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie

How do you make Tourtiere?

Prepare your pie crust. As always, I’m using store bought crust for this  Canadian meat pie. Most store bought brands are already dairy free, and you know how I feel about taking shortcuts when I can.

We already have enough extra work in our lives. However, if you have a homemade pie crust recipe that you love, definitely use it. You’ll need two pie crusts.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie

Mash some potatoes. This recipe calls for 1 cup of mashed potatoes. You can either use leftover mashed potato, or you can boil some peel potatoes and mash them.

No need to add anything to them. Get them smooth, and they will work just fine.

Make the filling. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil to medium high. Add your onion, and sauté until it’s translucent and slightly soft. Then add your beef and pork, and let it brown.

Break up the meat into small pieces as it cooks. When it’s no longer pink, add the mashed potato and spices.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie filling

In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth and flour together (you can also shake it in a jar or container).

Pour that into the pan and mix everything until the potato has dissolved into filling and your broth has thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie waiting to be topped with a second crust

Fill the pie. Line your pie plate with the bottom crust. Transfer your filling to the pie plate and top it with your second crust.

Carefully fold the edges and press together to seal them, and create a vent in the top crust – piece with a fork, cut out a shape, whatever you prefer. Brush the top with a quick egg wash before baking.

Bake your tourtiére. Place your meat pie in a 375˚F oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. The crust should be nice and golden brown when you remove it.

Let the pie rest and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie

How and when to serve Canadian meat pie:

We normally have our tourtiere on Christmas eve, which is when most people in Quebec have their big Christmas meal. Since my family normally has a bit of an Italian seafood spread (shrimp, mussels, fish cakes), I usually bring this as my contribution because it’s something a little different.

Tourtière would also be a great option on New Year’s Eve, if you’re not ready to change up your Christmas traditions.

Since this meat pie is such a hearty dish, it’s nice to balance it out with something a little lighter.

It’s traditionally served with pickled red beets, chili sauce, or even ketchup, but I’ve never done it that way. When we aren’t having this as part of a Christmas even spread (or if this was our main dish for Christmas), I like to serve my tourtière with my favorite brussels sprout salad.

A slice of Tourtiere, traditional Canadian meat pie

More Christmas recipes:

More ground meat recipes:

Print

Tourtiere: Canadian Meat Pie

Originating in Quebec, Tourtiere is a traditional French Canadian Christmas recipe. Learn how to make this meat pie with flaky crust and hearty filling, just in time for the holidays.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Christmas
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Canadian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes *see note
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 tablespoons flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium high. Add the oil and onions, and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add ground beef and pork and cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat into small pieces.
  5. Add mashed potatoes and spices.
  6. In a small jar or container, shake beef broth and flour until smooth and pour into the skillet.
  7. Cook until the broth has thickened.
  8. Place the bottom crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Fill the crust with meat filling and top with remaining pie crust.
  9. Seal the two crusts together, rolling to one over the other if needed, and press gently with a fork or fingers. Brush the top crust with egg wash.
  10. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown in color.

Notes

For this recipe you can use leftover mashed potatoes, or boil 2 peeled, medium potatoes until tender and mash them until smooth with a potato masher or hand mixer.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 337

Keywords: tourtiere, meat pie, Canadian, beef, pork

Last Updated on December 22, 2020 by Melissa Belanger

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Recipe rating

28 Comments

  1. Since I am mentioned in the post let me be the first to comment and review. I absolutely love this recipe and the moment it’s being baked it brings me back to my childhood and the wonderful smells of Christmas time!

  2. Just made this fantastic recipe! I used ground moose meat instead of the beef. All else was exactly as the recipe stated. I will be replicating this for my Christmas menus this year!!

  3. This is the recipe my grandparents and mother used and now I use. The seasoning is everything. Taste, add, taste, add. Love it!

  4. The meat pie has been a Christmas tradition in my Mass. family for at least a century. My grandmother inherited a recipe that called for savory; I think the oregano here is a poor substitute, from the days when savory was hard to find outside of the Maritime Provinces and New England. Her potatoes were coarsely mashed, leaving bits of potato in the pie, which adds nicely to the texture.
    Savory can be bought online these days, if your local supermarket doesn’t stock it. (Google “Mt. Scio Farm”) It’s also a wonderful addition to turkey stuffing, tomato sauces, and marinades.

  5. My French Canadian grandmother would make this filling for pies but with saltine crackers instead of potatoes. She would also use this same filling as stuffing for a baked pumpkin. The squash and filling is wonderful!

    1. I make several tourtiere every year leading up to the holidays and freeze them uncooked. I serve at gatherings and always manage to have one that I serve at brunch let in January. Just remove from the freezer and fully thaw before cooking.

  6. Just made this recipe, hugh disappointment. I grew up enjoying my mothers meat pie, a great Canadian recipe that has been handed down for 5 generations. Note, this recipe uses 2 to 3 times the amount of spice as compared to other recipes. At a minimum cut the spices in 1/2. Going back to mom’s, throwing this one away.

    1. I’m sorry that you didn’t care for it. That’s the thing with recipes like these, each family has their own version and they are very loyal to them. We’ve been making this for a really long time with lots of Canadian approval, but to each their own. Thanks for the feedback!

      1. My family’s recipe comes from my great grandfather and it has no spice except salt and pepper. Lots of onions is the ‘key’ for us! We don’t add potatoes, it’s white bread and eggs! I remember it being the most requested baked good by every family member every Christmas! My Grandma wasn’t allowed to visit someone without bringing a meat pie!😂. I’m baking one right now and having beautiful memories of my grandma and mom making these every year❤️

  7. This recipe differs from my Grandmother’s Tourtiere Recipe, which required very lean Pork Butt ground twice approximately 2 lbs. (meat is from the animals shoulder and is extremely flavorful);
    Finely diced 1 lrg. onion; a couple russet potatoes to mash in with the onions and meat which she would cook in small amounts at a time. She always prepared this recipe in her cast iron skillet. As she combined the mixture she added salt and pepper to taste. (one of my great aunts would add a pinch of allspice or clove to the mixture). The secret to the mixture is to keep it moist . She did that by adding teaspoons of water or liquid such as chicken broth. Think this year I’d like to use dry white wine (maybe a few sips while cooking over a hot stove!

  8. I’ve been looking for a good recipe for this to try! Yours sounds delicious. I like the range of spices used! Can’t wait to try it!

  9. I’m planning on making this with Impossible meat since I love meat pie for Christmas but recently gave up meat. Hopefully it works out. Cross your fingers

  10. I have not made this recipe as I do have one handed down from my father and his father…recipe is probably 75 plus years old and I must say it is excellent. I always look at other recipes to glean a little insight into the method used as my father just jotted his recipe down without much direction. One of the drawbacks of older recipes handed down. I haven’t veered much from his original ingredients but have changed the method which is very close to yours. However my point of this is to share the spices he used. Poultry seasoning, about 1 1/2 tsp., 1 tsp. celery salt, 1 tsp. ground sage, salt and pepper. I add about 1 1/4 cups water as well. Also I use one and half pounds ground beef and a half pound ground pork….makes two pies. My father was French Canadian.