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Tourtiere Fin.jpg
Tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean, ready to be put into the oven for baking
Type Meat pie
Course main dish
Place of origin Canada
Region or state Quebec and New Brunswick (When New France.
Main ingredients pork, veal, beef, or fish; game meat
Other information Eaten: New Years Eve, Christmas, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving
Cookbook: Tourtière  Media: Tourtière

Tourtière (French pronunciation: ​[tuʁ.ˈtjɛʁ], Quebec French : [tuʁ.ˈt͡sjaɛ̯ʁ]; also popularly referred to in Canada in print and in its pronunciation as tortière) is a meat pie originating from Quebec, usually made with finely diced pork, veal or beef. Wild game is often added to enhance the taste of the pie.[1][unreliable source?] A traditional part of the Christmas réveillon and New Year's Eve meal in Quebec,[2][3] it is also sold in grocery stores, across Canada, all year long.

Tourtière is not exclusive to Quebec. It is a traditional French-Canadian dish served by generations of French-Canadian families throughout Canada and the bordering areas of the United States. In the New England region of the U.S., especially in Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts (e.g., Chicopee and Attleboro), late 19th and early 20th century immigrants from Quebec introduced the dish.[4]

There is no one correct filling; the meat depends on what is regionally available. In coastal areas, fish such as salmon is commonly used, whereas pork, beef, rabbit and game are often included inland. The name derives from the vessel in which it was originally cooked, a tourtière.[5][6]

Types of tourtière[edit]

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Eastern Quebec[edit]

Preparation of the stuffing for a tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean

The tourtières of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area and Eastern Quebec are slow-cooked deep-dish meat pies made with potatoes and various meats (often including wild game) cut into small cubes.[1]

Elsewhere in Quebec and the rest of Canada, this variety of tourtière is sometimes referred to, in French and in English, as tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean or tourtière saguenéenne to distinguish it from the varieties of tourtière with ground meat.


Tourtière in Montreal is made with finely ground pork only (which can be hard to find as the meat is often ground too coarsely elsewhere). Water is added to the meat after browning and the addition of cinnamon and cloves is what makes it unique. Many people use ketchup as a condiment, though the tourtière is also often eaten with maple syrup or molasses, mango chutney, or cranberry preserves.

Although it is less popular than the original tourtière and the tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean this version can also be commonly found throughout Canada and its surrounding areas.


Tourtière is an integral part of holiday-time meals for French Canadians in St. Boniface, as well as in Manitoba's rural Francophone areas. Browned meat is seasoned with varying combinations of savory, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, celery salt, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Pies are served with mustards and various types of relishes.


Acadian tourtière, or pâté à la viande (literally meat pie), is a pork pie that may also contain chicken, rabbit and beef.[7] Pâté à la viande varies from region to region in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In Petit-Rocher and Campbellton the dish is prepared in small pie plates and known as petits cochons (little pigs).[7]


  1. ^ a b Jorghnasse, Ms. C, An Authentic Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Tourtière Recipe 
  2. ^ Waverman, Lucy (2011-12-20). "Tourtière". Globe and Mail. 
  3. ^ Clark, Edie (January 2010). "Best Cook: Meat Pie French Canadian meat pies are a family legacy". Yankee Magazine. 
  4. ^ Dojny, Brooke (1999). New England Home Cooking: 350 recipes from town and country, land and sea, hearth and home. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Common Press. p. 186. ISBN 9781558327573. 
  5. ^ "Tourtière". Cook's Info. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Casselman, William G. "Tourtiere & Omelette: Foods Named After Their Cooking Utensils". Bill Casselman's Canadian Word of the Day. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "What are the traditional Acadian dishes?". Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 

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