Classic French Canadian meat pie, gluten free Tourtiere.



Gluten free tourtiere, properly spelled with an accent on the first e, tourtière, is a version of the traditional French Canadian meat pie. It’s not something my family ever made but I my friends with roots in the province of Quebec all make it.

A few years ago we were invited to a Christmas Eve dinner party and asked to bring a dish representing our heritage. I took Bubble and Squeak Patties showing my Scottish roots and two people brought tourtiere. Everyone loved this simple meat pie.

French Canadian Meat Pie – A Holiday Tradition

French Canadians traditionally served tourtiere on Christmas Eve after late night mass. In modern times it’s popular on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve buffets as well as any holiday meal. Naturally there are variations from region to region and family to family. Some recipes use breadcrumbs to bind the meat together while others use mashed potatoes. To make my gluten free tourtiere I chose potatoes and my usual pastry recipe.

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Tourtiere, a French Canadian Meat Pie served as a whole pie or made into individual hand pies.

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Pastry for Gluten Free Tourtiere

I think the secret to loving a gluten free lifestyle is being able to make anything you want. So for the day you suddenly decide you want to make quiche (or pot pie or pumpkin pie) you can. A few years ago I would have said I don’t make a lot of pastry but now I’m teaching people to make it and it seems like I make a lot of gluten free pastry!

Hand pies, a little half moon shaped pie that you eat with your hands, are cute and easy to make. They’re perfect for using up the last bits of pastry or some filling. They are also the best choice if you’re a little intimidated about learning the technique of rolling out a big pastry circle for a whole pie. The hand pies also freeze well and are a nice treat to put in your lunch.

Get The Tools for Making Meat Pie

Every kitchen needs at least one 9-inch pyrex pie plate (but buy two, always buy two). Pie plates can get fancy with recipes and designs printed onto them but then recipe adjustments need to be made. This recipe is written for the old fashioned basic pie plate with a low profile and you get plenty of filling in each piece.

One of the best resources I have in my kitchen is the two gluten free cookbooks from America’s Test Kitchen. They do more testing than any home cook could ever do and I thank them for that. These two books would be a fabulous gift for anyone new to gluten free cooking including yourself.

A Seasonal Strategy

Cooking with a seasonal strategy is the best way I know to enjoy produce at its’ peak while adding variety to your meal rotation. But don’t limit your seasonal strategy to the produce calendar. Holidays are all associated with traditional dishes plus families have their own quirky traditions around food. Does your family have one?

I’d love to hear about one of your family traditions in the comments below.

More Pastry Recipes


1 double crust pastry recipe (I used my gluten free pastry)*
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
½ cup water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp ground savory (optional)
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp cinnamon
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
ACCOMPANIMENTS – cabbage slaw, pickles, pickled beets or cranberry chutney


In a large saucepan combine beef, pork, water, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil while stirring to break up meat. Turn down and simmer for about 45 minutes (no lid), filling should be moist but not watery.
Add spices and stir to combine.
Remove from heat, mix in mashed potatoes and let mixture cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll chilled pastry into 2 large circles slightly bigger than the pie plate.
Transfer one piece to the pie plate pushing it into the sides of the pan.*
Fill pie shell with meat mixture. (I had a little too much so used it to make hand pies with the bits of leftover pastry.)
Carefully add the second pastry circle on top of the pie. Create a pattern with a small knife. Use your thumb to press the bottom and top pastry into the edge of the pie plate creating a nice pattern. Trim excess dough with a knife.
EGG WASH – Beat egg and milk with fork. Brush the top of pie and bake in preheated oven for 45 – 60 minutes.
Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with desired accompaniments. Freezes well.
*For pastry recipe and more instructions search PIE PASTRY on the website. For video instructions see recipe description.

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