This Keto Tourtiere is an adaptation of the classic Canadian pork pie that I’ve been making with my grandmother for years. Low carb and gluten free, but nobody will mind because it’s so delicious and satisfying!
Every fall back in CT, my grandmother and I would make lots of Tourtieres (French Canadian Pork Pies) together to keep in the freezer for special occasions throughout the year. I wrote a post about it a few years back, and shared our family recipe.
Since then I’ve gotten lots of requests from people for a low carb and gluten free Keto Tourtiere recipe.
Well I finally got around to making a low carb and gluten free version that you and I can eat without going off plan. Don’t tell my grandma but Mr. Hungry thinks it’s even better than the original! Shhhh….
If you’ve never had a Tourtiere it’s a meat pie typically made with ground pork, mashed potatoes or ritz crackers for filler, and fragrant herbs and spices like sage, allspice, cloves, etc.
It has a very distinct and comforting flavor and texture that I have loved since my childhood. My grandmother has always served her tourtiere with manzilla olives on the side, and their tangy brininess perfectly complements the savory pork pie.
For me that’s the only accompaniment a good Tourtiere needs (maybe a salad if you’re having it as a main meal rather than an appetizer,) but I have seen people peel off the top and load it up with ketchup.
If you try that at my house I will cut you. That is all.
For the crust of this keto tourtiere I used a variation on the low carb crust for my low carb chicken pot pie. That one uses cheddar cheese in it but I didn’t want a strong cheese flavor in this – so I substituted mozzarella. It works great and tastes amazing, but if you don’t get it fully incorporated it will cause cheese freckles in the dough as seen above.
For that reason I recommend using a block of full fat mozzarella that you grate yourself, rather than the pre-shredded stuff which is coated with starch and won’t melt right.
Even with the cheese, this – like most gluten free pie crust recipes, is on the fragile side. It’s a pain to work with but the results are worth it. That being said if you have a go-to low carb and/or gluten free pie crust recipe that you like, then you can absolutely go with that for this recipe.
To make this Keto Tourtiere filling low carb, I used pureed cauliflower in place of the traditional mashed potatoes that my grandmother uses. I wasn’t sure how it would work out when I first tried it, but the slight sweetness of the cauliflower actually adds a depth of flavor that the potato-based pork pie doesn’t have. It’s fantastic!
Mr. Hungry, a sworn hater of cauliflower LOVES this filling and that is a miracle in itself.
Together, the crust and meat filling in this keto tourtiere combine to make a truly comforting and sublime flavor and texture that is sure to be a hit with the entire family!
It’s almost worth waiting the whole year for!Print
Tourtieres (Canadian Pork Pie) – Low Carb & Gluten Free
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Keto Tourtiere – a low carb version of the classic Canadian Pork Pie tastes just as good as the real thing! Keto, Atkins and Paleo friendly!
For the pie crust (makes two 9 inch rounds):
- 2 cups superfine almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
For the pork filling:
- 2 lbs raw ground pork
- 1/3 cup raw onion, pureed in a blender or magic bullet
- 1/2 cup water
- 1.5 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon ground sage
- 2 cups cooked cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons butter
To make the pie crust:
- Combine the dry ingredients together and mix thoroughly.
- In a medium bowl, mash the butter and cheese together with a fork until fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and use a fork or pastry cutter to mash it together until fully incorporated into little pea sized lumps.
- Add the egg and stir until a dough forms.
- Divide the crust into 2 balls of equal shape and chill for ten minutes before rolling out for your pie.
To make the pork filling:
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan add the meat, salt, onion puree and water. (The water helps the meat stay soft and not cook in large, tough chunks.)
- Cook it over medium heat for about 15 minutes (or until fully cooked and most of the water has evaporated) and stir it to make sure it doesn’t brown and that there are no large chunks of meat.
- Puree the cooked cauliflower in a blender or magic bullet – you should have about 1 cup of puree.
- Combine the meat, cauliflower puree, butter and spices and mix thoroughly. Taste the mixture and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.
To assemble the pie:
- If planning to bake the pie immediately, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Roll out a ball of dough between two layers of parchment paper. Peel off the parchment and place the crust dough in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the pie plate and spread it out evenly.
- Roll out your second dough ball between two sheets of parchment to fit the top.
- Peel off the parchment and place the crust dough over the top of the filling.
- Press the edges down and crimp with your fingers or press it together with the tines of a fork to seal it.
- Use a sharp knife to cut some vents in the top of the dough for the steam to escape during baking.
- Cover with foil and freeze to use later, or bake immediately.
- When we bake these out of the freezer it takes about an hour at 350 degrees. If you are baking them unfrozen, probably about 40 minutes. Since the filling is fully cooked, it’s really about getting the crust a nice golden brown so use your discretion.
- Serve warm with green olives.
Approx nutrition info per slice: 485 calories, 41g fat, 4g net carbs, 29g protein
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Category: keto main dish
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: French
- Serving Size: 1/8th of pie
- Calories: 485
- Fat: 41g
- Carbohydrates: 4g net
- Protein: 29g
Keywords: tourtiere, keto tourtiere, Canadian pork pie
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My husband lost his mother a few weeks back just in time to hit him with all the feels of Christmas traditions and sadness of not having her here. Decades ago tourtieres were always served for Christmas brunch made by my mother in law and her mother, my husbands gran who is also passed. To say the least, this year it’s going to be hard. I never thought it possible to turn tourtiere into a keto version. I literally stumbled upon this recipe and knew we needed to do this for ourselves and to honour the first Christmas my mother in law and our dear Gran were reunited. It is an intensive recipe to make but also easy at the same time (if that makes any sense). The aromas wafting through the house are so worth the effort and we are instantly comforted by nostalgic memories of the past. One recipe has made Christmas a little easier for us. Thank you!
Mellissa Sevigny says
I’m so so sorry for you and your husband’s loss Jennifer. It has made my day to know that this recipe has provided a little comfort and I hope the flavors brought back good memories for you. 💕
I’m pretty sure you have to make a deal with an actual demon to work with this pie dough well :P There was a lot of in and out of the freezer, and a lot of cursing. I mean I get it, it’s basically held together with fat. A touch too warm and it rips. Too cold and it breaks into shards. There’s no gluten so there’s no stretch. It’s gonna be rough. Fair warning!
Two things I would have done different. 1.5tsp salt was over seasoned. I’m on a high sodium diet, but dang! So start with 3/4 tsp and go from there.
Second, the crust bottom really needs a par bake. Once done the bottom was mostly a soggy mess- was no hope of it holding together (until it’s chilled and re-solidifies), and you completely miss out on that crispy delicious flavor that you worked so hard to get with cutting in the butter.
Also did cook the onion until soft before I added the water and meat. I drained the pork before adding the spices and butter. The water was gone but it was swimming in fat. That would have made the filling a soup! So just FYI once the water is done and the fat renders, deal with that before adding the spices. I did have about a cup of leftover filling once filling the pie to the top, just FYI.
That all being said, the crispy top crust really is delicious! And the meat flavor is wonderful. It reminds me of the pastry puff rolled Scottish Sausage that you could get at Irish and Scottish festivals- which I was always so excited for! So while this recipe has its hitches, it’s still delicious!
Oh man!!!! This was sooooooo good!! I’m so glad I finally gave it a try. The flavor is fantastic!! The perfect blend of spices (at least in my opinion). I’ve been Keto/Low Carb for over 2 years and I have made a lot of dough recipes. The most common being fat head dough. This dough/crust beats that hands down!! It’s actually flaky! I was seriously impressed. I’ll be using this as my pie crust for all of my pies from now on. After seeing all of the comments about the dough being impossible to get off the parchment, I sprayed some avocado oil on both sheets of parchment and spread it all over before I rolled out the dough. The rolled dough came off perfect. No problems at all! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe and all the other great recipes you make!
I agree with the comment to brush the top crust with milk before baking. Also use chicken broth instead of water in the filling. I plan to make individual pies and only have a top crust to avoid the falling apart issue.
I want to make this for Christmas Eve dinner so thought I’d better do a trial run today. When I rolled the pastry for the bottom, it rolled fine but stuck like glue to the parchment and I had to patch and mash it to get it to cover the plate. However, I had a brainwave on how I should have done it. For the top piece, I rolled it out on the parchment but then put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. When I took it out, I carefully removed the parchment and it came off perfectly. It looks amazing! My husband says it looks just as good as my old gluten filled pie crusts, maybe better! The filling smells amazing. Can’t wait to eat it tonight but wanted to share my pastry hint right away.
Line Dozois says
Great trick to put crust in the freezer worked out great !!
You did not give temperature and time for baking. Only mentioned cooking from frozen. If you brushed milk or cream on the pastry before baking it would give it a nice glaze.
Vicky Weimer says
Just made this recipe for the first time tonight. I did tweak the spicing a little because I felt it was a tiny bit too sweet for my preference. Added a little cinnamon and a teaspoon of garlic paste.
I used my food processor to do the crust with and it blended up quite nicely, no freckles due to using pre-shredded cheese. I will probably add a tiny bit of garlic into the crust as well to make it more savory; it will do well for other pies (I’m thinking of doing a chicken pot pie next!)
Deirdre Holmes says
I have made this pie twice now and both times it turned out terrific. I am so excited about this pie crust, although not as pretty looking as yours, it was easy to make and by far the best Low Carb crust I’ve made. I’ve been doing LC for almost 4 years now and just about given up on ever having a pie crust that resembled real pie! I have also used this crust to do chicken pot pies and am going to use it tonight for a steak pie. Thank you again, this one is a real keeper.
Heather Jones says
Very excited to see this recipe. Looking forward to trying it. I don’t suppose that you also have a low carb HP sauce? LC Bisto imitation? ;-)
So awesome to find this recipe! I grew up eating this at Christmas every year with my French Canadian mother and made it the old -fashioned glutinous way for years. I look forward to trying this version! Thanks for a fantastic blog!!!
Mellissa Sevigny says
The crust is temperamental but rolled in parchment it’s not impossible to work with – also I said to chill it ten minutes, not an hour, which would solidify the cheese and make it even more hard and crumbly instead of pliable. I’ve made this multiple times and it’s always delicious, as have others. While I’m sorry that you didn’t have good results, I stand behind the recipe as solid.
Chilled initially for 10 mins, then rolled out on parchment. It couldn’t be lifted/transferred with either a rolling pin or a bench scraper, always employing the gentlest lifting. Chilling after rolling was only an attempt to “save” it, and is a standard technique for high-fat ratio doughs. Later, I just pressed it into the pie plate, both bottom and top layers. It baked O.K. Delicious is certainly a matter of opinion, in any case. I can see just by your photos of a slice that the crumbling and lack of stability are issues.
I just made this recipe it is very good. It is very similar to original quebec tourtière. Thanks for your recipe.
Oh. My. God. I’ve loved your recipes for years and didn’t see this recipe until just now. Both of my parents are of French-Canadian descent, and I always enjoyed creton/gorton and these pies the most at holidays.
A tip for the pork – pork used to be fattier until they bred them to be an alternative in chicken. To counteract this (and make the pork stick together better and taste more delicious), I add reserved bacon fat to my pork when I’m making the base spread. Although, I guess it doesn’t matter that much when you’re making the pie. :)
Thanks for the recipe!
Mellissa Sevigny says
I’m always on board with adding bacon Ange – thanks for the tip!!! :)
Rita Clarke says
I’m so happy right now! My father made tourtieres every year for Christmas. My sister has carried on the tradition. With me be gluten sensitive, it’s been hard finding a good crust. Now that I’m looking into keto, I thought that I would never be able to have this again! Our filling is a little different but I was shooting for the crust mainly. Thank you again! I can’t wait to try this!
First, not only did I love the recipe, I LOVED your writing…this was the most amusing blog entry I have read, and I could definitely identify with your range of emotions losing and ultimately finding the recipe. The cartoons are delightful.
I am not French Canadian, but Christmas Eve tourtiere is as Canadian as butter tarts and Nanaimo squares, so it has had pride of place in our home. We have always eaten it with home made chile sauce, not olives, but since olives are low carb, another tradition has begun. The flavour of the meat is lovely, and the crust worked beautifully. I used a full fat Mozzarella, grated fine, but got those little freckles when it was baked, as did yours. I actually find this charming, and adds to the home made look. There is nothing worse than going to the trouble to make something from scratch and have it look like it came from the grocery store.
My only comment about the filling is that it did not slice neatly…do you think adding a beaten egg before baking might remedy this?
Many, many thanks for this delicious recipe. I hope that if you made one for your family this year it was as well received as mine.
Addendum: After the leftovers spent a night in the fridge the pie sliced neatly and the pastry didn’t suffer too much from reheating each portion in the microwave. My husband wants me to use this pastry to make a blueberry pie…Oh, how he misses blueberry pie!
I just made a high carb version. Dh had the ketchup out, too. The spices are crucial to this and yours sound perfect. Anxious to make this LC friendly. Thanks…
I’m going to try this soon. My French Canadian Grandmother made this every Christmas Eve when I was a child and we would go to her house and eat it after Midnight Mass. It was a little heavy for so late at night, but we all gobbled it up and slept like babies. Great memory.
Mark Parrott says
This looks gorgeous. I’m in the UK & our pork pies are completely different (& far too rich for me) but this looks great. Talking of ketchup, I may have a similar problem with my wife. She likes brown sauce (it’s a northern thing) & I know she will smother the pie in this awful stuff.
Mellissa Sevigny says
Hope it’s a hit with you and the wife Mark, I’ll try not to think too much about how she’s defiling it with brown sauce! ?
Danielle @ From Girlie to Nerdy says
Just made this for dinner and it was FANTASTIC! I gave my hubby the stabby eyes for inquiring about ketchup usage ;)
This may be a stupid question, but do you put a crust on the bottom of the pie or is this for 2 pies?
Mellissa Sevigny says
Yes Deb, it’s a two crust pie!
I made this last night and it was fabulous. I had a bit of a problem with rolling out the crust and it sticking to the rolling pin, even with lots of almond flour on my rolling surface – any tips? It tasted great! My husband especially liked it. Definitely a keeper!
Mellissa Sevigny says
I roll it between two sheets of parchment paper Julie and it avoids the sticking problem – then you just peel the parchment off the top – flip it onto the pie plate and peel the parchment off the other side slowly and you’re done!
debbie florio says
I really enjoyed this dish, and as suggested the olives were perfect
with it, The meat filling had a creamy, decadent quality that I miss in low carb eating I didn’t have a deep dish pie pan on hand so I decided to make individual ramekins topped with the crust. The crust was by far the best low carb crust I have ever eaten. It came out of the oven beautifully brown and lightly crunchy. When I nuked a leftover ramekin the next day the crust wasn’t crunchy as it was right out of the oven, but it had a little flakiness to it.
Beth F says
I have never been very good at pie crust. In fact, I think it is honest to say I am the worst at pie crust. I mean, they taste OK, but nothing to write home about, and they look atrocious. My pie crust end up looking like patchwork quilts. So, your pretty pie crusts always intimidate me. But, I may be willing to sacrifice 2 cups of almond flour and give it a whirl for this pie. It looks delicious.
Amazing. My entire family loved this. This is a very simple recipe that tastes really special. My crust looked nothing like your lovely photogenic crust but tasted just wonderful and I am hopeful I can perfect it with time. I am going to make this again for Christmas Eve. Thanks so very much for sharing.
Dita MacDonald says
Thanks for making this wonderful dish low carb. I think the cheese sprinkles in the crust look “tasty”.
Nancy kohout says
I’m so interested in the pie crust recipe. ..sounds like it could be used in many recipes. How many net carbs are in this pie crust.
Thanks for all you do.