French Onion Recipes That Go Beyond Soup

Caramelized Onion and Bread Soup with Bruleed Blue Cheese
Photo: Greg DuPree

French onion soup is about as comforting and comforting as food gets. We love the rich, savory broth packed with caramelized onions and topped with decadent Gruyère cheese and toasty bread. The classic recipe can’t be beat, but we’re also not opposed to switching it up by adding truffled cheese or even outright turning French onion soup into a pot pie or getting those flavors into a pastry-crusted baked Brie. We’ve included all of those recipes and more — you’ll want to bookmark this for any night that needs melty cheese. 

01 of 08

French Onion Baked Brie

French Onion Baked Brie

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Amelia Rampe

If that first spoonful of French onion soup — with toasted bread, melted cheese, and savory caramelized onions — is your favorite, then you’ll love this appetizer, which is a decadent mash-up of French onion soup and baked Brie.

02 of 08

Caramelized Onion and Bread Soup with Brûléed Blue Cheese

Caramelized Onion and Bread Soup with Bruleed Blue Cheese
Greg DuPree

In their book Wine Food, sommelier Dana Frank and recipe developer Andrea Slonecker pair funky, bright wines with flavorful, vegetable-forward dishes, including this French onion soup recipe. In this vegetarian version of classic French onion soup, blue cheese and Oloroso sherry bring new layers of flavor and depth that you'll want to make again and again. Notes of toasted nuts and fruit compote in the sherry pair well with caramelized onions, and its briny acidity cuts through the richness of the cheese.

03 of 08

French Onion Chicken Pot Pie

French Onion Chicken Pot Pie

Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

While it isn't a classic French onion soup recipe, this French onion chicken pot pie is about to be your new favorite comfort dish. Roasted and shredded chicken thighs form the base of the pie, along with the deeply caramelized onions and carrots that lend some sweet notes to the dish. 

04 of 08

French Onion-Style White Bean Soup

French-Onion-Style White Bean Soup

This soup goes back, as Gwyneth Paltrow writes in My Father's Daughter, to a French restaurant called La Serre in Los Angeles where she used to eat with her father. "I've always loved the idea of French onion soup," Gwyneth says, "without actually liking the soup itself." She cooks the onions slowly with fennel and lots of garlic, makes the soup with vegetable stock and the nontraditional addition white beans, then sets the filled bowls under the broiler topped with a slice of toasted bread and a generous handful of grated cheese. Best part? This soup can be made ahead and enjoyed in the fridge for up to three days.

05 of 08

French Onion Soup with Roasted Poblanos

French Onion Soup with Roasted Poblano
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee Montiel

At Tzuco, in Chicago, the French onion soup arrives to the table piping hot, topped with a bubbling layer of Gruyère cheese. Hiding under the blanket of cheese, a thick slice of baguette soaks up a soup suffused with flavor from a mountain of jammy onions, balsamic vinegar, and bay leaves. French onion soups can lean quite beefy, but chef Carlos Gaytán uses a gentle base of chicken broth that allows the allium flavors to truly shine. Poblano chiles add a mild, vegetal heat and slight charred flavor. To ensure even caramelization, keep the onions in an even layer while they cook.

06 of 08

French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Grilled Gruyère and Sweet Onion Sandwiches
© Yunhee Kim

Former F&W food editor Grace Parisi reinvented the classic grilled cheese sandwich with this version, which emulates the gooey, cheese-y top of a bowl of French onion soup. Give yourself time to cook the onions slowly; caramelized onions take almost an hour to achieve their sweet flavor and melty texture, but are worth the wait. 

07 of 08

Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized Five Onion Dip
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

A mix of five different alliums—shallots, scallions, and sweet, yellow, and red onions—upgrades this classic caramelized onion dip with layers of flavor. Yellow and red onions give it bite, while Vidalia onion and shallots lend a pleasant sweetness. Taking the time to cook the onions low and slow concentrates their flavor, while adding scallions halfway through cooking keeps them just fresh enough to serve with chips, toasted bread, or vegetables.

08 of 08

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

Hugue Dufour makes a pork broth for his French onion soup using bacon for smokiness and a pig's foot for richness (yum!). You can omit the pig's foot for a lighter broth; either option yields a rich and delicious soup.

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