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Classic French Onion Soup is so incredibly flavorful and easy to make! Delicious caramelized onions swimming in a savory broth are topped with Gruyère cheese, a toasted slice of French bread, and fresh thyme. The best comfort food that you’ll make again and again!

Top view of a small bowl of French onion soup topped with cheesy toast over the soup.
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This homemade French Onion Soup is so amazing, and it’s especially perfect for dinner when it gets chilly! Onions are slowly caramelized until soft, sweet and golden. Your house will smell like a French restaurant! Then, they are simmered with beef broth and Worcestershire sauce until savory and so tasty. Finish this dish with a toasted slice of French baguette and plenty of shredded Gruyère cheese. You’ve got a combination of soupy, crispy, and cheesy deliciousness… we cannot get enough!

Reasons to love this recipe

  • Warm & comforting: Tasty bubbling hot broth with melty cheese and rich caramelized onion flavor could not be more delicious. This meal is warm, cozy, and one of our all-time favorite soups.
  • Easy weeknight dinner: This recipe is super easy to prepare. The only thing you need is a little bit of patience to let the onions caramelize and the soup to simmer. Plus, everything cooks in one pot, making cleanup so quick!
  • It’s versatile: French onion soup is great served as a starter before a steak dinner, or serve it as a main dish either alone or with a side salad. Either way, it’s pure comfort in a bowl, with a wonderful broth and caramelized onions simmered together for an unforgettable flavor.
Spoon in a bowl of soup with onions and a toasted baguette.

What is French onion soup made of?

The traditional ingredients in French onion soup are caramelized onions, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Gruyère cheese, and either toasted cheesy bread or simple croutons. It is often topped with fresh herbs like thyme.

Ingredients you will need

This easy French onion soup recipe only requires a short list of ingredients. Everything comes together to make culinary magic. You’ve got the onion-forward broth combined with melted Gruyère and toasted bread for the ultimate soup experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Yellow onions: Use yellow onions to add the perfect sweetness to the soup.
  • Olive oil: For cooking the onions.
  • Beef broth: Use a good-quality beef broth or stock. We like to use low-sodium broth to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Flavors of vinegar, garlic, chiles, molasses and more provide the soup with all of the seasoning it needs and brings out a wonderful umami taste.
  • Kosher salt and pepper: To intensify and enhance all of the flavors in the soup.
  • French baguette: Toasted until golden and dunked in the soup to soak up all of the incredible broth.
  • Gruyère cheese: The only cheese to use when making French onion soup! It’s slightly nutty, salty and melts perfectly. Aside from the toasted slice of bread, it’s an essential ingredient of this soup recipe.
  • Fresh herbs: For the best flavor, use about 2 to 5 fresh sprigs of thyme, not dried thyme.
Baguette on a counter with onions, broth, thyme and grated cheese.

How to make french onion soup

  1. Caramelize onions: Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until golden and caramelized.
  1. Simmer: Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Toast the bread: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange the baguette slices on the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  3. Enjoy! Serve the soup with a cheesy baguette toast and garnish with fresh thyme.

Expert tips

  • Lots of onions: This recipe uses so much onion! It may seem like too many in the pan, but when they cook low and slow, they downsize tremendously. Be sure to slice them into thin half-moon shapes.
  • Type of cheese: Gruyère cheese is authentic to French onion soup. However, if you can’t find gruyere cheese, you can get away with using a good Swiss cheese or provolone cheese… just make sure it’s not pre-shredded.
  • Freshly grated: For maximum melting, freshly grate your cheese from a block. We do not recommend pre-packaged shredded cheese because it contains preservatives and anti-caking agents, and does not melt as well as freshly grated cheese.
  • Extra cheesiness: Once you’ve add the cheesy baguette on top of the soup, you can also add a little extra shredded cheese to the top of the soup.

what cheese goes on french onion soup

Gruyere is the most common type of cheese used in making French onion soup. But other types of cheese could also be used like Swiss cheese, provolone cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. Feel free to experiment and see what works best for you.

Frequently asked questions

Is French onion soup healthy?

French onion soup is a flavorful and comforting dish that can be made healthier than what you normally get at restaurants. but its healthiness can depend on the specific recipe and ingredients used. Consider using low sodium broth, whole grain bread, and either use a low fat cheese or a smaller amount of cheese. This will reduce the amount of sodium and calories. Moderation is key. Also, onions provide some health benefits like fiber and antioxidants.

What if my onions start to burn?

It’s important to cook the onions over medium heat and stir them occasionally, checking on them every 5-10 minutes until they have completely caramelized and turned golden brown. If the onions appear to be getting too dark or sticking too much to the bottom of the pan, then simply reduce the heat a bit. You can also add a teaspoon or two of water.

Can I make French onion soup ahead of time?

Yes! To get a head start on dinner, make just the soup. Cool completely, and store in an airtight container in the fridge or the pot with a lid. It will stay good for 3-5 days. You can also go ahead and shred the cheese toast the bread, and store each separately. When you’re ready to reheat, place the pot back on the stove and bring to a boil. Prepare the soup as directed.

Storage recommendations

  • Storing leftovers: Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days without the baguette on top. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, and then top with the cheesy baguette as instructed.
  • To freeze: Let the soup cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container or bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw the soup in the fridge overnight, and then reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Top with a cheesy baguette and serve!
Closeup of French onion soup served with a cheesy toasted bread slice on top.

What to serve with french onion soup

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5 from 1 vote

French Onion Soup

By: Rena
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
top view of a small bowl of french onion soup topped with cheesy toast over the soup
Classic French Onion Soup is so incredibly flavorful and easy to make! Delicious caramelized onions swimming in a savory broth are topped with Gruyère cheese, a toasted slice of French bread and fresh thyme. The best comfort food that you’ll make again and again!

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb yellow onions, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 French baguette, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and caramelized.
  • Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange the baguette slices on the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  • Serve the soup with a cheesy baguette toast and garnish with fresh thyme.

Notes

  • Storing leftovers: Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days without the baguette on top. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, and then top it with the cheesy baguette as instructed.
  • To freeze: Let the soup cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container or bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw the soup in the fridge overnight, and then reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Top with a cheesy baguette and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 17gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 1276mgPotassium: 844mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 230IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 313mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
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