The Best French Onion Soup Ever – easy and delicious french onion soup with a cheesy crouton on top – just like your favorite restaurant, but a million times better for a family-pleasing classic!
This recipe for french onion soup is one of my all-time favorite comfort food soups.
There is something about French Onion Soup that makes me smile – it is rich, buttery, and a tiny bit sweet – all topped with melty gooey cheese and a slightly crunchy piece of bread.
It’s rich, salty, full of sweet and salty onion flavor – and the cheese and bread on top are heavenly.
I never really put in the time making French Onion Soup at home – I made Alton Brown’s recipe once in college and remembered I really liked it, but when I went back to make it again recently I didn’t have all the ingredients he called for – so I decided to make some tweaks and come up with my own spin off his Good Eats classic.
I was really inspired by a recent trip we took over Christmas to Western Germany, which included a day trip to Strasbourg France.
Strasbourg is such a lovely city full of both German and French architecture (thanks in part to the tumultuous history of the Alsace region, as it was controlled by France and Germany in the past) – and while Strasbourg gives those visiting France some delicious German offerings, we’d been dining on schnitzel and spaetzle for a week already, and went straight for the French food during our visit, including having some delicious onion soup!
To see more about Strasbourg, please check out my post full of pictures – A Christmas Day Trip to Strasbourg France.
You can also find one of my favorite Alsatian inspired recipes – Alsace Choucroute Garnie (Braised Pork Meat Pot) here!
I was dying to recreate some of our meal at home – and I knew French Onion Soup would be a great dish to start off with.
This soup is so easy to make – and so delicious!
It is bursting with flavor, and requires very little skill (just a bit of patience!).
This French Onion Soup is perfect for dinner parties or romantic evenings since you can make most of it ahead of time, and simply pop it into the oven to broil the cheese when you’re ready to eat!
Just Take Me To The Best French Onion Soup Recipe Ever Already!
If you’d like to skip my helpful tips and tricks to making the best ever french onion soup – including how to freeze french onion soup and how to make french onion soup ahead of a party for easy party prep, please scroll all the way to the bottom where you will find the easy printable recipe for the best french onion soup ever!
How to Freeze French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup isn’t just my favorite because it’s easy and so delicious – it’s also pretty easy to make a huge batch and freeze for later!
To freeze French Onion Soup, follow these tips:
- Make soup as directed until bread and cheese additions.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Portion soup into servings you’d like to serve later (ie: if you’re making this soup for one, you might want to portion out single serving sizes – if you will be making this for a dinner party, you can just keep the soup all together.)
- Ladle portioned soup into ziploc freezer bags.
- Lay bags flat on a baking sheet and place in freezer until set – about 4-5 hours.
- One soup bags are set (so they have a long, thin shape instead of a big ball, which will thaw unevenly), you can move them off the baking sheet and around the freezer wherever you have room.
- To reheat, let soup thaw fully in refrigerator OR place frozen soup in a large pot with 2-3 cups beef stock and bring to a slow boil.
- Have a couple cups of stock on hand just in case you need to thin the soup a bit – I tend to lose some liquid when freezing and reheating so adding some liquid back helps a lot!
- Continue with steps below to add crouton and cheese and serve.
Make Ahead French Onion Soup
French onion soup is a perfect dinner party dish – because you can do most of the work ahead of time, so when your guests arrive, you’re ready for a delicious, hearty, and amazing dish that everyone will leave raving about. (And wonder how you were able to pull off so effortlessly!)
To prep your french onion soup ahead of time, follow my easy tips below:
- Make soup as directed below, but do not add bread or cheese.
- Soup can be frozen at this point (without bread and cheese) and reheated for later – or stored in a refrigerator in a sealed container.
- The day of the party, arrange oven safe bowls of soup on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator.
- Cut circles out of a hearty french bread or other bread you love that will roughly match the shape of the soup bowl you’re using.
- Lightly brown the bread in the oven until crunchy.
- Shred cheese and have it easily accessible for the party.
- When guests arrive (or just before) remove plastic wrap from soup bowls and pop into oven to warm.
- When soup is warm, but not hot, add bread to tops and top the bread with cheese.
- When guests sit to dinner table, soup will be piping hot and the cheese will be melted and bubbling.
- Serve and enjoy!
To Make The Best French Onion Soup Ever Recipe, You’ll Need:
While an electric skillet isn’t necessary (you could use a big pan to slowly caramelize the onions and then transfer it to a large pot), but the electric skillet does make it much easier – and I bought a fantastic skillet that is under $30 shipped on Amazon.
I based a lot of this recipe off Alton Brown’s classic onion soup recipe, but changed it up since I don’t always have all his ingredients on hand. I LOVE his suggestion of using the electric skillet for this though – it really does help slowly cook the onions without burning them.
The Best French Onion Soup Ever
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To watch this recipe being made, please watch the video below :
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 onions large yellow, sliced into half-moons
- 1/2 cup red wine or 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 tsp celtic sea salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
- 12 oz beef broth
- 2 cups gruyere cheese shredded
- 4 slices of thick slightly stale bread
Add butter into skillet and melt on medium heat.
Slowly add in onions, separating them into single slices.
Add wine or cider and let reduce on low, without stirring.
When onions have reduced in size by half and begin to slightly brown, add spices and stir.
Let reduce further, until dark brown (not burned).
When onions are deep brown (about 1 hour later), add in stock.
Let cook on low for another 30 minutes- do not let boil.
Preheat oven to broil on high.
Scoop soup into ramekins or oven ready crocks and top with bread and shredded cheese.
Add into oven and broil until cheese is browned and bubbly.
Remove from oven and top with cilantro, green onions, or red pepper flakes, if desired.