French Onion Chicken

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If you’ve never tried a French Onion Chicken recipe before, buckle up. This is the juiciest, most flavorful chicken topped with melty gruyere cheese and smothered with caramelized onions. Think homemade french onion soup in chicken form. It’s a one pan, heavenly dinner.

scooping out a chicken breast with melted cheese on top of it

Heavenly French Onion Chicken

Well folks, I’m not sure I’ve ever loved any chicken more than I’ve loved this French Onion Chicken. It is everything you want in a dinner: savory, sweet, cheesy, made in one pan and ready in under an hour. It’s basically all the ingredients needed for a french onion soup, but turned on its side to create the most glorious chicken dish.

While the chicken cooks pretty quickly, it’s the onions you need to take your time with, caramelizing them in the pan low and slow in butter and olive oil with salt, pepper, bay leaves and thyme. They take 20 to 30 minutes to caramelize and it is certainly time well spent. The onions go from raw and sharp to tender and sweet. The magic lies in the caramelization of the onions so be sure to take your time on this step.

cooking chicken breasts in a pan

Main Ingredients Needed

You may need to visit the store to pick up a few of these ingredients, but trust me, it is *so* worth it! French Onion Chicken makes for an amazing Sunday dinner or special occasion meal that everyone will love. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter – this is used to cook the chicken and in the gravy to give it flavor and silkiness.
  • Olive Oil – used to cook the chicken. Olive oil has a higher smoking point than butter so both are used to make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly and with the most flavor possible.
  • Chicken Breasts – while I used chicken breasts for this recipe that I cut to be 1/2 inch thick, chicken thighs can be used interchangeably. Just be sure to trim them well.
  • Salt + Pepper – obvious seasonings for the chicken and this dish as a whole.
  • Yellow Onions – these are sliced thin so that they caramelize evenly. Feel free to use maui sweet onions if you want things extra sweet.
  • Thyme + Bay Leaves – two classic herbs found in french onion soup that flavor this french onion chicken just as well.
  • Marsala, Sherry or Red Wine – the jury is out on right kind of wine to use to be traditional, but I used Marsala because I had it on hand and I love the sweet notes it adds to those sweet caramelized onions.
  • Beef Broth – the classic choice for a french onion soup purist, but you can certainly substitute chicken broth in a pinch.
  • Flour – this is used to thicken the gravy.
  • Gruyere Cheese – rich, creamy, salty, and nutty; don’t skimp out on this ingredient, trust me.

How to Make French Onion Chicken

For full details on how to make French Onion Chicken, see the recipe card down below. If you click the print icon, you can print this recipe and save.

1. Cook Chicken

Place large, nonstick pan over medium heat heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken. Add to the preheated pan and brown on both sides and thoroughly cooked to 165 degrees F. Transfer browned chicken to a plate and cover with foil.

2. Caramelize Onions

To the hot pan, add other tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the pan and stir to coat in spices, butter and oil. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes or until completely soft and tender. If your onions are coloring before they are tenderizing, your heat may be too high. Reduce heat and continue cooking.

3. Make French Onion Gravy

Once onions are completely tender and browned all the way though, deglaze pan with marsala wine and cook down by half (this shouldn’t take too long.) Add in the beef broth. In a small bowl, stir butter and flour together to create a paste. Add to pan to thicken the gravy. Stir and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.

4. Return Chicken + Top with Cheese

Add in chicken and cover to warm through, about 3 minutes. Add shredded gruyere cheese to chicken and cover to melt completely, another minute or two.

top down view of french onion chicken

What to Serve with French Onion Chicken

I usually opt for either roasted veggies and/or something carby to help use up all of that delicious gravy. While I didn’t show any side dishes in the photos when detailing how to make this recipe, I wanted to include some delicious sides that would be good choices alongside a plate of French Onion Chicken:

scooping out a chicken breast with melted cheese on top of it

Storing Instructions

Store covered in the fridge for up to a week! To reheat French Onion Chicken, nuke it in the microwave or warm in the oven at 350 degrees until heated through.

Can I Freeze French Onion Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze this recipe! Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight then warm in the oven (350 degrees 15-20 minutes) until heated through.

More Saucy Chicken Recipes!

While this might be my current recipe obsession, I certainly have quite the catalogue of chicken recipes to choose from. Here’s a link to all of my other chicken recipes and here are a few saucier chicken recipes I think you’ll like:

The printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post. I truly hope you enjoy this French Onion Chicken recipe as much as we did. Oh mama, was it good. Still dreaming about it! Save, print, bookmark, pin and share this one. It’s a gem you won’t want to lose. Have a great day!

french onion chicken on a white plate

French Onion Chicken

If you've never tried a French Onion Chicken recipe before, buckle up. This is the juiciest, most flavorful chicken topped with melty gruyere cheese and smothered with caramelized onions.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts pounded or cut to be 1/2 inch thick (or less)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 whole yellow onions sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup marsala or red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth

Finishing the dish:

  • 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 4 oz gruyere cheese grated

Instructions

  • Place large, nonstick pan over medium heat heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the chicken. Add to the preheated pan and brown on both sides and thoroughly cooked to 165 degrees F. Transfer browned chicken to a plate and cover with foil.
    cooking chicken breasts in a pan
  • To the hot pan, add other tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the pan and stir to coat in spices, butter and oil. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes or until completely soft and tender. If your onions are coloring before they are tenderizing, your heat may be too high. Reduce heat and continue cooking.
    cooking onions in a pan
  • Once onions are completely tender and browned all the way though, deglaze pan with marsala wine and cook down by half (this shouldn't take too long.) Add in the beef broth. In a small bowl, stir butter and flour together to create a paste. Add to pan to thicken the gravy. Stir and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.
    caramelized onions in a sauce all in a pan
  • Add in chicken and cover to warm through, about 3 minutes. Add shredded gruyere cheese to chicken and cover to melt completely, another minute or two.
    topping chicken with shredded gruyere cheese
  • Top chicken with dried parsley and cracked black pepper, if desired and serve hot.
    top down view of french onion chicken

Nutrition

Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 527mg | Potassium: 510mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 592IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 304mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Keyword: french onion chicken

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