Chicken Onion Soup is a savory dish that is made with sweet caramelized onions, and tender chicken breasts cooked in a flavorful onion sauce then topped with melty cheese for the best combination of classic French onion soup and chicken ever.
This French onion soup lover's recipe is an easy dinner recipe that uses only 7 ingredients and can be on your table in an hour.
Why This Recipe Works
Here is What You Will Need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down to see ingredient notes and substitutions as well as a printable recipe card with exact measurements and complete cooking instructions.
Here Is How to Make Chicken Onion Soup
Prepare the Ingredients: Slice the onions, measure the oil, broth, wine, and shred the cheese.
Step 1. Melt the Oil
Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter melts and the oil is hot, add the onion slices and reduce the heat to medium heat.
Step 2. Cook the Onions
Cook the onions in the skillet over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes without disturbing them while keeping an eye on them to ensure they aren't burning.
Once the onions begin to turn golden brown flip them around in the pan and let them cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Step 3. Add the Chicken
Once the onions are golden brown all around, move them to the edge of the pan and add the chicken breasts. Cook the chicken until it is brown on each side (about 2 to 3 minutes per side).
Step 4. Add the Wine
Reduce the heat to low and add the white wine and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes longer until the wine reduces by half.
Step 5. Add the broth
Stir in the broth and fresh thyme; cover simmer on low for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees f)
Step 6. Add the cheese
Cover the chicken breasts with cheese and place the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
Total Estimated Time to Make this Recipe: 50 to 60 Minutes
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Olive Oil & Butter. Butter adds a nice flavor to the onions but it can burn. Using half olive oil and half butter will help to prevent the onions from burning. If you prefer, you can use all butter or all olive oil.
Note: If you use all butter, keep a close eye on the skillet to prevent the onions from burning.
Fresh Thyme Leaves. Substitute fresh thyme with ½ teaspoon dried thyme.
Boneless Chicken Breasts. Can be substituted with boneless chicken thighs.
Broth. Since this is a chicken recipe, I use chicken broth even though traditional French onion soup is made with beef broth. You can substitute the chicken broth with an equal amount of beef broth for a rich flavor.
Swiss Cheese. We like the flavor of Swiss cheese in this recipe. There are many different kinds of cheese that you can use in this recipe such as mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese or gruyere cheese are good options too.
White Wine. The best wine to use in cooking is a white wine that is crisp and not sweet such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. The wine can also be omitted and substituted with ½ cup more broth.
Onions. The best onions to use in this recipe are yellow onions or Vidalia onions for their sweet flavor.
Chicken onion soup is the perfect candidate to make ahead for meal prepping. Here are a few suggestions:
Caramelize the onions ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.
When it's time to serve the chicken, follow the recipe instructions starting with browning the chicken breasts with the onions.
This recipe can also be prepared almost completely, up to adding the cheese. Once prepped chicken onion soup is cooled off, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To serve, heat the chicken in a loosely covered skillet over low heat on top of the stove. Once the chicken is heated through, add the cheese and pop the skillet under the broiler to melt the cheese.
Storing and Using Leftovers
Store leftover onion soup chicken in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Reheat it on top of the stove over low heat in a covered skillet, in the oven at 350 degrees, or in the microwave.
Leftover suggestions: Chop the leftover chicken up and toss it with brown rice and peas, serve it on a crusty hard roll for a sandwich, add more broth and turn it into soup, or serve it warmed over a bed of arugula or spinach.
If the onions begin to burn, stir in a little bit of water to the pan a teaspoon at a time.
French Onion Pork. Replace the boneless chicken with boneless pork chops or sliced pork tenderloin and the chicken broth with beef broth.
French Onion Chicken & Mushrooms. Add 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms while the chicken and onions are simmering.
Nonalcohol French Onion Chicken. Replace the white wine with ½ cup of broth. Note that broth will not cook down like the wine does.
Flavor enhancers - try adding a dash of red pepper flakes to taste or a splash of balsamic vinegar or tamari sauce at end of cooking for a more rich flavor.
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- Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium to high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions.
- Cook the onions without disturbing for 5 to 8 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown on the bottom.
- Flip the onions over and cook them for a few minutes longer until they turn golden brown on all sides.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook them for 3 minutes on each side.
- Stir in the white wine, reduce the heat to low and cook until the wine reduces by half.
- Add the remaining broth and simmer for at least 15 minutes longer.
- Top the chicken pieces with shredded cheese and pop the pan under the broiler to cover the skillet to melt the cheese.
- use ½ teaspoon of dried thyme in place of fresh thyme
- one pound of boneless chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts,
- Serving Suggestions:
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used