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Savory, cheesy, and oh-so-tender… this cheesy French onion chicken recipe combines all the rich flavor of French onion soup and turns it into a comfort food chicken meal for all to love! Learn how to make French onion baked chicken (with the best caramelized onions and no canned or boxed mixes needed), in just 30 minutes.
What Is French Onion Chicken?
Baked French onion chicken re-creates all the rich, caramelized flavors of French onion soup in a complete main dish. Caramelized onions create a golden brown sauce that coats tender chicken, and it all gets topped with gooey cheese.
Why You’ll Love This French Onion Chicken Recipe
- Rich French onion flavor
- Juicy, tender chicken breasts with melty cheese
- 5 minutes prep, 30 minutes total
- Naturally gluten-free and low carb (no all purpose flour, condensed soups, or French fried onions!)
- Easy chicken dish for weeknights or get-togethers!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for French onion soup chicken, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – You can also make oven baked French onion chicken thighs if you prefer, but cook times will vary.
- Olive Oil – For searing. I used extra virgin olive oil here, but use whatever neutral cooking oil you like.
- Butter – For caramelizing onions and creating a mouthwatering onion gravy. Choose an unsalted variety.
- Onion – While I selected a white onion for this easy French onion chicken skillet, a yellow onion or sweet onion would work nicely as well. You can use 3 small onions, 2 medium ones, or 1 1/2 large ones.
- Fresh Thyme – Adds aroma and flavor to the sauce. Poultry seasoning would also make an excellent substitute.
- White Wine – Use your favorite white variety, or substitute with added chicken broth if you prefer.
- Chicken Broth – I used a reduced sodium broth, as the cheese is a bit salty, but use your favorite brand (or make homemade chicken bone broth). Beef broth is also delicious here!
- Cheeses – A blend of Swiss cheese and parmesan. You can swap with a slice of provolone for each chicken breast, or use other varieties like gruyere cheese or mozzarella cheese.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – For easy seasoning.
VARIATION: Add garlic!
You can add 2-3 cloves of minced garlic toward the end of the caramelized onion cooking time.
How To Make French Onion Chicken
This section shows how to make French onion chicken baked, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Season. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Sear. Heat oil in an oven-safe skillet on medium high heat. Sear the chicken on both sides, until golden. Remove and cover to keep warm.
- Caramelize. Reduce heat and add sliced onions and butter. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally. Add thyme and continue cooking until caramelized. Reduce heat to low if onions start to brown too quickly.
- Simmer. Add wine and stock, stir, and bring to a simmer.
- Add chicken. Return the chicken to the skillet, flip to coat in the caramelized onion mixture, and turn off the heat.
- Add cheese. Place the cheeses on top of the chicken. (This works best if you place the Swiss slices first, then sprinkle the Parmesan on top.
- Bake. Cook French onion chicken in the oven, until the cheeses are melted and browned.
Cooking Method Variations
- Crock Pot French Onion Chicken – Omit butter and oil. Add onions to the bottom of the slow cooker, followed by wine, broth, and thyme. Season chicken breasts and place on top of onions. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for up to 6 hours. Add cheeses to the top of the chicken and cover until cheese melted.
- Instant Pot French Onion Chicken – Heat pot in Saute mode. Add oil and sear chicken using the inner pot, working in batches if needed, and set aside. Caramelize onions, adding a splash of the wine as needed to deglaze the pan. Nestle chicken into the onions, getting as much of them over the top of the meat as possible. Add broth and close the lid. Set to High pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Do a quick release. Place pot in saute mode to reduce moisture and thicken sauce, if desired. Top with cheese and close the lid to melt.
- Store: Cover the French onion skillet chicken tightly and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Meal prep: Slice onions and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook. You can also cook the entire dish ahead of time, or just caramelize the onions ahead.
- Reheat: Warm chicken in a 325 degree oven or microwave at low power until heated through.
- Freeze: Cover tightly and freeze in an airtight container for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight before reheating.
What To Serve With A French Onion Chicken Bake
It’s easy to turn this chicken into a complete dinner! Try serving it with these sides:
- Simple Salads – A grated carrot salad, strawberry spinach salad, or cold roast vegetable salad would pair nicely with this dish.
- Potatoes – Plate this meal with traditional mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes. For lighter options, try it with mashed cauliflower (shown in the photo above!), roasted rutabaga, or pan fried radishes.
- Roasted Vegetables – Oven roasted green beans, roasted zucchini, or roasted brussels sprouts would taste great with this chicken!
More Healthy Baked Chicken Recipes
These easy, elegant chicken dishes come together quick with a little help from your oven.
- Large Skillet – Safely travels from the stovetop to the oven.
- Casserole Dish – If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can use this pretty pan in the oven instead.
French Onion Chicken Recipe
French Onion Chicken (Easy 30-Minute Meal!)
French onion baked chicken is loaded with caramelized onions and melty cheese. Make this French onion chicken recipe in just 30 minutes!
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Decrease heat to medium. Add the butter and onions. Stir and let the butter melt. Decrease heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and stir in the thyme. Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until the onions are caramelized.
Pour in the wine and broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Stir and increase heat to bring to a simmer.
Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat in the juices. Remove the pan from heat.
Place the cheeses on top of the chicken. Transfer to the oven and bake French onion chicken for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
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Serving size: 1 chicken breast with onions and sauce
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Made this last night! Forgot to take a pic because we couldn’t wait to dig in! Easy to make ! Served with cauliflower rice and roasted cauliflower and broccoli.
Truly felt like eating French Onion yumminess 😋
Can use something other than wine?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Barbara, The alcohol cooks away so there is no alcohol content in the dish, but if you’re still concerned about it, you could use additional broth instead.
Made this tonight. Took much longer than 30 minutes but the chicken breasts that I have are huge. It was very yummy, though!
This recipe was fantastic…easy and DELICIOUS!!!! You are now my go to for recipes!
This recipe is wonderful. If you like French Onion Soup – or anything closely related this is a go-to. I chose to add the garlic (optional). It might replace one of my family’s “gold standards” . Just YUM! It says 30 Mins, there’s some back and forth and shift in cooking ( from Stove to Oven ) that makes it a little clumsy for max-efficiency – next time I’ll just do a little more prep& I’m sure it’ll hit 30 mins or less. Either way – it’s very worth it.
This recipe is amazing! It was quick and easy. I used the ovenproof pan method. The flavor was impressive! So robust and rich, without tasting greasy. We love French onion soup, and this recipe will become one of our favorites! Truly a restaurant quality dish. Thanks, Maya!!
I really want to make this, but I don’t see how an 8 ounce chicken breast will be fully cooked between the brief browning and the finishing in the oven. Did I miss something?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Penny, The chicken was cooked through after searing for 2-3 minutes per side (5-6 minutes total) and finishing in the oven for 10 minutes. But if you need to, you can always bake it for longer.
Yall, This chicken is so good! Just when you think you have run out of good and new chicken recipes, here comes another great one! Thanks for posting!
My kids loved this!! The swiss cheese added such a yummy touch!
How amazing and simple is this recipe! thank you so much for sharing this dish!