This French Onion Soup Recipe (Instant Pot) is made with shallots, yellows onions, vegetable broth and lots of cheese!
Ahhh its time for the fall! Who is ready for a cozy bowl of French onion soup? This dish is made with caramelized onions, broth and topped with bread and cheese. What is not to love about that?
This Instant Pot French Onion Soup will satisfy your fall cravings. Use Vidalia onions or yellow onions as they both work perfectly. You do not need to add the bread and cheese, but what’s the fun in eating JUST onion soup.
- What is French Onion Soup?
- Why you should make French Onion soup in the Instant Pot
- French Onion Soup Ingredients
- How to make this French Onion Soup Recipe
- French Onion Soup Recipe Variations
- Equipment Needed
- How to store French Onion Soup
- French Onion Soup Instant Pot Recipe Top tips
- French Onion Soup Recipe (Instant Pot)
What is French Onion Soup?
French onion soup is a classic soup made from caramelized onions and beef broth, topped with a toasted bread slice and melted cheese. It is believed to have originated in France in the 18th century, where it was a popular dish among French peasants. Today, it is a beloved soup around the world and is commonly found on the menus of French bistros and restaurants. The soup has a rich and savory flavor that comes from the slow-cooked caramelized onions, and the bread and cheese topping provides a delicious crunch and gooey texture.
Why you should make French Onion soup in the Instant Pot
There are several reasons why making French Onion soup in an Instant Pot can be a great idea:
- Time-saving: Making French Onion soup traditionally on the stove-top can be a time-consuming process, requiring several hours of cooking time. However, with an Instant Pot, you can significantly reduce the cooking time and have a delicious soup ready in just about an hour.
- Flavorful broth: One of the key components of a good French Onion soup is a flavorful broth. The high pressure cooking in the Instant Pot can help to extract more flavor from the onions, giving you a rich and tasty broth.
- No need to constantly monitor: When making French Onion soup on the stove-top, you need to constantly stir and check the onions to make sure they don't burn. However, with an Instant Pot, you can simply set the cooking time and let it do the work for you, without the need for constant monitoring.
- Convenient and easy to use: Instant Pots are very user-friendly, making them a great option for home cooks of all levels. They also come with several safety features that make them safe to use in the kitchen.
French Onion Soup Ingredients
- Salted butter
- Yellow onions
- Light brown sugar
- Fresh thyme
- Bay leaves
- Red wine
- Vegetable broth
- Worcestershire sauce
- Gruyere cheese
- Salt and pepper
- French bread
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make this French Onion Soup Recipe
In the pressure cooker, add the butter, onion, shallots and sugar and stir. Pressure cook for 20 minutes. Release the pressure and open the pressure cooker.
Press the sauté functions and add the flour, thyme, rosemary and cook until thicker, around 3 minutes. Add the broth, optional wine, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Lock lid and pressure cook for another 6 minutes. Release the pressure and open. Remove the rosemary leaves, thyme leaves, and bay leaves. Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the broiler and divide the soup into 4 oven safe bowls. Add a slice of bread into each bowl of soup and sprinkle the cheese into each bowl.
Broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
Butter: I love using salted butter although you can use unsalted butter and adjust the salt yourself.
Onion: It is essential to use yellow or vidalia onions for this recipe.
Shallots: You can use only yellow or vidalia onions and skip the shallots, but I like a little variety.
Sugar: I love using light brown sugar, although you can use granulated, honey or maple syrup on 1 to 1 ratio.
Thyme: Thyme is always a great garnish with a dish has some sweet flavors to it.
Flour: I used all purpose flour for this recipe. If you prefer a keto version of this soup, skip the bread and use almond flour instead.
Red Wine: You can skip using the wine altogether and use just broth, but the red wine gives it such a good flavor.
Vegetable broth: Traditionally, french onion soup is made with beef broth but I wanted to make a vegetarian version so I made it with vegetable broth. It was so good!
Worcestershire: You can use this sauce or substitute with a little bit of soy sauce. Both will give it a nice savory flavor.
Cheese: French onion soup traditionally uses gruyere cheese, but you can use any cheese that melts easily and is neutral tasting, like mozzarella.
French Onion Soup Recipe Variations
French Onion soup is a classic dish that has been enjoyed for generations. While the basic recipe for French Onion soup is delicious on its own, there are several variations that can take this soup to the next level.
- Add Red Wine: Instead of using water or beef broth as the base for your soup, you can use red wine for a deeper and richer flavor.
- Use Different Cheese: While Gruyere cheese is traditionally used in French Onion soup, you can also use other types of cheese such as Swiss, Parmesan, or even blue cheese.
- Add Caramelized Apples: For a unique twist, you can add caramelized apples to your French Onion soup. This can add a touch of sweetness to balance out the savory flavors.
- Use Different Onions: While yellow onions are the most commonly used onion for French Onion soup, you can also try using red onions or shallots for a slightly different flavor profile.
- Add Bacon: Adding some crispy bacon to your French Onion soup can add a smoky flavor and a crunchy texture.
- Use Beef Bone Broth: Instead of using regular beef broth, you can use beef bone broth for a more nutritious and flavorful soup.
Check out my Chicken Curry Udon Soup.
To make French Onion soup in an Instant Pot, you'll need the following equipment:
- Instant Pot: You'll need an Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cooker to make this recipe.
- Cutting Board: You'll need a cutting board to chop the onions and slice the bread.
- Chef's Knife: A good chef's knife is essential for chopping the onions and slicing the bread.
- Ladle: You'll need a ladle to transfer the soup from the Instant Pot to serving bowls.
- Oven-Safe Bowls: To serve the French Onion soup, you'll need oven-safe bowls. You can use individual ramekins or a larger oven-safe bowl to serve the soup.
- Oven or Broiler: After the soup is cooked in the Instant Pot, you'll need to broil the cheese on top of the bread. You'll need an oven or broiler for this step.
- Oven Mitts: To handle the hot bowls and to remove them from the oven or broiler, you'll need a good pair of oven mitts.
These are the basic equipment you'll need to make French Onion soup in an Instant Pot. Make sure to read the recipe carefully before starting to ensure you have all the necessary equipment on hand.
How to store French Onion Soup
If you have any leftover French Onion soup, you can store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To store the soup, let it cool down to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container. Make sure the container is fully sealed to prevent any odors from permeating the soup.
When reheating the soup, you can do so on the stovetop or in the microwave. If the soup has thickened or become too gelatinous, you can add some water or broth to thin it out. It's important to note that the cheese and bread topping will become soggy when stored in the fridge. To avoid this, you can remove the bread and cheese topping before storing the soup and add fresh bread and cheese when reheating.
If you want to freeze French Onion soup, you can do so for up to 3 months. Let the soup cool down to room temperature and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag. Make sure to label the container with the date so you know when it was frozen.
To reheat the frozen soup, you can thaw it overnight in the fridge and then reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Again, it's best to add fresh bread and cheese topping when reheating to avoid the topping from becoming soggy.
French Onion Soup Instant Pot Recipe Top tips
If you're planning to make French Onion soup in an Instant Pot, here are some top tips to help you get the best results:
- Use a mix of onions: To add depth of flavor to your soup, try using a mix of onions such as yellow onions, red onions, and shallots.
- Caramelize the onions well: Caramelizing the onions is the key to achieving a rich and flavorful broth. Make sure to cook the onions until they're deeply browned, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Deglaze the pot: After caramelizing the onions, deglaze the pot with a splash of red wine or beef broth. This will help to release any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, adding more flavor to the soup.
- Use a high-quality broth: A high-quality beef broth or beef bone broth can make a big difference in the flavor of your soup. If you have the time, try making your own broth from scratch.
- Toast the bread: To add extra crunch and texture to your French Onion soup, toast the bread slices before placing them on top of the soup. You can do this in the oven or on a stovetop griddle.
- Use oven-safe bowls: Make sure to use oven-safe bowls that can withstand high heat when broiling the cheese topping. Ceramic or porcelain bowls are a good choice.
- Use a flavorful cheese: Gruyere cheese is the traditional cheese used in French Onion soup, but you can also use other flavorful cheeses such as Swiss, Parmesan, or even blue cheese.