French onion chicken — it’s all the happiness of French onion soup without the hassle and long hours. Plus chicken, chicken always helps kids eat dinner.

a photo of a plate of french onion chicken topped with melted gruyere cheese with a side of asparagus.

I have been waiting all year to try a little recipe testing based off of our French Onion Soup recipe. We absolutely fell in love with that famous soup last year which was a long time coming as no previous recipe had ever made me so happy. After realizing that I was still thinking about the soup over a week after eating it Cade said, well turn it into something new. 


And so here we are, french onion chicken! Literally our same recipe in a smaller portion with chicken. I like to just serve it on a plate or over mashed potatoes with veggies but you could do anything! 

a photo of all the ingredients for french onion chicken in separate bowls and containers with the raw chicken cut into the bite size cubes sitting on a white plate.

Ingredients for French Onion Chicken

The ingredients list for this recipe is short and totally doable! In fact, most of these ingredients will be items that you already have at home. Here is what you will need:

For the Onions

  • Butter – you can also use olive oil if you prefer
  • Yellow Onion – yellow onions are not too sweet and caramelize beautifully
  • Water – helps cook and soften the onions
  • Brown Sugar – used for caramelization
  • Garlic – flavor baby!
  • Fresh Thyme – I love the pop of fresh herbs in caramelized onions!

For the Dish

  • Chicken Breasts – you could use thighs or tenders, but we love chicken breasts the best
  • Flour – helps create a golden sear on the chicken pieces
  • Olive Oil – used to sear the chicken, adds incredible flavor
  • Beef Broth – base of the sauce for simmering the chicken
  • Chicken Broth – the other half of the base for simmering the chicken
  • Worcestershire Sauce – flavor, richness
  • Bay Leaf – flavor, will be discarded after simmering
  • Gruyere Cheese – melts so well and is so creamy, the flavor pairs amazingly with the caramelized onions
  • Parmesan Cheese – I never say no to more cheese!

The measurements of each ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.


a photo of chunks of tender chicken simmering in a cast iron skillet with a pair of metal tongs turning a piece of chicken.

How to Make French Onion Chicken

The process is simple and the end product is outrageous! Here are the steps for this kid friendly chicken dinner:

  1. You start by caramelizing the onions. See section below for how to caramelize onions. Remove the onions from the skillet to a plate to use later.
  2. Add the chicken pieces, salt, pepper and flour to a large bowl and toss them to coat.
    • PRO TIP: The sauce to chicken ratio is perfect in this recipe, so if you want to add more chicken, be sure to make more sauce!
  3. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken in batches. Cook them until they are golden on all sides.
  4. Add the broths, Worcestershire, bay leaf and caramelized onions to the skillet with the chicken. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  5. When the broth has reduced slightly and the chicken is cooked through, add the gruyere cheese all over the chicken and add a lid for a few minutes until the cheese has melted.
  6. Remove from the stove and top with parmesan and parsley. Serve!

These instructions in full detail can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post. You can also save or print the recipe from there.

a photo of tender chunks of chicken resting in a thick golden sauce with caramelized onions and melted gruyere cheese topped with fresh parsley

How to Eat French Onion Chicken

This chicken can stand alone as a main dish with a side of veggies, but it is also great over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. The sauce becomes a sort of caramelized onion gravy that is so good over some sort of carb!

How to Caramelize Onions

I like to use a cast iron skillet for caramelizing onions. I start by melting the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Then add the onions with a pinch or two of salt. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for about 5 minutes.

Then add the brown sugar and water. This is where the caramelization will really start to happen. Stir the onions occasionally but the process will really start to happen on its own. Allow the onions to cook until a deep golden color. It will take a good 20-25 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until you can start to smell them (yum!!). Then the onions are done and you can remove them to a plate for later.

a close up photo of french onion chicken with golden pieces of chicken covered in caramlized onions and melted gruyere cheese.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

I could go on forever about the reasons you will love this easy chicken recipe, but let me just toss out a few:

  • It’s total comfort food and flavors.
  • Only one skillet gets dirty. Easy cleanup!
  • It’s chicken. The kids might actually eat it!
  • That caramelized onion sauce is divine! I’m such a sauce lover!
  • Gruyere!! Why is that cheese so dang good?

Substitutes for Gruyere Cheese

People use different types of cheese with French onion soup. Other popular cheeses are provolone, swiss, or mozzerella. Gruyere is just our favorite for this recipe.


a photo of a cast iron skillet full of french onion chicken

Oh French onion soup, I love you! Now I love you with chunks of tender chicken added too! French onion chicken is a must-add to your list of chicken dinner ideas.


If you love this chicken dinner recipe, you should also try…

One Skillet French Onion Chicken

4.20 from 5 votes
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


For the Onions

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, olive oil is fine
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme Leaves

For the Dish

  • 2 Pounds Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cut in 1" pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Beef Broth
  • 3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese, grated


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the butter. Add onions and season with a little salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized, about 25 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Turn off heat and remove onion mixture to a plate. Wipe skillet clean.
  • In a large bowl, season the chicken with salt, pepper and flour, tossing to coat. Heat oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches and cook until golden on all sides and almost completely cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  • Add beef broth, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf and return caramelized onions to the skillet. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and beef broth reduces slightly, about 10 more minutes.
  • Add Gruyère cheese all over the meal and cover skillet with a lid to trap in the heat. Cook until cheese is melty, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and garnish with parmesan and parsley before serving.


Serving: 1CupCalories: 520kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 60gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 197mgSodium: 790mgPotassium: 1009mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 618IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 384mgIron: 2mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Mom's Best 100 Easy Chicken Recipes

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a photo of tender chunks of chicken resting in a thick golden sauce with caramelized onions and melted gruyere cheese topped with fresh parsley