One Pot French Onion Pasta

Embrace the rich flavors of French onion soup in a convenient and comforting one pot French onion pasta dish. Perfect for busy weeknights or casual gatherings, this recipe offers an effortless approach to a timeless culinary experience.

How to Make One Pot French Onion Soup

Inspired by classic French Onion Soup, this one pot French onion pasta recipe kicks off with caramelized onions. Though achieving that rich golden hue may demand some patience, the incredible savory sweetness it imparts to the pasta renders every moment worthwhile.

Here’s a brief overview of the steps involved in making French onion soup:

  1. Caramelize the Onions: Sauté thinly sliced onions in a large pot with butter or olive oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, until deeply caramelized and golden brown. Patience is key here, as slow cooking allows the onions to release their natural sweetness and develop a rich, complex flavor profile.
  2. Deglaze and Build the Broth: Once the onions are caramelized, deglaze the pan with white wine or a splash of broth to scrape up any browned bits. This enhances the flavor with both depth and complexity. Add beef broth, herbs, and seasonings to create a flavorful base for the soup.
  3. Simmer and Serve: Bring the broth to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Traditionally, French onion soup is topped with toasted bread and melted cheese, creating a delightful textural and flavor contrast.

Tips for Making One Pot French Onion Pasta

  • Use the Right Onions: Yellow onions are the most commonly used variety for French onion soup and pasta due to their sweetness and ability to caramelize beautifully. However, you can also experiment with other varieties like sweet Vidalia onions or shallots for a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Don’t Rush the Caramelization: Allow the onions ample time to caramelize slowly. This crucial step develops the rich, deep flavor that forms the foundation of the dish. Rushing the process can result in undercooked onions with a harsh flavor.
  • Deglaze for Extra Flavor: Deglazing the pan with wine or broth after caramelizing the onions adds another layer of complexity to the flavor profile. Don’t skip this step!
  • Adjust the Broth Consistency: The desired consistency of the French Onion Pasta broth is slightly thicker than a traditional soup but not overly creamy. If the broth seems too thin, simmer it for a few additional minutes to allow it to reduce slightly.
  • Experiment with Pasta Shapes: While rigatoni, penne, and fusilli are popular choices for this dish, feel free to experiment with other short pasta shapes like farfalle, orecchiette, or campanelle.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 4 cups beef broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 ounces dried pasta, such as rigatoni, penne, or fusilli
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, or a blend of Gruyère and Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs and toasted breadcrumbs for serving (optional)


  1. Caramelize the Onions: In a large Dutch oven or pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, or until deeply caramelized and golden brown. Be patient during this step, as slow and gentle cooking allows the onions to caramelize beautifully, releasing their natural sweetness and depth of flavor.
  2. Add Aromatics and Deglaze: Once the onions are caramelized, stir in the dried thyme and cook for an additional minute, allowing the flavors to bloom. If using, deglaze the pan with the white wine by scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Allow the wine to simmer for a minute or two to evaporate the alcohol.
  3. Build the Broth: Pour in the beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  4. Add Pasta and Cook: Add the dry pasta of your choice to the pot and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat slightly and bring the pot back to a simmer. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, stirring occasionally, until al dente (cooked through but still firm to the bite).
  5. Finish and Serve: Once the pasta is cooked, remove the pot from heat and stir in the grated cheese. Let the cheese melt and incorporate into the sauce, creating a creamy and flavorful coating for the pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt or pepper as desired.
  6. Garnish and Enjoy: For an extra touch of elegance, garnish the One Pot French Onion Pasta with:
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty and nutty flavor.
    • Chopped fresh herbs: Finely chopped chives, parsley, or thyme offer a fresh and vibrant touch.
    • Crispy breadcrumbs: Toasted breadcrumbs provide a delightful textural contrast.

Tips and Variations

  • Mushrooms: For a heartier rendition, add sliced mushrooms (cremini, portobello, or shiitake) along with the onions in step 1. Saute them together until softened and slightly golden before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Breadcrumbs: For a delightful textural contrast, top the finished dish with toasted breadcrumbs. To make the breadcrumbs, simply cube bread, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Vegetarian Option: To make a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth for the beef broth.


This One Pot French Onion Pasta offers a delightful fusion of a classic soup and a comforting pasta dish. With its rich, caramelized flavors and creamy cheese sauce, it’s sure to become a new favorite for weeknight meals or casual gatherings. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your inner chef, and experience the joy of creating a delicious and satisfying meal in just one pot!

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