This French Onion Chicken is a simple yet crave-worthy dinner that’s made in one skillet! Tender chicken breasts are covered in a rich gravy with caramelized onions, then piled with Gruyere and baked to form a perfectly melty, cheesy layer on top. This is comfort food at it’s very best.
This post was originally published in 2020. It was updated in 2022 to add new information. The recipe remains the same. Enjoy!
This may be one of THE best chicken dinners that exists.
I don’t say that lightly. I’ve made some delicious skillet chicken dishes, like this Chicken with White Wine Sauce, Spinach & Artichoke Orzo with Chicken, or this Chicken Parmesan Skillet.
But French Onion Chicken takes the gold medal!
This recipe starts with the classic caramelized onions. These take a little time to get right, but the tender, sweet, golden brown onions you get at the end are soooo worth it!
If you want to enjoy these flavors with more hands-off work, you can also try this Instant Pot French Onion Soup.
Once the onions are caramelized, you make it into a rich, creamy gravy that will bathe the chicken. Then sear up the chicken for a crispy outside, pile it with cheese, and bake until it’s deliciously gooey.
Can you get more warm and comforting than that?
🛒 Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken Breasts – You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe.
- Gruyere Cheese – You can also use provolone, swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, or a combination.
- Butter + Olive Oil
- Onions – It’s best to go with a sweet onion, like a Vidalia or Walla Walla onion.
- Dry White Wine – Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris are great dry-wine options, or for an alcohol-free version, add some additional beef broth.
- Cognac – Or, omit and use additional beef broth.
- Flour – This helps to thicken that yummy onion gravy.
- Beef Broth – Or, use my homemade bone broth.
- Salt, Pepper + Sugar
- Fresh Thyme + Parsley
You probably have most of the ingredients for French Onion Chicken on hand already.
If you don’t have store-bought beef broth, I highly recommend making homemade bone broth in the Instant Pot. I always have some on hand in the freezer.
You can also easily substitute the white wine for additional broth, but the wine does add a really nice depth of flavor.
📋 How to make it
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Caramelize the onions: Melt butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until onions are golden and beginning to caramelize.
- Add the alcohol: Into the onions, stir in the cognac and white wine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol is cooked off and slightly reduced. Then stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Finish the gravy: Slowly whisk in beef broth. Add salt, sugar, pepper and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Then remove from the skillet, set aside, and remove thyme sprigs.
- Season chicken: While the gravy is cooking, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken: Heat oil in the now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken breasts and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden. Return onions to skillet and sprinkle cheese over the chicken. Bake for 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted.
- Garnish and serve: Spoon some of the onions and gravy over the top of the chicken, garnish with fresh chopped parsley, and serve.
🍾 What wine is best for French Onion Chicken?
Similar to french onion soup, I prefer to use a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris in this recipe. You could also try dry vermouth or sherry. If you prefer not to use wine, just substitute it with additional beef broth.
🧅 What kind of onion is best for this recipe?
The best type of onion for this recipe is a sweet onion, like a Vidalia or Walla Walla onion. These get sweeter as they cook and caramelize beautifully! If you don’t have sweet onions, I suggest using yellow onions instead.
🌟 Tips for making this recipe
- Chicken: Choose pieces of chicken that are close in size, then pound them to uniform thickness. This will help them all cook evenly.
- Caramelizing onions: Don’t cook the onions any higher than medium heat. This step takes quite a while, but don’t rush it. The onions turn out best when cooked longer over a lower heat.
- Reheating: To reheat this chicken, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is warmed through.
🍷 Wine pairings for French Onion Chicken
🍗 More chicken dinner recipes
🍽 What to serve with this skillet chicken
I tend to serve this chicken dinner up with some instant pot rice. It’s also great served alongside some buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or even mashed cauliflower for a low carb option.
This dish also goes really well with a simple salad, like this Easy Arugula Salad or this Brussels Sprout Salad with Mustard & Parmesan. You could also serve a side of Sous Vide Asparagus or Easy Instant Pot Artichokes. Or, try one of these:
Did you Make This French Onion Chicken?
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 boneless (skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a uniform thickness)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 medium onions (cut into thin half rings (about 4 cups))
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or additional beef broth)
- ¼ cup cognac (or omit and use ¾ white wine)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 ounces shredded gruyere cheese
- Fresh chopped parsley (to garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until onions are golden and beginning to caramelize.
Stir in the cognac and white wine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the alcohol is cooked off and slightly reduced. Stir in flour. Cook for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in beef broth. Add salt, sugar, pepper and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Then remove from skillet and set aside. Remove thyme sprigs.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in the now empty skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken breasts and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden. Return onions to skillet and sprinkle cheese over the chicken. Bake for 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted.
Spoon some of the onions and gravy over the top of the chicken, garnish with fresh chopped parsley, and serve.
Reheating instructions: Reheat in the oven preheated to 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through.
Calories: 659kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 1513mg | Potassium: 1077mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 769IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 476mg | Iron: 2mg