This pasta version of French Onion Soup makes a simple, delicious comfort meal full of onion flavor and gooey melted cheese. Sweet onions are caramelized in olive oil and butter to form the base of the sauce.
Caramelized Onions Add Tons of Flavor
It takes at least 30 minutes to get onions truly caramelized and really maximize their flavor so don’t rush this part. They can easily be made a day or two in advance if you need to get a quick weeknight meal on the table.
A packet of dry onion soup mix is added for even more onion flavor. I always like a little sherry and thyme in my onion soup so I add them in here too.
I use beef broth for the sauce because I think it adds a stronger flavor, but you could use chicken broth instead, or even vegetable broth. To add some protein, I mixed in some shredded rotisserie chicken, but it is totally optional.
The whole dish gets assembled in the pan you cook the sauce in and then broiled to melt the cheese on top. I transferred it to a casserole dish, but if your pan is oven-safe, you could just put the pan in the oven.
Broil it until it gets crispy brown spots. That’s always my favorite part of French Onion Soup. 🙂
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days and can be reheated in the microwave.
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Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is to make.
- 3 cups dry penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry or Marsala wine
- 1 packet dry onion soup mix
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, optional
- 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat in a large pan. Add onions and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and cook another 15 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Sprinkle flour over onions and stir to mix in. Turn heat up to medium. Cook 30 seconds and then gradually whisk in beef broth.
- Add sherry, onion soup mix, half-and-half, and thyme and simmer until thickened.
- Stir in chicken and cooked pasta.
- Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish. (If your pan is oven-proof, there’s no need to transfer. Just sprinkle the cheese on top.) Sprinkle both cheeses on top.
- Place casserole dish (or pan) in oven and broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown in spots.
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Originally published Oct 18, 2015.
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