French Onion Soup Gratinée


This is the best French onion soup recipe I know. I have been making it for 30 years and it never fails to please. It makes an exquisite presentation too!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins


  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 (48 fluid ounce) can chicken broth

  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

  • ½ cup red wine

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 4 thick slices French bread

  • 8 slices Gruyère cheese, at room temperature

  • ½ cup shredded Asiago cheese, at room temperature

  • 4 pinches paprika


  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in red onions, sweet onions, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized and almost syrupy, about 35 minutes.

    Overhead shot of onions being caramelized in a pot while being stirred with a wooden spoon

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Stir in chicken broth, beef broth, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Bundle parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with kitchen twine; add to the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard herb bundle. Reduce heat to low; stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover soup and keep warm over low heat while you prepare the toast.

    Overhead shot of French onion soup being cooked in a pot with an herb bundle

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, until well toasted on both sides, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; do not turn off the broiler.

    Overhead shot of toasted baguette slices on a baking sheet

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Arrange 4 large oven-safe bowls or crocks on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each bowl 2/3 full with hot soup. Top each bowl with 1 slice of toasted bread, 2 slices Gruyère cheese, and 1/4 of the Asiago cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of paprika over the top of each one.

    Overhead shot of French onion soup in bowls topped with cheese, ready to be baked

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Cook under the hot broiler until bubbly and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Cheese will cascade over the sides of the crock and form a beautifully melted crusty seal as it melts.

    Overhead shot of French onion soup gratinée on a baking sheet

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

    close up on a bowl of French onion soup gratinee with melted cheese on top



You can substitute Italian bread for French bread, Swiss for Gruyère, and mozzarella for Asiago.

Editor's Note:

Please note the differences in yield and ingredient amounts, as well as the use of cheesecloth for the herbs when using the magazine version of this recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

618 Calories
36g Fat
39g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 618
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 21g 104%
Cholesterol 114mg 38%
Sodium 3241mg 141%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 31mg 156%
Calcium 759mg 58%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 543mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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