Skillet French Onion Chicken Breasts

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This French Onion Chicken skillet recipe is just as ooey, gooey, and cheesy as your favorite French onion soup but is packed with lean protein to keep you full. The best part is that it’s made in one skillet for easy cleanup and it’s ready in about 45 minutes!

Overhead view of a plate of skillet French onion chicken breasts smothered with gruyere cheese and served with steamed green beans.

One of my favorite things to do when I have time on the weekend is to go for a long drive with no destination in mind. We’ll find a small town and grab a meal at a local restaurant. We’ve found some real gems over the years!

I don’t have a typical order, and usually get whatever on the menu calls to me. But the one thing I can never seem to resist is French Onion soup. There’s just something about the rich broth, sweet onions, and gooey cheese that always hits the spot! 

This French onion chicken skillet takes the best parts of French onion soup and transforms it into a simple yet filling weeknight dinner. That classic flavor always brings back so many memories!

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • Easy to cook
  • Freezer friendly, perfect for families on the go
  • A one-pot meal with minimal clean up
  • Full of cheesy goodness in every bite

Ingredients for making French onion chicken

French Onion Chicken Skillet Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the base of this recipe. Thinner breasts will cook faster. Mine here were HUGE so I split them crosswise before cooking.
  • Chicken or Beef Broth. Your choice — use whatever you have on hand! I used chicken both this time because I had a carton open already. 
  • Fresh Thyme. I absolutely love the flavor of fresh thyme and think it’s non-negotiable when it comes to getting that classic onion soup flavor. 
  • Flour. Just a little bit, to thicken the broth.
  • Yellow Onions. 
  • Baking Soda.
  • Dijon Mustard.
  • Gruyere Cheese.
skillet French onion chicken.
skillet French onion chicken.

How to Make French Onion Chicken

Start by browning your chicken breasts in a hot pan. Don’t worry about cooking them all the way through right now, since they’ll finish cooking in that delicious onion gravy. Right now, you just want to get some color on them. Transfer the chicken to a plate and save for later. 

Next, caramelize your onions. This is the longest step of this recipe, but I shared some tips below that will help speed things up. 

Once your onions are soft and jammy, add the flour and seasoning. Cook for a minute or two, then whisk in the broth

Return the chicken to the pan and bring everything to a simmer until the chicken is cooked through. (Use a meat thermometer to get the perfect temperature and avoid overcooking)

Smother with the shredded cheese and pop the pan under the broiler for a few minutes until bubbling and browned.

How to caramelize onions quickly

Properly caramelizing onions can take a really long time, which I don’t usually have. 

The secret to speeding things up? Add a pinch of baking soda to the pan!

This changes the Ph of the onions, helping them soften and brown more quickly. It also brings out their natural sweetness. Adding a splash of water to the pan during the first few minutes of cooking also helps the onions soften more quickly. 

Handy tip: Prepare Ahead!

If you’re really impatient, you can also make a big batch of caramelized onions (I love this method for slow cooker caramelized onions) and freeze them for later. Then just pull some out when you want to make this chicken! You can cut about 10 minutes off the total cooking time. 

A plate with skillet French onion chicken and green beans.

FAQs

What should I serve French onion chicken breast with?

This skillet dinner is so versatile! It’s delicious with rice, quinoa, or farro; over mashed potatoes; or with a green vegetable. I love steaming green beans or broccoli in the microwave while the chicken is broiling. It’s so effortless!

Can this be frozen?

Yes! Similar to chicken parmesan and other saucy recipes, these French onion chicken breasts freeze beautifully. To reheat, bake at 325F for 20 minutes, or until heated through.  

Can I use a different cheese?

Gruyere gives this recipe its classic flavor, but you can definitely swap in other good melting cheeses. I’ve made this with:

Provolone
Fontina
Mozzarella

They’re all delicious!

I’d avoid sharper Swiss cheeses, which lack creaminess and can overpower the other flavors in this recipe. They don’t typically melt well either. 

Can I use chicken thighs for this recipe? 

Definitely!

I personally love boneless, skinless chicken thighs but I developed this recipe to be made with chicken breasts since I know they’re more popular.

If you want to use thighs, follow the same instructions but keep an eye on the cooking time since they’re generally smaller and cook faster than breasts do. 

What kind of skillet should I use for this recipe?

You’ll need a skillet that can go under the broiler. I recommend stainless steel or cast iron.

Looking for more easy weeknight recipes? Try my Air Fryer Nashville Hot Chicken or One Pan Cacio e Pepe.

Serving up a plate of skillet French onion chicken, a block of gruyere and a cheese grater are on a cutting board to the side.
Skillet French Onion Chicken Breasts 1

Vegetarian Rice Pilaf with Apples and Cranberries

The vegetarian rice pilaf, studded with cranberries, apples, and pecans is a fun and festive side dish that's perfect for winter and fall. Make it in a rice cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stovetop!
5
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry rice pilaf, rice pilaf, vegetarian rice pilaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 337kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wild and brown rice blend
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 shallots diced
  • 2 apples (preferably Granny Smith) diced
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • cup pecans chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon chopped

Instructions

  • Rinse the rice well under cold water. Add to a rice cooker along with the broth. Stir and turn on to cook. (If you do not have a rice cooker, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the rice and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, then let stand for 5 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing with a fork.)
  • Meanwhile, add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat
  • Add the diced shallots and for cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until soft and lightly golden brown.
  • Stir in the apples, cranberries and pecans and remove from the heat.
  • Stir in the cooked rice and sprinkle with the fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Rice Pilaf with Apples and Cranberries
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 337 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 90mg4%
Potassium 350mg10%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 249IU5%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

By on November 24th, 2021

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie.

More posts by this author.

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