French onion soup is the ideal comfort food for a cold winter’s night. This flavorful, savory dish is a favorite among many home cooks and can be made easier with a few simple ingredients.
But what makes a meal truly special? The side dishes!
While French onion soup is delicious on its own, there are plenty of sides that can elevate this simple dish.
Just stay with me to explore some side dishes that will make your French onion soup come alive! So, Let’s get started!
A Quick solution for what to serve with french onion soup for dinner Crusty Bread, Cheese Plate, Salad, Bread Course, Vegetable Side Dish, Garlic Cheese Croutons, Bacon bits, Sautéed mushrooms, Roasted garlic, Broiled Gruyere cheese, Toasted nuts, Fried sage leaves, Pesto, Avocado slices, Grilled shrimp, Prosciutto, Roasted red peppers, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, Sun-dried tomatoes, Baked garlic chips, Olives, Spicy chorizo sausage, Roasted asparagus spears, Chopped scallions or green onions, Capers, Shallots, Arugula pesto crostini, Fried eggplant strips, Anchovy fillets, Pickled jalapeños, Parmesan crisps, Focaccia breadsticks, Grilled baguette slices, Savory cornbread muffins, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Grilled Steak, and many more.
What is french onion soup, and what does french onion soup taste like?
French onion soup is a kind of soup created from beef broth, caramelized onions, and croutons. It is usually topped with a layer of melted cheese, such as Gruyère or Emmentaler.
The taste of French onion soup can vary depending on how long it was cooked and the type of cheese used.
Generally, French onion soup has an earthy, sweet flavor that comes from the caramelized onions and a savory flavor from the beef stock.
Some recipes also add garlic or wine to add even more depth to the flavor profile.
Overall, this comforting dish has been served for centuries and continues to be a favorite among many diners all over the world. Enjoy!
Best foods go with French onion soup
French onion soup is a classic comfort food that can be served for dinner in a variety of ways. Topping the soup with delicious food items is one of the most popular options.
Here are 59 delicious food items that pair perfectly with french onion soup for a satisfying and filling dinner:
1. Crusty Bread
Nothing goes better with a hearty bowl of French onion soup than crusty bread. Whether you opt for baguette slices, sourdough loafs, or rustic ciabatta rolls, it’s sure to satisfy.
Toasting the bread beforehand adds an extra crunch and texture that pairs perfectly with the creamy broth of the soup.
You can even spoon some of the flavorful soup onto one side of the bread, so it gets nice and soaked in all that delicious flavor!
2. Cheese Plate
A cheese plate makes for a perfect accompaniment to French onion soup. The salty flavors from various cheeses provide a nice contrast to the sweet onions in the soup.
Try pairing different types of cheese like brie, blue cheese, gouda, and goat cheese for an array of flavors your guests won’t soon forget.
If you want to get creative, add in some accompaniments like jams or nuts for added texture and sweetness.
If you want to lighten up your meal but still enjoy all that French onion goodness, consider serving a salad alongside your soup.
Greens like spinach or arugula are great neutral-flavored options that will help balance out the richness of the dish while still being light enough not to overpower it.
Add in fruits like pomegranate seeds or apples for sweetness as well as proteins such as grilled chicken or salmon to round out your meal.
You can also try out some fun add-ons like walnuts, cranberries, or feta cheese. If you want something more substantial, you can always add grilled chicken or steak pieces to your salad.
4. Bread Course
No French onion soup dinner would be complete without bread! A crusty loaf of baguette, soft rolls, or even garlic toast is all great options.
For a twist on classic garlic toast, you can try making it with sourdough bread instead! You can also opt for cheesy bread like focaccia or cheddar biscuits to go along with your meal.
5. Vegetable Side Dish
Roasted vegetables are an excellent way to round out your meal.
Choose whatever veggies you have on hand and season them with salt, pepper, and herbs such as rosemary or thyme before roasting them in the oven until they’re tender and golden brown.
This simple yet flavorful side dish will provide a much-needed boost of nutrition in addition to enhancing the flavor of your French onion soup.
6. Garlic Cheese Croutons
These crunchy croutons add texture to the creamy soup and offer your dish a subtle hint of garlic and cheese flavor.
7. Bacon bits
Add some smoky flavor to your french onion soup by sprinkling bacon bits on top.
8. Sautéed mushrooms
You can create a more gourmet version of this classic dish by topping it with sautéed mushrooms.
9. Roasted garlic
I always prefer garlic as a side dish, and here you can use Roasted garlic which adds a sweet, nutty flavor to any dish, making it perfect for pairing with a french onion soup.
10. Broiled Gruyere cheese
The salty, nutty flavor of gruyere cheese pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of french onion soup when you melt it on top.
11. Toasted nuts
You can add an extra crunch factor to your dish by topping it off with some roasted almonds, walnuts or pecans.
12. Fried sage leaves
Fry up some sage leaves in butter for an elevated flavor profile that complements classic French Onion Soup quite nicely!
Mix up your flavors by adding some pesto to your bowl of steaming hot soup!
14. Avocado slices
Avocado slices provide a nice contrast in texture as well as an extra boost of healthy fat to your dish!
15. Grilled shrimp
You can make this dish even more special by topping it off with some grilled shrimp or scallops – they will taste amazing!
Try one of my favorite Prosciutto. The saltiness and slightly sweet taste of prosciutto add complexity and depth to French Onion Soup without overpowering the flavors within the dish itself!
17. Roasted red peppers
Fresh roasted red peppers bring out all sorts of delicious flavors in this classic comfort food!
18. Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
If you love blue cheese, then try adding some Gorgonzola crumbles on top of your French Onion Soup for an added layer of complexity and intense flavor!
19. Sun-dried tomatoes
You know that Sun-dried tomatoes bring out earthy notes that marry well with many other ingredients present in French Onion Soup!
20. Baked garlic chips
For an extra garlicky kick, you can try baking up some garlic chips and sprinkling them on top!
You can use Olives as well. It adds a pleasant brininess to any meal, including French Onion Soup!
22. Spicy chorizo sausage
Spice things up by topping your dish off with spicy chorizo sausage, which will bring out all sorts of great flavors from the onions and broth below!
23. Grilled artichoke hearts
Just grill some artichoke hearts until they are tender and add them as toppings; their meaty texture pairs perfectly with this hearty soup!
24. Roasted asparagus spears
Asparagus can be quickly roasted in the oven before you assemble your bowl; its unique grassy notes really shine through when paired with French Onion Soup
25. Chopped scallions or green onions
For added freshness, you can try chopping up some scallions or green onions before sprinkling them over your finished bowl
This is also my favorite. The briny saltiness from capers makes them excellent toppings for French Onion Soup.
Finely minced shallots add your soup sweetness and crunch when sprinkled over the finished bowl
28. Arugula pesto crostini
Transform this traditional favorite into something more upscale by serving it alongside arugula pesto crostini.
29. Fried eggplant strips
Eggplant strips are dipped into egg wash first before being lightly fried in oil; their savory taste is balanced perfectly when served over french onion soup.
30. Anchovy fillets
Try Anchovy fillets which are delicate yet flavorful; their buttery consistency offers just enough complexity to create interesting layers within every bite.
31. Pickled jalapeños
For those who enjoy spicier dishes, pickled jalapeños provide an additional layer of heat that pairs wonderfully with french onion
32. Parmesan crisps
Crispy parmesan crisps make great accompaniments because they become even crunchier when placed atop warm soups.
33. Focaccia breadsticks
Soft focaccia breadsticks are ideal companions because they not only enhance flavor but also provide much-needed sustenance.
34. Grilled baguette slices
Slice up baguettes into thin rounds before grilling until golden brown; then, you can serve them alongside french onion for added texture.
35. Savory cornbread muffins
Sweet cornbread muffins are especially delicious when you are served warm atop bowls overflowing with richly flavored french onion broth.
36. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
This classic combination of melted cheese and crunchy toasted bread pairs perfectly with a warm bowl of French onion soup.
37. Grilled Steak
The richness of grilled steak contrasts nicely with the savory flavors of the soup, while its heartiness helps make a satisfying meal.
38. Garlic Bread
Soft and fluffy garlic bread adds a nice contrast to the soup’s texture as well as a flavor while providing you an additional vehicle for dunking into the broth.
39. Bacon Cheeseburger
A juicy burger topped with bacon and melted cheese is an ideal companion to a bowl of French onion soup – both in terms of taste and satisfaction.
40. Crispy Chicken Tenders
Fried chicken tenders or wings provide you a crunchy accompaniment to complement the softness of the soup, plus some added protein for a fuller meal experience.
41. Baked Potato
A freshly baked potato is perfect for soaking up all the flavors from French onion soup, making it even more delicious in every spoonful!
42. Grilled Salmon
The smokiness of grilled salmon helps cut through some of the sweetness from the onions, creating an intricate balance between sweet and savory that is unique to this pairing.
43. Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Rich and creamy macaroni and cheese provided just enough comfort food better when paired with French onion soup without being too heavy on its own.
44. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
These flavorful cruciferous vegetables offer your dish an earthy flavor profile that stands out against the sweetness from the onions in the soup – especially when roasted to perfection!
45. Caesar Salad
For those looking for something lighter alongside their French onion soup, nothing beats a crisp Caesar salad layered with parmesan cheese and crunchy croutons – delicious!
46. Caprese Salad
Tangy tomatoes combined with creamy mozzarella and fresh basil provide you a light yet satisfying side dish that brings out even more amazing flavors from your bowl of French onion soup!
47. Lentil Soup
More cup-for-cup goodness can be achieved by sipping on some lentil soup as you enjoy your main course – adding complexity and variety to your plate in one shot!
48. Crispy Broccoli Salad
Crunchy broccoli florets tossed with bacon bits, shredded carrots, and mayonnaise create an irresistible side dish that pairs perfectly with French onion soup – perfect for those days when you are feeling extra indulgent!
49 . Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Creamy mashed potatoes infused with garlicky goodness provided comfort food at its best when served alongside hearty French onion soup – it’s like having two soups in one meal!
50 . Grilled Asparagus
Charred asparagus spears bring out even more umami flavors from your favorite onion-based dish – plus, they look beautiful on the plate too!
51. Cauliflower Rice
If you are a health-conscious individual, then you can also enjoy this classic combination by substituting traditional white rice for nutrient-dense cauliflower rice instead – still yummy but much lighter on calories!
52. Herbed Quinoa
Cooked quinoa seasoned generously with herbs such as thyme, or oregano makes for an ideal addition to any bowl of french onion soup – high in fiber and protein too!
53. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Another way to lighten up your meal without sacrificing flavor is by serving sweet potatoes roasted until golden brown alongside your flavorful french onion concoction – deliciousness is guaranteed every time!
54 . Garlic Naan Bread
Soft naan bread provides you another fun dipping option while adding some spice to every bite thanks to its garlic infusion – definitely worth trying out if you haven’t already done so before!
55. Cheesy Cornbread
Cornbread loaded up with melty cheese is perhaps one of my favorite sides whenever I’m enjoying a steaming cup (or bowl) of french onion soup – it always hits the spot no matter what time it is!
56. Garlic Knots
Don’t forget to add some garlic knots to your plate as well – they make an excellent accompaniment to this soup, adding a bit of texture and flavor that can’t be beaten.
57. Ciabatta Bread
A crusty ciabatta bread loaf is always a great option when pairing up with French onion soup.
The crunchy exterior provides you a satisfying bite while the fluffy inside soaks up all the delicious flavors from the soup – yum!
58. Herbed Focaccia Bread
Herbed focaccia bread is one of my favorite sides for enjoying with a French onion soup. The herbs brighten up its flavor and provide an extra dose of deliciousness to keep your tastebuds happy.
59. Sourdough Bread
Last but not least, sourdough bread is also a classic option that you can make extra special by brushing it with olive oil or adding in some freshly chopped herbs.
What are the best flavors to go with french onion soup?
The traditional French onion soup is seasoned with garlic, thyme and bay leaves. However, there are a variety of other flavors that go well with this classic soup.
Some popular combinations include adding Gruyere or Emmental cheese for an extra creamy taste, mixing in nutty Parmesan or sharp Cheddar, or topping it off with crispy fried onions.
For a smokier flavor, try using smoked paprika or bacon bits as an accent. You can also use white wine to add a slightly acidic tang to the soup’s savory broth.
Finally, don’t forget about herbs like rosemary and oregano for added complexity and aroma.
With all these tasty options, you’ll be sure to find the perfect flavor combination for your French onion soup. Bon appétit!
How do you jazz up french onion soup?
One way to jazz up french onion soup is to add a garnish of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, crispy bacon, diced tomatoes or caramelized onions.
You can also try adding a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream on top for an additional layer of texture and flavor. For a bit of spice, try adding some fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.
To make the extra soup special, you can use homemade stock instead of store-bought stock for a richer flavor.
Finally, serve with garlic toast or crusty bread for dipping. Enjoy!
What is the best way to eat French onion soup on any occasion?
The best way to enjoy French onion soup is to make it yourself. Start by caramelizing onions in a large pot or Dutch oven with butter and sugar until they are golden brown.
Add garlic, herbs, and beef or vegetable stock and carry the mixture to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering for about 30 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls next, top each bowl with melted cheese and toast some crunchy croutons if desired. Enjoy your homemade French onion soup hot! Bon appétit!
10 best french onion soup toppings you should try
1. Gruyere Cheese
Gruyere cheese has a nutty, sweet taste that pairs perfectly with the flavors of french onion soup.
2. Fried Onions
Adding crispy fried onions to your soup will give it an extra crunch and savory flavor.
3. Bacon Bits
Bacon adds a smoky, salty flavor which is sure to make your french onion soup even more delicious!
Fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary can brighten up the flavor of french onion soup and make it even more flavorful.
5. Garlic Bread Crumbs
Topping your soup with garlic bread crumbs gives it a nice texture and added savory flavor.
6. Sour Cream
Adding a dollop of sour cream to your soup will give it a creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor.
Croutons are the perfect topping for french onion soup, as they provide crunchiness and added flavor.
8. Parmesan Cheese
Shredded parmesan cheese gives french onion soup an extra cheesy, nutty flavor that is sure to make it even more delicious!
9. White Wine
A splash of white wine can add a subtle sweetness that compliments the flavors in French Onion Soup perfectly!
Chopped chives are a great way to brighten up the flavor of french onion soup, and they look great too!
FAQs on what to serve with french onion soup
Q1. What meat goes well with French onion soup?
Many types of meat can be added to French onion soup for a delicious meal. Popular choices include cubes of cooked ham, crumbled bacon, ground beef, pulled pork or shredded chicken. Some chefs also recommend adding cubed steak or lamb for an extra-hearty bowl.
If you prefer seafood, try adding flaked fish fillets, shrimp or mussels. For a vegetarian option, use crumbled tempeh or cooked beans instead of traditional meats. To add complexity and flavor to your soup, try topping it with nuts like walnuts or cashews before serving. Enjoy!
Q2. What is the difference between onion soup and French onion soup?
Onion soup is a traditional French dish usually made with onions, beef or chicken stock and herbs. It is typically garnished with croutons before being served. French onion soup, however, is a more elaborate version of the classic onion soup.
It is typically made with caramelized onions in a rich beef broth and topped with cheese and croutons before being served. The flavors of both soups are very similar, but the added ingredients of French onion soup give it an extra layer of flavor that will leave your taste buds wanting more!
Q3. Does French onion soup contain beef?
No, French onion soup does not contain beef. The traditional recipe for French onion soup calls for beef stock or broth as the base, but there are variations that use vegetable stock instead. For a vegan version of French onion soup, replace the beef stock with vegetable stock.
Additionally, some recipes may call for other ingredients, such as bacon, ground beef or sausage, which can all be omitted to make the dish vegetarian-friendly. If you’re unsure of what’s in a particular recipe, simply ask your chef or ask questions when ordering at a restaurant.
Q4. How do you thicken French onion soup?
The best pattern to thicken French onion soup is by adding a roux or a mixture of melted butter and flour that is cooked until it reaches a paste-like consistency. You can also add some cornstarch or arrowroot powder to the soup for additional thickening power.
To use these ingredients, mix them with cold water until you get a smooth liquid and stir it into your boiling soup. Be sure to simmer the soup for 15 minutes more so the thickener has time to fully integrate before serving. Another choice is to puree some of the cooked onions in a blender and then add them back into the finished soup for added thickness.
This method will give your soup an even creamier texture. Finally, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to thicken French onion soup, you can simply add more cheese to the soup. The melted cheese will act as a natural thickener while also adding an extra layer of flavor. Enjoy!