Easy, Instant Pot French Onion Soup is the best, quick pressure cooker recipe that will show you how to make the healthy version of this classic dish! This one-pot meal is made with beef broth, caramelized onions, and topped with gooey melted cheese.
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This post was originally published in 2019. It has since been updated.
Have you had the French Onion Soup at Panera? It’s great….super comforting! But I honestly feel like this version is BETTER! It’s made with red wine, which gives it an amazing and rich flavor.
I also omitted the bread/croutons in this recipe to keep it close to keto and low carb. The soup is piled with cheese after all!
What Type Of Onions to Use
Yellow, red onions, or sweet onions will work best. In this recipe, I used 2 1/2 pounds of yellow onions. I’ve also made the recipe using half yellow onions and the other half red onions. Use what will work best for you.
You may also want to melt cheese on top of the soup after it has finished cooking. This really is the best part. Traditionally, gruyere cheese is used. Swiss works great, too.
The soup is often served with croutons or toasted bread. I didn’t use any bread for my version, but feel free to add it if you like! Top the soup with the croutons or toasted bread and then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the bread.
How to Make French Onion Soup in the Instant Pot
- Place the Instant Pot on the saute function.
- Add the butter and olive oil and cook until melted.
- Add the sliced onions and cook for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot.
- Pressure cook for 8 minutes.
- Open the pot and pour the soup into bowls with melted cheese.
- Broil the soup with melted cheese for 2-3 minutes.
You will saute the onions in the Instant Pot until the onions incredibly soft, with a deep, sweet flavor and a color that’s a rich golden brown. The onions do not have to turn dark brown in color.
I love how Serious Eats explains The Best Way to Make French Onion Soup while stressing that the onions do not have to be cooked until dark brown. Sometimes that results in bitter onions. I agree.
How Do You Fix Too Much Onion in Soup?
The base of this soup is onions, so I’m assuming that you like them! Or that you enjoy the flavor of caramelized onions. But if you do find you have used too many onions, and there isn’t enough base to the actual soup, add more beef broth and/or wine.
What Goes Best With the Soup
I love to keep the beef theme going and often pair this soup with Air Fryer Steak. Any steak will work wonderfully.
If you freeze the soup, add it to containers without the cheese (or bread if you add that). You can freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
More Instant Pot Soup Recipes
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Instant Pot Black Bean Soup
Instant Pot Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Instant Pot Baked Potato Soup
Click here for a full listing of Instant Pot Recipes.
Easy, Instant Pot French Onion Soup
- 2 1/2 pounds yellow onions Weigh your onions. The number of onions used will vary due to weight.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup dry red wine I used Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Beef Flavor
- 2 teaspoons brown sweetener Use Discount Code STAYSNATCHED for savings.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- shredded gruyere or swiss cheese Use however much you need to fit your taste. I used about 2 cups total.
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Slice the onions in half and then slice the onions into small slices about a 1/4th of an inch thick. I like to use a mandolin slicer because it's fast and much easier.
- Place the Instant Pot on Saute mode (if you have the "more" button on your IP use that). When hot, add the butter and olive oil.
- When the butter and olive oil have melted, add the sliced onions to the pot. Stir.
- Allow the onions to cook for about 10-25 minutes (stirring frequently so they don't scorch or burn) until the onions have become translucent and golden in color. The longer you cook them the more caramelized the onions. It's your decision.
- Add the beef broth, wine, Better than Bouillon, brown sweetener, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and the bay leaf to the pot. Stir.
- Place the lid on the pot and seal. Cook for 8 minutes on Manual > High-Pressure Cooking.
- When the pot indicates it has finished, quick release the steam.
- Open the pot and spoon the soup into oven-safe bowls. Top with shredded cheese. Keep in mind, cheese melts down a lot. If you want a thick gooey layer of cheese on top, you will have to pile a nice amount of cheese over the soup.
- Broil for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- The traditional method of preparing French onion soup uses bread. The soup is often served with croutons or toasted bread. I didn’t use any bread for my version, but feel free to add it if you like! Top the soup with the croutons or toasted bread and then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the bread.
- Better Than Bouillon is used in this recipe, in addition to the broth because of added flavor. During my recipe testing, I decided I like the soup better with it, in addition to the actual broth. Omit it, if you wish.
- You can substitute the wine for broth if you wish. You can also use a dry white wine instead.
- I also seasoned the chicken with McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning, totally optional.