Since I gave you a 14 hour recipe yesterday, I figured today we’d make it a little shorter.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

You know… like 9 hours.

But! At least this time you won’t have to cover your entire kitchen in flour, spend four days digging dough out from under your nails, scrub melted burned butter off the bottom of your oven and give the entire recipe you made to someone else because you can’t be trusted around it.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

This time you can just throw it in a big pot and forget about it.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

And drink beer while you’re at it. Winning!

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

I can’t believe there was a time in my life that I didn’t think I liked onions. I don’t even know how it is possible for someone who loves food to not like onions because they add a ridiculous amount of delicious flavor in so many different ways to so many different dishes.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

And even though I used to think I didn’t care for them?

I still ordered french onion soup anyway. I’m sure you know why. The cheeeeese. And the bread. I distinctly remember sitting at a restaurant a few years ago and the server bringing one of our dining neighbors a piping bowl of soup with golden cheese just literally pouring down the sides.

All I could think was…






Crockpot French Onion Soup I

For years after, I ordered french onion soup… and only ate the bread and cheese. I’d dig my spoon down in half way, grabbing a bite of toasted bread, a spoonful of broth, and strands upon strands of gruyere or gouda. I’d always finish everything in the bowl, except for the big pile of caramelized onions on the bottom.

I liked that set up. I liked it a lot.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

Then, as I’ve detailed before – much like his Diet Mountain Dew habit, my husband developed an addiction to caramelized onions and asked for them on everything. Even weirdo things like pasta and eggs. I seriously think I made them nearly every day for three months. I first tried them on a burger, slathered in cheese and ketchup of course. Then we moved on to steak, and once I even put them in a salad… that sort of tasted good. Just don’t try it hungover.

Caramely onions? I could do this.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

After all, if there was any vegetable for me to learn to love, it had to be the one filled with sugar that softened and sweetened easily and almost tasted candy-like at times, right? Right on.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

So hopefully by this point I don’t have to do any convincing and we can let this cheese do the talking.

And if you stillll don’t like onions? Make this anyway and just eat the bread and cheese and broth like I did circa 1999. Totally worth it.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

Crockpot French Onion Soup

[adapted from Tyler Florence]

makes a giant pot, about 8-10 servings

4 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used my favorite Fustinis!)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons flour

8 ounces of beer

64 ounces of low-sodium beef stock

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

french bread

gruyere cheese, sliced

Set your crock pot on high, then add onions, garlic, brown sugar, butter, salt and balsamic and mix until combined. Cover and let cook for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are a bit caramely and brown on the edges. Add in flour, then stir thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in beer, beef stock, thyme, and pepper, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

Before serving, cut french bread or baguette into slices. Fill soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and a slice of cheese. Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Be careful when serving as bowls will be hot!

Note: I used a very low-sodium beef stock, so depending on the stock you use, add additional salt for flavor if desired.

Crockpot French Onion Soup I

I want to live inside that bowl.

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288 Responses to “Crockpot French Onion Soup.”

  1. #
    Jess @ Jess Go Bananas — September 29, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    I used to (and still do!) eat the cheese and bread! Best part duh!


  2. #
    Jodi @ Southern Flavored Life — September 29, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    One of my favorite soups EVER! Get in mahhh belly! LOL


  3. #
    Karly — September 29, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    Oh, Lord. I need that in my life. Unfortunately, my whole family are still in that stupid “I think I don’t like onions” phase. I have hope for my son, but the rest of them are probably never growing out of it.


    • Jessica — September 29th, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

      I feel for you.


  4. #
    Melissa — September 29, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    Dude. No matter if I’ve eaten or not, I am perpetually starving whenever I look at your pictures. Anyway, I’ve done FO soup in the crock pot before, but the whole caramelized onions thing really brings this home for me. So doing this. I did caramelized onion paninis a couple of weeks ago and they.were.amazing.


  5. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — September 29, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    Oh yum, I love French Onion Soup! Can’t wait to make this crock-pot version (I love using my crock-pot on busy days) when we actually start to have fall weather (cuz unfortunately we are still in the 90’s here).


  6. #
    Michelle — September 29, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    Those soup bowls are so awesome. They totally complete the soup!


  7. #
    Sweet Marcella — September 29, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    I want to live inside that bowl too! Mmmmmmm


  8. #
    sara — September 29, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    YUM. I love french onion soup but it’s such a pain standing over the stove for so long stirring onions…this sounds like an awesome solution, I definitely need to try it!! :)


  9. #
    Jennknee — September 29, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    Holy. Hannah. That looks dangerously good. I’m literally grabbing my sweater to go to the store to pick up some beef stock..I’m dying to have this.


  10. #
    Alli — September 29, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    OK, I feel stupid now — how is that it never once occurred to me to slow-cook onions? Definitely doing this for dinner ASAP aka tomorrow (have to run to the store tonight!).


  11. #
    Dianna — September 29, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    This is a favorite soup of mine. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us. I can’t wait to make this when it is not 90 degrees during the day here (in California)!! I also enjoy sharing your recipes with my friends here in the office. We love your witty humor! (and pics!)
    I too, as I have aged (yes, okay I am almost 50!), have grown to enjoy raw onion. The Maui, and a sweet red (hard to find any more), Vidallia, etc.. Not a lot, and not all the time, but a little here and there. On hamburgers, chili dogs, even salad.
    My mom used to eat a green onion sandwich with mayo!


  12. #
    Sara B. — September 29, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    I love crock pot recipes and my husband is a huge fan of French onion soup. So, I definitely think I’ll be using this recipe soon. Looks awesome.


  13. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — September 29, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Okay see you totally did what I had thought was possibile with the crock but somewhere along the way when I was considering this I had hoped to find a way to have it all done at once. Clearly I’m insane for even thinking that’s a possibility lol. I still need to make this sometime over the winter. It’s a long winter coming – plenty of time. :)


    • Jessica — September 29th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

      I KNOW. I wish it could all be done at once, but I think the onions really do need to caramelize. I figure that you can slice the onions the night before, wake up, throw them in the crock pot, get ready, then right before leaving dump the rest of the stuff in. That was my only explanation… lol.


  14. #
    Jen H — September 29, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Ok, that looks delicious & easy! Your pics are amazing! I have never eaten this soup because of the beef broth. Beef & me are sadly not getting along anymore. Any thoughts on using veggie or chicken broth?


    • Jenny — September 29th, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

      I was wondering the same thing! Good question! i’m a vegetarian and only use veggie broth. Would this work? What kind of additional spices would be needed??


      • Jessica — September 29th, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

        hmmm I am sure that it will work – I saw a few recipes that used chicken stock, but I can’t say for sure what other spices or seasonings to use if you try chicken/veggie stock because I’ve never tried it. I’m also not really familiar with vegetable stock at all. I think it’s probably based on personal preference and you guys could add whatever seasonings you would like after tasting??

        • caroleena — September 30th, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

          Hi – I haven’t used vegetable stock for FO soup, either, but I do make my own veg stock all the time & keep it in the freezer. Then I can use it for cooking rice – to add a bit of vitamins & flavor; or for soups. Carrots & potato peels lend a darker color, and mushroom stems lend an earthy taste. After that, maybe some liquid smoke for FO soup..? Maybe that would amp up the flavor. Also maybe a shot of brandy.

  15. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — September 29, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    I am all about crockpot recipes this time of year… This one looks fantastic. Can’t wait to give it a try!


  16. #
    Ashley — September 29, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    Ummm, that last cheese photo??? Looks slightly delicious. Would you believe I’ve never had a bowl of french onion soup??


  17. #
    Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen — September 29, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    I’ve been dying to find time to make French onion soup…you have just inspired me to reorganize my priorities!


  18. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — September 29, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

    My husband adores french onion soup. PLus it gives me an excuse to use those little individual crocks that I never get out ;)


  19. #
    Natalie — September 29, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    I love french onion soup! These pictures have got me drooling over here!


  20. #
    Honey @ Honey, What's Cooking — September 29, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    wow, this is gorgeous. i always thought mushrooms were part of French Onion Soup. You did a really fabulous job with the pics.
    oh, and btw Jessica, you made my top 5 favorite bloggers!!! i did a post on it a couple weeks ago mentioning your blog and why i loved it. :-)
    do you blog fulltime? you are really good at it!


  21. #
    Alisha @ Wee Foodie Fashionista — September 29, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    Oh yes. I love onions, in all ways, and especially drowning in broth, cheese, and bread. I have issues with people who don’t like onions. Especially when those people love olives. What kind of crazy are those taste buds?


  22. #
    Ty — September 29, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    I need to do this pronto.


  23. #
    Sarah — September 29, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    my family now loves your blog as much as I have for a while now…. can’t wait to make this for everyone! We’re BIG French Onion Soup fans… ever tried Trader Joe’s individual servings of it? perfect for a quick lunch!


    • Jessica — September 29th, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

      I haven’t, but my mom bought one and just said she tried one last week and loved it!


  24. #
    Katrina — September 29, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    I need a whole lotta this in my life. Yum!


  25. #
    Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke — September 29, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    I am a french onion soup fanatic. I tried it for the same reasons, the bread and cheese but soon learned to love the whole crock. So obsessed was I, that I would order it anytime it was on a menu in order to find out what restaurant had the best french onion soup. Yup, onions, cheese, and bread totally my thing.


    • caroleena — September 30th, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

      Mimi’s Cafe.


  26. #
    Molly @ RDexposed — September 29, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    We just had homemade French onion soup. It makes the house smell like Thanksgiving! We used wine instead of beer, which is totally backwards for us!


  27. #
    Cyndie — September 29, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

    I looove french onion soup! I also love using my crock pot, so I will probably be making this soon. Only cutting the recipe in half because we won’t be able to eat all of that….

    More crock pot recipes Jessica!


  28. #
    Brittany — September 29, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

    This is my favorite soup in the entire world. I love you for posting this! I’ve always wanted to make it at home!


  29. #
    Karlee — September 29, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    ahhh i haven’t had french onion soup since i became a vegetarian.


  30. #
    Kim in MD — September 29, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

    I love French onion soup and make it often, but not in slow-cooker. Oh- and I use wine instead of beer, but the beer sounds very interesting. I am going to try your recipe! I’m so glad you have crossed over to the “onion loving” side! :-)


  31. #
    Alaina — September 29, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    My husband LOVES french onion soup. Every restaurant we go to, he has to try out their soup. He still thinks that his homemade version is the best. :-)


  32. #
    Tracy — September 29, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

    I love making French onion soup in the crockpot, but I’ve never added beer before! You just blew my mind!


  33. #
    Cookbook Queen — September 29, 2011 @ 9:06 pm


    For two weeks I have been planning on making French Onion Soup. But I hadn’t been able to decide on a recipe. Obviously, you have made things simple for me. And I can stop obsessing now.

    You liiiiive in my brain, I have decided.


  34. #
    Jolene ( — September 29, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

    Probably the best looking French onion soup pictures ever. I will be making this!


  35. #
    Michelle Loo — September 30, 2011 @ 1:23 am

    OH EM GEE…
    not only does this look absolutely DELISH…but I love your bowls.
    Would you mind telling me where you got them?? I”M IN LOVE!


    • Jessica — September 30th, 2011 @ 6:52 am

      Sur La Table, and I just got an email this morning that they are in sale! You can get them in stores on online.


  36. #
    CouponClippingCook — September 30, 2011 @ 2:26 am

    This must smell so good when it’s cooking. Looks sooo delicious.


  37. #
    Marie Poulin — September 30, 2011 @ 5:22 am

    Nothing better than a great onion soup. Fabulous recipe.


  38. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — September 30, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    The first few times I had french onion soup were at really cheap restaurants, and it was just plain awful. I thought I just didn’t like it, which I thought was just whack since I love onions, and cheese…and well, bread too. I finally got a wild hair to make some one time, and I’ve been in love ever since! Cheesy, oniony goodness…Have a great weekend!


  39. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — September 30, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    Um yum. And your food photog & stylin’ is lookin’ pretty good there girl. You been practicing or somethin’? ;)


  40. #
    Rachel — September 30, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    Oh, man. Onion soup is one of my favorite meals, and you totally killed this (in a GOOD way)! My mouth is watering from those pictures.


  41. #
    Skinny Fat Kid — September 30, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    This looks awesome! Now I need to go out and get me some little oven safe pots/bowls so I can make this!


  42. #
    Jaan — September 30, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    Oh, how cruel, show fotos of french onion soup, and not offer any. LOL. But, thanks a million for the recipe. Its a bit different, but sounds just to good to not to try. So, French Onion Soup is on the menu tonite, even thou it’s abt 100 deg F outside… Hmmmmm, onion soup. YES!


  43. #
    Susan — September 30, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    I am putting this on my menu for next week. It looks so delicious.


  44. #
    Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — September 30, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    Wow! This soup looks great. We just posted one too… but your pictures blow ours out of the water! Lol! Spectacular job :)


  45. #
    Lia — September 30, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    Yum! I had a similar experience – nix on the onions until a roommate made this:, which is all heavy cream and onions! And I haven’t looked back.

    The soup looks delish – but I’ve GOT to know, where did you get those amazing little soup bowls/plates? I think I’m in love!


  46. #
    Kathe — September 30, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    Warning: Be careful with the brown sugar if you are using onions that run on the sweet side, i.e. Walla Wallas or Maui’s. I made French Onion soup once that was so sweet I couldn’t eat it. If you do use a sweeter onion, you won’t need ANY brown sugar!


    • Jessica — September 30th, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

      I totally agree, but I also think it may be necessary to have some sugar in there to help the onions caramelize in the crock pot. I never use sugar when caramelizing on the stove, but the crock won’t get quite as hot and without the sugar it may take a little longer.


  47. #
    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily — September 30, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Say Whaaaat?! You didn’t like onions? hmmm, I probly didn’t care for them either in my younger, less worldly days. I adore French Onion Soup but have yet to make it myself! the shame….
    and there’s beer in this recipe? You just became one of my favorite people! ;)


  48. #
    Bev Weidner — September 30, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

    This. makes. my. eyeballs. so. happy.

    I can honestly taste it. In my head and in my heart and in my stomach, I can taste it.

    I might need to nap.


  49. #
    Kierston — September 30, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    Yum!!! I LOVE french onion soup!! Also, cute spoon you are showing off :) Where is it from?


  50. #
    Amanda — September 30, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    My eyes felt like they were going to sting looking at those onion pictures! Hahha.

    I do love me some bread & cheese. Aw , yum.



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