The famously rich and simple French Onion soup became a popular appetizer in the United States during the 1960s when interest in French cuisine was booming.

Although this delicate soup features humble and ordinary ingredients, such as onions, stock, bread, and cheese, the outcome when simmered together is a dynamic flavor that is hard to resist.

Preparing a French onion soup recipe takes time and patience, as the onions must be caramelized properly to add that notable touch of sweetness to the soup.

If preparing French onion soup traditionally, caramelizing onions can take up to one hour. But, if you own an Instant Pot, you can make Instant Pot French Onion soup, and cut that time in half. An Instant Pot will successfully caramelize your onions in 20 minutes!



  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large sweet onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 large baguette


  1. Dice the onions into small uniform pieces and mince the garlic. Set aside.

  2. Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode. Melt the butter in the pot, and add the olive oil. When melted, add the diced onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.

  3. Sauté, continue to stir until the onions become soft and release liquid, about 5 minutes. Add water, and then cover and seal the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot to Sealing Position and cook on Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes. Carefully set your Instant Pot to Venting Position to allow for a Quick Release once the Instant Pot is finished cooking.

  4. Remove the lid, and set the Instant Pot back to sauté mode. Pour in the wine, and bring to a simmer. Simmer the wine for about 10 minutes, or until most of the wine has evaporated. Once done simmering, remove the thyme and bay leaf with a slotted spoon.

  5. Next, add both the beef and chicken stock. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the soup slightly thickens. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

  6. Preheat the oven broiler. Slice the baguette into slices, and then place the baguette slices onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle each baguette with cheese. Place the baguette slices into the oven and broil until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  7. Ladle the French onion soup into bowls, then place slices of the cheesy bread directly in the bowl to float on top of the soup. Serve immediately.


  • Instant Pot
  • slotted spoon
  • baking sheet
  • ladle

Recipe Notes

Prepare your Instant Pot French Onion soup even quicker by learning how to dice an onion perfectly in seconds.

Gruyère may be traditional for French Onion soup, but feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. Great alternatives include Fontina, Gouda, sharp cheddar, and Swiss cheese.

If you own ovenproof bowls and prefer to broil your baguette slices directly on top of the soup, feel free to do so. Place the ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes.

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