French Onion Chicken Bake is full of sweet caramelized onions, rich broth, and a generous serving of gooey melted cheese on top. This recipe combines the classic flavors of French onion soup with tender juicy chicken, creating a delightful, cozy meal.
Baked in a skillet, this easy dinner recipe is a perfect blend of convenience and gourmet cooking. The chicken is seasoned, pan-seared, and then baked in a savory onion gravy, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.
I love that I can use my cast iron skillet for this one-dish easy recipe. If you’re short on cooking time but want a comforting homemade meal, this is it. This is the meal the entire family will enjoy.
Cleanup is also a breeze since I don’t have to use any other baking dish to make this complete meal.
Ingredients At A Glance (Full Printable Recipe Card Down Below!)
- skinless, boneless chicken breast
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- unsalted butter
- thinly sliced onions (I use Vidalia onions when they are available)
- minced garlic cloves
- thyme sprigs
- white wine
- chicken broth
- shredded gruyere cheese OR cheddar cheese
- Skillet (oven-safe) – If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, use a Dutch oven.
- Kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cheese grater
French Onion Chicken Preparation Overview
While the oven is preheating, slice the chicken breasts in half. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat and sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Once seared, remove the chicken and set it aside.
You’re not going to cook the chicken all the way through, just a one-minute sear on each side.
Lower to medium heat and add the rest of the butter to the skillet. Add sliced onions, minced garlic, and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour in half of the beef broth and wine, stirring constantly to avoid clumps. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining beef broth and wine, cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
Once the mixture is smooth, place the chicken back into the skillet, nestled into the onion mixture. Place some of the onions on top of the chicken.
Sprinkle grated cheese over the chicken.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Once the chicken is done, allow the dish to rest for a few minutes. This settling time lets the juices redistribute, ensuring that every bite is as moist and flavorful.
Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley, if desired. Serve directly from the skillet for an impressive presentation.
French Onion Chicken, when baked in a skillet, pairs beautifully with a variety of sides. The rich flavors of caramelized onions and melted cheese call for a refreshing or starchy side dish to balance the meal.
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes: They sop up the delicious gravy.
- Buttered Egg Noodles: Simple yet satisfying.
- Rice Pilaf: A light option that complements the juicy chicken breasts.
- Steamed Green Beans: A crunchy, healthy addition.
- Roasted Asparagus: Its robust flavor holds up well.
- Glazed Carrots: Their sweetness mirrors the onions’ caramelization.
- Classic Caesar Salad: Offers a crisp contrast.
- Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette: Adds a zesty twist.
- Spinach Salad with Balsamic Reduction: Elevates the dish with a gourmet touch.
- Crusty French Baguette: Ideal for dipping into the skillet juices. Crusty bread is my favorite side to these tender chicken breasts.
- Garlic Bread: A crowd-pleaser that echoes the savory notes.
Herb Focaccia: Soft with a herby punch.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Storing the French Onion Chicken after it has been baked is straightforward. It should be allowed to cool down to room temperature before storage.
Use an airtight container to store the chicken in the refrigerator. It can be kept refrigerated for up to four days.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag.
- Label with the date and freeze.
- Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 2 to 3 months.
How to reheat in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish.
- Cover with foil to prevent drying out.
- Reheat for 20 minutes or until heated through.
To reheat on the stove:
- Place the chicken in a skillet.
- Add a splash of broth or water.
- Cover and heat on a low simmer until warmed.
To reheat in the microwave:
- Put chicken in a microwave-safe dish.
- Cover with a damp paper towel.
- Use the reheat setting or heat in 30-second intervals until hot.
Note: Reheating times may vary based on the portion size and the heating method used. Ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption. Avoid reheating multiple times as this can affect the taste and quality of the dish.
Variations and Substitutions
- Traditional: Cheddar or Gruyère Cheese
- Substitute: Swiss cheese, mozzarella, or Fontina for milder flavors. A sprinkle of parmesan cheese before serving is also a great addition.
- Classic: Yellow onions
- Variation: Sweet Onions (my fave), Red onions for a sweeter taste, shallots for a milder profile.
- Base: Beef broth
- Alternative: Chicken or vegetable broth for lighter options.
Herbs and Spices:
- Typical: Thyme
- Options: Rosemary or bay leaves for varied aromatics.
- Standard: Chicken thighs or breasts
- Swap: Turkey cutlets or pork chops for a different main protein.
- Oven-Baked: Delivers even cooking and a golden crust.
- Alternate: Slow cooker for a tender result, finishing under the broiler for crispiness.
- Conventional: White wine for deglazing
- Option: Sherry or apple cider for different acidity profiles, or omit altogether for alcohol-free.
Check Out More Delicious Recipes!
- 2 large chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 medium yellow OR sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 thyme sprigs
- ¾ cup white wine
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere OR cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Halve the chicken breasts lengthwise and pat dry with kitchen paper. Season each side with salt and pepper.
- Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Sear chicken breasts on each side. No need to cook it fully, just give it a nice sear for 1 minute on both sides. Remove and set aside on a plate.
- Add the rest of the butter to the same skillet and melt on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprigs. Cook for 5 minutes. Add half of the wine and half of the chicken broth. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the wine and chicken broth. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add chicken back to the skillet with the onions. Spoon sauce on the chicken and place caramelized onions around and on top of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle cheese equally over each chicken breast. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8 minutes until cheese melts and chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let sit a few minutes before serving,
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Amount Per Serving Calories 415Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 121mgSodium 741mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 30g