Instant Pot French Onion Chicken

***THIS DISH IS MY CLAIM TO FAME!***Like so many, I love french onion soup (click here to make mine). It’s easily in my top three favorite soups ever.

And like so many, I also love chicken. Especially since there are countless ways to dress and serve it up.

And I’ve already shown you how both these things are cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot. So I officiated a marriage between the two and let me tell you, I never cried tears of joy this much (maybe it was the onions?). It was also the CHEESIEST wedding I’ve ever been to (maybe it was the Swiss?).  Regardless, a match made in FOODIE HEAVEN!

So I think the time has come to combine the two into something beyond your wildest french onion soup loving dreams.

What if we took some delicious chicken cutlets, layered on top of some buttery-garlicky Texas Toast and COVERED them in a thick, rich french onion soup sauce topped off with a layer of gooey, melted Swiss cheese?

Well, no more “What ifs.”  This is happening RIGHT. NOW.

Here’s How I Made It:

We’ll begin with two Vidalia (sweet) onions…

..and slice them up into strands.

Then we’ll prepare a quick and easy flour mixture.

Let’s take some thinly sliced chicken breasts/cutlets…

…dredge them in the flour…

…and set aside.

Now we’ll add some EVOO to our Instant Pot and heat it up on “Sauté”…

…and then add our chicken, in batches, to quickly brown…

…on each side for about 1 minute.

When all the pieces have been lightly browned, set aside.  Most of the oil should have been absorbed by the chicken and you can keep what’s left of it in the pot, but you can also remove the excess by carefully pouring it out/discarding if you wish.

Now we’ll add some butter to the the pot and melt it.  Deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pan to get some of the chicken/flour remnants up and mixed in with the butter.

And then add in our onions, toss with the butter and let cook down for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.

After 10 minutes, the should become lightly browned and softened up a bit.

Next, we’ll take two cans of French Onion Soup (or you can make half of my onion soup recipe)…

…and add them to the onions in the pot (if using condensed, like Campbell’s, you’ll need to add 2 cans of water as well – the cans will specify).  Give it a stir.

And now add back our chicken to the soup and onions.

Don’t press down hard to shove everything under the soup, just lightly so that the chicken is submerged.  We want it to be a little loose in there.  Secure the lid and cook on high pressure.

While magic is happening in the pot, make a cornstarch slurry by adding equal parts cornstarch and water…

…and prepare our next ingredient:  TEXAS TOAST!

Take about 6 slices and cook according to instructions until nice and toasted…

…and layer them side-by-side in a casserole dish.

Once the chicken is done, quick release and remove the lid.

Carefully remove the chicken with some tongs (it will be tender so do it delicately)…

…and set aside on a plate for a few moments.

Now we’ll make that french onion soup into a french onion soup SAUCE!  Hit “sauté” on the pot and add in the cornstarch slurry…

…along with a packet of french onion soup mix.

Stir it all together very well…

…and let it boil for a minute or two and then turn off the pot and let it rest.  This is what will make the soup become a thicker sauce!

While the sauce is resting and thickening up, take the chicken and layer over the Texas Toast…

…so it looks all PURDY and stuff.

Now that the sauce has rested for a few and thickened a bit, we’re going to take a spoonful…

…and generously ladle it over our chicken and toast!

But it wouldn’t be a TRUE french onion soup chicken without some Swiss cheese!  Layer about 10 slices over our chicken…

…and then top with a little more sauce!  Now you can either let the heat of the chicken and sauce melt the cheese…

…OR you can pop it in the oven and broil it for 3-5 minutes…

…until the cheese is slightly bubbly and browned!

Take a spatula and slide it under that Texas Toast (makes for SUPER easy/mess-free serving and easy portion control) …

…transfer to a plate and serve!I am telling you: LIFE. CHANGING.

Yield: 6

Instant Pot French Onion Chicken

Instant Pot French Onion Chicken

So picture the perfect French Onion Soup, but then we turn it into a sauce and cascade it over tender chicken laying on garlic toast and then smother it in melty cheese. The result is French Onion Chicken and it put me on the map and earned the trust of millions.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breasts, sliced about 1/4″ thick
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour (with a few pinches of onion powder, garlic salt and black pepper mixed together), for dredging
  • 2 Vidalia or sweet onions, sliced into strands
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp of salted butter
  • Two 18.5 oz cans of ready-to-eat French Onion Soup (I used Progresso. OR you can use two 10.5 oz cans of Campbell’s condensed and just add water per the can’s instructions. OR you can make half the recipe of my French Onion Soup and just use that!)
  • 4-6 slices of Texas Toast (any variety is fine, I used a garlic parmesan – you can find this in most frozen food sections. If not, garlic bread works just fine too!)
  • 1 packet of Onion Soup mix
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch + 3 tbsp of water
  • 10 slices of Swiss cheese (can get either in the deli section or they usually come in a packet of 10 slices in the dairy section)
  • Crispy fried onions, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Coat the chicken in the flour mixture and set aside
  2. Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” to the “High” or “More” setting. Wait for it to read “Hot.”
  3. Add the chicken in batches and lightly brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove, set aside and repeat until all chicken is lightly browned. Chicken should be lightly browned like in the video for reference.  Most or all of the oil will also have been absorbed by the chicken while browning so if there’s a little left you can just keep it in the pot or carefully pour it out – your choice
  4. Add the butter to the pot and, once melted, add in the onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes until they soften and become a bit browned (but not burned).  While the onions are cooking, let them sit for a few minutes before stirring and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pan a couple times from any remnants that may have stuck
  5. Now you’ll add in the Canned Onion Soup (if using condensed soup, you’ll need to add 2 cans of water to go with it.  If you’re making my french onion soup instead, just halve that recipe and make it now).  Stir it up with the onions.
  6. Add the chicken back into the pot.  Secure the lid, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 5 minutes.  Quick release when done
  7. While the chicken is cooking, make the Texas Toast (or garlic bread) according to package instructions.  When done, line the toast in a casserole dish
  8. When the lid comes off the pot, remove the chicken with some tongs and set aside on a plate (but leave sauce in the pot). Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Sauté” again
  9. Add the cornstarch slurry to the mixture right away along with the Onion Soup Mix packet and stir/whisk in VERY well and bring to a bubble.  Allow for about 1 minute of bubbling while stirring constantly and then turn the pot off.  The sauce is going to thicken very nicely after a few moments of cooling down
  10. Layer the chicken over the Texas Toast, cover with sauce, layer each piece with the cheese, add a little more of the sauce and either let the cheese melt on its own from the heat of the chicken and sauce OR pop it into the oven for about 5 minutes on broil so it bubbles and browns.  Feel free to sprinkle on some crispy fried onions for topping to go even more onion crazy!
  11. Take a spatula and slide it under a piece of Texas Toast (this makes for SUPER easy/mess-free serving) and plate it up
  12. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

“But Jeff!  We are already using a few cans of french onion soup in there!  Why do I need to add in MORE onions?”  An excellent question!  And you don’t NEED to (and if you don’t, you can skip step 4) – but I certainly suggest it.  The reason we do this is because the onions in the canned soup are not very prevalent in body and texture and we want this to have even MORE onions.  It may seem like a lot of extra onions once you chop them, but believe me, even the additional two Vidalia onions will cook down and this will leave you with the PERFECT ratio of onions to the sauce.

Don’t care for the canned soup shortcut?  Make 1/2 of my French Onion Soup recipe instead for the sauce at Step 5.

Don’t feel like broiling the cheese at the end?  That’s fine!  The heat of the chicken and sauce will melt the cheese within a few minutes. But I DO suggest broiling it if you want that bubbly, super gooey cheesy touch!

Don’t care for Swiss cheese?  Use Mozzarella, Provolone or even Cheddar instead!

Rather not layer the Texas Toast under the chicken, sauce and cheese? (It WILL get a little soggy while retaining some of its crunch – BUT that’s exactly how it is in a great french onion soup).  Well, no problem!  Serve it on the side and use it to lap up the chicken and the sauce!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Fran Taitel

    I just got an instant pot and found you while searching for cookbooks on Amazon (I bought yours). This was the first recipe I made…my family LOVED it! I’m making your sausage and spinach soup tomorrow and your potato latkes on Saturday (we had to wait for all the kids to come home to celebrate Hanukkah). Thanks for all the great information and recipes! And Happy Hanukkah!

  2. Hazel

    This. Was. FABULOUS!! Oh my goodness. Yuuum! I’m an Instant Pot newbie and this was so easy to make. I doubled it for my family of 8 and everyone absolutely loved it! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!!

  3. Janis

    Wow, looks and sounds delish….I worry about all the salt intake (I have heart stuff) and wonder how to lessen the impact of the canned and powdered soups. Any ideas? Many thanks, J

    • Melanie

      I just make my own french onion soup and thicken it up a bit. That way I have control over the salt. It’s really not hard to make and takes about the same amount of time as Jeffrey’s recipe.

  4. Elyse

    Looks fabulous of course. I need to figure how to do a very low sodium version. Btw, you can put pyrex under the broiler? Maybe it’s new Anchor.

  5. SHIRLEY

    HI JEFFREY,
    I LOVE YOUR ENTHUSIASM FOR COOKING AND THE HAPPY WAY YOU DEMONSTRATE YOUR CREATIVITY WITH THE INSTANT POT. THE RECIPES ARE DELICIOUS. WHEN YOU START YOUR GREETINGS IN THE VIDEO I WISH YOU WOULD SAY “HEY EVERYONE” INSTEAD OF “HEY GUYS”. YOU HAVE A MUCH WIDER AUDIENCE THAN THE “GUYS”. NOT A BIG DEAL BUT THOUGHT IT MIGHT HELP YOU GAIN EVEN MORE SUCCESS…..JUST A THOUGHT! 🙂

    • Sandi Eichler

      Hi,
      As a former New Jerseyian married to a former New Yorker, I want to let you know that
      in NJ and NY, “guys” is not gender specific. I’ve lived in Atlanta for over 30 years, and still use it to refer to men, women and children.

      • Rachael O.

        Sandi, I second that! I’m a lifelong Jersey girl and I work in NYC and “guys” refers to EVERYONE. 🙂
        I’m making this in a couple days. Can’t wait to try it.😋

    • Karen

      I have lived in Ohio all my life and am 61 years old. Besides the generations ahead of me and English teachers, we use “guys” in that context to be gender neutral.

  6. Donna Santos

    I’m dying to make this recipe!! Went out and bought everything I need, but cannot find a can of French soup anywhere!! Is it not sold in Canada?? Please help, is there a substitute I can use?

    • Karen

      Generally speaking, without being sautéed, a 10 oz skinless boneless chicken breast will take between 7-8 min. and a 3 oz skinless boneless chicken thigh will take about 5-6 min.

  7. wendy

    I made this once last week and my husband asked for it again, which is good cause they doubled my chicken order at the food store when I picked it up! I did not add water to my condensed soup but now I’m making your french onion soup, wounder if it will be the same?

  8. Adrienne

    Jeffrey, I think I lost my mind! I took your recipe, did a mash up with my chicken casserole recipe and omg, heavenly. So I added egg noodles on top after having missed it all together. Pressed them into the liquid. After the 5 minutes pressure cook, qr, I added cream cheese, frozen peas, stirred till well combined. Added cheese on top and yum. You are an inspiration to me, as a NY Jewish Mother living in Virginia I love love your your recipes and hope you don’t mind my using them as a starting point

  9. Stephanie

    How do you make the flour not stick to the pot? I have done this so many times, and I feel like it just sticks and burns.

  10. Marie

    Hi I’m from Australia we don’t have cans of French onion soup we have pkts of dry French onion soup there about 45g a pkt how would u convert that plz

  11. Marie

    Hi we don’t sell cans of French onion soup in Australia we sell pkts of French onion soup there about 45g a pkt how would I go converting that into your recipe plz has I would love to try it

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