Instant Pot French Onion Pasta (French Onion Mac & Cheese)

It began with the best French Onion Soup. Then, I took that soup and turned it into French Onion Chicken that became an international sensation and put Pressure Luck on the map. So I followed it up with my super popular French Onion Risotto and then my Cream of Onion Soup!

But I felt like I needed to make one more dish in the French Onion family.

And so I decided to create something I’ve been thinking of for a while and now that we all seek some comfort on the chilly nights ahead, it’s time to introduce the world to FRENCH ONION PASTA. Or maybe I should call it French Onion Mac & Cheese because it’s not only full of a deep French Onion Soup flavor, but its also LOADED with ooey, gooey, stretchy cheese!

Not only are the flavors abundant and truly wonderful in the way they combine, this is a SNAP and takes NO TIME AT ALL to make in your Instant Pot!

Here’s How I Made It!: 

Begin with a large, sweet onion…

…and slice it into strands.

Take some olive oil, add it to Instant Pot and heat it up.

Add in the onions and stir and set for a few minutes…

…until they become nice and browned, softened and a bit caramelized.

Then, add in some butter…

…and crushed garlic…

…and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot until the butter’s melted.

Now it’s time to wine. Add some dry red…

…and let it simmer for a moment.

Let’s follow that up with some beef broth…

…brown sugar…


…garlic powder…

…onion powder…

…kosher salt…

…black pepper…

…Worcestershire sauce (say it 10x in a row)…

…and stir until well combined.

Now it’s time for our pasta. I like a Campanelle for this, which looks like little trumpets but you can use any pasta with a good scoop).

Once the pasta’s added, smooth it out a bit with a spoon so it’s mostly submerged, but it’s okay if some peaks above the broth. JUST DO NOT STIR THE PASTA IN WITH THE BROTH. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.

When done, the pasta will look like this and will have cooked perfectly.

Add in some Boursin (or cream cheese)…

…and gently stir until totally melded into the pasta and broth.

Lastly, cheese it up with some grated Parmesan…

…shredded Swiss…

…heavy cream or half & half…

…and some shredded Mozzarella.

Stir everything up every well until all the cheese is totally blended into the sauce…

…and it becomes a French Onion Pasta Au Gratin to make even the best French Onion Soup envious!

Spoon some of that French Onion Pasta (basically a French Onion Mac & Cheese) into a bowl…

…and marvel/admire it a bit.

Then, finish it off with some crispy fried onions…

…to add a fantastic, crunch to your bite!

I mean, just look at it.

I think this pasta speaks for itself. AN INSTANT CLASSIC FAVORITE!


At the time of this post, Pressure Luck exclusively uses Better Than Bouillon/Southeastern Mills for all soup bases and bouillon

Instant Pot French Onion Pasta (French Onion Mac & Cheese)
Yield: 6

Instant Pot French Onion Pasta (French Onion Mac & Cheese)

Instant Pot French Onion Pasta (French Onion Mac & Cheese)

This is essentially your classic Mac & Cheese but with a French Onion twist. Because, why not, right? It's MEGA-cheesy and full of deep, beef flavor.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes


  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large Vidalia/sweet onion, sliced into strands
  • 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) of salted butter
  • 3 cups of beef broth (I used 1 tbsp of Beef Better Than Bouillon + 3 cups of water)
  • 1 cup of red wine (any dry one, such as a Pinot Noir, will do and you can use red cooking wine too if it’s all you have. If you don’t wish to use wine, add another cup of broth)
  • 2 tsp of light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb (1 box) of Campanelle pasta
  • 5.2 oz package of Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese (or Boursin Shallot & Chive Cheese), cut into small crumbles (SECRET INGREDIENT! This is usually always found in the deli/cheese/cured meat section of any market and Costco sells it in packs of 3. If you cannot find it, 5 oz from a brick of cream cheese will do)
  • 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream or half & half
  • 2 cups (8 oz bag) of shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
  • 3/4 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • French’s Fried Onions, for topping


  1. Add the 1 tbsp of the olive oil to the Instant Pot (I used a 6qt), hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once the oil’s heated, add in the onions and stir & set for 15 minutes until they are nicely browned, softened and caramelized. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot 7 minutes into the sautéing of the onions (NOTE: DO NOT skimp out on this step because the worst thing ever is to have crunchy, undercooked onions in a pasta)
  2. Add in the butter and garlic and sauté with the onions until the butter’s melted while deglazing (scraping) the bottom of the pot to get any remnants from the onions up
  3. Next, add in the wine and let simmer for a minute. Follow with the broth, brown sugar, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well
  4. Lastly, add in the pasta BUT DO NOT STIR. Just allow it to be as submerged under the liquid as possible by smoothing out with a mixing spoon (it is okay if some of the pasta is sticking out/peaking above the liquid)
  5. Secure the lid and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done
  6. Add the Boursin and gently stir in with the pasta and broth for about 2 minutes until fully melded. Follow up with the Parmesan, heavy cream (or half & half), Swiss, and Mozzarella (it’s best to stir in the shredded Swiss & Mozzarella in a few batches for even melting/distribution). Stir for about another 2 minutes until the cheese completely melded into the sauce. It will becomes incredibly ooey, gooey, stretchy and PERFECT
  7. Transfer to bowls and top with crispy fried onions, if desired
  8. Enjoy!

Jeffrey's Tips

Want it vegetarian? Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth! It will slightly alter the flavor but that’s totally fine!

Can’t find Campanelle pasta? Use Cellentani or Macaroni instead. Same cook time!

If you want to double the onion, go for it! Just add in double the olive oil and you may need to sauté an additional 5 minutes longer as they MUST be very browned, softened and caramelized for the proper texture – otherwise you’ll have crunchy, underdone onions and no one wants that in a pasta.

Any leftovers re-heat super well in the microwave!

Reader Interactions


  1. Jasmine Swafford

    Hello! I am wanting to make this recipe and add chicken. How much more cooking time would be required?? Or is it even plausible??

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