Instant Pot French Onion Chicken is a soup-meets-chicken-meets-cheese, in a 1 pot marriage of delicious cheesy goodness. French onion soup broth is made with caramelized onions and red wine, then pressure cooked with chicken and topped with melted gooey Swiss and Gruyere cheese. It's an ultimate comfort meal that will have you not wanting to share!
Instant Pot French Onion Soup is inspired by my out-of-this-world traditional slow simmered french onion soup recipe.
If you're like me and can't get enough of the ooey-gooey cheesy heaven that french onion soup is and love chicken too, why not combine them into a delicious, quick and easy Instant Pot dinner?
This recipe is made with the flavors of authentic french onion soup— beef broth, red wine, thyme, sweet onions, and Gruyere cheese.
You can eat french onion chicken on it's own, served with toasted garlic bread, and an easy vegetable. Or, serve it over rice or noodles. You can even turn this recipe into a soup by dicing up the chicken after it's cooked, spooning it into soup bowls, and topping it with toasted cheesy bread.
It is incredibly delicious and simple. Who doesn't love an easy one pot Instant Pot dinner that's ready in 30 minutes— including the time it takes to pressurize the pot!
💡 This recipe was tested in both a 6 and 8 quart Instant Pot. It will work in a 3 quart pressure cooker using half the amount of chicken tenders. It should also work in a 10 quart pot because there is plenty of liquid to pressurize the pot correctly.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Red wine: do not use red cooking wine. Use a dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. These red wines give the broth the richest flavor.
- Chicken tenders: the timing in this recipe is for chicken tenders, not chicken breasts. If using large chicken breasts, either cut them in half or keep them whole and increase pressure cooking time by 5 minutes.
- Gruyere cheese: authentic french onion soup is made with Gruyere cheese. An acceptable substitute is Swiss, mozzarella, provolone or fontina. A combination of these cheeses works too!
- Dried thyme: brings lots of flavor to french onion recipes.
- Sweet onions: can use yellow onions instead.
- Beef broth: do not substitute with vegetable or chicken broth.
- Salt and pepper: freshly ground is always the best!
- Bay leaf
Cheat Method: If you'd rather skip making the broth/sauce and use a can of french onion soup, you can! To do this, skip steps 1 and 2. During step 3, add the can of soup to the pot, followed by the chicken tenders. Then follow the rest of the recipe as written.
STEP 1: Set your pressure cooker to saute on high for 10 minutes. Add the butter, and when it's melted, add the onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Stir it often. The onions will caramelize and begin to turn brown.
STEP 2: Pour in the red wine and deglaze thoroughly, removing all stuck pieces from the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon. When the pot is deglazed, simmer for about 2 minutes to reduce the wine. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
STEP 3: Add flour to the pot and mix for 1 minute to coat the onions. Then add beef broth, salt, pepper and stir.
STEP 4: Layer the chicken tenders on top of the broth. Push them down under the broth as much as possible but do not stir. Close and seal the lid. Set to pressure cook on high for 8 minutes.
STEP 5: When it's done, naturally release the steam for 10 minutes, then quickly release the remaining pressure. It's important to always naturally release the steam when cooking meat to prevent it from becoming tough.
Remove the lid and wait 5 minutes. Top the chicken with Swiss or Gruyere cheese slices (or a combination of both) and sprinkle with paprika.
STEP 6 (OPTIONAL): You can use your air fryer lid to broil the cheese slightly, about 2 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, transfer the chicken to a baking sheet, top with cheese and broil or toast in a conventional toaster or oven for a few minutes until it's browned to your liking.
STEP 7 (OPTIONAL): You can also thicken the broth here, if you'd like. Mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water, then add to the broth and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
Serve plain or over noodles or rice. Use extra broth as a side of soup or reserve as a marinade for future use. Enjoy!
Serve french onion chicken over rice, noodles, or over toasted garlic bread. And if you want to add vegetables to this dinner, it pairs well with
air fried salt and pepper green beans, mashed cauliflower, lemon and herb cauliflower, and rosemary roasted baby potatoes.
Red wine is used to deglaze the pan and add flavor to the soup. Use a dry wine, such Pinot Noir, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
The flour is necessary when making french onion broth in order to thicken it and to coat the onions so they do not stick.
Yes! To use a can of french onion soup instead of the homemade broth, skip steps 1 and 2. During step 3, add the can of soup to the pot, followed by the chicken tenders. Don't stir. Then follow the rest of the recipe as written.
Authentic french onion is made with Gruyere cheese. In its place, use Swiss, mozzarella, provolone, or fontina.
Instant Pot French Onion Chicken
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 large sweet onions, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ cup red wine see notes
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- 10 chicken tenders
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
- 10-20 Gruyere or Swiss cheese slices or enough to cover the chicken
- paprika for serving
- Set the Instant Pot to saute on high for 10 minutes. Melt the butter, then add the onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir often, until onions begin to carmelize.
- Pour the red wine into the pot and deglaze thoroughly, removing all stuck pieces from the bottom of the pot. While deglazing, simmer for about 2 minutes to reduce the wine. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Add flour and mix into the onions for 1 minute. Add beef broth, salt, pepper, and chicken tenders. Do not stir after this point. Close and seal the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 8 minutes.
- Naturally release the steam for 10 minutes, then quickly release remaining pressure.
- Remove the lid and wait 5 minutes. Top the chicken with swiss or gruyere cheese slices and sprinkle with paprika. Serve plain, over noodles, or over rice. Use extra broth as a side of soup or reserve as a marinade for future use.
I hope you've enjoyed my recipe for Instant Pot french onion chicken! Make sure to check out my other Instant Pot recipes, and let me know what you thought about this one in the comments below.
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I followed the directions exactly. I'm not a novice cook but when I saw the ingredient list call for red wine, I wondered, "Really? Not white?" But hey, I added the red as called for. The onions--and of course rest of the dish--turned a horrible, unappetizing blue-gray color. I'm SO glad I wasn't serving this to company. It looks spoiled, right there in the Instant Pot. I'm so disappointed.
Alexis- That is strange. There is nothing in this recipe that would turn it a blue or gray color, just lots of dark, red and brown ingredients. French onion soup does not use white wine, it uses red which is why it's also used here (and it would not turn a meal blue/gray). It sounds like maybe something went wrong with one of the ingredients, possibly bad onions or chicken? But again, I'm not sure that anything here would be responsible for turning the entire meal gray so I can't say for sure what would have went wrong.
Such a delicious dinner for weeknights!! It is so good!
Wow! This recipe combined all my favorite things: french onion soup, chicken, and cheese. I decided to try this recipe out last night and it was one of the best meals I have ever made. The flavors were so rich and the mix of textures was pure perfection!