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Food & Recipes

French Onion Pasta Is Pure Comfort on a Plate — One-Pot Recipe Is Fast + Delicious

It comes together in under an hour and is packed with savory goodness!

If pasta is one of your weeknight favorites, ditch the time-consuming recipes and make this speedy option instead: French onion pasta. This dish is filled with creamy, rich and savory flavors just like the classic cheese-topped soup — it’s a comforting combo that’s a guaranteed hit. Even better, cleanup is easy as you can even cook all of the ingredients in the same pot. Ready to give it a try? Here’s how to make French onion pasta that delivers on big flavor without a lot of work.

What is French onion pasta?

This dish consists of pasta that’s coated in a sauce made with caramelized onions, butter, cheese, broth and seasonings. The combination of ingredients produces a cheesy and pungent dish that’s gone viral on TikTok with several variations for making it at home.

Traditional vs. one-pot French onion pasta

The way you prepare this dish comes down to how much time you have. Cooking the pasta and sauce base together is the quicker option as it doesn’t involve waiting for the water to boil or draining the noodles. Once the sauce is thickened and the pasta is tender, you can serve it right out of the pot. While this method produces delicious results faster, boiling the pasta separately is ideal if you like adding the starchy cooking liquid to the sauce. This way the sauce can reach your desired consistency — no extra butter or cream needed. As long as you’re building layers of flavor within the dish, either method works to create tasty pasta in an hour or less!

3 tips for making delicious French onion pasta

Although French onion pasta uses pantry staples, these tips ensure you’ll maximize the most flavor from the core ingredients!

1. Cook the onions so they’re soft and jammy.

Since the onions are the backbone of the dish, it’s best to caramelize them until they’re sweet and tender. This usually takes around 40 minutes in a pan over a gentle heat. But, our story on quick caramelized onions reveals how to do it in half the time. (Spoiler: It starts with cranking up the heat to medium-high!)

2. Choose the right pasta shape.

Since this sauce is rich and velvety, a short pasta shape with ridges or holes will yield a more flavorful bite than long, thin varieties. “Choose a pasta shape that holds sauce well, like penne, cavatappi or radiatore,” Lindsey Chastain, founder and CEO of The Waddle and Cluck, says. Other pasta shapes including cavatelli, rigatoni and orecchiette work fine too.

3. Pour in a good-quality broth.

Stirring in a good-quality beef, chicken or vegetable does the trick for amping up the sauce’s savory flavors. Try a store-bought variety like Pacific Foods’ Organic Free Range Chicken Broth (Buy from Walmart, $3.18) as it will instantly infuse the sauce with the aromatic essence of chicken, herbs and vegetables.

How to make French onion pasta

If you’re ready to add French onion pasta to your weeknight menu, pick the recipe below that suits your needs. Then, serve the dish alongside cooked meat or vegetables to make it a complete meal.

Caramelized Onion Pasta

Caramelized French onion pasta with mshrooms served in a bowl

Chastain’s recipe cooks the noodles and sauce separately, and you can enhance the dish by sautéeing the onions with sliced mushrooms for an earthy kick.


  • 3 large onions, sliced 
  • 3 Tbs. butter 
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1 lb. penne pasta or another short pasta shape
  • 1 cup beef, chicken or vegetable broth 
  • ½ cup heavy cream 
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme 
  • 1 cup shredded cheese like Gruyère, provolone or swiss
  • Salt and pepper


  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook sliced onions with butter and olive oil about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally until onions are very soft, jammy and deep brown in color.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Add broth, heavy cream and thyme to caramelized onions. Increase heat to medium and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add drained pasta and about ½ cup of reserved pasta cooking water to skillet and toss to combine and coat pasta in onion sauce. Add more pasta water if needed for extra creaminess.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Adjust seasoning if needed. Garnish with extra shredded cheese and thyme leaves (if desired). Serve immediately.

One-Pot French Onion Pasta

This French Onion Pasta recipe from the Ginger Snap Kitchen YouTube channel cooks in one pot and is guaranteed to win over even the pickiest eaters! (Warm up those leftovers to saucy perfection using our guide on how to reheat pasta.)

To discover more easy weeknight favorites, click through the stories below:

Why You Should Add Chicken Paillard to Your Weeknight Rotation: It’s Fast, Easy + Delicious

Guaranteed Juicy Meatloaf Every Time — Here’s the Easy Step That Most Folks Skip

Leftover Salmon Recipes for Speedy and Delicious Weeknight Meals — 5 Easy Ideas

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