Often overlooked due to how complicated it can be, this French Onion Soup is a great recipe to make in the Instant Pot. Making this soup is no longer complicated and daunting thanks for the popular new pressure cooker. Love soup? Try our Instant Pot Macaroni Hamburger Soup or Instant Pot Beef and Barley Stew.
How to Make French Onion Soup in the Instant Pot
- Start by preparing you onions. You’ll want to peel your onions and then slice off the ends. Now slice them into rings and then cut those rings in half and set aside.
- Put your Instant Pot on sauté and place some butter in the bottom of the pot. Add in the sliced onions and some brown sugar (see recipe card for measurements). Cook the onions, stirring every few minutes until they have browned and caramelized. This can take up to 45 minutes but it’s worth it, trust me. Be sure to scrape the browned bits off the bottom when they appear and stirring them back into the onion mixture.
- If anything seems like it’s going to burn, add a tablespoon of water and keep cooking. When done, pour in 1/2 cup of beef broth and deglaze the bottom by scraping everything off with a wooden spoon. Add in the remaining broth and cooking sherry along with Worcestershire, pepper and thyme.
- Taste test and add beef bouillon granules if you want more flavor. Typical French onion soup has a strong beef stock flavor but you can adjust to your liking.
- Add in the bay leaf and place the lid on and turn the valve to sealing on the Instant Pot. Press the soup button and set the timer for 10 minutes. Once the time is up and the cooking is complete, let the Instant Pot naturally release. At this point, there may be foam on top, skim this off. Do NOT mix it into the soup. Now remove the bay leaf as well.
- Pour into ramekin dishes or oven safe bowls and leave an inch to the top edge so you can top the soup. Place 1-2 slices of toasted baguette on top of the soup and top with shredded Gruyere cheese. Place these on a baking sheet and broil in the oven with the rack set to the middle. Do this for about 3 minutes or so. You want the cheese to melt and begin to brown before you remove.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving (so nobody burns themselves!).
They should look like this when done:
Look how delicious this looks! Just like a fancy French restaurant and you did it almost completely in an Instant Pot. It’s no wonder so many people love these appliances!
The Fast & Slow Team.
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Instant Pot French Onion Soup
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 13 minutes
- Instant Pot
- Fast & Slow Cooking
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 10 cups yellow onions peeled and sliced in circles around 3 pounds of onions
- 5-6 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons cooking sherry to taste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon thyme
- salt if needed taste first!
- beef bouillon granules or cubes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 French Baguette sliced and toasted
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- Peel your onions, then slice off the ends of each onion and continue slicing so onions are in circles about 1/3 inch wide.
- Cut the onion circles in half. I like to leave mine in larger pieces and have longer, thinner onions in my soup.
- Set your instant pot to sauté.
- Place the butter into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add the sliced onions and the brown sugar.
- Cook the onions, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until they have browned and caramelized. The brown sugar will help with this step! This can take a solid 45-60 minutes. Make sure to scrape all of the browned bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot when they appear and stir them back into the onion mixture.
- If anything starts to burn, add a tablespoon of water quickly and keep cooking. Make sure to scrape all of the browned bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot when they appear and stir them back into the onion mixture.
- When the onions are done, slowly pour 1/2 cup of the beef broth into the bottom of the pot. Deglaze the bottom by scraping the browned bits off the bottom using a wooden spoon.
- Add in the remaining beef broth. the cooking sherry to taste, the Worcestershire to taste, pepper, and thyme. Depending on how thick you like your soup, you can add more beef stock to the pot. I like mine restaurant-style, so there’s lots of onions and just enough broth to make it a soup.
- Taste test and add beef bouillon granules if desired. French onion soup should have an extraordinarily strong beef stock, and you can adjust this to your liking at this point. If desired, add salt at this point, but you rarely need it if you have a proper beef stock.
- Add the bay leaf.
- Place the Instant Pot lid on the pot and turn the valve to sealing.
- Press the soup button and set the time for 10 minutes.
- Once the time is up, let the Instant pot naturally release.
- At this point skim any foam off the top of the soup, do NOT mix it in! Then remove the bay leaf.
- Spoon the soup into ramekins or your favorite oven safe soup bowls leaving at least one inch to the top edge.
- Place 1-2 slices of the toasted baguette onto the soup.
- Top the baguette with the shredded Gruyere.
- Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and broil in the oven, with the oven rack set in the middle position, for about 3 minutes. Watch for the cheese to start to melt then brown, then remove from the oven.
- Let the soup and the soup bowls cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.