What To Serve With French Onion Soup? 7 Great Side Dish Ideas To Try

French onion soup is a classic. It is decadent and very filling but also very flavorful. You can serve it on its own, but to make your meal complete, a side dish is a good idea.

Keep on reading to find out all the best side dishes for French onion soup! You can make these dishes without much effort and complement your meal.

What Is French Onion Soup?

This type of soup contains meat broth, onions, croutons, and a crust of cheese. Sometimes the soup is covered with a large piece of bread with cheese. This version of French onion soup comes from the 18th century with the addition of caramelized onions.

The French onion soup was first introduced to the United States by chef  Marie Julie Grandjean Mouquin. Although the liquid is usually only beef broth, it can sometimes contain water or milk. In other cases, the soup might be thickened using eggs or flour.

The classic soup recipe specifies that the onions should be caramelized by cooking slowly. By the end, you can add sherry, wine, or brandy. You should then add toasted slices of bread or croutons to the liquid. Finally, the top layer is baked or broiled, bread and cheese.

The cheese of choice is usually Gruyere or Parmesan. However, you can also use a cheese that melts, like mozzarella, fontina, or Swiss. The stock of choice is beef because of its flavor, but a chicken broth can replace it when necessary.

Nutrition Facts

One cup of French onion soup (241 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 369 calories
  • 17.3 g protein
  • 16.3 g fat
  • 39 g carbohydrate
  • 2.41 g fiber
  • 6.22 g sugar
  • 328 mg calcium
  • 2.89 mg iron
  • 43.4 mg magnesium
  • 277 mg phosphorus
  • 374 mg potassium
  • 1030 mg sodium
  • 96.4 µg vitamin A
  • 36.2 mg cholesterol

French onion soup is a great treat, but it is high in carbohydrates, fat, and sodium. You can make it healthier by choosing low-sodium ingredients and adding low-fat cheese. Try also pairing this soup with a lean source of protein.

If you like to have a supply ready for your favorite soup throughout the year, you can always freeze onions and preserve them for longer keeping.

What Goes With French Onion Soup?

Below are some options for side dishes that you can serve with French onion soup at any time!

#1. Baked Salmon with Lemon

Salmon is never a bad choice, especially when it comes to how subtle and filling it is. In this case, your meal will be whole once you serve this delicious fish.


  • 1 lb salmon fillet
  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • ⅓ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your baked salmon with lemon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum paper and drizzle some olive oil on top.
  3. Place the salmon on the baking sheet, and drizzle the rest of the olive oil.
  4. Add the garlic, thyme, dill, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  5. Finish off by sprinkling the lemon juice evenly on the fish.
  6. Place another layer of aluminum foil over the fish and seal it.
  7. Bake the salmon for 12 to 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the fish from the oven and let it sit to cool down.
  9. Serve your baked salmon with lemon hot on the side of your French onion soup.

#2. French Country Salad

A fresh salad can be the perfect item to break through the density of your French onion soup. It is refreshing and very different from other salads.


  • 6 to 8 cipollini onions, peeled
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into slices
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 6 slices ham, sliced
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 4 slices Gruyere cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your French country salad:

  1. Wash, clean, peel the onions, and set them aside.
  2. Wash and drain your lettuce, break into pieces, and set it aside.
  3. Mix the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Add the onions and balsamic vinegar to a saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Turn the heat off and allow the onions to cool down.
  6. Clean and core your apple, slice it into pieces, and place it in a bowl.
  7. Stir in the lettuce, ham, and Gruyere cheese.
  8. Add the onions and pour the vinaigrette on top. Toss well.
  9. Serve your French country salad fresh on the side of your French onion soup.

#3. French Lyonnaise Potatoes

These potatoes are both creamy and crunchy, the perfect combination. They are decadent and filling, which makes your meal more complete.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 to 10 Russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your French lyonnaise potatoes:

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a skillet.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 8 minutes. Set them aside.
  3. Peel and slice your potatoes crosswise.
  4. Place the potatoes in a pot with water and salt. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, drain, and set them aside.
  5. Add the rest of the olive oil and butter to the skillet.
  6. Place the potato slices and cook for 15 minutes, flipping the potatoes until all sides are crisp.
  7. Return the onions to the skillet. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper.
  8. Cook for two more minutes.
  9. Remove your potatoes and place them on a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
  10. Serve your French lyonnaise potatoes hot on the side of your French onion soup.

#4. Burgundy Mushrooms

These Burgundy mushrooms are sweet and savory. You can add other vegetables to the mix if you want, but these are perfect on their own.


  • 4 cups white mushrooms
  • 3 cups Burgundy wine or another dry red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your Burgundy mushrooms:

  1. Clean your mushrooms and place them in a large pot.
  2. Add the wine, water, butter, Worcestershire sauce, broth, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Allow the liquid to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook covered for a couple of hours.
  4. Remove the cover and cook for another hour.
  5. Serve your Burgundy mushrooms hot with fresh parsley on top.

#5. Garlic Creamy Chicken

A hearty meal always needs a little protein. Why not make this garlic, creamy chicken add substance and flavor?


  • 2 garlic breasts, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your garlic creamy chicken:

  1. Place the flour on a plate. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Pass each of your chicken pieces through the flour, making sure each piece is covered.
  3. Add the olive oil and half the butter to a skillet. Once hot, place the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  5. Add the remaining butter to the skillet. Stir in the garlic, chicken broth, lemon juice, cumin, and paprika.
  6. Cook the liquid for 5 more minutes.
  7. Stir in half and half and cook for another couple of minutes.
  8. Add the chicken again, reduce the heat, and cook for a couple more minutes until the sauce thickens.
  9. Serve your garlic, creamy chicken hot with fresh parsley as a garnish and on the side of your French onion soup.

#6. Roasted Green Beans with Almonds

Green beans are a great option if you want to make your meal more nutritious. This recipe adds crunch and is very easy to prepare.


  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons almonds, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted green beans with almonds:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Wash, clean, and trim your green beans.
  3. Line a baking sheet and arrange the green beans on top.
  4. Spread the almonds, and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. 
  5. Season with garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  6. Roast the beans for 10 to 12 minutes or until the almonds turn golden.
  7. Serve your roasted green beans with almonds hot on the side of your French onion soup.

#7. Chicken Panini with Pesto

A simple way to make your meal whole is by adding a sandwich. This recipe is easy to follow and full of flavor.


  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoon pesto
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your chicken panini with pesto:

  1. Heat your grill pan over medium heat.
  2. Spread some butter onto both sides of each bread slice.
  3. Spread pesto onto two of the bread slices.
  4. Place one slice of cheese on top of the pesto, and then add your cooked shredded chicken.
  5. Drizzle honey on top of each bread.
  6. For more toasted bread, use a heavy object to press onto the sandwiches as they cook.
  7. Serve your chicken panini with pesto hot with your French onion soup on the side.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Side Dish?

A French onion soup is something to remember. You will likely spend some time preparing it. If you want to make your meal whole, try a side dish that complements these flavors.

When you want a full meal with more protein, you might want to go with the meat dish. The baked salmon with lemon is delicate and aromatic. The garlic, creamy chicken is complex but very quick to make.

You can also go with a vegetable side dish to add fiber and nutrients. The French country salad is fresh and unique. The roasted green beans with almonds are delicious and highly nutritious.

For all other times, you can go with a classic side dish. The French lyonnaise potatoes are a side dish you will never forget. The Burgundy mushrooms might take some time but are worth the effort.

When you are still unsure about what to make, the chicken panini with pesto is a simple yet flavorful choice. You can make it in minutes and have a complete meal.


A French onion soup is both a treat and an experience. You can always make your meal complete with some of these side dishes. You can mix and match and save some for a later time too.

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*image by sarymsakov/depositphotos

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