If you are looking for the creamiest one pot pasta, then look no more! It’s here! French Onion Pasta takes the amazing flavors of a French dip and turns it into pasta form. It’s a pasta for onion lovers plus it’s super simple to make.
I have always loved onions but sautéed or caramelized onions are by far my favorite. There’s just something about the sweet flavor combined with the crunch from the onion that is next to none. So French onion dishes like this pasta are a constant rotation in our house. Don’t worry we switch them out for things like French onion pork chops or French onion chicken just for some variety.
What is French Onion Pasta?
French onion pasta combines caramelized onions with a decadent cream sauce to make one amazing pasta dish. While there’s no main protein besides bacon, this pasta does make a great main dish. You can always add chicken or shredded beef to round out this meal. The best part is that the whole thing is made in one skillet which means less dishes and more time to savor this pasta.
French Onion Pasta Ingredients
Another reason that I love this one dish pasta is because you only need a handful of ingredients and most of them are easy to find. I do use a fancier Fontina cheese but you can always substitute for Parmesan or mozzarella. To make this French onion pasta you will need:
- Salt and pepper
- Chicken broth
- Fontina cheese
- Heavy cream
- Fresh basil
Bacon – The bacon adds a nice flavor to this pasta. Plus that you use the bacon grease to fry up the onions which gives them a great dimension of flavor.
Onions – I love using sweet onions for this pasta, but feel free to use your favorite onion in this recipe.
Mushroom – Save some time and get some pre-sliced mushrooms from the produce section. I use small button mushrooms but any mushroom will work.
Pasta – Any shape of pasta will work in this recipe. I used a spiral pasta, but penne, rigatoni or even macaroni noodles will be fine.
Cheese – I used a block of fontina cheese that I shredded for my French onion dip pasta. You can use white cheddar or even mozzarella in place of the fontina. Gruyere would also be a great option.
How to make French Onion Pasta
Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients you also need a large skillet, measuring cups and spoon, a spatula and a cheese grater if you have a block of cheese.
Step one – Cook the bacon in the skillet and reserve the bacon grease. Cook your onions for about five minutes until they start to soften and become really fragrant. Then add in your mushrooms and cook until soffit as well.
Step two – Add in your chicken broth and bring it to a soft boil. Pour in the pasta and make sure it’s completely covered by the liquid. Cook for about 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
Step three – Add in your cheese and heavy cream once most of the liquid from the pasta has been absorbed. Allow it to cook for one to two minutes until creamy and smooth.
Step four – Add the Parmesan cheese and put in the oven to broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. You can also place a lid on top of the skillet instead of placing it under the broiler to ensure the cheese melts. Top with your bacon crumbles and basil before serving.
How to make in the slow cooker
You can easily make this pasta in your slow cooker as well. Start by placing your bacon grease, onions and mushrooms in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the onions are brown and caramelized. Add in the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and the cheeses.
How to make in the Instant Pot
Want this French onion pasta even faster? Use your Instant Pot! Fry your bacon using the saute function and then add your onions and mushrooms. Cook until tender. Place the chicken broth and pasta in the Instant Pot and cook on manual high pressure for 6 minutes. Manually release the pressure and stir in the cheese, bacon and basil.
Side dish recommendations
This pasta makes a great main dish and is really filling. To round out this meal you can add the following side dishes:
How to store leftovers
Place leftover pasta in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave as needed. This pasta will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze this French onion pasta. Place it in a Ziplock bag once cooled and lay it flat in the freezer to harden. To re-heat, allow it to thaw in the fridge. Place it in the microwave with a few tablespoons of olive oil or water to heat.
Can I add chicken to this pasta?
Absolutely! Feel free to add chicken to this pasta to make it a full meal. It’s pretty hearty without the chicken, but the protein makes a great addition. Leftover chicken would make this a super easy dinner. You can also add shredded beef.
Do I have to use mushrooms?
I love mushrooms and onions together, but feel free to omit them if you are not a fan. The pasta is delicious with or without the mushrooms added.
- 5-6 slices of bacon, cooked and greased reserved
- 2 large sweet onions, diced
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 16 oz pasta of choice
- 1/2 cup of shredded Fontina, or cheese of choice
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan
- parsley or basil for topping
Slow cooker directions -
Start by placing your bacon grease, onions and mushrooms in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the onions are brown and caramelized. Add in the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and the cheeses. Note: you only need 1/2 cup of broth for the slow cooker version.
Instant Pot directions -
Fry your bacon using the saute function and then add your onions and mushrooms. Cook until tender. Place the chicken broth and pasta in the Instant Pot and cook on manual high pressure for 6 minutes. Manually release the pressure and stir in the cheese, bacon and basil.
Other French Onion dishes to try
I may have mentioned a time or two that I love onions. I’ve made quite a few other French onion inspired dishes that you might also enjoy if you love caramelized onions like me: