Many people wonder what to serve with French onion soup since it’s so rich and hearty.
Unlike other broth-based soups, French onion is filling enough to be a main course.
Between the sweet caramelized onions, savory beef broth, ooey-gooey melted cheese, and chewy French bread on top, it’s pretty darn indulgent.
With that in mind, you’ll want to find side dishes that complement the bold flavors, like a light salad or grilled cheese sandwich.
Of course, if you have this as a starter, the main should be something that’s equally as warm and flavorful.
And then there’s dessert!
The beauty of having a hearty soup like this is that you can go on to indulge in something sweet once you’re done.
So, if you’re craving this beefy, oniony delight but aren’t sure what to serve with French onion soup, I’ve got you covered.
From sides and mains to drinks and dessert, all that’s left for you to do is pick your favorite!
1. 1905 Salad
Let’s start this list with a nice appetizer or side dish.
Green salad is a crunchy, refreshing, and nutritious dish with subtle but delicious flavors, making it a fantastic side for almost any dish.
This 1905 salad recipe offers plenty of crunch and a nice zesty kick to balance the richness of the beef broth.
I love the tangy dressing made with garlic, dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. And, of course, you can adjust the acidity easily as you make this.
Feel free to pick and choose your favorite salad and toppings. But I highly recommend the tomatoes and olives, as they give a fresh twist that pairs well with French onion soup.
If you think you’ll need something a little more filling, you can’t beat salad with chicken.
This Oriental chicken salad from Applebee’s adds a ton of protein, which is the one thing missing in French onion soup.
I like to use leftover rotisserie chicken because it’s always juicy and flavor-packed.
That said, the dressing for this is more than enough to make your tastebuds tingle.
Like the salad above, it’s slightly tangy, which plays well against the beefy broth. But this one has a touch of sweetness from the honey.
Plus, it has mustard in the mix, which I think makes the cheese stand out even more.
Who doesn’t love a soup and salad combo?
French onion soup has beautifully melted cheese on top, so naturally, a dish with the same element will go great with it. And what’s better than a panini?
Spread butter on each slice of bread, then top it with cheese, chicken, tomato, avocado, mayo, pesto sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place it on a griddle, and it’s ready to go in 3 – 5 minutes.
The result is a crisp, golden panini that oozes with warm mozzarella cheese. It’s the perfect companion to go with your delectable soup.
Croque Monsieur is like a French grilled cheese. It’s crusty, cheesy, and pretty much to die for.
So, if you want to make your French onion soup into a fancy French feast, I highly recommend taking the time to make this side dish.
And it will take some time.
The first thing you need to do is make a bechamel sauce, which is creamy and dreamy, and what makes this sandwich so unique.
From there, it’s just a matter of toasting the bread, layering on the ingredients, and broiling it all until the cheese is oozing. Yum!
French onion soup is meaty, salty, and quite rich. So, one of my favorite ways to ensure it’s balanced is with something equally as rich but wonderfully creamy.
These scalloped potatoes are ideal, especially if you let them bubble up on top and turn crispy.
And don’t worry, this recipe couldn’t be more straightforward. There’s no roux or bechamel in sight.
Instead, you’ll layer flour and butter between the potatoes and let the sauce cook in the oven.
How easy is that?
If you plan to make French onion soup as a family meal, pull-apart bread is a terrific, family-friendly side to serve in the middle of the table.
The top of crunchy, while the middle is tender and loaded with pesto and cheese.
People can eat as much or as little as they want, and the hint of basil and garlic will make the soup that much more delicious.
Also known as the holy grail of entrees, steak is perhaps the best thing you can serve after a bowl of French onion soup.
You can pick pretty much whatever steak you prefer, and it’ll go great with your soup.
Of course, if you find the flavors too bold, you can dial it down a bit by using a leaner cut, such as filet mignon or New York strip steak.
However, if you want to combine your luscious soup with something chewy, go for a nice flank steak. That will give your teeth something meaty to chomp on.
Finally, if you want a rich meal from start to end, pair your French onion soup with a T-Bone or rib-eye steak. This combo is extra flavorful and incredibly filling!
Looking for something a bit lighter? Let’s talk about seafood!
Scallops, also known as big meaty chunks of heaven, also taste great with a bowl of French onion soup.
The key to making scallops taste oh-so irresistible is to sear them to perfection.
All you need is a little butter, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper:
- In a saute pan or skillet, add 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- Pat dry the scallops with a paper towel, then salt and pepper the scallops.
- Once the skillet is fully heated, and the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops.
- Cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
Timing is crucial, so I recommend you set a timer for 90 seconds. Once cooked on each side, serve immediately.
Scallops should have a golden crust on each side but still be translucent in the center.
Another fantastic seafood that goes well with French onion soup is baked salmon.
This fatty pink fish is absolutely delightful, not too heavy, and perfectly balances out the soup’s richness.
Plus, this dish is effortless to prepare. Just flavor it with garlic butter and a brown sugar spice mix, bake it, and serve!
I know it may seem like an odd choice to pair French onion soup with another onion-heavy dish, but I promise, it works!
The Dijon white wine sauce in this is irresistible and lightens up the beefy flavors found in the soup.
Plus, it’s got succulent chicken and sweet cherry tomatoes for pops of color and acidity.
11. Wiener Schnitzel
I love serving schnitzel after soup because it adds much-needed crunch to your plate.
This is one of the original kinds of schnitzel, but you can use any kind of meat you prefer.
I like the OG with veal, but chicken or pork would be just as crispy and flavorful.
This is a simple yet super effective dinner to serve after a hearty bowl of French onion soup.
The garlic flavors with the juicy pork are just what you need after the powerful beef broth.
Plus, this will go well with everything from rice to potatoes!
Ok, we have to talk about what to serve after French onion soup.
If you had the soup as a main course, that probably means you have some room for a big slice of creamy cheesecake!
I like this banana recipe because it’s rich and decadent but lightly sweet and a total contrast to the soup.
After such a savory meal, I think you need something super sweet to cleanse the palate. And nothing beats cheesecake!
Thick, dense cheesecake too much for you? How about something light, sweet, tart, and creamy?
Ice cream is the next best option, especially this zesty lemon recipe that’s clean, quick, and beyond delicious.
Best of all, this no-churn recipe needs just 15 minutes of prep. After that, you just need to let it freeze.
Rejoice, all you dark chocolate lovers! Because of its mild flavor, this bittersweet favorite tastes fantastic with French onion soup.
Now, you could go with a simple square or two of something top quality, and there’s always decadent chocolate cake to consider.
But after a big bowl of French onion soup, I think the best option is one of these insanely fudgy brownies.
They’re easy to make, family-friendly, and always a hit!
The best food pairings always include beverages! So, give your French onion soup dinner an air of sophistication by serving it with some wine.
But not just any wine…this red wine spritzer!
Since French onion soup is so bold, you want something full- or medium-bodied to stand out.
And since it’s typically made with beef broth, red wine is a no-brainer.
I like this spritzer over a glass of normal red wine because of the light texture and taste. Yes, it’s still very robust, but I love the delicate sweetness and the bubbles against the hearty soup.
That said, if your soup has a pureed consistency, you can opt for a more textured and creamy wine.
You can also never go wrong with a simple and affordable white wine, sticking to more dry and sweet varieties.
Bourbon is the ideal pairing with French onion soup because it’s a little sweet, a little smoky, and wonderfully warming.
If I had to pick just one, I’d say go for the Bourbon Old Fashioned. It has hints of orange and a nice bourbon finish.
But any of these would work well against the meaty soup.
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