Side Dishes

What to Serve with French Onion Soup: 21 Savory Side Dishes

Turn savory soup into a hearty meal with these amazing sides!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
Learn more about me
Updated December 24, 2022

If you don’t know what to serve with French onion soup, check out some of these great recipes! I’ve chosen a variety of dishes from refreshing salads to dark chocolate desserts.

what to serve with French onion soup

French onion soup is a hearty dish flavored with — you guessed it! — tons of caramelized onions.

The onions sit in a delicious beef broth, but without chunks of meat. Then, you put toasted bread and melted cheese on top.

In general, cooks serve French onion soup in bowls straight from the oven, where the broiler makes the cheese bubble. And, you’ll often see the soup in characteristic ceramic crocks, but you can use any oven-safe vessel.

As well, you’ll get the best flavor in your homemade French onion soup if you make the soup base on the stovetop. However, you can use a slow cooker if you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen.

I think that pretty much anything goes well with French onion soup. But some of my favorites are vegetable dishes like a light arugula salad or crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

Or, for a cheese explosion, make grilled cheese sandwiches. And don’t forget dessert — brownies and a bourbon cocktail.

what to serve with French onion soup recipe

01. Sourdough Bread Bowl

What makes classic French onion soup even more comforting than usual? A bread bowl!

This recipe can be a little tricky because you need an active sourdough starter. But this page has links to a recipe for that, as well as step-by-step instructions for the bread bowls.

And if all goes completely wrong, just pick up some chewy French bread at the store and make the usual toasts to top your soup.

02. Caesar Salad

I love to pair French onion soup with salads because the fresh veggies provide a bright contrast to the rich beef stock. And this crunchy Caesar salad will perk up your palette and fill you right up.

If you use leftover cooked chicken, you cut your prep time down significantly. As well, if you’re really in a rush, you can use bottled salad dressing.

03. Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini

Nothing screams “summer” like homemade pesto! Serving fresh herbs and ripe cherry tomatoes can bring a little sunshine to a warm winter soup.

Homemade pesto is really easy to make, and it’s very versatile. Just blend basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon juice.

You can also experiment with different herbs in the pesto. For instance, I love making cilantro pesto with pepitas and lime juice.

04. Arugula Salad

Simple and elegant, this side dish recipe works with any meal. Arugula has a sharp, peppery flavor that complements the cheese in the salad and French onion soup!

If you can’t find fresh arugula, you can use baby spinach, spring mix, or even Romaine instead. This dressing will taste good on any kind of lettuce!

And for a heartier dinner, I’ll add some grilled chicken or shrimp on top of the salad.

05. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This isn’t any old grilled cheese — it’s grilled cheese with a parmesan crust! In fact, it’s a Starbucks copycat recipe that’s better than the original.

This sandwich is very versatile, and you can switch up the cheese slices and type of bread. However, keep in mind that it’s harder to tell when dark bread (such as whole wheat or pumpernickel) is done.

06. Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Turn a delicious meal into a fancy dinner by serving French onion soup and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Although you only need 4 ingredients, this recipe will wow your guests.

To make this, you simply wrap prosciutto around stalks of asparagus, drizzle it with olive oil, and then bake it. When the asparagus is tender, you’re ready to eat!

You can add other seasonings besides pepper, but stay away from spice blends with salt in them. Since prosciutto is salty, you don’t want to add any extra sodium.

07. Baked Potato

No matter what kitchen equipment you have, you can make baked potatoes! While classic baked potatoes go in the oven, this recipe gives you tricks for both a microwave and an air fryer.

Baked potatoes take a while to cook, but the prep time is really quick — just 5 minutes! Then, load them up with whatever you want.

Usually, I top my potatoes with cheese sauce and bacon bits. But when I eat one with French onion soup, I simplify it and just add butter, sour cream, and chives.

08. Stuffed Mushrooms

Some appetizers work as side dish recipes too. For example, these stuffed mushrooms an excellent companion for French onion soup.

Because both beef and mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor, they complement one another. As well, the thyme in both the mushroom stuffing and the soup broth links the two dishes.

09. Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

If you already have your oven heating for French onion soup, pop in a tray of these parmesan tomatoes. The sweet-tart flavor of the tomatoes balances out the heaviness of the soup.

I love the flavors in the crunchy topping, but sometimes I change up the spices. For example, I’ll sometimes use herbes de Provence instead of oregano for a French touch to go with my soup.

10. Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

When serving French onion soup as an appetizer, it’s nice to have an easy main dish. With this garlic butter pasta, you won’t need lots of extra time in the kitchen.

This recipe comes together in just 20 minutes, and it looks gorgeous on the plate. The pink shrimp and green arugula are very colorful after an earth-tone soup.

11. Green Salad

Eat your greens! They’re tasty, and you can throw this side dish together while your French onion soup recipe cooks.

You can customize this simple salad however you like, but the bacon bits and sunflower seeds add a lovely crunch. Sometimes, I’ll skip the bacon and add caramelized pecans, cranberries, and cherry tomatoes instead.

With nuts, dried fruit, and fresh veggies, it’s truly a nutritious dish!

12. Oven-Baked Salmon

While the oven is hot, toss in a tray of salmon! And with quick the roasted vegetables, you’ve got a well-rounded meal.

This is one of those delicious recipes that I make every couple of weeks because it’s a perfect simple supper. Since everything goes on one sheet tray, you don’t have much mess to clean up afterward.

13. New York Strip Steak

Beef: it’s what’s for dinner when you make French onion soup and New York strip steak. Bring the continents together with rich foods that fill you up.

With this recipe, you don’t need to worry about over-cooking your steak. The author walks you through every step and gives you a time chart.

For this main dish, I serve sides like roasted potatoes, celeriac puree, or a green salad.

14. Steamed Carrots

These steamed carrots look like sunshine on your plate. Plus, they’re really healthy because steaming keeps all the vitamins inside.

Also, don’t skip the fresh herbs! In addition to pumping up the flavor, herbs contain micronutrients that are really good for you.

You can choose whichever herbs you like, but the combination of parsley and thyme is delicious.

15. 1905 Salad

Head down to Tampa with this copycat 1905 salad recipe. It comes from the Columbia Restaurant in Florida and brings tangy flavors to your table.

For the best results, make the dressing the day before so it has time for the flavors to meld. However, don’t put the dressing on the salad until right before you serve it.

Also, I’ll often serve leftovers the next day with pull-apart bread for a light lunch.

16. Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

This salad is filling enough to be a meal on its own, but it also pairs well with French onion soup. The vegetables add freshness, and the chow mein noodles mimic the crunch of the toast in your hearty soup.

To make this salad my own, I put some canned mandarin oranges on top for sweetness. But raisins or cranberries are also great additions.

17. Scalloped Potatoes

Skip the dairy with this vegan scalloped potatoes recipe. You use vegan cheese and cashews for a creamy dish without the cream.

For guests that avoid dairy, this is a great side dish for French onion soup. Plus, you can use extra vegan cheese to go on top of your soup crock.

To give the potatoes a bit of crunch, I also add some bread crumbs on top for a crust.

18. Wiener Schnitzel

Cross the Alps from France to Austria with this decadent main dish. It takes a bit of arm muscle to pull this off, but the results are worth it.

To tenderize the meat, you need to beat your veal cutlets until they’re very thin. Then, you bread and fry them until they’re golden brown.

I love to squeeze lemon on top of mine, but you can also serve other sauces. For example, steak sauce or even ketchup tastes great!

19. Banana Cream Cheesecake

This show-stopping dessert will wow your guests with its looks and intense banana flavor. When you slice it, the four distinct layers will make your mouth water.

The silky texture comes from cream cheese, sour cream, and pureed bananas. And to amp up the banana flavor, you add several teaspoons of banana extract.

20. Godiva Chocolate Brownies

I Go-DIE-va for these chocolate brownies. They’re extremely fudgy, and the top has the perfect crackle.

The rich taste comes from melted chocolate and a secret ingredient: instant espresso powder. Instead of making these brownies taste like coffee, the powder simply enhances the flavor of the chocolate.

I love to underbake my brownies just slightly so they’re extremely moist. But for perfectly-done squares, insert a toothpick and remove the brownies when it comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

21. Bourbon Cocktails

What better way to round out a warm winter meal than with a delicious soup and sweet cocktail? This bourbon drink is extremely simple to make, but it has the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

You only need 3 ingredients to add to your bourbon: maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon. And even though the drink is iced, the spiced liquor will warm you right up.

What to Serve with French Onion Soup

Directions


  1. Prepare your soup broth.

  2. Melt the cheese on top.

  3. Choose some amazing sides.

  4. Grab a spoon and dig in!

what to serve with French onion soup - Pinterest