Succulent pan-seared chicken thighs smothered in caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese. This French Onion Chicken recipe take the classic soup and turns it into a satisfying keto meal!
I have a lot of wonderful keto chicken recipes, but I am always on the hunt for more tasty ideas. And what could be tastier than French Onion Chicken?
This dish takes all the flavors of your favorite soup and turns it into a full dinner. It’s absolutely luscious! With a wonderful sauce that tastes fabulous on the chicken and spooned over mashed cauliflower too.
It really is the perfect comfort food, with juicy chicken smothered in caramelized onions and melty cheese. My whole family devoured it!
Why you will love this recipe
Caramelized onions always bring something special to a meal. There is really nothing quite like them. I love them in recipes like smothered pork chops and keto quiche. I’ve even stuffed them inside burgers. But they go particularly well with chicken.
You can’t rush the caramelization process, so this French Onion Chicken isn’t necessarily a quick recipe. But it is easy to put together, and the results are absolutely worth it. And even with a full onion in the mix, it clocks in at only 3g of carbs per serving.
Have I mentioned that it reheats well too? I managed to squirrel one serving away from my hungry family and had it for lunch the next day. I simply warmed it up in the microwave and it was as delicious as ever.
Ingredients you need
- Chicken thighs: I like whole thighs for this recipe, with the bone in and the skin on. But you could also do boneless, skinless thighs. They will cook through faster so pan-sear them for only about 3 minutes per side and bake them for 15 minutes or so.
- Onion: Caramelized onions are the hallmark of French Onion soup, so this chicken skillet features them. Onions are higher in carbs than many vegetables, but one onion spread throughout 6 servings doesn’t add too many. And still gives you all the flavor you crave!
- Butter: I used butter to sear the chicken because it helps brown and crisp the skin but you could do olive oil or avocado oil too.
- Onion powder: A little onion powder helps bring out the flavor in this French Onion Chicken.
- White wine: This helps deglaze the pan and create a luscious sauce for the chicken, but you can use chicken broth as well.
- Thyme: A little fresh thyme goes beautiful with the caramelized onions. You can use dried if that’s all you have. Try half a teaspoon.
- Gruyere cheese: French onion soup is usually topped with Gruyere so I used it on this keto chicken dish as well. But other white cheeses like sharp cheddar, gouda, or Swiss will also work.
- Salt and pepper
Step by step directions
1. Pan-sear the chicken: Pat the chicken very dry and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Add the butter to a medium skillet over medium heat and let melt. Cook the chicken on both sides until golden. Flip over and cook another 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Caramelize the onions: Add the onions to the pan, and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and caramelize the onions slowly until golden, stirring frequently.
3. Make the sauce: Add the thyme to the pan and cook 1 minute more, until fragrant. Add the wine and bring to simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 more minutes.
4. Bake the chicken: Nestle the chicken back into the pan and sprinkle the tops with the grated cheese. Bake 20 minutes until melted and bubbly.
Take the time to brown the chicken properly on both sides, even if you’re using boneless, skinless chicken. It makes a difference to the overall flavor of the dish.
Caramelizing onions takes time and patience. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat as this will make the onions become brown and bitter. Stay nearby and stir them frequently to distribute the onions evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Chicken should always be cooked through to 165ºF. If you have an instant read thermometer, use it to check for doneness when you take the French Onion Chicken out of the oven. Because of the sauce and cheese, you can take it up to 175ºF and it will still be moist and delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Onions contain a surprising amount of carbohydrates, but they also add a lot of flavor to savory dishes, making them more satisfying. Caramelizing onions brings out their natural sweetness and adds even more flavor. You can certainly work onions into your keto recipes but just be mindful of not going overboard. One medium large onion for a recipe that serves 6 adds only 3g of carbs per serving.
This French Onion Chicken recipe has 3.4g of carbs and 0.6g of fiber. That amounts to a net carb count of 2.8g per serving.
Some caramelized onion recipes call for added sugar but there really is no need for it. Onions contain enough natural sugars to caramelize on their own. The key is to cook them very slowly in butter or oil until they become a deep amber.
More skillet chicken recipes you’ll love
French Onion Chicken Recipe
- 6 medium chicken thighs skin-on, bone in
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese shredded
- Pat the chicken very dry and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and onion powder.
- Add the butter to a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat and let melt. Once hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until golden. Flip over and cook another 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the onions to the pan, and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and caramelize the onions slowly until golden, stirring frequently. This may take up to 20 minutes.
- In the last 10 minutes of caramelizing, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Add the thyme to the pan and cook 1 minute more, until fragrant. Add the wine and bring to simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 more minutes.
- Nestle the chicken back into the pan and sprinkle the tops with the grated cheese. Bake 20 minutes until melted and bubbly.
Lynne Lopes says
Made this tonight, but took the skin off the chicken (neither of us like it), used 1/4cup white wine & 1/2cup broth to have some extra sauce. We don’t usually use Gruyere, but we ran out & got some. Oh my gosh, it was fantastic! Made asparagus & pesto broconchini to have with. This will now be one of our go-to’s! Thank you Carolyn!!!
Can you substitute with different cheeses?
Please read the blog post as I discuss this in detail!
Made this last night. It was delicious!! How can I get more sauce out of it though? When I took it out of the oven, all the sauce was gone and I would have liked some sauce to spoon over it. The chicken was super moist and the onions just took it over the top! Really good
This looks delicious and I’m going to make this tonight! Any idea how I’d adjust baking time for boneless breasts?
oooh… I would just keep your eye on them and test them frequently with an instant read thermometer.
Thank you! I just did a quick sear on each side and then baked for 20 min and they came out perfect. This was delicious! I’m happy I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂
Chris Houck says
I have to make this soon! I don’t like chicken skin, so we always skin both legs and thighs before using, because if I just take off the skin after cooking, I’ve lost all the flavor from whatever seasonings my husband puts on it. Then it’s just blah. So this will be amazing, and I don’t even care that my husband doesn’t really like onions. This will be MY dinner and lunch for a few days. Yay!!!