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In the world of soup, the French onion soup recipe is a somewhat unusual but incredibly delicious dish. However, you may be unsure of what to serve with French onion soup. If so, fortunately, you are in luck, as below we have plenty of excellent options to choose from.

What Is French Onion Soup?

French onion soup is typically derived from a rich beef stock or beef broth (although some chefs follow the English way and use chicken broth instead). It will also contain caramelized onions and will typically be topped with croutons or a large piece of chewy French bread and melted cheese (typically this will be gruyère. Similarly to something like butternut squash soup you will get a creamy texture that goes well with many side dishes.

The result is a soup dish recipe that is incredibly rich and somewhat decadent whilst also being hearty and delicious. In fact, there are things better than a bowl of French onion soup when under the weather or on a cold winter’s day.

What to serve with french onion soup? 16 delicious sides

What Goes Well With French Onion Soup?

Rich foods like French onion soup are often enough to satisfy your hunger by themselves. This is because it is somewhat heavy and contains many filling ingredients such as cheese and bread.

That said though, you may only be having a small portion of soup, or may just simply be hungry. Either way, you need to know what to serve with French onion soup.

Some good ideas are to pair it with something meaty or some more earthy or bitter vegetables. This is because these will add flavours that contrast well with those in your French onion soup whilst not overpowering the soup itself.

What To Pair With French Onion Soup

When deciding what to serve with French onion soup, you have a wide selection of different options to choose from. These range from sandwiches, to vegetables, drinks and meat. Some of our personal favourite options include the following:

  1. Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini
  2. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  3. BLT Sandwiches
  4. Croque Monsieur
  5. Garlic Bread
  6. French Bread
  7. Arugula Salad
  8. Roasted Vegetables With Mushrooms
  9. Steak
  10. Scallops
  11. Salmon
  12. White Wine
  13. Red Wine
  14. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus
  15. Noodles
  16. Dark Chocolate

What to serve with french onion soup? 16 delicious sides

Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini

If you’re tucking into a bowl of French onion soup then surely you must like cheese, right? 

Naturally, a toasted panini with both mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce is an excellent choice to have as your side dish. After all, there’s no such thing as too much cheese.

When paired with grilled chicken, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise and salt and pepper in a crispy golden brown panini the results are particularly wonderful as each ingredient adds an extra layer to this side.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

If you want to cut out the middleman and have as much cheese as you physically can then the classic grilled cheese sandwich is an excellent choice.

The beauty of this is that no matter the kind of cheese you like whether it’s a fruity Wensleydale or a mature cheddar, a cheese toasty will always be delicious. 

If you want to add a little something extra to your grilled cheese though, then there’s also plenty of options. Whether it’s some tomatoes, bacon or even some thick-cut ham, these will add more diverse flavours that will contrast wonderfully with French onion soup.

What to serve with french onion soup? 16 delicious sides

BLT Sandwiches

The classic BLT sandwich goes wonderfully well with the majority of foods with soup being no exception. This is especially true if you used toasted bread which along with crispy bacon and lettuce will provide some crunch to your sandwich. Meanwhile, the tomato and a little mayonnaise add some extra moisture. 

Unlike a more cheesy sandwich, the beauty of the BLT is that it will very much contrast with the soup, rather than being similar in taste. As such, it adds much more variety to the meal.

Croque Monsieur

If wanting to really lean into the French theme then a croque monsieur sandwich is a wonderful way to do so.

With a name that roughly translates as “crunchy mister” or “mister crunch, you probably guess that the texture of a croque monsieur will be wonderfully crunchy.  

The reason for this is that a croque monsieur is very similar to grilled cheese. However, it will typically use gruyere or Emmental cheese, along with mustard and ham (or sometimes chicken or sausage meat). Additionally, instead of being grilled, it will be sauteed in butter.

Additionally, there is also a variation on the croque monsieur known as the croque madame which is a similar concept. However, it will also have an egg and bechamel sauce on top. Despite this though both variations can be a fantastic accompaniment to French onion soup.

What to serve with french onion soup? 16 delicious sides

Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is as we’ve mentioned before is a wonderful side dish for near enough any meal that you would serve it alongside.

With french onion soup, this, of course, is no exception as the crusty bread and wonderful garlic flavours will pair perfectly with the taste and textures within the soup.

French Bread

When eating a bowl of soup, no matter what kind, there are few things better to pair with it than some delicious pieces of crusty French bread. This is especially true when generous amounts of butter are spread over it.

The contrast in textures between some spongy bread or a crusty baguette with your French onion soup will add an extra delicious twist to your meal. Additionally, if you are at all in a baking mood then baking your own loaf of bread will make the experience even better.

What to serve with french onion soup? 16 delicious sides

Arugula Salad

If you want a light side dish to serve alongside your French onion soup then an arugula based salad is an excellent choice.

For a light and zesty option then using a lemon vinaigrette over your arugula green salad is a wonderful way to accomplish this. This is especially true when this citrus salad is served with a generous amount of asiago or parmesan cheese shavings.

However, you may want something a little more substantial. If so, another wonderful option for arugula salad that still has a fresh fruity flavour is one that has steak, strawberries and a balsamic vinaigrette. With a few berries and nuts, this recipe has a wonderfully diverse yet complementary flavour profile that fits perfectly with a French onion soup.

Steak

Whilst on the topic of steak, tender cuts of various kinds of steak make for a wonderful companion when paired with a French onion soup. This is because the steak provides a wonderfully meaty texture and taste that perfectly complements each of the core ingredients found in French onion soup.

When considering what cuts of steak to pair with French onion soup, you will often be best off using the most tender cuts possible. For example filet mignon, t bone and New York strip steak are all wonderful choices. However, if you’d prefer something slightly tougher then a flank steak is also a superb choice.

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Scallops

If you would like something slightly meaty or fishy that is distinctly lighter than something like steak then scallops are a wonderful choice. Whether eaten raw or pan-seared, scallops are a truly unique and wonderful choice for serving alongside French onion soup.

When making pan-seared scallops, a delicious saffron sauce will also be a wonderful addition to this side dish as it creates a wonderful combination of savoury and sweet which somewhat mirrors the soup.

Salmon

For a more distinctly fishy option that is then scallops that is still quite light then baked salmon is a wonderful option. Salmon is quite a fatty fish but despite that, it is not overwhelmingly rich and surprisingly light. As such it makes for a wonderful accompaniment to your French onion soup.

This is especially true when baked with some garlic for seasoning and a drizzle of fresh olive oil to provide that wonderfully fresh flavour.

White Wine

When looking for a white wine pairing for your French onion soup then a dry white wine is what you’ll want. This is because a dry white wine will provide a strong crisp taste that beautifully contrasts with the richness of the sweeter ingredients found in your soup.

Some examples of white wine of this type include sauvignon blanc, pinot gris or pinot blanc.

Red Wine

With red wine,  however,  you will likely want something very fruity and medium or full-bodied as it will pair well with the “beefiness” or the soup. Additionally, the tannins of the wine will somewhat help to balance out the fatty richness of the soup’s cheese. 

An example of an excellent red wine to pair with French onion soup would be Sangiovese.

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Roasted Vegetables With Mushrooms

Roasted veggies do truly go with near enough everything, and of course, French onion soup is no exception.

Whilst, most vegetables will likely do well here, centring your choices around the inclusion of mushrooms and the wonderful umami flavour they provide makes for an excellent side. Especially so for French onion soup. 

With that in mind then, some wonderful options for a mushroom-based roast vegetable collection include red peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli and yellow squash. When not serving with this soup you would also include onions, however, in this context, it may be slightly overboard.

Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

The contrast of flavours found in prosciutto and asparagus are wonderful with each other. However, they are also an excellent choice of contrasting textures and tastes for French onion soup.

From the prosciutto, a wonderful smokey, salty and meaty flavour is provided. Meanwhile, the asparagus adds a bitter and slightly earthy taste.

If you like this idea but necessarily prosciutto then there are plenty of alternative options for making something similar.

What to serve with french onion soup? 16 delicious sides

Noodles

Buttered egg noodles are similarly versatile to something like garlic bread. However, they will go especially well with French onion soup.

This is because the buttery noodles will absorb the flavours of the soup wonderfully whilst still retaining the crisp structure they get when fried. Additionally, the will also make your soup taste even more creamy. 

Dark Chocolate

After you’ve had your main then naturally it’s time for dessert. However, with the taste of French onion soup fresh on your palette, you’ll want something that whilst still sweet pairs well.

With that in mind, the sweet and slightly bitter taste of dark chocolate is an excellent choice. As such, whether it’s a simple bar of chocolate with some berries or dark chocolate-infused dessert dark chocolate will be a delicious choice for an after-dinner treat.

So What Should You Serve With French Onion Soup?

When it comes to what to serve with French onion soup, there are truly a lot of options to choose from. As such, whether it’s sandwiches, meat, salads, desserts or drinks you should now have a solid starting pointing for planning a delicious meal around this delicious soup. 

FAQ – What To Eat With French Onion Soup

Is French onion soup a meal?

French onion soup can be a meal within itself, along with a side if you’re particularly hungry. However, it can also serve as a starter if you choose to eat it in a smaller portion.

Do you eat French onion soup with bread?

French onion soup will go wonderfully with the bread of all kinds. However, crusty or toasted bread is probably your best bet to have a pleasant contrast of textures. Additionally, though, sandwiches such as a BLT or a croque monsieur are also excellent choices.

What are the benefits of eating French onion soup?

French onion soup is typically rich in iron, potassium, folate, vitamin C and B6. As such it is often excellent for relieving cold and flu symptoms, along with having anti-inflammatory properties.