Instant Pot French Onion Soup [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.9 from 19 reviews

Instant Pot Recipes Soups and Stews

Cook time Cook time: 35 minutes

Instant Pot French Onion Soup is a restaurant-quality soup, easily and comfortingly made at home. It is loaded with caramelized onions, beef broth, and topped with Gruyere cheese, for the perfect finish!

We love making Instant Pot recipes because it’s convenient and usually done at a fraction of time. Like the Taco Soup and Baked Potato Soup, this French Onion Soup will quickly become your go-to soup.

Easy Instant Pot French Onion Soup

This Instant Pot French Onion Soup recipe is absolutely delicious. Unlike many other soups done in the pressure cooker, this one requires some extra time and attention in caramelizing the onions. After making this soup multiple times, we have come to the conclusion that for a perfect version of it, you will basically need to follow two important steps.

Step 1: Caramelizing the onions

This step takes some additional time to do in the Instant Pot. On average, it takes about 15-20 minutes to fully caramelize the onions. Hence, make sure to set time aside for the caramelizing part. Caramelizing is a process that occurs when sugar is added to the onions, and when they become brownish in color.

Step 2: Using high-quality beef broth

Since broth is the main ingredient here, make sure to use organic and high-quality broth. Your soup will only be as good as the stock you are using. The traditional French Onion Soup is made with beef broth, and this is what we have used here. So if you use boxed beef broth, taste it first!

How to make the perfect Instant Pot French Onion Soup:

Watch the recipe video tutorial attached. But the general steps are as follows:

  1. Add butter, sliced onions, and brown sugar to the pressure cooker. Sauté for about 15-20 minutes or until onions are golden brown and caramelized.
  2. Next, add garlic, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and the seasonings. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Then, add the beef broth. Seal pressure cooker and set to cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. After the time is done, release pressure naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining pressure by opening the vent.
  5. Before serving, top the serving bowl with a slice of baguette and plenty of Gruyère cheese. Place in the oven for a few minutes to broil. Broil until cheese is melted, and has a golden brown color.

Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup Recipe Tips:

  • For deeper flavor, you can even use Bone Beef Broth. Alternatively, you can substitute the beef broth with chicken broth.
  • For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock.
  • Top the soup with your favorite cheeses. We have used Gruyère cheese, but a combination of provolone, Swiss or Parmesan will work just as well.

How to best serve Instant Pot French Onion Soup?

This delicious homemade Instant Pot French Onion Soup is best to be served right away. Add some cheese on top, and use a fresh baguette for dipping. Also, it’s best to use cheeses that have some sharpness to them such as Gruyère or aged Beemster.

How to store Instant Pot French Onion Soup:

The soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, heat the soup in a pot, and pour the soup into ceramic bowls. To create the cheesy bread topping, arrange baguette slices on top of each bowl, with some shredded or sliced cheese.

Then, put under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Tools to Make Instant Pot French Onion Soup:

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Ultimate Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup is a restaurant quality soup, easily and comfortingly made at home. It is loaded with caramelized onions, beef broth, and topped with Gruyere cheese, for the perfect finish!
4.9 from 19 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 326kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 5 medium size onions (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup red wine (or beef broth)
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)

For serving:

  • 6 baguette slices
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese (grated )


  • Turn on the Instant Pot and Select Sauté mode on High. Once it reads HOT, add the butter, and stirring with a wooden spoon, melt it.
  • Add sliced onions and brown sugar to the Instant Pot. Sauté for about 15-20 minutes or until onions are golden brown and caramelized. Stir occasionally.
  • Next, add minced garlic, thyme, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  • Then, add the beef broth. Make sure you do not go over the MAX line of the inner pot.
  • Seal pressure cooker lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Followed by a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release.
  • After the time is done, release remaining pressure by allowing steam to vent, then remove the lid. Stir the soup.


  • Turn on the oven broiler.
  • Before serving, top each serving bowl with a slice or two of French baguette and some sliced or shredded Gruyere cheese.
  • Place the bowl on a baking sheet and transfer into the oven for few minutes to broil. Broil until cheese is melted, bubbly and has a golden brown color.



Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1532mg | Potassium: 291mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 480mg | Iron: 1mg
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Could you add beef to this soup? What do you think would change in the cook time?


you can brown some beef chunks and add it to the soup, I would increase the cooking time by 10 minutes.



I never leave comments on recipes but I had to with this one. I did the red wine (cooking wine) and substituted 2 cups bone broth and did only 6 cups of beef broth and it was AMAZING. Best french onion soup i've ever made. I would say that I'd prefer a swiss or parmesan cheese but wow.


Thanks for the comment, I am glad you liked it!)



I had a hard time getting the onions to brown. I got lots of water in the pot from the onions. Am I doing something wrong?


Make sure you Saute the onions on HIGH, and don't stir a lot. Also, add the onions when the oil is shimmering hot.


Darla T

First of all I love the soup! But like the previous comment I too had a hard time browning the onions I almost thought I used to many. My butter was melted but perhaps not hot enough. I did set the IP to high and maybe stirred too much. I see that you suggested not to stir too much. I think it would taste richer if I had browned the onions longer. But I will definitely try it again using your tips provided.


Hi Darla. Thanks for your feedback. I like browning it longer as well, it gives this soup a richer flavor. Try it the next time, and let us know how you liked it.



Fantastic- everything you want a French onion soup to be- salty and sweet. Very yummy



The soup was good but tasted too sweet instead of savory. Other recipes don't include brown sugar so definitely leave that out.


sara misener

I did a half portion for my little family but forgot to half the garlic (I added about 2 tables spoons) how do I fix this? Do it right next time? I’ll let yah know if it was overpowering but how could I counter balance it in the future.


Well, its a bit hard to mask the garlic, what you can do is add more of the other flavors, I hope it still tasted good.



Five onions were a lot, especially if you've got a smaller family. I cut everything in half and it was really good.


Glad that you liked it!


Kevin Hoover

Excellent Recipe, simple and delicious, thank you for sharing!


Kelly R

I’ve made this twice and it’s the best French Onion soup I’ve ever had


Hi Kelly! Glad you loved it! Thanks for the review!



Not going to lie, one of the best onion soups I’ve had. The only thing I changed was adding a spoonful of Better That Bouillon beef base dissolved in a cup of water for an extra kick.



This is wonderful! 💕 Thank you!



Third time making this and I always forget to add more onions. They cook down pretty good so if you you like it oniony you should add a few more onions. Having said that this is a great great recipe. The hardest thing is slicing the onions but I used a mandolin quick and not to many tears 😀👍


thank you!



I love soup but my husband does not, French onion he will tolerate. I made this soup for him for dinner last night and he had 3 bowls! Perfect for a chilly evening. We will make it again, the only improvement we could have made is using yellow onions not sweet onions, it does have a pretty sweet flavor. Better than Bouillon beef base worked perfectly well too. Thanks!


happy that you loved the recipe, thanks for the feedback!


It’s a keeper for meCathy

I really loved this soup. It’s a keeper for me


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