Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup | Instapot French Onion Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup

Learn how to make Umami Instant Pot French Onion Soup! Sweet caramelized onions simmered in rich hearty beef broth topped with toasted golden crusty bread and melted Gruyère cheese. Comforting pressure cooker soup – simple ingredients yet fancy entrée that’ll impress your guests!

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4.88 from 16 votes

We are loving this chilly wintery season as we wrap up another awesome year.

I just love snuggling up with warm bowls of soul-soothing Instant Pot Soups with my cozy blankie on my favorite couch. hehe~

And French Onion Soup (French: soupe à l’oignon) is a classic favorite that has been on our long “To-Experiment in our Instant Pot Pressure Cooker” List ever since the very beginning! 😀

The sweet caramelized onions, the delicious savory aroma in comforting rich beefy broth, topped with golden crusty bread & creamy melted cheese…oh life is good! 

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup | Instapot French Onion Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup

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Tips for Instant Pot French Onion Soup

1. Use High-Quality Stock

The quality of your stock will determine your French Onion Soup’s destiny to achieve excellence. So, it’s very important to use high-quality beef stock & chicken stock.

Have a taste of your stock before you start cooking!

If you can’t find high-quality beef stock, feel free to use all chicken stock or vice versa.

2. Types of Onions

Since onion is the star of the show, be sure to use good quality onions. It makes the world of difference!

We are using 3  lbs yellow onions +  lb shallots. For simplicity, you can use 3  lbs of yellow onions.

3. Why Add Baking Soda to The Onions?

This idea is actually from J. Kenji López-Alt (his cookbook is a masterpiece).

Baking soda raises the pH and speeds up the rate of maillard reaction.

In simple terms: baking soda helps onions caramelize faster.

*Note: Be sure to double check you’re using Baking Soda, NOT baking powder!

4. Caramelized Onions

Pressure Cooker Caramelized Onion Puree
This sweet & savory Caramelized Onion Puree is a delicious blend of heaven.

Caramelizing onions is definitely a labor of love.

It does take a bit of time for the onions to release their sweet flavor, but it’s easy. The more caramelized the onions, the more flavor it’ll impart into your French Onion Soup.

And oh my! Caramelized Onion Puree rocks the world!!

In fact, it’s our secret weapon in recreating Tokyo’s most highly rated Japanese Curry Beef Stew @ Instant Pot Japanese Beef Curry (a must try if you haven’t tried it yet!)

5. Pressure Cook at High Pressure 0 Minute

0 minute is not a typo! ? How can this be?!

We’re setting the pressure cooking time to 0 (zero) minute because we’re using the heat generated during the “coming up to pressure” stage AND the “depressurizing” stage (i.e. during natural release) to cook the French Onion Soup.

Have fun & enjoy this Rich Instant Pot French Onion Soup!

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup | Instapot French Onion Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Make Classic Instant Pot French Onion Soup! Sweet caramelized onions simmered in rich beef broth topped with toasted golden crusty bread and melted Gruyère cheese. Comforting pressure cooker soup - simple ingredients yet fancy entrée that'll impress your guests!
4.88 from 16 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 271kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

  • 3 ⅔ pounds onions (3⅓ lb yellow onions + ⅓ lb shallots) , sliced
  • 6 tablespoons (64g) unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking soda
  • ¼ cup (63ml) Sauvignon Blanc or dry white wine
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon (1g) dried thyme
  • 3 (12g) garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups (1L) unsalted high quality beef stock
  • 4 cups (1L) unsalted high quality chicken stock
  • French baguette , sliced into ¾ - 1 inch thick slices
  • 4 ounces freshly grated Gruyère cheese

Instructions

  • Pressure Cook Onions: Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Wait until it says HOT (~8 mins). Melt 6 tbsp (64g) unsalted butter in Instant Pot. 
    Add in ⅓ lb (151g) sliced shallot + 3 lbs (1361g) sliced yellow onions. *Note: we’re reserving ⅓ lb (151g) sliced yellow onions for later. 
    Add in ½ tsp (2g) baking soda (NOT baking powder!), then mix well. Sauté until onions begin to release moisture (~5 mins). 
    Pressure cook at High Pressure for 20 minutes, then Quick Release. 
    *Note: Onions are full of liquid, so they will generate enough steam for the Instant Pot to get up to pressure.
  • Caramelize Onions: There will be a lot of liquid in Instant Pot. To speed up the process, pour the onion liquid in a large glass measuring cup and reserve it for later. Caramelize onions by using the "Saute More" function. Stir occasionally. Once all the liquid has evaporated, turn the heat down to "Saute Normal". 
    *Pro Tip: At this point, you will want to stir the onions more frequently to avoid burning. 
    Saute onions until they are deep golden brown. 
    *Note: The whole caramelizing process will take roughly 20 - 28 minutes.
  • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour in ¼ cup (63ml) Sauvignon Blanc or dry white wine, then completely deglaze the bottom of the pot with wooden spoon.
  • Pressure Cook French Onion Soup: Add minced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce, 1 bay leaf, thyme, reserved onions, reserved onion juice, 4 cups (1L) unsalted beef stock, and 4 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot. Give it a quick mix and close lid. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 0 (zero) minute + 20 minutes Natural Release.
  • Season and Serve Instant Pot French Onion Soup: While Instant Pot is natural releasing, preheat oven to 450°F. 

    Slice French baguette to ¾ - 1 inch thick slices (Optional: We spread some melted butter on the baguette slices, then toasted them in toaster oven). 
    Taste and season the French onion soup with salt (for reference, we added 3 large pinches of coarse kosher salt). 
    *Optional Flavor Enhancing Step: Simmer the soup for 5 - 10 minutes using the "Saute" button to give it more body and richness.
    Add French onion soup to an oven-safe bowl. Place a slice of French baguette on top of the soup, then layer freshly grated Gruyère cheese on top. Place the bowls on a baking tray, then place them in a 450°F oven for 6 - 8 minutes (until the cheese melt and browned). 
    Give yourself a pat on the back for making this delicious French Onion Soup! Enjoy~
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Recipe Notes:

*Rate the Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you! ?

Nutrition:

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 871mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 7.5% | Vitamin C: 26.6% | Calcium: 9.2% | Iron: 8.5%
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: instant pot french onion soup, instant pot recipes, instant pot soup, instapot french onion soup, pressure cooker french onion soup, pressure cooker recipes, pressure cooker soup, soup recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

Step-by-Step Instant Pot French Onion Soup Guide

Here are the ingredients for Instant Pot French Onion Soup:

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup Recipe Ingredients

*Note: We are using this bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Argentina for this French Onion Soup recipe. 🙂

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: Condor Peak Sauvignon Blanc

1

Pressure Cook Onions


Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function.

*Tip: For older versions, press “Saute” button, then “Adjust” button. For newer versions press “Saute” button twice.

Instant Pot Saute More Function

Wait until it says HOT (takes roughly 8 minutes).

Melt 6 tbsp (64g) unsalted butter in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: melt unsalted butter in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Add lb (151g) sliced shallot and 3 lbs (1361g) sliced yellow onions in Instant Pot.Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: saute shallot and yellow onions in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker*Note: In case you are wondering, we are reserving lb (151g) sliced yellow onions for later.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: reserving sliced yellow onions

Add in ½ tsp (2g) baking soda (NOT baking powder!), then mix well.

Sauté until onions begin to release moisture (~5 mins).

Close lid and turn Venting Knob to Sealing position.

  • Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure cook at High Pressure for 20 minutes, then Quick Release.

*Pro Tip: Onions are full of liquid, so they will generate enough steam for the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker to get up to pressure.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker High Pressure Cooking at 20 minutes

2

Caramelize Onions


Open the lid carefully.

*Pro Tip: There will be a lot of liquid in the Instant Pot. To speed up the process, pour the onion liquid in a large glass measuring cup and reserve it for later.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: pressure cooked onions in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Caramelize onions by using the “Saute More” function. Stir occasionally.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: how to caramelize onions in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Once all the liquid has evaporated, turn the heat down to “Saute Normal”.

*Pro Tip: At this point, you will want to stir the onions more frequently to avoid burning.

Saute onions until they are deep golden brown.

*Note: The whole caramelizing onions process will take roughly 20 – 28 minutes.

3

Deglaze Instant Pot


Pour in ¼ cup (63ml) Sauvignon Blanc or dry white wine, then completely deglaze the bottom of the pot with wooden spoon.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: deglaze caramelized onions in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker with Sauvignon Blanc

4

Pressure Cook French Onion Soup


Add minced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce, 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried thyme, reserved onions, reserved onion juice, 4 cups (1L) unsalted beef stock, and 4 cups unsalted chicken stock in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: add remaining ingredients in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Give it a quick mix and close lid. Turn Venting Knob to Sealing position.

  • Pressure Cooking Method: High Pressure for 0 minute + 20 minutes Natural Release

After 20 minutes of Natural Release, carefully turn Venting Knob to the Venting position to release the remaining pressure.

Once the floating valve drops, remove the lid.

5

Season and Serve Instant Pot French Onion Soup


While the Instant Pot is natural releasing, preheat oven to 450°F.

Slice French baguette to ¾ – 1 inch thick slices.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: toast sliced French baguette

*Optional Tip: We spread some melted butter on the baguette slices, then toasted them in the toaster oven.

Taste and season the French onion soup with salt. For reference, we added 3 large pinches of coarse kosher salt.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: taste and season french onion soup in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

*Optional Flavor Enhancing Step: Simmer the soup for 5 – 10 minutes using the “Saute” button to give it more body and richness.

Ladle French onion soup into oven-safe bowls.

Place a slice of French baguette on top of the soup, then layer freshly grated Gruyère cheese on top.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup: add sliced French baguette on french onion soup, then layer with freshly grated Gruyere cheese in oven-safe bowls

Place the bowls on a baking tray, then place them in a 450°F oven for 6 – 8 minutes, until the cheese melt and golden.

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup | Instapot French Onion Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup

Enjoy your Instant Pot French Onion Soup!~ 🙂

Instant Pot French Onion Soup | Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup | Instapot French Onion Soup | Instant Pot Soup | Pressure Cooker Soup


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    1. Hi Ada,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Beef boullion is a concentrated beef stock/broth cube so it will work as beef broth.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  1. Very tasty! Thanks so much for this recipe. I may not make it often because it takes so long, but it’s yummy. I agree with the other posters who say to reserve more onion for the second pressure cooking towards the end. I ended up slicing another small yellow onion and sauteing it in another skillet and adding it at the end to get more texture. I didn’t use the white wine because I’m migraine sensitive to it, but this still tastes great! I used a carton of organic beef broth from the grocery store and it worked out well. Plus a carton of organic chicken bone broth–Pacific brand. I did this in a stovetop pressure cooker, and the next time I make it, I might reduce the time of the first pressure cooking a bit. Maybe to 15 minutes. I like the addition of fish sauce and soy sauce! Gives a nice depth.

  2. I made this tonight for the first time and loved it! More hands-on than many pressure cooker recipes, but very efficient compared to French Onion Soup recipes I have made conventionally. Thank you!

  3. This went smoothly once I finally researched how to use my instant ultra. I didn’t have fish sauce so I added some Worcestershire sauce. Just finishing the last 20 minutes; taste test is good and it smells wonderful.

  4. I made this with a little tweak to the recipe. Added beef bullion cubes to enhance t flavour. Instead of 0 minutes plus 20 min natural release, I did 25 min plus 20 min natural release so I needn’t simmer longer nor put this into the oven. I just broil the French bread with Guyere cheese and served with the soup. It was spectacular!! Thank you so much for a quicker way of making French Onion soup! Please keep up the good work Amy + Jacky!! Pauline

  5. Hi again Amy & Jacky

    I followed your recipe for French Onion Soup to the letter. It was GREAT! I’ve made Julia Childs recipe for years and this equals her recipe and is a lot easier. I did make one error slicing the onions thin – Next time I will adjust my mandolin up a notch because the onions lost their shape entirely, except for the reserve onion added at the end, but the taste was still French Onion Soup. I will use the 1/8″ mandolin setting next time. I can’t wait to share this soup with family and friends.

  6. Onion is my favourite soup. Look forward to trying it in the IP. My recipe calls for all chicken broth. Plus I add a bit of chicken Better than Boullion. This adds an amazing depth of flavour. I like it better than beef based soup.

  7. I plan to try this recipe out this weekend. Have you ever doubled the recipe in the pot and does that change any of the cooking times?

    1. Hi Carol,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. The cooking time will be the same.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  8. Made this today and it was wonderful! One addition I made was just 1 drop of lime essential oil to brighten up the flavor with a hint of acid. Hubby has cancer and this is a trick we got from a cancer cookbook. The sweetness from the onion, fat from the butter and cheese, saltiness from soy and fish sauce, and the acid from the lime. Together these flavors cover all tastebuds and creates a wonderful soup! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Hi Dawn,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!
      Hope your husband will fully recover soon!

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  9. Thanks for the great recipe! It was very tasty! I also added more bullion to enhance the broth flavour as another suggested, and next time I’ll add at least double of the amount of reserved onions in the last few steps to give a bit more texture! Will definitely make again!

    1. Hi Sheppy,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your honest feedback & kind words on the recipe!

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

    1. Hi February,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words on the recipe!

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  10. Made this just before Christmas and it was amazing!

    I went a little heavier on the amount of onions and shallots and followed the recipe other than that.

    This is the perfect après ski meal!

    Cheers

  11. Hi, Amy & Jacky
    I love how this recipe sounds… but it’s just me and I’m wondering can the soup be frozen and saved for later meals?

    Will it hold up to being frozen and if yes for how long?

    Also, how do you know the quality of a broth? Are there brands you recommend?

    Thank you for the great recipe. Happy New Year!!

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your questions.

      1) I’m wondering can the soup be frozen and saved for later meals?
      Yes, it will work without the bread 🙂

      2) Will it hold up to being frozen and if yes for how long?
      For best quality, it will be 2 months.

      3) Also, how do you know the quality of a broth? Are there brands you recommend?
      Hehe, I cannot recommend any brand as we only use homemade beef broth.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  12. I made this tonight and it is wonderful! My husband said it is equal to or better than the best French Onion soup he’s had in restaurants, and I agree. (And we both always order that when we find it on a restaurant menu.) It’s a bit time-consuming to make, but was worth every minute. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers! Thank you both for all of your efforts developing and testing this recipe and so many other wonderful recipes I’ve made.

  13. Really tasty! I had to saute low to caramelize, it was burning too quick for me even though I was standing right there. I personally would add more onions for the second cook, the ratio of broth to onion “strings” was off for me. Delicious recipe, but all your recipes are delicious.

  14. Got to make this French onion soup.My wife gave me a Instant pot PRESURE cooker for Christmas. So I am not allow to use it till than. LOL.

  15. I have Kenji’s book too! He’s pretty amazing isn’t he? I’ve made his Caramelized Onion’s a few times too. Life’s to short to do it the regular way 🙂

  16. Hi Amy + Jacky.

    This looks amazing! I am definitely going to try this recipe soon. My wife has been begging me to make french onion soup for her, so I had been looking for a recipe. What good timing on your part to deliver one right into my hands when I needed it. Will certainly let you know how it turns out.

    Thank you for all you do!

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