This caramelized Gluten Free Easy French Onion Soup recipe is going to bring back memories for you! It is that good. I am going to show you how to slow-cook your onions so that they caramelize, adding a whole new layer of flavor to this comforting soup recipe.
(*This post is sponsored by Milton's Craft Bakers. All crunch and joyous opinions are my own.)
Do you miss French Onion Soup? The onion soup recipe itself is really easy to adapt to be gluten free...what has been missed is that crispy baguette that floats on top of the soup under all of the melty cheese!
Traditional French onion soup has a meat broth-based soup and it is well-known for that famous crouton and melty cheese on top. As the name implies, it is from France, and it is usually served as a starter. Since we are all gluten free, we are going to sub out that giant crouton under the cheese.
Well, I found the perfect solution! Milton's Gluten Free Crackers!! You may ask how crackers make this soup so good. Milton's Gluten Free Crispy Sea Salt Crackers are the perfect substitute for the crispy crouton in traditional French onion soup recipes."
Follow along, and keep reading because I include an easy video to show you how to make this classic soup recipe. If you love soup as much as we do, check out all of my delicious gluten free soup recipes!
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I LOVE brands who give back through charitable giving. I was a non-profit fundraiser for many years and when companies are there to help, everyone wins!!
Milton’s also supports community causes like Celiac-related hospital advocacy, autism support groups, and children’s charities, that promote health for our families and communities.
Now let's talk about this soup. It is really good and the men in the house absolutely devoured it! And yes, you should also know my "picky one" would only eat the melted cheese. This is forever my challenge...getting her to try (and like) new foods!
- Sweet Onions - See the recipe FAQ for other onion variety options.
- Beef Broth - I use low sodium but regular beef broth is also fine to use.
- Butter - Use salted or unsalted butter.
- White Wine - A cheap wine is fine to use. No need to buy expensive wine.
- Thyme - I used dried thyme.
- Coconut Sugar - You can also use brown sugar.
- Garlic - I like freshly minced garlic, but if you have jarred, that will be fine.
- Bay Leaf - This if for flavor and is removed after cooking.
- Gruyere Cheese - This is for topping the soup.
- Milton's Crackers - If you can't find Miltons, make some Gluten Free Croutons.
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
The first step is to melt a stick of butter in a pan.
Add the thinly slivered onions and sauté 5 minutes until the onions become soft.
Add coconut sugar (or brown sugar) and spices. I normally wouldn't add sugar to a soup recipe, but the sugar helps the onions caramelize. Cover and allow the onions to cook for 20 minutes, or until they are caramelized like in the next picture.
Add the caramelized onions to a soup pot.
Pour in the beef broth. Add two bay leaves and thyme. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for one hour.
Use a ladle to fill bowls with the gluten free French onion soup.
This is my favorite part. Grab a bag of Milton's Gluten Free Sea Salt Crackers. Take about 4 or 5 crackers and place them on top of the onion soup.
Top with a thick slice of gruyere cheese. Place the soup bowls in a baking dish and place under a broiler until the cheese gets all melty.
Serve the soup hot with Milton's Gluten Free Crackers.
My favorite onion to use is a large sweet onion. Some stores have Hawaiian sweet onions. Their mellow sweetness adds to the caramelized flavor of this soup. You can also use red onion, which adds a deeper onion flavor.
Yellow onions are just okay...they give off an initial bitter taste, which my son didn't like as much.
Actually, it really does matter how you cut the onions. In traditional French Onion Soup, the onions are cut to be slivered and not diced. You also want the onions cut uniformly so they all cook evenly.
Store leftover soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the soup in Souper Cubes. I love these cubes because they freeze soup in single-serving cubes.
More Gluten Free Soup Recipes to Try:
- This Instant Pot Vegetable Soup with Chicken makes a great lunch to take in a thermos.
- If you love soup, this Cream of Tomato Soup is wonderful.
- My Grandma's Chicken Soup From Scratch is perfect for cold and flu season.
- Everyone will love this creamy Gluten Free Fish Chowder recipe.
Gluten Free French Onion Soup
- 4 cups sweet onions slivered
- ½ cup salted butter
- 4 cups beef broth regular or low-sodium
- 2 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup gruyere cheese
- In a pan, add a stick of butter. Allow it to melt a little then add the sliced onions to the pan. Cover.
- Cook the onions on medium heat for 5 minutes until they soften.
- Add garlic, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper to the onions. Stir it in and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until the onions are caramelized.
- Pour the onions into a soup pot. Add broth, wine, water, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover the pot and simmer on low for an hour.
- When the soup is done, use a ladle to pour into bowls.
- Top each bowl with several Milton's Gluten Free Sea Salt Crackers and then the Gruyere cheese.
- Place bowls in a baking dish and put under the broiler until the cheese is melted.
- I recommend using sweet onions for this recipe. Yellow onions will also work well.
- To make this Gluten Free French Onion Soup dairy-free, use a dairy-free cheese and plant-based butter.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze this soup. Store in freezer bags.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
This post was updated from an old May 2018 post with more detailed instructions.
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I had to make some substitutions, as I was out of Thyme, and had no white wine so used red (which is used in traditional French Onion Soup anyway) also due to dairy allergies and healthier cooking options I replaced the butter with 1/4 cup of butter flavored olive oil, and 1/4 cup of vegan butter (I had MELT on hand). The results were outstanding, and my husband who is French Canadian loved it! Will be making it again. Only thing was, during softening stage it took more than the 5 minutes for the onions to soften, maybe because I didn’t want the onions to burn my heat was too low, or because didn’t use a big pan but the actual soup pot. But aroma built up the anticipation!
I love that you tested this with red wine. I will have to try that next. Thank you!
I love all your recipes! I’m making this tonight and I’m wondering if I can use regular sugar instead of coconut? Or another alternative? I’m allergic to coconut. Thanks!
Hi Shelly, regular sugar or brown sugar is completely fine! Enjoy :-).
This looks amazing! I'm going to make this today as I've come into a lot of onions recently and my wife is gf. I'm curious though, can this be frozen safely if I were to make a double batch?
Hi Jeff, this soup should freeze really well. I use Souper Cubes to freeze soup in single serving portions. (They are on Amazon)