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French Onion Soup (Panera Copycat)

This Panera French Onion Soup is absolutely delicious. It has a rich savory flavor that is very comforting. Simple ingredients come together to create a wonderful soup that everyone knows and loves. Ditch the ride to the restaurant and learn to make your own soup at home!

When it comes to onion soup recipes we often seek out inspiration from soups we have tried and tested in the past. Friends and family recipes or even recipes we eat out.

Panera’s French Onion Soup is a classic and it is really simple to recreate at home. This copycat recipe will have you whipping up a batch of french onion comforting soup that you can enjoy all year round. But, let’s face it, it is especially welcome on a cold winter’s day. 

This Panera french onion soup recipe can be whipped up really quickly and you can get all of that incredible flavor just when you want it. 

We love to share recipes with you and if you love all things Panera then you have to try the Panera Copycat 10 Vegetable Soup. It tastes amazing and is full of nutritious vegetables. 

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Bowl of French Onion Soup and Jar of the soup next to it.

Why You’ll Love This Soup

  • Affordable- Making your own soup at home is cheaper than heading to the restaurant
  • Easy to make - It is all in the prep work and then you can let it all cook down. 
  • Perfect on a cold day - A real winter warmer on a chilly day. A hug in a bowl.
  • No problem when Panera doesn’t have it - Soups go on rotation at Panera and many of them have discontinued this recipe.

Ingredients Needed

Get more info on all of these ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Tomato Gastrique

  • White wine vinegar
  • White granulated sugar
  • Tomato sauce

Soup

  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onions
  • All-purpose flour
  • Chicken stock
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato Gastrique
  • Cornstarch
  • Thyme
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Croutons
  • Mozzarella cheese
Ingredients needed to make French Onion Soup.

Helpful Tools

Soup Pot

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Measuring Cups and Spoons

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Saucepan

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Cutting Board

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Butane Torch

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Mason Jar for Storing

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How To Make French Onion Soup

  1. Gather all of your ingredients together and then start by creating the tomato gastrique. You do this by boiling the white vinegar in a saucepan until it has boiled down to half its amount of liquid.
  2. You then need to add the sugar to the white vinegar and mix continuously for about 3-5 minutes. The liquid should have gone quite syrup-like in consistency. 
  3. Add the tomato sauce to this syrup and mix until combined. At this point, you will want to remove it from the heat and leave it while you carry on with the recipe. 
  4. In another large saucepan add the olive oil and sliced onions and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. You are wanting to get caramelized onions, but keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to burn. 
  5. Now you can add the flour and mix the onions until they are fully coated and the flour-covered onions soak up all the juices. This will help to thicken your soup. 
  6. Transfer the onions to a large pot and add the chicken broth, tomato gastrique, soy sauce, cornstarch, and all the seasonings. Make sure you give all of the ingredients a good stir to ensure they have combined. 
  7. Give the ingredients time to cook down. You can let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every so often.
  8. Now it is time to serve your soup. Add the soup to a bowl, and then add a handful of croutons and some cheese on top of the soup. If available use a butane torch to melt the cheese and enjoy!
First couple steps of how to make French Onion Soup.
Collage of images showing the second few steps of how to make French Onion Soup.
A collage of images showing how to make French Onion Soup.
I'm just saying cause he steps of how to make French onion soup copycat Panera recipe.

Recipe Variations

Want to add a secret ingredient? We recommend a dash of Worcestershire sauce. It works so well with the flavor of the caramelized onions and is super tasty with a rich flavor. 

Add extra seasoning. Before serving you could add a bit of black pepper and sea salt depending on how you like things to taste. 

Want to add a sweet flavor? Instead of yellow onions, you could use red onions instead. Or a mix of the two to balance out the flavor. 

Add some heat. You could add a few drops of tabasco sauce if you like a bit of spice and heat. It will be a great flavor with this delicious soup. 

Serve with breadsticks. You can buy your own, or use our homemade breadstick recipe.

A bowl of Copycat Panera French Onion Soup.

Tips & Tricks 

  • If you don’t have a torch, don’t worry! Once you’ve sprinkled the cheese, cover the top with a napkin for a minute or so to let the cheese melt. 
  • You could also use oven-safe bowls and place the soup with the croutons and cheese into the oven and broil until you get melted cheese. Be mindful that the bowl will be super hot so this may not be a safe option for kids’ portions. 
  • This could be made in the slow cooker. You just need to add all of the ingredients together and then let the slow cooker do its thing. 
Looking down on a bowl of Panera's Copycat French Onion Soup.

Storage

If you have any leftovers or you have cooked a bigger batch then let the soup cool before transferring it to an airtight container. You can then store the soup in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

This is also a great recipe to freeze. Again let it cool completely before putting it into an airtight container or in freezer bags and then freezing the soup for another day. It will last in the freezer for a month and needs to be thawed and heated up before being enjoyed. 

A bowl of French Onion Soup.

FAQ

What should you serve with this Panera French Onion Soup?

This is a perfect lunch on its own, but you can also enjoy it with a sandwich. Perfect with a whole grain baguette that you dip in, French bread, or a couple of sides of those slices of warm thick bread with sweet cream butter.

Crusty bread that is cut into thick slices, toast, or just a slice dipped in will be just fine. 

What cheese should I use on top of the soup?

In this recipe, we have used mozzarella cheese but you can use any other good melting cheese. Gruyere cheese, cheddar, Swiss cheese, or any shredded cheese will work well. 

A jar of French Onion Soup.

Other soup recipes 

Looking down on a bowl of French onion soup.

French Onion Soup (Panera Copycat)

Enjoy a hearty bowl of this savory Panera Copycat French Onion Soup. Cheesy and savory, every spoonful is yummy.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: French Onion Soup, Panera's French Onion Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Mason Jar Recipe

Ingredients

Tomato Gastrique

  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups yellow onions sliced
  • cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Tomato Gastrique made with ingredients above
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup croutons
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Gather all of your ingredients together and then start by creating the tomato gastrique. You do this by boiling the white vinegar in a saucepan until it has boiled down to half its amount of liquid.
  • You then need to add the sugar to the white vinegar and mix continuously for about 3-5 minutes. The liquid should have gone quite syrup-like in consistency.
  • Add the tomato sauce to this syrup and mix until combined. At this point, you will want to remove it from the heat and leave it while you carry on with the recipe.
  • In another large saucepan add the olive oil and sliced onions and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. You are wanting to get caramelized onions, but keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to burn.
  • Now you can add the flour and mix the onions until they are fully coated and the flour-covered onions soak up all the juices. This will help to thicken your soup.
  • Transfer the onions to a large pot and add the chicken broth, tomato gastrique, soy sauce, cornstarch, and all the seasonings. Make sure you give all of the ingredients a good stir to ensure they have combined.
  • Give the ingredients time to cook down. You can let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every so often.
  • Now it is time to serve your soup. Add the soup to a bowl, and then add a handful of croutons and some cheese on top of the soup. If available use a butane torch to melt the cheese and enjoy!

Nutritional Disclaimer

These Nutritional Facts are ESTIMATED. Your actual nutritional info with this recipe may vary depending on the brands you choose. “Mason Jar Recipe” is not a registered dietician or nutritionist. The provided nutritional info above is based on a generic calculator, if you want more accurate info, use your nutritional calculator of choice where you can choose brands and get more info that way.

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Recipe Rating




Anne St Pierre

Friday 3rd of March 2023

Hi I am new here. Are you canning the onion and other soups? I am not sure why the jar exactly. The onion soup sounds fantastic.

Mason Jar Recipe

Friday 3rd of March 2023

Welcome Anne! Nope, we aren't canning this soup. We like to store leftovers in the jars. It's a great alternative to plastic containers and you can take leftovers on the go easier in this than most other containers. But, really, we just love mason jars and love finding all the fun ways we can store and serve things in them. It by no means means that you HAVE to store them in a jar, it's just something we do. The recipes will still be delicious stored or served in a normal bowl :) Occasionally, there are things we do can and obviously use the jars for, we will either share the canning instructions we use, or link out to ones that we use. Hope this helps and we hope you continue to check out our tasty recipes and get the chance to make it!