I’ve been craving the flavor of French onion soup (or even a good French onion dip) lately. Since it’s the middle of summer, I wasn’t really in the mood for a hot bowl of soup. And chips and dip isn’t really a meal (well, it probably shouldn’t be). So I decided to start searching online for some French onion inspired dinner recipes.
I finally came across a couple of French onion pasta dishes (one was actually adapted from the other!) that sounded amazing. I decided to tweak some things and combine some elements from each of the recipes to create my own version … And it turned out surprisingly well!
Creamy French Onion Chicken and Pasta
- 1 box penne (I used a 14.5 oz. box of wheat penne, but you can use whatever you like)
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 cup Marsala wine, divided
- 3 cloves garlic (or, if you’re lazy like me, the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic)
- 1-2 bay leaves (I used 2 small bay leaves)
- 1/2 lb. asparagus spears, cut into thirds
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 can chicken broth
- 1 packet dry French onion soup mix
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the stick of butter in a large skillet. Add the thinly sliced onion, garlic, and bay leaf (or leaves, if you’re using more than one). Cover and cook over medium low for approximately 30 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be soft and caramel in color when they’re done.
- While the onions are cooking, add 1 tbsp olive oil to another large skillet. Cook the chicken chunks, turning frequently until no longer pink.
- Add 1/2 cup of the Marsala wine to the chicken. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and add the chopped asparagus pieces. Drizzle with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, and place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, add the penne to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions until al dente and drain.
- Once the onions have finished cooking, discard the bay leaf (or leaves). Stir in the flour until evenly coated.
- Add 1/2 cup of the Marsala wine, packet of dry French onion soup mix, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the heavy cream, and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken and asparagus to the large skillet with the onion sauce and stir well.
- Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray, and add the drained pasta to the pan. Stir in the onion sauce mixture, stirring several times to coat the pasta as evenly as possible.
- Top the pasta and sauce with the shredded Gruyere cheese.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp olive oil with the Panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over the cheese.
- Set the oven to broil (I used the low broil setting), and place the dish in the oven until the breadcrumbs brown and the cheese has completely melted. This should only take a few minutes, so make sure you check it a few times!
I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but this really isn’t a difficult recipe. A lot of things are going on at once, but it’s not overwhelming at all. This recipe does require a lot of dishes (which sucks when you’re cleaning up after dinner), but it’s so good that it’s worth it. I served this with a side of steamed green beans, though I think a salad would also be a good option.