What to Serve with French Onion Soup: Perfect Pairings

What to serve with French onion soup? You know that moment when you dip your spoon into a steamy bowl of French Onion Soup and everything just seems right with the world? Yes, that blissful experience can be heightened with just the right sidekick.

Imagine you’re about to dive into that rich, caramelized onion-y goodness, topped with a glorious layer of melted cheese. Now, think about what could possibly make it better. Hint: It’s all about those French Onion Soup side dishes.

Not sure where to start? Keep reading to turn your cozy bowl of soup into a meal that’ll make your heart sing and your Instagram buzz with envy-inducing snaps. And honestly, who can resist the social media love that comes with food that looks as good as it tastes? Now, let’s get to the good stuff!

Introduction to the Perfect Complements for French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup bowl surrounded by onions.

Imagine you’re sitting down to a steaming bowl of French Onion Soup, its luscious aroma of caramelized onions wafting through the air. Now, what could possibly make this moment better? The answer lies in the art of pairing this beloved dish with the perfect French Onion Soup sides.

Just like picking the perfect accessory for an outfit, the ideal accompaniments should enhance, not overshadow, the main dish. From the gooey delight of cheesy garlic bread to the crisp freshness of a garden salad, the right sides can balance the richness of the soup with a variety of flavors and textures.

So, what sides play well with the opulence of French Onion Soup? Here are some perfect pairings that are not only tasty but easy to prepare:

  • French dip sandwich: Are you a die-hard traditionalist? Pair your soup with a French dip sandwich for a hearty meal. The juicy beef and crusty bread complement the soup beautifully.
  • Mushroom Risotto: Offering a creamy texture with umami flavors, mushroom risotto is a subtle yet satisfying side.
  • Roasted Green Beans: For those moments when you crave a little textual contrast, crispy roasted frozen green beans can make their debut. Their snap and freshness contrasts nicely with the deep flavors of the soup.
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts: These caramelized beauties offer a crunchy counterpoint to the soup’s silkiness.
  • Mini Quiches: With flaky pastry and rich filling, mini quiches complement the soup without stealing the spotlight.
  • Cheesy Garlic Bread: The classic Italian garlic bread, bubbling with cheese and rich garlic flavor, is a timeless accompaniment to French Onion Soup.
Hand holding garlic bread.

Whether you’re enjoying a quiet meal or hosting a memorable dinner party, these sides will elevate your French Onion Soup experience. Be bold in your choices and enjoy the culinary journey!

What to Serve with French Onion Soup: Salads and Vegetables

When your palate is swimming in the luxuriously deep flavors of French Onion Soup, you might find yourself craving a return to the surface with something light and crisp. Bright salads and earthy vegetables are ideal companions that add a touch of freshness to your meal.

Refresh Your Palate with Arugula Salad

Imagine a peppery burst of arugula salad drenched in a red wine vinaigrette, creating the perfect foil to the depth of French Onion Soup. This isn’t just any side dish for soup; it’s a refreshing escape. Here’s an arugula salad recipe that’s as simple as it is transformative.

Arugula salad on a plate with fork.

Brighten Your Table with Cherry Tomato Salad

A cherry tomato salad adds a pop of color and a burst of freshness to your dining table. Toss these vibrant tomatoes with fresh basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a side that cuts through the richness of the soup while captivating your senses visually and gastronomically.

Add Crunch with Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

For a crunchy and flavorful side, try a shaved Brussels sprout salad. Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts mixed with a tangy mustard dressing provide a crispy texture that contrasts well with the silky soup. This salad not only adds a refreshing crunch but also packs a nutritional punch.

Shaved brussel sprouts on a wooden board.

Add Color and Flavor with Sauteed Spinach

Sautéed spinach is a fantastic side that complements without overpowering. Cook it with a bit of garlic and high-quality olive oil for a side dish that’s smooth, leafy, and subtly earthy. It’s a simple yet delicious way to round out your meal with both flavor and nutrition.

Sauteed spinach on a bowl.

What to Serve with French Onion Soup: Starches and Grains

When it comes to pairing sides with French Onion Soup, think of it like wrapping yourself in a cozy sweater on a cold evening. The right starch or grain can transform your soup into a comforting, satisfying meal.

Air Fryer Roasted Red Potatoes

Bring a touch of rustic charm to your table with air fryer roasted red potatoes. These potatoes get crispy on the outside and stay fluffy on the inside, providing a hearty texture that complements the soup. Quick to prepare and even quicker to disappear from the plate, they’re a fuss-free addition to your meal.

roasted red potatoes in air fryer

Grilled Polenta

Grilled polenta is another excellent companion for French Onion Soup. Its mild, corn-based flavor and slightly crispy texture from grilling make it a wonderful base for absorbing the soup’s savory notes. Serve it as slices or cubes for a delightful contrast to the soup’s richness.

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

For those who prefer their potatoes with minimal fuss but maximum flavor, air fryer baked potatoes are the way to go. They cook faster than traditional methods and offer crispy skins and fluffy centers that pair beautifully with butter, cheese, or even a spoonful of your French Onion Soup.

Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes

Twice baked mashed potatoes are a decadent choice. These involve baking mashed potatoes a second time with added ingredients like cheese, chives, and butter, creating a creamy, indulgent side dish that stands up to the soup’s bold flavors.

Mashed potato on a plate.

Protein Pairings to Complement French Onion Soup

When considering what to serve with French Onion Soup, incorporating a protein dish can transform a simple meal into a luxurious feast. Elevate your dining experience with some exquisite protein options that complement the deep, savory flavors of the soup.

Indulgent and Creamy French Onion Chicken

Enhance your French Onion Soup with creamy French Onion Chicken. This dish features succulent chicken drenched in a rich Gruyère and onion gravy that melds perfectly with the soup’s flavors, creating a harmonious and indulgent meal that feels like a warm hug.

Baked Salmon Fillet

Consider a baked salmon fillet, buttery and subtly seasoned, as a lighter pairing that contrasts nicely with the robust soup. It’s not only delicious but also offers health benefits, being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, making it ideal for a light yet upscale meal experience.

baked salmon fillet on a plate.

Chicken in White Wine Sauce

Another fantastic pairing is chicken cooked in a white wine sauce, which offers a savory taste with a hint of tanginess that complements the sweet undertones of the onion soup. This option is high in protein while being low in fat, perfect for an elegant soirée.

Grilled Pairings for French Onion Soup

Get ready, grill aficionados! Pairing this rich, savory soup with grilled delights creates a perfect culinary match that’s sure to impress. Here are some meaty dishes from the grill that will complement your soup and satisfy your cravings for a hearty meal.

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

Start with garlic butter steak bites, a simple yet luxurious addition to any meal. Picture bite-sized steak pieces generously coated in melted garlic butter, grilled to achieve a crispy crust that’s music to your ears with every bite. Serve these steak bites with a zesty mustard sauce to enhance the flavors and add a touch of tanginess that balances the richness of the bites and the soup.

Gourmet French Dip Burger

Beef Burger with Fries and Sauce in a tray on the table

For those seeking a more refined side that still echoes the hearty soul of barbeque, indulge in the gourmet French Dip Burger. This isn’t your average burger; it’s an homage to classic French cuisine, featuring juicy grilled beef patties topped with rich caramelized onions and melted Gruyère cheese, all sandwiched in a toasted bun.

Each bite marries the heartiness of the burger with the soulful taste of French Onion Soup, transporting you straight to a chic Parisian bistro.

Decadent Delights: Cheesy and Creamy Sides

When it comes to indulging in comfort food, French Onion Soup is just the beginning. Imagine enhancing your meal with sides that are as rich and creamy as the soup itself.

Cheesy Side DishKey IngredientsTexture Profile
Duchess PotatoesPotato puree, Egg yolks, CheeseCrisp edges, Soft center
Potatoes au GratinSliced potatoes, Cream, Gruyere cheeseCreamy interior, Golden crust
Broccoli GratinBroccoli florets, Béchamel sauce, Cheddar cheeseTender florets, Bubbly top

Whether you’re aiming for a cozy night in or a dinner that impresses, these creamy, cheesy delights are sure to satisfy.

Seafood Sides to Pair with French Onion Soup

If you’re looking to keep your meal light and refreshing alongside a bowl of French Onion Soup, consider adding a seafood side dish. Seafood provides a delightful contrast to the soup’s deep flavors without adding too much heaviness. Here are some quick and healthy seafood options that enhance your meal without overpowering it.

Easy Shrimp Piccata plate on a table

Shrimp Piccata

For a speedy side dish, try Shrimp Piccata. This dish is all about simplicity and speed. Sauté shrimp quickly and sprinkle with capers for a burst of zesty flavor. This side dish can be whipped up in minutes, offering a bright complement to the rich soup.

Air Fryer Shrimp

Now, let’s talk about a crowd-pleaser that’s as effortless as they come – Air Fryer shrimp. Season, toss them in the air fryer, and in minutes you’ll have a plate of crispy, golden shrimp that are as beneficial for your waistline as they are delightful to your taste buds.

The brilliance here is that these light soup sides won’t steal the show from your beloved French Onion Soup but will instead elevate it to new heights. So, pull up a chair, grab a sprig of parsley for that chefy touch, and relish the lighter side of deliciousness!

Shrimp Scampi

Add a garlicky twist with Shrimp Scampi. This classic is made by quickly sautéing shrimp with garlic, butter, and a splash of white wine. It’s light yet flavorful, adding a touch of elegance to your meal without overwhelming the savory notes of your French Onion Soup.


Choosing the perfect accompaniments for your French Onion Soup doesn’t just elevate the meal; it transforms it into a dining experience. Whether it’s the sharp crispness of a fresh salad, the hearty embrace of a grilled cheese sandwich, or the elegant simplicity of a baked potato, the right sides can balance and enhance the rich flavors of your soup.

Remember, the goal is to complement, not overpower, so each dish should harmonize with the deep, savory notes of the onion soup. By thoughtfully pairing your French Onion Soup with suitable sides, you create a meal that’s not only delicious but also visually appealing—a feast for the senses that’s sure to leave everyone at the table delighted. So next time you serve this classic dish, use these tips to ensure your meal is as impressive as it is comforting.


I’m looking for healthy French Onion Soup accompaniments. Any suggestions?

A crisp apple and walnut salad, a simple vinaigrette-dressed greens salad, or cucumber slices can provide a refreshing contrast to the heartiness of the soup.

How can I make my French Onion Soup meal gluten-free?

Serve the soup with gluten-free bread or opt for naturally gluten-free sides like baked potatoes, polenta, or a cornbread. Always ensure the soup itself is made with gluten-free broth and other compliant ingredients.

Can I pair French Onion Soup with pasta?

Baked salmon, chicken in white wine sauce, or even sous vide asparagus make for nutritious and harmonious marriage with the soup’s deep flavors.

Are there any creamy comfort foods that pair well with e soup?

You can’t go wrong with the classics—potatoes au gratin, broccoli gratin, or even a slice of cheesy garlic bread will serve as the ultimate companions for your comforting bowl of French Onion Soup.