Tender chicken breasts simmered for hours in a rich onion broth and then covered with Gruyere cheese is comfort food at its best in this Slow Cooker French Onion Chicken recipe.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This French Onion Chicken Recipe
- Ingredients To Make French Onion Crockpot Chicken
- How To Make This Crockpot French Onion Chicken
- Tips and Variations For French Onion Chicken In Slow Cooker
- Make Ahead and Storage
- Looking for more chicken options?
- Slow Cooker French Onion Chicken Recipe
Hearty, comforting and delicious, you really can’t go wrong with this Crockpot French Onion Chicken recipe. It’s the perfect meal for a fall or winter day. With just a few minutes of prep in the morning you can come home to the amazing aroma of a freshly cooked meal ready for the table.
Why bone in chicken adds more flavor
Though you can most often substitute bone-in chicken breasts for boneless chicken breasts, using the bone-in option may add more flavor to your recipe. Chicken bones are loaded with flavor from the bone marrow and when you cook with them the flavor is released into your dish.
Why You’ll Love This French Onion Chicken Recipe
Delicious: The slow cooker helps bring out the delicious flavor of this French onion chicken.
Comforting: Rich broth, tender chicken all covered in melted cheese is the epitome of comfort food.
Hands off time: After the initial prep, it’s hands off time so you can get other things done while your chicken cooks.
Ingredients To Make French Onion Crockpot Chicken
- Chicken breasts – Bone in chicken breasts will impart the best flavor but boneless will also work in this slow cooker French onion chicken.
- Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil works well but any kind will do.
- Butter – Unsalted or salted butter both work.
- Onions – White onions, sliced lengthwise, work well but other type of onions can be substituted.
- Garlic – Fresh minced or sliced garlic tastes best but jarred will also work.
- Chicken broth – Choose a low sodium chicken broth.
- White wine – Any type of white wine adds a fruity flavor.
- Brown sugar – Use brown or coconut sugar to help balance the flavors.
- Gruyère cheese – A nice French cheese like Gruyère complements the taste.
- Salt and pepper Add salt and pepper to your preference.
- Thyme– Fresh thyme adds the finishing touch to this French onion slow cooker chicken.
How To Make This Crockpot French Onion Chicken
- Step 1: Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Step 2: Brown the chicken in the slow cooker, if your model has this option. If not, brown the chicken on the stove and transfer it to a plate.
- Step 3: Once chicken is done browning, keep the browning function on and melt the butter and then add in the onion. Cover the slow cooker and let the onion cook for 15 minutes.
- Step 4: Once the onion is done, add the garlic and brown sugar to caramelize the onion. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Step 5: Deglaze the caramelized onions with white wine and allow the wine to reduce.
- Step 6: Stir in broth, season with salt, pepper and add a small bunch of fresh thyme.
- Step 7: Place the chicken back into the pot, cover and cook on high for 3 hours and low for 5 hours.
- Step 8: A few minutes before the time is up, add the shredded Gruyère cheese and cover until the cheese has melted. Alternatively, you can transfer the chicken to a sheet pan, add the cheese, and broil in the oven to give the chicken a crust-like cheesy texture.
- Step 9: Garnish with fresh thyme and serve in a bowl with a scoop of the French onion soup and serve with a baguette or crusty bread.
Tips and Variations For French Onion Chicken In Slow Cooker
- Change up the chicken. Instead of chicken breasts use chicken thighs.
- Modify the broth. If you can’t find chicken broth you can use beef or vegetable broth.
- Use a different cheese. Try Swiss or Emmenthal cheese instead of Gruyère.
- Make it alcohol free. Use more broth instead of the white wine.
Yes, some French onion chicken recipes call for cooking the chicken in the oven instead of the crockpot. To do so, place the ingredients in a Dutch oven and check for doneness at around 30-40 minutes. Cooked chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you want to use frozen chicken, thaw it overnight in the fridge before preparing this recipe.
While browning is not required to cook the chicken it is recommended. Browning adds a nice crisp texture and will enhance the taste.
This recipe will still work with boneless breasts though bone in breast may have more flavor.
Make Ahead and Storage
If you like to meal prep and have a few meals ready to go in the fridge, you can prep this dish and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. You can store the soup with the chicken or transfer it to a mason jar.
Leftovers can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Freeze individual portions so you can easily pull out one meal at a time. You can freeze the chicken with the soup or freeze it separately.
Looking for more chicken options?
- Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
- Air Fryer Orange Chicken
- Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs
Grease the slow cooker slightly so the cheese doesn’t stick and clean up will be a little easier.
Slow Cooker French Onion Chicken
- 5 bone-in chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 medium onions sliced lengthwise
- 3 cloves garlic minced or sliced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp brown or coconut sugar
- 6 oz gruyère cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh thyme
- Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside
- Turn on browning mode in your slow cooker (if available, otherwise do this step on stove). Heat oil and add chicken skin side down and sauté for 4-5 minutes until chicken skin is golden brown. Repeat on other side (total 10-12 minutes). Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Keep slow cooker in browning/ sauté mode and melt the butter. Then add in onion, stir. Cover the slow cooker and let the onion cook down for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes add garlic and brown sugar, stir well. This will help the caramelization of the onion. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Deglaze the caramelized onions with white wine. Allow wine to reduce (about 5 minutes)
- Stir in broth, season with salt, pepper. Add a small bunch of fresh thyme. Transfer the chicken back into the pot. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours and low for 5 hours.
- Garnish with fresh thyme and serve in a bowl with a scoop of the French onion soup and serve with a baguette or crusty bread.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.