Simple, cheesy, Baked French Onion Meatballs. For those cold fall and winter nights when you want a fancy slow-cooked french onion soup…but you want something hearty too! Made easily with oven-baked chicken meatballs, white wine, caramelized onions, herbs, and that classic cheesy french bread topping. This dish is warm, flavorful, comforting, and so delicious. Equally great for a simple family dinner or holiday entertaining.
Happy November everyone! My original plan was to share our 2021 Thanksgiving menu today, but I need a couple more days to put the finishing touches on the post. Very excited to share, but honestly?
I’m equally excited to share these delicious french onion style meatballs. If I had to choose the recipe for you to all be making this week, tonight even, it would be these meatballs. Perfect dinner to welcome in the chilly month of November.
When I made these meatballs before heading to Los Angelas the other week, my oldest brother, Creighton, was in town. And while I feed him a lot of meals when he’s here, he declared these meatballs his favorite. He LOVED them, so I think it’s safe to say this is a very good recipe.
The process is simple, here are the steps
Start with the bread. I mentioned this last month, but when my grandma made meatloaf or meatballs, she used to wet the bread first. She’d then ring out the excess water and tear the bread into super fine pieces. This is the key to a juicy, non-dry meatball.
Add the bread to a bowl along with ground chicken, an egg, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix that all together, and you’re ready to roll your meatballs.
Then bake! I love baking meatballs. It’s so much easier and cleaner, not to mention healthier, than frying them up in a skillet.
While the meatballs are cooking, caramelize the onions
Start with sweet onions, butter, and dry white wine.
I use a dry white wine, which is pretty traditional in most French onion soups. You’ll cook about half of the wine into the onions. Not only does this help the onions to caramelize quickly and evenly, it also infuses the onions with incredibly rich flavor.
If you prefer not to cook with wine, I recommend using about half a cup of apple cider or apple juice to caramelize the onions. For the remaining amount of wine (another half cup), use chicken or vegetable broth.
When the onions are caramelized, add the mushrooms and let those cook a minute. Then add in the broth.
Now, grab the meatballs and add them to the sauce. Simmer a bit until cooked throughout.
Finish it up
When you’re ready, switch the oven to broil.
Top the skillet full of meatballs with crusty french bread, and a layer of cheese. Then place under the broiler to melt. Watch closely, the broiler works fast.
Then simply pull out of the oven and experience the bubbling cheese and the delicious flavors of a truly good bowl of French onion soup…with the addition of yummy meatballs.
This is truly one of those roll your eyes back, crave-worthy, fall-winter comfort foods.
My favorite way to serve these meatballs is with a side salad. You could add pasta or mashed potatoes, but they’re also not needed.
Perfect dinner, right? I’m excited t have this one in my back pocket for the upcoming holiday season. I already know it’s going to be a go-to recipe once my family arrives and the craziness begins in a few weeks! Thanksgiving is so soon!
Looking for other meatball recipes?? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make these , be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Baked French Onion Meatballs
Calories Per Serving: 461 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
- 1 slice soft whole grain bread
- 1 egg, beaten
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 3-4 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups cremini or wild mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup whole milk, cream, or canned coconut milk
- 6 slices french bread
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil.2. Take the bread and run it under water until dampened but not soaked. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the bread and then crumble the dampened bread into pieces.3. In a bowl, combine the chicken, bread crumbles, egg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Coat your hands with olive oil, then roll the meat into balls about the size of 2 tablespoons, and place them into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp on the outside, but not yet cooked through on the inside.4. Meanwhile, melt together the butter and onions in a large oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes. At this point, you'll want to slowly add 3/4 cup of the wine, 1/4 cup at a time, until the wine cooks into the onions. Continue to cook another 10-15 minutes until you've used all of the 3/4 cup of wine and the onions are deeply caramelized. 5. Add the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and sage. Season with salt and pepper, cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the the broth and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a low boil. Add the meatballs and simmer 10 minutes, until cooked through. Stir in the cream.6. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until very dry. Switch the oven to broil. Place the bread on/around the meatballs. Top evenly with cheese. Broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Top with fresh thyme. Eat!