Recipe Review

I Tried the Viral One-Pan French Onion Soup Noodles, and I Don’t Know How I Waited So Long

published Jul 6, 2023
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French onion soup noodles in skillet.
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

When I’m trying out a new recipe, the actual act of learning something new is without a doubt just as exciting, and rewarding, as the end product itself. I recently became aware of the viral upside down pastry craze, and now I’m at home concocting pizza and macaroni & cheese versions like it’s my job (well, it kind of is!). The most recent recipe to catch my attention? This delicious take on the classic French Onion Soup. Perfected by the talented Sheck Eats on TikTok, One-Pan French Onion Soup Noodles merge two foods we all love — classic French onion soup and noodles — into a one-pan dinner. 

The idea of using French onion soup flavors with pasta isn’t totally new. Most recipes you come across call for either heavy cream or cream cheese, but this one skips both ingredients and instead uses an Italian technique known as “risotarre”. The noodles cook like a risotto, taking on a thick, creamy (no-cream) texture reminiscent of the iconic soup. My arm didn’t need to be twisted too hard to try out this fantastic fusion of foods — I couldn’t wait to get started.  

How to Make One-Pan French Onion Soup Noodles

Start by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add your diced onions, white wine, and kosher salt, then raise the heat to high and cook until the wine evaporates. Once evaporated, lower the heat to medium-low, and add herbes de Provence and black pepper. Cook for 30 minutes, making sure to stir every now and then. Add garlic and continue to cook for another 30 minutes at the same medium-low temperature. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

After one hour the onions should be caramelized. (If you have the gift of time, the onions can take on another hour or two, but it’s not necessary.) 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

When ready, add the spaghetti to the skillet and then the hot beef broth. Raise the temperature to medium-high and let simmer. Once the broth is almost entirely evaporated, add some hot water. Mix, let simmer, then add more water as needed. The pasta should be cooked al dente, which takes 12 to 15 minutes. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

Remove the skillet from the heat and add cubed Swiss or Gruyère, mixing well so that it melts in evenly. Finish with a little butter and parsley, and serve hot.

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

My Honest Opinion of One-Pan French Onion Soup Noodles

As a huge fan of French onion soup, I went into this recipe with a heavy bias. Putting what I already love into noodle form was the discovery I needed in my cooking journey. I recommend making this recipe for the smell alone: as soon as I started cooking the onions in white wine, my apartment filled with goodness. Once I added herbes de Provence and garlic into the mix, my roommates even came out of their rooms to see what was up in the kitchen. This recipe smells so delicious in the beginning stages that you’ll likely be fighting the urge to sneak spoonfuls of caramelized onions. 

Yes, the caramelizing steps seems like it takes forever, but the hour is worth the wait, and doesn’t require much attention; prep the remaining ingredients or finish the latest episode of ‘The Bear’ season two

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

3 Tips for Making One-Pan French Onion Soup Noodles

  1. Caramelize for however long you can. Sheck Eats, who developed this recipe, strongly believes caramelizing onions takes at least a full hour to develop the depth of flavor and jammy texture desirable for this pasta. Here at The Kitchn, our method for caramelizing onions sets you back closer to 45 minutes. If you want to go the distance, you can even caramelize onions for more like two hours. They’re forgiving; do what fits your schedule.
  2. Keep hot water handy. The recipe says you will need 2 cups of hot water on hand during the pasta cooking process, but I found it to be helpful to have boiling water ready in a pot. I didn’t have to worry about the temperature dropping and I ended up needing more than 2 cups to achieve the right level of sauciness.  
  3. Patience is, yes, a virtue. This is one of those recipes in which the long cook time absolutely pays off. Trust the process, use your time wisely, and reap the benefits when it’s (finally!) time to eat.