French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich

So the thing is, I have been really craving some french onion soup lately. The only problem? No one, I mean, not one person in my family likes soup. Like, if you even try to give it to the my son, he throws his elbows up, and blocks me from any and all attempts to get soup in his mouth. He won’t even try it. Period. My husband, he’s not much better, he doesn’t even consider soup to be a meal. I on the other hand absolutely love soup, and is something we grew up eating, we always had some nice homemade soup on hand.

So what’s a girl to do? Make grill cheese of course! The weird part is, this tastes just like french onion soup, but in sandwich form. Beautiful caramelized onions with a hint of boozy goodness, melted gruyere cheese, and fresh, perfectly toasted sourdough come together to make the perfect sandwich. And dare I say better than the soup simply because it takes a lot less time.

Now, off to bake a bunch of birthday cakes!

French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches

2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin, about 1/4″
3 tablespoons butter softened, plus additional for outsides of bread
3 tablespoons white wine
4.5 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
4 slices bread (I used sourdough)
salt and freshly ground pepper


1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the sliced onions. Stir until onions have softened and are starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread onions in an even layer, cover pot, and reduce heat to low. Stir every 5 or so minutes. Continue until onions are nice and brown and caramelized, about 25 minutes. (this may take longer depending on how many onions you use).

2. Increase heat to medium-high, add the wine to deglaze the pan, and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Once all the liquid has absorbed, about 1-2 minutes, turn off heat.

3. Preheat skillet to medium heat. Butter both sides of bread, lay buttered side down on skillet and cover with 1/4 of cheese, top with half of the caramelized onions, and top with 1/4 more cheese, then buttered bread. Cook until cheese is melted and the outside is golden brown. About 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with second sandwich.

Jessica’s Notes:

  • Feel free to use any combination of cheeses you wish, I used gruyere because it’s classic for french onion soup and it’s a good melting cheese. 
  • I cooked my sandwiches in a cast iron skillet, and used a heavy cast iron pot on top of the sandwich once I flipped it to speed up the melting process. 
Good Luck & Enjoy!!
  • treytor2 .

    I am thinking of adding a portabello mushroom sliced up in this. With a touch of beef stock also and worcestershire sauce teaspoon. Should be yummy.

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      That sounds delicious!!

  • Jess

    I don’t drink much wine and wines I have had are red. What would you recommend for this?
    So excited to try this! A friend and I are suckers for French onion soup so this is exciting!!

    • Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

      Hi Jess,

      Chicken, vegetable, or beef stock will work well here. Enjoy!!

  • Kristi Rimkus

    That’s one way to get your french onion soup and it looks terrific. I have to admit, I don’t know too many people who don’t like some kind of soup. Oh well, when I want to make something I like and no one else does, I treat myself when they’re off doing something else. :)

    • Jill

      Season the onions with french onion dip mix, makes it 10x better.

      • sara

        GO TO YOUR CORNER!!!

        Seriously, you follow her instructions and cook this the right way and you’ll hiss at every dip mix you see from now on.

        The sandwich looks great. If anything, add some fresh herbs and some bacon. Dip mix, pffft!

      • treytor2 .

        add a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce to it too yummy. :)

  • Katie B

    Just found your site! I’m Portuguese too! I was just reading about French Onion grilled cheese’s!! I NEED TO MAKE THIS!! You making Massa this Christmas??

  • Misty Shakleford

    wow, this looks so yummy! I make a mean french onion soup….so this is getting made this week!

  • Kajal

    I’m not a soup person too, but this looks so dang good, i want to stop working now and go and make some and tuck in (i’m also hoping it will make my stupid cold go away!!). Bookmarked Jessica! Again, love your stuff!