This French Onion Chicken Skillet will have your family licking their plates clean. This one-skillet dinner is full of those bold, classic french onion flavors….but with hearty chicken for a boost of protein.

A cast iron skillet with a spoon taking a helping of the French Onion Chicken inside the skillet. The pan is surrounded by a napkin, a small whtie dish with green beans, a small bowl of salt and pepper, and some pepper spilled on the counter.

While I will always be the “muffin and smoothie lady”, I think I may have found a new cooking calling…riffing off of classic dishes! And that usually tends to happen with my dinner recipes. Just like I put a twist on spinach artichoke dip with my spinach artichoke chicken bake, I put my own spin on French onion soup for this delectable, protein-packed dinner.

All ingredients for French Onion Chicken Skillet sitting together on a countertop before cooking.
Ingredients: boneless, skinless chicken breasts, olive oil, yellow onions, kosher salt, garlic cloves, fresh thyme (or dried thyme), ground black pepper, balsamic vinegar, low-sodium beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Gruyere or Swiss cheese

How to make this skillet chicken: visual step-by-step

If you are a visual person, here is a picture guide for how the recipe should look at each step. Be sure to grab the exact measurements for the ingredients by scrolling down to the recipe card below.

A pair of hands slicing an onion with a knife on a cutting board. The cutting board is on a countertop surrounded by onion peels, discarded pieces of onion, some garlic cloves and some fresh herbs.
Slice onions.
A pair of hands fileting a chicken breast with a knife on a cutting board. The cutting board is on a countertop surrounded by some garlic cloves and fresh herbs.
If you have 2 large chicken breasts cut them in half to get 4 thinner chicken cutlets.
Two chicken breast halves with plastic wrap on top are being pounded flat with a meat tenderizing tool. The chicken breasts are on a cutting board on a counter. The cuttign board is surrounded by a few garlic cloves and fresh herbs.
Pound the chicken to make it an even 1/2-inch thickness if needed.
Four raw, flattened chicken breast halves seasoned with salt and pepper on a cutting board. The cutting board is sitting on a counter surrounded by a small bowl of salt, a small bowl of ground black pepper, and some fresh herbs.
Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
A cast iron skillet filled with 4 cooked and seasoned pieces of chicken. The skillet is sitting on a countertop.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, about 2 minutes per side.
A cast iron skllet with a piece of cooked, seasoned chicken breast is sitting next to a plate filled with 3 pieces of cooked, seasoned chicken breasts. A fork is on the plate and the plate and skillet are sittigng on a countertop.
Once browned, remove to a plate. (The chicken will not fully cooked yet.)
A cast iron skillet filled with raw, sliced white onions. The skillet is sitting on a countertop surrounded by a plate filled with cooked chicken.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the sliced onions and cook on medium-low, stirring and scrapping up the brown bit on the bottom every few minutes.
A cast iron skillet filled with caramelized onions topped with garlic, thyme, salt, and ground pepper. The skillet is sitting on a countertop.
Continue to cook until the onions are well caramelized and a deep brown color, about 20 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme then season with the teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Cook for an additional minute to soften the garlic.
Balsamic vinegar being poured into a cast iron skillet filled with caramelized onions. The skillet is sitting on a countertop.
Add the balsamic vinegar.
Caramelized onions in a cast iron skillet being stirred with a wooden spoon. The skillet is sitting on a countertop.
Stir in balsamic vinegar, scrapping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Broth and Worcestershire sauce are being poured into a cast iron skillet filled with caramelized onions. The skillet is sitting on a countertop surrounded by a plate filled with cooked chicken breasts.
Stir in the broth and Worcestershire sauce.
A cast iron skillet filled with caramelized onions topped with 4 cooked pieces of chicken breast nestled in the onions. The skillet is sitting on a countertop.
Add the chicken back to the pan with any juices that have collected on the plate.
A cast iron skillet filled with caramelized onions and cooked chicken breast being stirred with a spoon. The skillet is sitting on a countertop.
Simmer on medium-low for 6 minutes, for until the chicken is fully cooked and has an internal temp of 165F, flipping the chicken over halfway through.
A cast iron skillet filled with caramelized onions, cooked chicken breast and topped with shredded cheese (not yet melted). The skillet is sitting on a countertop.
Preheat the broiler. Once the chicken is fully cooked, spoon some of the onion mixture over the chicken then sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
A cast iron skillet with a spoon taking a helping of the French Onion Chicken inside the skillet. The pan is surrounded by a napkin, a small whtie dish with green beans, a dish filled with mashed potatoes, a small bowl of salt and pepper, and some pepper spilled on the counter.
Broil until the cheese is bubbly. (Alternatively, you can just cover the pan for a minute to let the cheese melt.) Serve right away with some extra thyme leaves on top for garnish.

Suggested adaptations

  • This chicken is great on top of mashed potatoes or a cauliflower+ potato mash. It’s also great with rice, noodles, or any grain you like.
  • Beef broth is what gives French onion soup it’s signature deep flavor. However, you can use chicken broth/bouillon instead with similar results. 
  • Swiss cheese gives the chicken that traditional French onion soup taste, but shredded mozzarella can also work if that’s what you prefer or have on hand.
A cast iron skillet with a spoon taking a helping of the French Onion Chicken inside the skillet. The pan is surrounded by a napkin, a small whtie dish with green beans, a dish filled with mashed potatoes, a small bowl of salt and pepper, and some pepper spilled on the counter.

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5 from 5 votes

Skillet French Onion Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
This French Onion Chicken Skillet will have your family licking their plates clean. This one-skillet dinner is full of those bold, classic french onion flavors….but with hearty chicken for a boost of protein.

Ingredients
 

  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts , 2 thick breasts or 4 cutlets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 ounces grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese, about 1 cup

Instructions
 

  •  If you have 2 large chicken breasts cut them in half to get 4 thinner chicken cutlets. Pound the chicken to make it an even 1/2-inch thickness if needed. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, about 2 minutes per side. Once browned, remove to a plate. (The chicken will not fully cooked yet.)
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the sliced onions and cook on medium-low, stirring and scrapping up the brown bit on the bottom every few minutes. Continue to cook until the onions are well caramelized and a deep brown color, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and thyme then season with the teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Cook for an additional minute to soften the garlic.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and stir, scrapping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in the broth and Worcestershire sauce. Add the chicken back to the pan with any juices that have collected on the plate and simmer on medium-low for 6 minutes, for until the chicken is fully cooked and has an internal temp of 165F, flipping the chicken over halfway through.
  •   Preheat the broiler. Once the chicken is fully cooked, spoon some of the onion mixture over the chicken then sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese is bubbly. (Alternatively, you can just cover the pan for a minute to let the cheese melt.)
    Serve right away with some extra thyme leaves on top for garnish.

Notes

Notes and tips
  • This chicken is great on top of mashed potatoes or a cauliflower/potato mash. It’s also great with rice, noodles, or any grain you like.
  • Beef broth is what gives French onion soup it’s signature deep flavor. However, you can use chicken broth/bouillon instead with similar results.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs would also work well in this recipe.
  • Swiss cheese gives the chicken that traditional French onion soup taste, but shredded mozzarella can also work if that’s what you have/like.
Serving: 0.25the recipe, Calories: 341kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 44g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 964mg, Potassium: 916mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 113IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 245mg, Iron: 1mg