With hunks of crusty sourdough bread, sweet onions, and juicy chicken baked to crispy, caramelized perfection, this easy French Onion Chicken recipe transforms the flavors and ingredients of French onion soup into an easy weeknight one-pan dinner.

sheet pan chicken thighs with onions and croutons

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Put the words “French Onion” in front of just about any recipe, and I’m pretty much guaranteed to like it.

French onion chicken? Say no more. Just grab me a fork.

Whole roast chicken isn’t something I make often (I’m more of a Baked Chicken Thighs or Bone-In Chicken Breast girl for ease), but when I saw a recipe for a French-onion-inspired roast chicken in Cooking Light, I couldn’t put it out of my head.

As tantalizing as the recipe sounded, I avoided the recipe because it was just too fussy.

It called for caramelizing the onions and fixing a sauce in one pan, scraping it all onto a second pan to bake, and butterflying a chicken—sorry, too much work for my average Tuesday (this easy Italian Chicken is more my style).

However, I was not to be dissuaded easily.

I was determined to make an easy French onion chicken, and, friends, this recipe is it!

baked french onion chicken thighs on a plate with onions and croutons

5 Star Review

“Have made this recipe almost 10 times now and it is one of our all-time faves. SO DELISH.”

— Anna —

I love when big ideas turn into something truly magical.

Caramelizing onions on a sheet pan in the oven and using that same pan to bake the chicken and toast the bread was a total experiment.

It worked even better than I imagined!

  • The onions break down in the oven, sweeten, and turn into a glorious caramelized sauce that’s ideal for spooning right over the chicken and bread. (I bet it would be divine on Smothered Pork Chops too.)
  • The roughly cut bread pieces transform into big, golden, lightly crispy “croutons” that absorb the chicken’s juices for maximum flavor. 
  • A touch of Dijon mustard (so French!), real butter, whole cloves of roasted garlic, and a sprinkle of fresh thyme take this dish to all new levels of delish.

Spoiler Alert: If you love my Instant Pot French Onion Soup, you’ll love this healthy French onion chicken recipe even more.

sheet pan french onion chicken and croutons

How to Make French Onion Chicken

This easy and healthy French onion chicken oven recipe is made with simple, wholesome ingredients and no soup mix.

Prepared on a single sheet pan (like Maple Dijon Chicken and Vegetables) for easy clean-up, it comes together in right around an hour.


The Ingredients

  • Chicken. Tender and juicy bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts were my protein choice for this recipe. I split them in half crosswise for faster cooking.

Substitution Tip

You can absolutely use bone-in, skin on chicken thighs! They’ll cook in the same amount of time as the halved chicken breasts.

  • Onions. Grab the largest onion you can find and slice it thin. Thin slices caramelize best within the recipe’s cook time. I recommend yellow onion for this easy French onion chicken recipe.
  • Garlic. For a little extra zip and aromatic bliss.
  • Sourdough Bread. For the BEST French onion chicken croutons, splurge on a loaf of high-quality sourdough (whole grain, if possible) from a local bakery. It makes a world of difference.

Substitution Tip

If you don’t enjoy sourdough, you can swap it for another hearty bread you enjoy. Something with a nice crust and a little chew will hold up best in this recipe.

  • Dijon Mustard. A little French Dijon mustard complements this dish’s herbs and onion flavors. (Dijon is also key in this Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin.)
  • Thyme. A fresh herb that accents the onions, chicken, and garlic.
  • Butter + Olive Oil. This combination of fats adds richness and ensures maximum crispness of both the croutons and chicken skin.

The Directions

onions, garlic, and bread cubes in a bowl
  1. Combine the onions, bread cubes, and garlic cloves in a large bowl.
melted butter and mustard whisked together
  1. Whisk the butter, oil, and mustard.
pourning melted butter over bread cubes and onions
  1. Pour the mixture over the onions and bread and toss to coat.
a sheet pan with skin-on chicken thighs, onions, and bread cubes arranged on it
  1. Put everything on a pan.

TIP!

Crowding the pan is your secret to success! Normally, crowding a pan of roasted veggies is their demise, but in the case of this French onion chicken bake, it works in our favor by ensuring the onions’ sweet juices don’t escape.

  1. Bake French onion chicken until the bread is toasted and the chicken is fully cooked, tossing partway through.

TIP!

Chicken is are fully cooked when they register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer inserted at the thickest part.

  • If some chicken pieces cook more quickly than others, remove the cooked pieces to a plate and cover to keep them warm, then return the pan to the oven and continue baking until all of the chicken is cooked through.
healthy french onion chicken thighs recipe on a sheet pan
  1. Sprinkle everything with fresh thyme. Serve hot with the croutons and a spoonful of the roasted onions and garlic over the top. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Leftovers may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • To Reheat. For best results, warm leftovers on a sheet pan in a 350-degree F oven until the chicken is heated through and the croutons have crisped. Leftover French onion chicken may also be microwaved. However, the chicken skin and croutons will not be as crisp.
  • To Freeze. Leftovers may be frozen for up to 3 months. Let defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as directed above.

What to Serve with French Onion Chicken

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Sheet Pan. These have been a staple in my kitchen for many years.
  • Measuring Cup. An essential measuring tool no kitchen should be without.
  • Chef’s Knife. Perfect for chopping, slicing, and dicing.

The Best Sheet Pans

These sheet pans are made from pure aluminum, which won’t rust, increases their durability, and allows for even heat distribution.

sheet pan chicken thighs with onions and croutons

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

This easy sheet pan French onion chicken will have everyone at your dinner table saying, ooo la la!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make French Onion Chicken with Cheese?

Sure! I omitted cheese from the recipe since it was intended to be a healthy French onion chicken thigh recipe. However, if you need a little cheese in your life, I support you. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese over the chicken and croutons during the final 3-5 minutes of baking. Remove when melted and bubbly.

Can I Make French Onion Chicken in a Crockpot?

I would not recommend making this recipe in a slow cooker. The sheet pan and high oven temps are critical for caramelizing the onions and crisping the chicken skin and croutons. For a tasty slow cooker chicken recipe, try this Crockpot Italian Chicken.

Can I Make French Onion Chicken Legs?

I have only ever made this recipe with chicken thighs and halved chicken breasts, so using legs would be an experiment. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

sheet pan chicken thighs with onions and croutons

French Onion Chicken

4.88 from 8 votes
The BEST French onion chicken. This healthy French onion chicken recipe is full of flavor and made on a single sheet pan. Easy!

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 jumbo yellow onion thinly sliced (about 12 ounces or 3 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces good-quality sourdough bread whole grain if possible, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 heaped cups)
  • 8 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 2 1/4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cut in half crosswise through the bone (side to side, so you have two more “square” vs. long pieces)—about 3 breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For easy cleanup, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat.
  • Place the onions, bread cubes, and garlic cloves in a large bowl.
  • In a small heatproof bowl or liquid measuring cup, melt the butter. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt with the butter.
  • Pour the mixture over the onions and bread. Toss to coat as evenly as possible. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread into an even layer.
  • Nestle the chicken pieces into the onion mixture. It can overlap the onions a little, but make sure it does not cover the bread. Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the bread cubes. Return to the oven and bake until the bread is deeply golden and the chicken registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer inserted at the thickest part, about 15 additional minutes for smaller pieces and 20 to 25 minutes for larger pieces. (If some chicken pieces cook more quickly than others, remove the cooked pieces to a plate and cover to keep them warm, then return the pan to the oven and continue baking until all of the chicken is cooked through.)
  • Sprinkle everything with fresh thyme. Transfer the chicken to plates. Serve hot with the croutons and a spoonful of the roasted onions and garlic over the top.

Notes

  • TIP: If you’d like the bread to be extra crispy, you can transfer all the chicken pieces to a plate (cover the plate with foil to keep the chicken warm), then turn the bread once more and return the pan to the oven for 5 to 7 additional minutes, or until the bread reaches your desired crispness. Remove from oven, then serve as directed with a sprinkle of thyme.
  • TO STORE: Leftovers may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • TO REHEAT: For best results, warm leftovers on a sheet pan in a 350-degree F oven until the chicken is heated through and the croutons have crisped. Leftover French onion chicken may also be microwaved. However, the chicken skin and croutons will not be as crisp.
  • TO FREEZE: Leftovers may be frozen for up to 3 months. Let defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as directed above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 583kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 61gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 178mgPotassium: 1102mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 381IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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30 Comments

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    1. Hi Emma, unfortunately, I don’t think this recipe would turn out as well in a slow cooker. The sheet pan in the oven is necessary for caramelizing the onions, ensuring that the chicken skin doesn’t stay soft, and browning and crisping the croutons. I hope you love the recipe if you decide to give it a try!

  1. This sounds delicious. Do you think it would work with skinless chicken breasts, perhaps by increasing butter and olive oil?

    1. Hi Bonnie, I’d be concerned about the meat drying out (and if it’s boneless and skinless, it will probably dry out). I’d suggest still cooking bone in/skin on, then removing the skin prior to serving if you prefer not to eat it. I hope that helps!

  2. Hi Erin, it looks great! I wonder if I could use a mix of bone-in, skin-on chicken legs and breasts for this recipe. Also, do I must use sourdough bread, or other hearty bread may work too? Thanks again and reading your post is always a delight!

    1. Hi Cynthia, yes, you could use a mix, but make sure the pieces are fairly equal sizes so they cook at roughly the same rate. And yes, you can use another hearty bread of your choice! I hope you enjoy.

      1. Hi Sarah! So sorry about that, that is a typo. This is made with chicken breast split in half crosswise (which cooks in the same amount of time as chicken thighs, so you could mix them if you wanted). Hope this helps!

  3. I loved this!!! It was so easy to make. I made it last week and it was soooo good, even though I botched the recipe! I used chicken leg quarters and didn’t cut the pieces down to size. Therefore I had to cook it for a good 45 minutes, which made my croutons very crispy! I did pull a few croutons out early, and they were so yummy. I already bought the ingredients to make it again. This time I’m just going with chicken thighs and chicken drums, as I couldn’t find (organic) skinless/boneless chicken breasts in the store. Thank you Erin!5 stars

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful review, Heather! I’m glad to hear it still came out, and I’m happy to hear you loved it!

    1. Hi Randi! Do you mean boneless, skinless chicken breasts? If yes, I have not tried those in this recipe but they would need less time to cook, perhaps 20-25 minutes total depending on size. Using a meat thermometer to check that they’re 165 degrees F would be helpful. Note that the chicken may come out more dry, but I hope this is helpful to you.

  4. I’ve been making this almost weekly for a couple months now! I use boneless skinless thighs (we don’t mind meat on the drier side here), and the leftovers are great!5 stars

  5. Love this flavorful recipe! It was so easy to make and all on one sheet pan! The most difficult part of the dish is turning the bread cubes over half way through the cooking! I served this with steamed broccoli and lemon juice and it was a perfect dinner!5 stars

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review, Kathleen! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the recipe!

  6. I have very lovely friends who live in the south of France and until the awfulness that is 2020 arrived, I saw them twice a year. So when I saw this recipe I had to try it. It was delicious. The chicken, I used bone-in breasts cut half, was juicy and tender, the onions were sweet and the butter/oil/mustard added so much to the dish. And the bread cubes, I mustn’t forget the bread cubes! I was concerned that they would be soggy but they came out crispy and so delicious that I had to cut the last one in half to share with my husband. This is definitely a keeper.5 stars

  7. This is delicious! It is simple to make and full of flavor. I pulled the onions and garlic off at the end and roasted it in the air fryer for a few extra minutes. I will be making this again regularly.5 stars

  8. Hi. Throughout the commentary and recipe you mention using bone in chicken breasts and you also say chicken thighs. Which do you recommend? Thank you.

    1. Hi Brenda! So sorry about that, that is a typo. This is made with chicken breast split in half crosswise (which cooks in the same amount of time as chicken thighs, so you could mix them if you wanted). Hope this helps!

  9. Hi – Has anyone used Gluten-Free Croutons with this recipe? Thanksgiving is alway a challenge with stuffing and I thought this dish would be nice with your crockpot Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and also mashed butternut squash for the pretty orange as well as green veggies.

    1. Hi Lenah, I haven’t tried it myself but I don’t see why gluten-free croutons wouldn’t work. I think it’s a great alternative! Hope you enjoy!

      1. I’ll let you know how it works out ; )
        BTW: Giving Thanks for all of the great alternative recipes! I have so many favorites from your kitchen! Have A Happy Thanksgiving!