This French Onion Chicken has everything you love about French onion soup but in a simple one-pan chicken dish! It’s gluten-free and can be modified to be paleo and AIP.

French onion chicken and arugala on plate


What is French Onion Chicken?

In short, this is a chicken dish that’s made to taste like the classic French Onion Soup, but without the bread!

French Onion Soup is a traditional dish that dates back to Roman times, but the modern version was made popular in Paris, France during the 18th century. During the 1960s, the dish went through another resurgence in the United States when French Cuisine became popular in America. The version that most of us know includes meat stock and onions finished with a crouton and cheese topping.

This version is just as delicious, but made gluten-free, and can easily be paleo and AIP!

The Ingredients for French Onion Chicken

  • Chicken breast. You can also use chicken thighs, just modify the cooking time as needed.
  • Yellow onions. You can’t have French onion chicken without the onions! A sweeter variety would be nice in this dish.
  • Chicken broth. I recommend this recipe for Chicken bone broth.
  • Provolone or mozzarella cheese. If you follow a strict autoimmune protocol or can’t tolerate any dairy, use this dairy-free option.
  • Arrowroot starch. You can also do tapioca starch!

How to make French Onion Chicken

  • Saute the onions in an oven-safe skillet until they are caramelized. Set aside to cook the chicken in the same pan.
  • Brown the chicken in the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until the chicken is lightly browned on each side and set aside.
  • Make the sauce by reducing the heat to medium-low and adding the onions back to the pan along with the arrowroot starch and broth. Keep stirring and saute until the sauce thickens.
  • Baste the chicken and bake in the oven. Add the chicken back to the pan and baste with the sauce. Add the cheese slices and place in the oven to bake at 400 F until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.

French onion chicken in cast iron skillet

Can you make this recipe ahead of time? How do you store and reheat it?

This recipe is best fresh, but you can store it in glass in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheat under the broiler. I haven’t tried freezing it!

Can you make this recipe without the cheese?

You can! Personally, I think the cheese adds a lot, so if you don’t tolerate dairy, I would opt for a dairy-free cheese like this AIP mozzarella or another dairy-free cheese of your choice.

What can you serve with this recipe?

This recipe would be delicious with any potato side dish such as a classic baked sweet potato, this Sweet Potato Gratin, or this Hasselback White Sweet Potato. If you’re trying to stay low-carb, this chicken would also be perfect with this Easy Romaine Wedge Salad or this Ranch Roasted Cauliflower.

Close up of French onion chicken in cast iron skillet

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French Onion Chicken (Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP option)

  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x


  • 2 tbsp ghee (sub coconut oil)
  • 1 cup chicken broth + 2 tbsp (divided)
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 12 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast (about 3 chicken breasts)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 34 slices of provolone or mozzarella cheese (use this for dairy-free/AIP)
  • 23 sprigs of thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Using a large oven save skillet, heat the ghee over medium-low heat. Add the onions and 2 tbsp of broth. Saute for 12-15 minutes, stirring often until the onions are caramelized. Set aside.
  3. Using the same pan, add avocado oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is lightly browned. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onions back to the pan along with the arrowroot starch and 1 cup of broth. Stir and saute until the sauce thickens.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and cover and baste in the sauce. Add the cheese slices to the chicken and transfer to the oven. Bake for 8-12 minutes, basting the chicken again at least once (time will vary depending on how thick the chicken is) or until the internal temperature reads 165 F.
  6. Serve topped with fresh thyme with a side of your choice.


All nutrition facts are estimated and will vary. Nutrition facts do not include any optional side dishes.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 515
  • Fat: 28.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.4g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Protein: 44.9g