One pot French onion pasta [Recipe]


Bowl of French onion pasta

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I'm kind of a sucker for one pot meals. I also really love caramelized onions. Which brings me to a minor rant based on the original recipe for this post. You can't caramelize onions in 15 minutes. You just can't (unless you cheat like in this article). Don't even pretend that you can. Doing it right takes 45-60 minutes, and it's completely worth it. Other than that, I didn't make any changes to this recipe. It's simple and delicious and you should go buy the ingredients right now and try it… as long as you have at least 45 minutes to caramelize the onions.



  • 3 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh arugula



  1. Place a large heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter and stir until butter is melted. Add the sliced onions all at once. Stir to coat the onions in the fat. Allow onions to cook, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and thyme and stir. Allow the onions to cook for about 5 minutes at a time. Lower the heat if the onions are browning too quickly. The onions will begin to brown, break down, and resemble an onion jam. Cook until onions have turned golden brown and started sticking to the bottom of the pot, about 45-60 minutes.
  2. When onions are entirely browned and completely soft, add the water and chicken broth to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any burned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the pasta all at once.
  3. Return to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place the lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid to toss and stir the pasta for about 3 minutes. Return the lid and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and taste the pasta for doneness. There will still be just under an inch of liquid in the pot. Allow the pasta to cook more (if it was still crunchy), or allow some of the liquid to cook off. It's about your preference. I like a bit of the broth remaining. Plus, the pasta will absorb more of the liquid as it sits.
  4. To serve, spoon into large bowls, top with parmesan cheese and fresh arugula.



You'll probably need more salt than you think, but wait until you've added the broth and cooked the pasta before you make the final decision.  I used turkey stock instead of chicken broth.


Judah Kelber is a father, husband, Marine and, in his free time, a systems administrator for the State of Oregon. He also really likes cooking. His cooking blog can be found at  HeyJude.typepad.com. He's currently in the midst of a pressure cooker addiction, but don't let that scare you away.