French Onion Chicken Meatballs

French Onion meatballs in a pan.

5 from 6 reviews

These skillet French onion chicken meatballs are a twist on French onion soup and make for a cozy cold-weather dinner. Caramelized onions are simmered in a rich sauce with chicken meatballs seasoned with herbes de Provence. Serve the meatballs with pasta, rice, or bread on the side or pile them into rolls for decadent meatballs subs.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 white onions (about 2 pounds), sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1/4 dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions (the pan will be very full). Cook the onions, stirring them occasionally, for about an hour or until they have turned a light golden-blonde color. At this point, turn the heat to medium-low and keep cooking them, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and a deep golden brown in color, approximately 30 to 40 minutes longer.
  2. Turn the heat back to medium and pour the wine into the pan with the onions. As it simmers, scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Once the wine has cooked away, transfer the onions to a clean plate.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, herbs, salt, pepper, and egg. Add the ground chicken and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix it with the breadcrumb and egg mixture just until combined. Scoop approximately one ounce of the mixture to form the meatballs. You should be able to make 16 meatballs.
  4. Once the onions are ready, remove them from the pan. Add the olive oil to that same pan. Heat it over medium heat. Place the meatballs in a single layer and cook them until they are browned on all sides. Transfer them to a clean plate.
  5. In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk it with the butter until combined. Add about a 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and, whisking continuously, combine it with the butter and flour. As you whisk, scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
  6. Whisking continuously, add the rest of the chicken stock. Bring the pan to a boil and cook the sauce for about five minutes or until it starts to thicken. Add the caramelized onions and stir to combine.
  7. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue cooking the sauce until it’s glossy and thickened, about five to ten minutes.
  8. At this point, you can sprinkle the cheese over the meatballs and either cover the pan to melt the cheese or stick the pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Garnish the meatballs with parsley if using.


Caramelizing onions: If you use a 10-inch pan, the onions will take about an hour and a half to get to the right texture and color. The cooking time will vary if you use a different-sized pan. You can read more tips about caramelizing onions in the post.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. They’re also freezer-friendly. Once you’ve cooked the meatballs in the sauce, transfer it all to a freezer container. They’ll keep in the freezer for a few months. Wait to add the cheese until you warm them up.



Keywords: French onion meatballs, chicken French onion meatballs