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French Onion Soup with melted cheese and small slice of toasted bread on white plates

Instant Pot French Onion Soup

Instant Pot French Onion Soup is so delicious, with caramelized onions & rich beef broth. This pressure cooker French Onion Soup recipe is a favorite!

Course Soup
Cuisine French
Keyword pressure cooker French onion soup recipe
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 188 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton


  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, peeled, cut in quarters and sliced to get small "quarter moon" shaped slices.
  • 5 smaller Sweet Onions, peeled, cut in quarters and sliced to get small "quarter moon" shaped slices.
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda*
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Brandy
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 thick French Bread Slices, toasted
  • 2 slices Swiss Cheese, thick sliced


  • 4 slices Provolone, thin sliced


  1. Turn on the Sauté function and choose the Normal setting. When display reads “Hot” add the butter.
  2. Add the onions and baking soda. Stir to coat onions with the butter.

  3. Stir occasionally, while letting the onions cook for about 10 to 25 minutes. You might have to restart the Sauté function as it times out at 30 minutes on the IP.

  4. Keep checking back and stirring the mixture, scraping the bottom of the pot. As long as you check in on them and stir every few minutes, they should be fine, and not burn. Patience!

  5. Cook until the onions turn brown. It can take up to 25 minutes, but it is important. The caramelization is key to the flavor of this soup!

  6. When the onions are nicely brown and caramelized, add the thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir.

  7. Then add the brandy and cook, uncovered, until it reduces, and the alcohol, and most of the liquid, has cooked off.

  8. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook for a minute, stirring, to make sure the raw taste of the flour gets cooked out.

  9. Stir in the beef and chicken broths. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot again.

  10. Place the lid on the pot and set the Steam Release Knob to the Sealing position.

  11. Cancel the Sauté function.
  12. Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) Button. Set time to 5 minutes using the +/- buttons, or dial. High Pressure.

  13. When cook cycle ends, let the pot naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Then manually release the remaining pressure by turning the knob to Venting (or push the button on the Ultra).

  14. When the pin in the lid drops. Open and stir the soup.
  15. Remove the bay leaf and the thyme stems. 

  16. Turn on the broiler to 450 degrees (F). Put rack about 2/3 from the bottom (second slot down on mine).
  17. Dish up the soup into oven safe bowls and place the bowls on a baking sheet.
  18. Place a slice of toasted French bread on top of each.
  19. Lay 1 slice of the Swiss cheese over each of the bread slices.
  20. Carefully put the baking sheet with the bowls of soup into the oven. If they are too heavy, put the baking sheet in first, and set the bowls on it.
  21. Broil until the cheese melts and browns to your liking.
  22. Remove from oven and serve.

Recipe Notes

1. Have everything sliced and measured, ready to go before you begin cooking. This will make the process much easier!

2. *The baking soda will speed up the browning of the onions. If you choose not to cook the onions long enough to caramelize them, the soup will still taste good, but it's so much better with caramelized onions!