French Onion Soup Meatballs

12 meatball
1 hr 10 min

Savory, homemade meatballs pan-seared and then oven baked in a delicious caramelized onion sauce. Serve French Onion Soup Meatballs over butter noodles or a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.

French Onion Soup is a classic in our house. We love how savory it is and eating a bowl (or three) just seems to warm you right up from the inside out. There are very few times in life that many would say hmmm... think I'm going to eat a TON of onions. But caramelize them low and slow in butter, deglaze the pan with rich beef stock, and add melty cheese? All of a sudden magic happens.

French onion soup is such an unpretentious meal, but wow is it good. I thought I would do a little twist on it and add homemade meatballs to the mix. I take down the amount of broth so it's less of a soup and more of a sauce and simmer the browned meatballs right inside so that they are moist and tender.

How do you make homemade meatballs?

The recipe to make the meatballs is extremely simple because the caramelized onion sauce is so flavorful.

  • ground beef
  • breadcrumbs
  • milk
  • salt
  • Josie's Organics fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • egg
  • onion, finely diced

I combine all these ingredients together with my hands and form them into golf ball-sized balls

You can totally use this meatball recipe for any recipe that calls for meatballs! Because it's so simple, it's very adaptable to different cuisines.

Everything for this recipe can be made in the same pan, just make sure that it is oven safe. I love using my cast iron skillet for this one!

What makes it French Onion?

The delicious sauce the meatballs are then simmered in! I remove the browned meatballs from the pan and set them to the side. Then in that same pan, I slowly caramelize onion slices until they are rich in color and soft. Beef broth is added, along with a few seasonings, and voila! French onion.

Want another take on this recipe? Try my French Onion Soup Chicken!

French Onion Soup Meatballs
Recipe details
  • 12  meatball
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 10 min
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  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • one half cup breadcrumbs
  • one fourth cup milk
  • one half tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • one fourth cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
French Onions
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups beef stock
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbs. butter

Begin by combining all of the ingredients in the meatball section, except for the shredded cheese and oil, in a large mixing bowl.
Mix together with your hands and then form them into golf ball-sized balls
Heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet (I use cast iron), on medium heat. Add meatballs and cook until they are brown all around. This will take about 5-10 minutes.
Place meatballs on a plate to the side.
In that same skillet, add butter and onions. Allow onions to brown a bit (around 5 minutes) and then add the salt. Continue cooking until the onions are rich in color and soft. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add beef stock and garlic powder to the onions and stir.
Place meatballs back in and top with cheese.
Finish the dish in the oven until the cheese is melted and the meatballs are cooked through.
Sarah Baumeister
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  • Wonderful! Made for my bubble buddies. Prepared as written except I doubled recipe to feed 9 adults and made the meatballs a bit smaller with hopefully some leftovers. Wishful thinking on my part, as they ate it all. Will keep in rotation. Also served with mashed potatoes or buttered egg noodles side of broccolini and a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions. Lemon cupcakes for dessert to round out the meal. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cso51108026 Cso51108026 on Nov 12, 2022

    Wow! Okay, conceptually, you are RIGHT THERE!!! True French Onion soup uses multiple types of onions, wine, etc., so I started there in interpreting this. And, it's frequently gruyere on top of the toast (which I completely appreciated your interpreting as the breadcrumbs!), but then the whole cheese component, y'know... I mean, you gotta know!!! lol

    Couple of changes, for personal preference; Used a cookie scoop for uniform-sized meatballs. I also cook them IN the sauce. don't really brown them beforehand. My Sicilian friend, Camille, always told me to cook the balls in the gravy, so there it is! BUT, if the oniony-soup-sauce is too thick, a slight touch of cornstarch would take care of it! Honestly, just dip the spoon in cornstarch and stir...

    And I bet it is AMAZING over noodles!!! Or potatoes!! Or think Hoagie sandwiches with fries on teh side - ooey, gooey meatball and cheese Sub sandwiches, right? But you could DEFINITELY take it up notch, too, and add quartered red potatoes, chunked carrots, and chopped celery, and this would be an amazing meatball stew!!! The flavors are THERE!!! ~Chrissie

    • Love your style! Thanks for sharing. Love to read what other ideas people have. Never know what a fun twist people can add to provide options. My group are onion and garlic lovers and can never add too much.