One-Pot French Onion Pasta

one pot french onion pasta

one pot french onion pasta

I’m already anticipating Sunday.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse.  We haven’t even hopped around the weekend enough to make it to Sunday.

Sundays, I would argue, are the worst.  Actually… they’re the BEST but only between the hours of 8am and noon when we’re sleeping in, churching, brunching, or napping after pancakes.  After noon on a Sunday I find myself in the unfortunate task of pretending to be relaxed while stressing about the week to come.  We’ve talked about this before.  It’s called The Sunday Stresses, and it’s more real that we deserve.

Luckily there’s PASTA.  All healing, all comforting, all filling PASTA.  Thank you, Lord.  For real.

I have pasta every Sunday night.  I spoon myself an embarrassingly large bowl, sit cross-legged on the couch, watch Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and just tear through a bowl.  I’m trying to fill the pit of Sunday Stresses and pasta usually works, until it doesn’t… but even still.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

This One-Pot pasta comes together easily and makes the house smell like an onion dream.  There’s just something so right about the smell of cooking onions.

While the onions, thyme, and chicken broth flavors have more of a Fall feel to them… well, The Sunday Stresses know no season.   Let’s just get some quality couch time in.  Let’s make out with pasta, just a little.


One Pot French Onion Pasta

Fat spaghetti pasta, chicken broth and water, onions halved and sliced, butter and olive oil, thyme and cheese and arugula and seasoning.  Everything! Let’s go!

One Pot French Onion Pasta

The onions.  Oh the onions.  They actually cook longer than the pasta itself.  The onions need a bit of caressing with butter and olive oil and low heat.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

Progress.  It’s hard not to hover and stir, but the onions do need quality time with the heat.  They need to sit and simmer a bit.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

This is about when I get super impatient and start to think of worms.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

Golden brown, studded with fresh thyme, seasoned with salt and pepper rather aggressively.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

Deglazing the hot pan with water and chicken broth.  The steam!  The best part.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

Welcome to the party, pasta!  We need you.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

We do a little dance on the stovetop.  Simmer with the lid on for a bit.  Stir with the lid off for a bit.  Simmer with the lid on again.  Fluff with the lid off.

It’ll all come together in about 10 magical minutes.

Related:  I need more magical minutes in all of my days.  RIGHT!?

One Pot French Onion Pasta

Taste and most likely add:  salt and pepper, way too much parmesan cheese, and handfuls of fresh arugula.

One Pot French Onion Pasta

By now your neighbors are likely knocking on the door because you made the world smell AMAZING! Share the pasta, not the stresses.

This pasta is both slightly sweet and salty.  As the onions cook down, they take on a tender and sweet quality.  It’s lovely, but you may find yourself adding a bit more salt and parmesan cheese than you might expect.  I love the spice that fresh arugula adds to the pasta.  Red pepper flakes are also divine.  You want to add cooked sausage too!?  Heck yes!

Happy Weekend!


One-Pot French Onion Pasta

Serving Size: 4

One-Pot French Onion Pasta


  • 3 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 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 4 minutes. Add salt, pepper and thyme and stir. Allow the onions to cook for about 4 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.
  2. When onions are entirely browned and completely soft (about 15 minutes), 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.


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122 thoughts on “One-Pot French Onion Pasta

  1. Me and my husband just finished eating this. I didn’t have any thyme so I threw in some dried sage and salciccia I took out of the casings and browned and WHOA. I ate a giant portion and I am fairly certain I’m going to dive back into it within the hour. I could live in a bowl of this pasta. Amazing and totally on my meal rotation as my favorite one pot pasta dish!

    As for keeping it one pot, I simply browned the sausage in my big heavy bottomed pot before I caramelized the onions and tossed it back in before I added the broth! This was absolutely fantastic! Thank you, Joy!

    Note: I used fresh pasta and it cooked a bit faster but worked just fine with the 2.5cup broth measurement.

  2. Great recipe! I just tired it and loved it. One thing I will keep in mind for next time is to add more water. Mine could use a bit more – not sure if I over estimated the pasta amount or what. But regardless, delicious!

  3. Any helpful tips for someone on a really limited diet to sub out the butter? Caramelized onions and butter are pretty inseparable but if anyone has any ideas I’d love to hear them!

  4. I’m having this pasta right now for dinner and OH MY GOD! It’s winter in Brazil and this is just so conforting and delicious… Please, everyone, MAKE THIS! Thanks for sharing, Joy!

  5. I maintain that my Sunday stress is the worst – as I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get on a bus for two hours to go to work on Monday morning! lol

  6. Hi Joy! I just tried this recipe yesterday and it was delicious! It was a cold, cold sunday and I was thinking about what could I cook without having to spend too much time freezing my hands while dishwashing after lunch. This was the perfect solution. Only 8 dirty dishes! (yes, I counted it). Thank you so much! <3

  7. This. Was. Delicious!!! My husband even raved about it…and he’s picky when it comes to food. He added crispy onions, and it was great. Thank you!

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