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What Goes With French Onion Soup? 6 Side Dish Options

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

What goes with French onion soup? If you are like my family, soup is a mainstay in your diet. We will eat soup pretty much any time of the year, even when it is over 100 degrees. We love French onion soup more than any other type of soup. It is a sweet, tangy, and has just the right amount of cheese melted on top that you get the satisfactory pull of cheese when you eat it.

However, it isn’t always the most filling meal, which means you need to add some side dishes. For our family, we like to mix it up. We will have a few different side dishes so that the people who don’t like the soup (aka those who don’t have tastebuds) won’t have to starve.

If you are looking to find the best side dishes for French onion soup, start here:

What Goes With French Onion Soup?

If you are looking for the best side dish for French onion soup, start here. The truth is that there are so many different options because French onion soup is fairly universal. It is easy to make and pair with just about anything. This is why so many restaurants will put it on their menus as an appetizer.

If you don’t want to take any risks, here are some of the best sides I’ve found for French onion soup.

  • Green Salads

Pairing a salad with anything is always going to be a good idea. It will help you to add some nutrients and freshness to just about any meal. As French onion soup can be a bit heavy on the salt, you want something that is fresher.

For me, I like to add some avocado, tomato, croutons, and light dressing to my salads. Throw on some onions, cucumbers, and chickpeas to a bigger salad if you aren’t going to eat a lot of French onion soup.

Another option is to forgo the “fats” and simply have a fresh salad with different types of lettuce. This will cut back on the amount of fat in your meal but the fiber will keep you feeling full. For French onion soup with a large group of people, you can double dip with the cheese toppings and croutons, so you won’t need to add a ton of ingredients to your shopping list.

  • Your Favorite Sandwich

Another great side fo French onion soup is a sandwich. Soup and a sandwich isn’t exactly going to blow anyone’s mind, but you can get a ton of different flavors into that sandwich. I like to add something a bit spicy, like a mustard or aioli, to help offset some of the sweetness of the soup. I also tend to fill my sandwiches up with greens and fresh veggies to help cut some of the fat.

Since your soup is a liquid and the cheese isn’t in a solid state, I like to brown my sandwiches and toast the bread. This will add some crunch that the soup won’t offer. I tend to put some chips or french fries on the side of the plate just for some more crunch.

Remember, the more fresh, whole ingredients you can get, the better. I tend to stay away from sandwiches that have too much cheese on them because the soup itself already has melted cheese on top.

  • Steak

Steak as a side dish? Yeah, it’s possible and probably even better for you! We all love red meat, even if we know that we shouldn’t eat it. When you think of your red meat as the side dish for the meal instead of as the main entree, you will consume less. It may also enable you to buy a better cut of meat as well.

Personally, I like to dial down the flavors of the meat by choosing a lean cut of beef that doesn’t have fat on it. For my family, I will get a couple of New York strips steaks or a filet mignon. However, you can choose any type of steak you like-after all, this is your meal. Some people swear that a T-bone or a rib-eye is the best steak. Other types that are pretty good include T-bone or rib-eye, but they are richer cuts of meat.

Cook your steak until it is medium or less, which will give your teeth something to chew on and help to make your meal feel more filling. You can eat them on the side or you can throw the chunks of meat into your soup and eat it all together.

  • Go To The Sea

Another great option is to get your meat from the sea. Scallops, salmon, shrimp, and other shellfish are lighter than steak but still provide a lot of protein for your meal. I love my seafood to be lightly seasoned and served without sauces or butter because I just like the taste of them alone.

However, you can prepare your seafood however you like. I’ll sear them in olive oil and maybe add a bit of garlic, salt, and pepper, and that it is.

You don’t want to overcook your seafood because it will get to be too tough, and no one likes that. I also wouldn’t fry my seafood, because that takes away from the natural taste.

Many people prefer to eat their soups first and then their seafood, but you can eat it in any order. It can be difficult to get the timing on seafood right, so be sure that you give yourself some time to work with the ingredients. Scallops tend to cook much faster than other types of seafood, but they are still my favorite pairing for French onion soup.

  • Bread

Everyone loves bread and it goes really well with this soup. I personally love to add some bread to the side of any dish, but particularly French onion soup because you can dip it. Choose a bread that is somewhat heavy and crusty. This will help it to pick up some of the soup and help it to cling in the nooks and crannies of the bread.

If you want, season your bread with different spices or seeds for an even more unique, complex taste.

  • Roasted Veggies

Of course, another option is roasted veggies. You can change them to go with the seasons or what you have on hand. I love roasted root veggies like carrots, parsnips, celery root, and even beets. I also like to roast some artichokes, jicama, or other greens. There are so many options and they are all tasty.

Really, I like to make French onion soup for a Friday or Saturday night dinner and then use whatever I have leftover from the week on the side. It’s a great easy meal.

Obviously, you can pair almost anything with French onion soup. Depending on who is at my table, I will add things that are a little more approachable like potatoes and veggies. If you know people love French onion, you can get away with just making your own charcuterie board.

What about Drink?

In my house, we almost always drink water with French onion soup and any meal. It just helps to cut back on the salt content and makes you feel fuller sooner. However, I understand that it isn’t always the tastiest option.

With French onion soup, you should absolutely drink a glass of high-quality wine. You will want to choose a full-body wine because it is a broth-based soup. If your soup is a bit chunkier, you can choose something with a medium-body. White wine will work best because they tend to be drier and sweeter than other types of wine.

What about Dessert Goes With French Onion Soup?

What about the meal after your French onion soup? Dark chocolate is a fantastic, complex, deep ingredient that will complement your French onion soup perfectly. You can make so many different desserts with dark chocolate, from something as simple as a piece of dark chocolate to a cake baked with dark chocolate.

Of course, dark chocolate is better for you than any other type of chocolate, which is a good reason to enjoy it.

French onion soup is one of my favorite dishes to prepare because it is just so good and it is really unique. Once you’ve made it a few times, it is really simple and becomes good comfort food. I love to use it when I have some onions that I need to use up or some cheese that needs to be melted down.

Don’t be afraid to try different combinations with your French onion soup, as so many different flavors go with it. It’s even a great meal to just add some leftovers to!

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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