French Onion Pot Roast is an all-in-one dinner with tender beef cooked in a rich onion soup broth. Complete with cheese and toasted baguettes!
Slow braising is key to a tender Classic Pot Roast and rich, caramelized onions in French Onion Soup, so this new Main Course Recipe is a match made in low and slow cooking heaven.
Half hearty Pot Roast Recipe and half cozy stew, this French inspired dish is sure to be a new favorite recipe for holidays and cool winter nights! French Onion Pot Roast is an easy, inexpensive one pot meal that you can serve for Sunday dinner or throw in the slow cooker for busy holiday weeknights.
This French Onion Pot Roast recipe uses budget friendly chuck roast to get all the beefy flavor you love in a five-star French onion soup without the high price. The beef is fork tender, and the onions cook down to be rich and soft.
The gooey, bubbly gruyere cheese melted over French Onion soup is the best part. Yes, we all love the beefy broth and caramelized onions, but that cheesy toast is where it’s at. If you want to keep French Onion Pot Roast budget friendly, swap the gruyere for a less expensive Swiss or provolone. Check out the deli case too, sometimes they will have fancy cheeses, like gruyere or Emmental, for a fraction of the cost in portions just big enough for this recipe!
More Pot Roast Recipes
French Onion Pot Roast is hearty, more like a stew than a soup or a pot roast. The beef becomes so tender while cooking so you can break it apart easily before toasting the bread and cheese. If you are serving a small group, set half of your French Onion Pot Roast aside for leftovers the next day. Add the sliced baguette and gruyere right before serving so it stays crisp.
You will want to serve French Onion Pot Roast over Mashed Potatoes to soak up the beefy broth, along with some Dinner Rolls on the side so you don’t miss a drop. For a simple and French-inspired full course holiday meal, try French Bread Rolls, Green Bean Almondine, and Spinach Gratin.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Try white onions for a more traditional French Onion soup or use Vidalia Onions for a less potent, slightly sweet onion flavor. For a spicier, sharper onion flavor, use a mixture of half red onions and half yellow onions.
Turn this soup into a stew by adding large chunks of carrots, sweet potatoes, or red potatoes to the broth before placing in the oven. You can also stir in kale, broccoli, cabbage, or spinach during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Use other fancy, but easier to find, cheese that melt easily like Swiss cheese, provolone cheese, Havarti cheese, or Muenster cheese to save money and still get flavor!
Add up to 1 cup dry red wine, dry white wine, sherry, or brandy with the broth to add more traditional French flavors. For red wine, try a Pinot Noir or Merlot. For white wine, use Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.
Slow Cooker French Onion Pot Roast
- Season the roast with salt, pepper, and thyme. Rest while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the beef and brown deeply 3-4 minutes each side.
- Place roast and remaining ingredients, except baguette slices and cheese, in the slow cooker.
- Cover with lid and cook for 7-8 hours on low, or on high heat for 3-4 hours, until meat is fork tender.
- Turn oven to broil. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and top with cheese.
- Broil bread until edges are browned and cheese is melted.
- Serve French Onion Pot Roast with cheesy baguette toasts.
Instant Pot French Onion Pot Roast
- Season beef on both sides and allow to rest at room temperature.
- Heat oil in Instant Pot on Saute Function. Once oil is hot, add beef and brown on both sides for 3-4 minutes each.
- Remove roast and set aside. Deglaze Instant Pot with 1 cup broth, scraping off any brown bits.
- Return beef to pot and add the remaining ingredients, except bread and cheese.
- Close and secure lid and seal pressure valve. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 15 minutes per pound (45-60 minutes).
- Naturally release pressure.
- While pressure is releasing, broil cheese on baguette slices until browned and bubbly.
- Serve pot roast topped with toasted cheesy baguette slices.
Easy, Classic French Recipes
How to Store French Onion Pot Roast
- Serve: French Onion Pot Roast is best served as soon as you toast the bread so it doesn’t get soggy. You can keep this pot roast at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store: Store the cheese toast and French Onion Pot Roast separately. Keep the pot roast in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cheese toast is good for about 2 days in a plastic storage bag in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: Once cooled, place French Onion Pot Roast, without the bread and cheese, in a sealed container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight, heat in the oven, and broil with bread and cheese before serving.
- 3-4 pound chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 4 yellow onions , halved and thinly sliced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 French baguette , cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 cup gruyere cheese , shredded
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Season the chuck roast with the Kosher salt, pepper and thyme.
- Add the vegetable oil to a pan and heat. When it ripples and is hot add in the roast and brown, deeply, for 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Add onions, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme and cook, covered, for 3 – 3 ½ hours.
- Remove from the oven and remove thyme sprigs.
- Turn oven to hi-broil.
- Shred the beef in very large chunks.
- Top with sliced baguettes and Gruyere cheese.
- Place the pot into the oven, uncovered, and broil until the cheese begins to bubble and brown, about 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.
Winner winner pot roast dinner! The family loved it. I only made two tweaks and that was adding a package of Golden Onion and One packet of Beefy Onion Lipton Soup Mix. Tee reason is I cooked this in a crock pot and we all know that crock pot meals sometimes loose flavors so I wanted to make sure we kept the onion flavoring. Everything else was exactly as it was laid out in the recipe. Searing the meat is an important step. Made Gravy with the left over juices in the crock pot. 5lbs of pot roast did not last long! We will be putting this in our dinner rotation.
Amazing! Followed the directions exactly other than I shred the roast a lot thinner. Amazing flavor & so easy to do! Big hit in the house 🙂
My husband loves French onion soup and was absolutely impressed with this dish. I added 8 cups of beef broth but otherwise followed the recipe. Simple and delicious!
My mother and I just made this recipe today. It was FAN-FRICKIN-TASIC! The only thing I’d do is add more onions. I’m glad I found this recipe!
Is this temperature Celsius or Fahrenheit; it doesn’t say! It would be nice if you could show that in your recipes.
Hi! Sorry about that, its Fahrenheit.
Thanks, Sabrina; much appreciated
I made this recipe yesterday and put alittle spin on the recipe… I used 8 lbs of Chuck Roast that Costco had on sale this weekend ..I used 8 cups of beef broth enhanced with better than boullion’s beef,vegetables, and roasted garlic pastes I had in the fridge .. I rubbed fresh minced garlic on the meat with the recipe salt and pepper with thyme sprinkled on the meat and also added thyme on the onions.. I used 8 medium red onions sliced very thin..
I baked it for 31/2 hours .. in a 13qt Le Crueset double boiler ..
I added 1Tbl of cooking Sherry just before individual in bowl servings ..
For the bread I had a frozen loaf of garlic bread that I sliced in one inch slices.
I used grated guyere on these and broiled as instructed … I used a large Pyrex filled with Yukon gold potatoes & carrots in chicken broth /s&p and baked along side of the roast.. My family was over the moon on this dinner .. it’s the best roast I’ve ever made.. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It’s a keeper !
Love to hear that thank you!
Cydney and Burt.
Congratulations on using the Cooks Illustrated French Onion soup recipe…the best…and stealing the sherry from the Costco French Onion Soup line…you Costco shills
You should have tried it the way it is…..an not embarrass yourselves as nothing more than poachers…..shame….shame…….shame
Sabrina is rock solid..
I am kind of shocked to see any negative reviews for this recipe! It’s so easy and crazy delicious!! Maybe others used bad broth and didn’t season to taste? I even subbed 2 tsp dried thyme for the fresh and it was still incredibly flavorful! This is definitely my absolute favorite pot roast recipe. The soft sweet onions, tender meat, rich broth, and the crispy on the top-soggy on the bottom bread is the icing on the cake. It would be great to make for company since it’s so simple, but really tasty and comforting. Tonight was the second time I’ve made it and I’m already looking forward to making it again. Thank you!! My family thanks you too!
So yummy! I broiled for about 5 minutes and the cheese didn’t melt well which is the only reason I gave it 4 stars ?? Super easy and delicious.
Think I could add carrots next time?
Thanks for your honest review! Glad you enjoyed it!
This was the worst recipe I’ve ever made! No flavor at all, I don’t see how there would be with just beef broth, onions, a bit of worcheshire, and sprigs of thyme. It didn’t even taste anything like French onion soup!! My whole family agreed that it was nasty, to never make it again, and never speak of the experience. The bread and cheese were ok but the best part was the mash potatoes of my own recipe and pretty much the only thing I could eat. Waste of a good roast! This one is a hard no for me and I will be deleting this recipe from Pinterest.
I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Kay.
I want to try this so badly! But I don’t have a broiler. Would it still taste okay just to add the bread and cheese and let it melt? Thank you!
That’ll work in a pinch. Good luck!
Amazing!!! I followed this exactly as written, utilized the tips (used white and purple onions). This was unbelievable, full of flavor and possibilities even after the roast has been eaten. I made a stew with a few additions after we had consumed the roast. Super easy and very, very good.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Lisa.
I just tried making the french onion pot roast, and I have to be honest some thing is definitely missing here, it taste like beef broth meet and onions, there is absolutely no flavor what so ever???? I used sweet onions and followed your directions to the”T”. I did not see a mention at all of carmelized onions. We’ll see how this tastes after sitting for a day, but this is NOT a repeat menu so far, I did make this in a slow cooker. It is not one of your better recipes
Did you sear the beef before adding it to the slow cooker? I also use less liquid when adding to a slow cooker as none of it goes away so your result was watery. The other issue is the onion sugar won’t ever caramelize at the temperature the slow cooker is at and also a sweet onion adds a different flavor, the recipe calls for yellow. I apologize you didn’t enjoy it but perhaps trying it in the oven would help?
OMG!!!!! I don’t know what else to say. This is amazing. I will make it again and again.
Loved the roast! The cheese was definitely NOT my favorite so we will be making this again and leaving the cheese out. The roast came out super tender.
Super easy and incredibly delicious. I did deglaze the Dutch oven with red wine before adding the onions and broth. The cheese toast was amazing too. Try this one!
I’m glad to know it was such a hit, Jennifer.
Wow! Dare I say the leftovers the next day we’re even better. Make sure to get good cheese because it really makes this dish.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
My husband wouldn’t stop raving about this! We’ll definitely making this again and again.
Thanks for coming back to let me know how much he enjoyed it and for the 5 stars, Jennifer.
Could this be made in a Dutch oven? If so, what would the method be? Thanks!
Could you cook the roast in the instapot of short on time then finish it in the oven?
Yes, I give instruction on using a instant pot for this recipe in the post above. Enjoy!
Delicious on a cool fall day. Added carrots and potatoes. Will make again!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Marisa.
Delicious!!! Everyone RAVED about the fabulous taste! Just like French Onion Soup with meat. The flavor only increases day by day! Couldn’t find the thyme sprigs at the store, so just added 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme to the salt and pepper, and rubbed it into the meat.
Thanks for coming back to let me know how much of a hit it was! I appreciate the 5 stars.
Do the onions need to be browned before adding to the pot?
You don’t need to. They’ll cook down.
Could I do this whole thing in the Dutch oven? From searing the roast to finish? Can’t wait to try it!
Can you freeze this dish
Yes, I give instructions in the post above.
Simply amazing…thank you
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kevin. Thanks for coming back to let me know.