French Onion Meatballs

overhead photo of the French onion meatballs in a cast iron skillet.

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French Onion Meatballs combine the comforting flavors of the savory soup into a dinner ready meatball! Loaded with caramelized red onions and lots of melted Gruyere cheese, these are a filling and hearty dinner the family will love!


For the Onions
2 medium red onions, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white sugar

For the broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup Sherry
1 can beef broth (14.5oz can)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

For the meatballs
1 pound ground beef (use a 90/10)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, plus more for garnishing


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a cast iron skillet or oven safe skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with the sugar and cook to caramelize for 35-40 minutes. I alternate heat between low and medium-low. Once done, season with the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir, then move to one side of the skillet to make room to make the broth. (Onions are finished in step 5 below)

3. While the onions are caramelizing, prepare the meatballs. In a large bowl season the beef with the garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the egg, Panko, and Worcestershire. Pour this egg mixture into the bowl with the beef and stir gently to combine, then form your meatballs. I made 12 meatballs.

4. Spray a baking rack with cooking spray and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet and place your meatballs on top of the baking rack. Baking them slightly elevated like this will help avoid having soggy meatballs! Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes.

5. Getting back to the onions, once you have them caramelized and pushed to one side of the skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to melt. Add the 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and cook for about 30 seconds then add the flour and stir to combine.

6.  Add the sherry and beef broth then raise the heat to a rapid simmer. Reduce heat to low simmer for 7-8 minutes to slightly thicken. Turn off heat. The consistency will be slightly thicker than broth, but not quite as thick as a gravy.

7. Add the cooked meatballs into the broth and top with the cheese. Place under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melty and browned.

Serve with mashed potatoes, top with additional cheese, and savor every bite!


If you don’t have cast iron or an oven safe skillet, just pour everything into a casserole dish before broiling.

Keywords: french onion meatballs