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The 6 Best Substitutes for Condensed French Onion Soup

French onion soup is not something that everyone keeps on hand, yet it is a common ingredient in dishes. The good news is that there are several good replacements that you can use instead. Here they are!

1. Freshly Minced Onions and Broth

Bowl of broth with onions

Condensed French onion soup offers a strong onion flavor to your dish, so if your pantry is fresh out of the canned stuff, try mincing some fresh onions! Yellow and white onions are most commonly used in onion soup, but you can get creative and use whatever type you have available in your pantry.

While this option will provide the flavor you are looking for, you may need to make other adjustments to achieve the proper texture and thickness for your recipe. For vegetarians, combining 1 cup (250 ml) minced onions with 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth can make an excellent, meat-free alternative!

2. Greek Yogurt and Onion Powder

Wooden Bowl of Greek Yogurt

Another convenient substitute for condensed french onion soup is plain old onion powder mixed with greek yogurt. The onion powder will provide that punch of flavor you’re looking for, while the greek yogurt will give a similarly smooth, thick texture to what the condensed soup usually offers. 

To replace one can of condensed French onion soup, mix 1 cup (250 ml) of greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of onion powder. If you really want to pack in the flavor, grill up some fresh onions and mix those in as well! 

3. Chicken or Beef Broth

Three Types of Broth in Clear Cups

Chicken or beef broth are popular replacements for condensed french onion soup. Choose your own personal broth preference, make a roux and then add about 1 cup (250 ml) of broth until combined. 

To make a simple roux:

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of butter in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbly.
  2. Briskly whisk in 3 ½ tablespoons (53 ml) of flour.
  3. Keep whisking until the mixture forms a ball, then reduce from heat to low. 

After you have combined the roux with the broth, you can simmer for about 10-15 minutes while it thickens and you’ll have the perfect condensed soup replacement! 

4. Jarred or Premade Gravy

My “famous” homemade gravy

Pre-made, jarred gravy makes a delicious substitute for condensed french onion soup! Full of flavor and with a nice, thick consistency, a jar of gravy can replace condensed french onion soup at a ratio of one to one. 

With no complicated conversions or additional recipe changes needed, jarred gravy might be the simplest and most effective substitute for condensed french onion soup. Gravy is incredibly versatile and comes in many different flavors, like mushroom, brown, turkey, chicken, pork, and more! Choose the flavor you think will fit best with your desired soup flavor.

5. Other Condensed Soups

Can of Campbells Cream of Chicken soup

Cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, cream of celery, or even canned tomato soup can make excellent replacements for condensed french onion soup mix. The nice thing about these substitutes is that they can be replaced one for one without having to manipulate the recipe any further. 

Because of their similar texture, replacing one soup for the other should not affect the texture of your recipe; but it will affect the taste. Be sure that whatever soup you choose will mix well with the dish’s other flavors.

6. Celery and Green Onions

Celery and Green Onions

For those that don’t enjoy traditional onion flavors, you can still make a delicious onion soup by using celery and green onions instead. Saute the celery and green onions and add them to broth or another condensed soup to create a rich, flavorful base without the traditional white or yellow onions.

When replacing a can of condensed French onion soup, you should saute about ½ cup (125 ml) of celery and ½ cup (125 ml) of green onions. Mix the cooked vegetables with about 1 cup (250 ml) of your choice of broth, and you’re good to go. Feel free to adjust your ratios as needed for personal preference.

Is French Onion Soup Mix the Same As Onion Soup Mix?

French onion soup mix is essentially the same as onion soup mix. The difference is in how you prepare it. French onion soup is traditionally prepared with beef broth, while onion soup can be prepared using any type of broth. 

Both mixes contain very similar, if not identical, ingredients and can be used to prepare either a hearty soup or a delicious dip for crackers, vegetables, or chips.

French onion soup mix originated in France, while onion soup is traditionally English. Aside from the differences in broth, one other key difference is that the French soup usually calls for sherry or cooking wine. In contrast, the English version typically calls for Worcestershire sauce. 

Probably the most desirable part of both soups is the delicious, bubbly cheese on top that gets broiled to perfection before serving. For French onion soup, swiss cheese is most commonly used, while English onion soup often uses cheddar cheese.

Healthiest Substitute for Onion Soup Mix

As with most things, the healthiest substitute for onion soup mix is simply making your own! Prepackaged dry soup mixes, although supremely convenient, often contain all kinds of additives that are less than ideal for your health and well-being.

To avoid these unhealthy preservatives, try making your own with this healthy, homemade onion soup mix.

To make a healthier onion soup mix at home, you will need:

  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
  • Sugar, 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
  • Celery Seed, ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml)
  • Minced onion, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) plus 2 teaspoons (10 ml)
  • Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
  • Dried parsley, 1 ½ teaspoon (7.5 ml)
  • Onion powder, 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
  • Black pepper, ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml)

Add all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until they are thoroughly combined. Then, transfer the mixture into an air-tight container or jar. This homemade mix will last up to one year when stored in a cool, dry place in a sealed, air-tight container. 

Not only will making your own mix help you avoid unhealthy additives, but it will also save you money and last much longer. One package of store-bought onion soup mix should equal about 3-4 tablespoons (45-60 ml) of the homemade mixture. 

Tips and Tricks for Making Onion Soup Healthier

Onion soup is one of the most loved comfort foods, but it’s no secret that, when prepared traditionally, this soup is not exactly the healthiest. Using your own homemade onion soup mix can significantly improve this dish’s nutrition value, but what else can you do to make it a healthy option?

Here are some easy tips for making your next batch of onion soup healthier:

  • Swap the cheese for an appealing garnish. The bubbly, beautifully browned cheese that tops onion soup is mighty appealing, but replacing it with some fresh, green sprigs of thyme is an aesthetically pleasing option and provides a delicious, added flavor.
  • Use vegetable broth. Vegetarians, rejoice! You can make onion soup without the beef broth, and it will be just as delicious. Swap out the beef or chicken broth for a veggie option, and see how the flavors meld. 
  • Serve with cheese crisps instead of bread. Since onion soup is traditionally served with bread and cheese, you might feel the need to add something crunchy if you’re skipping the melted cheese top and warm, hearty bread. 

Throw some grated cheese in little heaps on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and heat in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for 3-4 minutes. The cheese will melt and, once cooled, become crispy little snacks that you can serve alongside your soup!


The 6 best substitutes for condensed french onion soup:

  1. Freshly minced onions and broth
  2. Greek yogurt and onion powder
  3. Chicken or beef broth
  4. Jarred or premade gravy
  5. Other condensed soups
  6. Celery and green onions

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

For more, don’t miss The 7 Best Similar Substitutes for Sherry in Soup.