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Smoked French Onion Soup

Our Smoked French Onion Soup is made with slowly caramelized onions, broths, wines, and all of the cheese you can handle. Caramelizing the onions takes the longest, but it is well-worth the wait!

Pellet Grill French Onion Soup Recipe

If you take a cast iron pan, a whole wack of onions, a little olive oil, and a bunch of hours inside your pellet grill you will end up with the start of one of the best bowls of soup you’ll ever have.

It is also one of the easiest! Cooking the onions down takes a long while, but it is mostly passive. If you’ll be home and have a few minutes an hour to stir things around, you’re good to go.

The mixing of the actual soup is the easy part.

More Easy Traeger Recipes here!

French Onion Soup shopping list

Want to know if you need to hit up the store or not? Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll need to make this easy Smoked French Onion Soup! Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe, including the ingredients.

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  • sweet onions
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh garlic (or smoked garlic, even better!)
  • fresh thyme
  • beef broth
  • chicken broth
  • red wine
  • white wine
  • smoked provolone
  • french bread

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Blue ombre bowl of Smoked French Onion Soup with melted white provolone cheese that's been browned lightly around the top edges. On a black plate.

How to make Smoked French Onion Soup

Here’s the general overview of what you are in for if you make this recipe. When you’re actually cooking, make sure to use the recipe card below!

Also – pro tip, you can make the onions one day and the soup another!


Smoke those onions

Slice all your onions or bribe someone else to do it for you. Preheat your smoker to 225°, put the onions into a large cast-iron skillet, top with some olive oil, and let them ride. Stir every 30-45 minutes until they are cooked down and golden brown.


Put the soup together

Put the onions, both of the broths, and all that wine in the pot along with the garlic, herbs, and spices. Let the soup simmer gently for about an hour.


Get cheesy

Fire up your Traeger again on high heat, or alternatively you can hit the easy button and use the broiler on your oven. You’ll want to toast your bread and top them with a couple pieces of cheese. You can do this in bowls or on their own for people to drop in their soup individually.

From the top view of a blue bowl of French Onion Soup with a spoon slightly sunken into the bowl on top of the cheese, and bread and cheese on a portion of the spoon.

Tips and Tricks for the BEST French Onion Soup

French onion soup is really simple to make, but surprisingly there are a lot of ways you can screw it up. From not taking enough time and patience caramelizing the onions to not using the right kinds of broth or wine, there are a few things that can really take things from “meh” to “amazing”.


The most important part of making a great French Onion soup is to take your sweet time caramelizing the onions and to use about twice as many onions as you probably think you need.

There’s no downside to caramelizing too many onions. Even if you don’t use them for this soup you can also put them on your burgers, hot dogs, on a crostini with some goat cheese, or about 100 other awesome things you can do with them. Like my Smoked Caramelized Onion Butter. Oh.My.Gosh.


For this soup, I would not suggest using bouillon cubes or dry broth mixes. Get high-quality boxed broths, or make your own if you want to be really serious about it.

The same goes for the wine you choose. You want a dry white and a robust red for this, and the kind of stuff you’d be able to easily drink. Look for highly rated wines that are relatively inexpensive, highly drinkable, and short on any prominent floral notes.

Smoked French Onion Soup FAQ

What kind of onions are best for French Onion Soup?

You can use any kind of onion you’d like for this, but our favorite are sweet yellow onions. You can also get great results from using a combination of different kinds of onions as well! Red, yellow, sweet, and throw in some shallots for good measure.

What is the best way to store leftover French Onion Soup?

The most important thing about storing leftovers is to keep the bread OUT of it unless you’ll be eating it right then. Other than that? Just use standard leftover procedures and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge

How do you reheat leftover French Onion Soup?

Reheat the soup part in the microwave until it is piping hot, and then top with your toasted bread and cheese and melt under the broiler.

Try it with this fresh homemade French bread from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe!

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Yield: 6 servings

Smoked French Onion Soup

Smoked French Onion Soup

Hearty French Onion soup is made with onions that were smoked on the pellet grill for the ultimate bowl of rich broth, melted cheese, and soft toasted bread.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Onions 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes


  • 4 large sweet onions. sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3/4 cup white wine (like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio)
  • 3/4 cup red wine (like Cabernet or Pinot Noir)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 12 slices smoked Provolone cheese
  • 12 slices toasted french bread


  1. Placed the sliced onions and olive oil into a large cast-iron skillet on your pellet grill that's been preheated to 275°. Caramelize, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 hours, or until the onions are golden brown and soft. If you want to speed this part up a bit, you can turn the grill up to 325° and it should only take an hour or two.
  2. Place the cooked onions into a stock pot, and pour in the broths, wine, garlic, and thyme. Taste, and add salt and pepper according to your preferences. The amount will vary depending on what types of stocks and wines you used.
  3. Let this mixture simmer over medium-low heat for an hour.
  4. Preheat your broiler and lightly toast the sliced French bread. Next, place your bowls on a large baking sheet, carefully ladle your soup into the oven-safe bowls, top with a toasted round of French bread and two slices of smoked provolone.
  5. Carefully place the tray of soups under the broiler, and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Don't walk away from the broiler!
  6. Remove and serve immediately! They will be HOT!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 799Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 2659mgCarbohydrates: 93gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 6gSugar: 17gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 35g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate.

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.


Tuesday 17th of October 2023

Is there a recommendation for replacing the res wine?

Nicole Johnson

Tuesday 17th of October 2023

You can use all white wine if you want. French Onion Soup doesn't really work with NO wine though.


Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Early in your post, it says heat grill to 225. In the recipe, it says 275 with a faster option of 325. Not sure if it makes any difference other than the time invested, but I’m giving this recipe a try. Sounds delicious!

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Good catch! I'll update that now. It'll work well regardless, but the 225°F start temp would give you a stronger smoke flavor in the onions and will definitely up the overall cook time of those. So, it just depends on what you prefer. Big bold smoke flavor or food in your face faster.


Friday 22nd of September 2023

Hi Nicole, Excellent Recipe. Smoked the onions on Wednesday for close to 5 hrs at 250 in about 1/4 stick of butter, a bit of olive oil and a splash of white wine. Put it together this morning with the stocks, wine and spices. Will be making it this way moving forward.

Nicole Johnson

Friday 22nd of September 2023

Amazing!! So glad you enjoyed it. It is one of my favorites too!


Sunday 21st of November 2021

Why not cut onions in half, smoke for a couple of hours with the garlic then caramelize on the stove?

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 21st of November 2021

I haven't tried it that way, but I'm sure it would be delicious!


Tuesday 13th of July 2021

says butter but uses olive oil in the recipe.....

Nicole Johnson

Tuesday 13th of July 2021

Good catch, David! I've made it with both, and a combination of the two - many times. Either would be fine for this. I'll correct it in the text portion of the recipe though!

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