French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is all the flavor of French Onion Soup with cheesy noodles and chicken. The ultimate comfort food! Try my French Onion Deviled Eggs (yes, really!) for another recipe with a French Onion taste.

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French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

I have been on a French Onion kick lately. It had been a while since my Homemade Onion Soup Mix, but lately, I have expanded to making French Onion Dip, French Onion Deviled Eggs, Skillet Onion Dip, and my French Onion Zucchini Bake. I told you, there have been a lot of French Onion dishes around here! I must confess, French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese has to be my favorite! Macaroni and Cheese has really grown up, as I like to say. The variations that are possible with cheesy noodles are endless and fun! Best of all, this dish is satisfying and filling enough to be a meal!

Ingredients for French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

How to Caramelize Onions

The first step in this recipe that needs attention is the process of carmelizing the onions.  Caramelizing onions is an amazing way to pull out the naturally sweet flavor of a very simple ingredient.  Yellow onions have a natural sweetness that explodes when you slow cook them in butter or oil. The trick here is to take your time.

  • Heat a skillet to medium-high heat before you add the oil, butter, and onions. Cover the onions, and cook on low for 25-30 minutes.
  • After the onions have softened, increase the heat to medium and cook the onions until they are golden brown. 
  • Remove the onions from the heat, cover them, and set them aside until you add them to the macaroni later.
Caramelized Onions and Chicken for French Onion Macaroni and Cheese
Adding Cheese to French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Adding Cheese to French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

How to Get Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

I am on a mission to make sure no one has grainy homemade mac n cheese ever again… and in my research discovered this awesome tip. Do NOT put the pan back over the heat to melt the cheese. The ingredients in the pan are already hot enough to do the job of melting the cheeses.

If you get cheese too hot that is when you will end up with a grainy texture. After you have stirred in the cheese, pour the mixture over the cooked noodles, and watch the melting commence!

Taking a Scoop of French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese Out of a Skillet

Topping Off French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

To put the finishing touches on your French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, it’s time to add the topping. Simply layer the top of the macaroni and cheese with shredded Gruyere cheese. Bake it in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Before serving, add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a bit of fresh thyme for an added, subtle, taste. Serve this with my homemade breadsticks and garlic roasted asparagus for a complete meal!

Bowl of French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

How to Store Macaroni and Cheese

Store leftover mac & cheese in a shallow airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I like to add a bit of milk or cream to the dish before reheating.

5 from 11 votes

French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
French Onion Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is all the flavor of French Onion Soup with cheesy noodles and chicken.

Ingredients

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Mac and Cheese

  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup sharp gruyere cheese, freshly shredded
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

Topping

  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • Thyme, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

Caramelized Onions

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and when hot, add the oil, butter, and onions.
  • Turn the heat to low and cover with a lid and cook for 25-30 minutes until the onions are softened
  • Turn the heat to medium and cook until the onions are golden brown, stirring occasionally
  • Cover and remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Mac and Cheese

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes (or until the mixture turns light brown).
  • Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk and beef stock, whisking constantly.
  • Return the pan to the heat, whisk another 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Add the salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine.
  • Add the cheeses and onion mixture, stir until all of the cheese is melted.
  • Pour the sauce over the top of the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine.
  • Add the shredded rotisserie chicken and stir until completely mixed together.

Topping

  • Top with ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • Bake, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and top with chopped thyme.

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Looking for More Savory Noodle Dishes?

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Made this recipe for dinner last night. Cut in half since it’s just me. Baked in 9″ x 9″ dish. Came out beautifully. I loved it. Will definitely make again. The carmelized onions make it better.

  2. I am making this tonight! I could not find the right cheese so I bought Havarti. Do you think this will work?

    1. Hi, Justine! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, Havarti cheese should work well in this recipe. Let us know how it tastes, and have a wonderful day!

  3. Just made this…excellent!! Couldn’t find Guyere cheese so substituted with Havarti, as someone else suggested. Also, crushed Italian-flavor croutons for topping. Our family loved this! Adding this to our meal repertoire, for sure! Thank you!

  4. I love the layout of your site !!! So easy to use! best site I have ever seen.Makes cooking enjoyable when looking for something different to WOW your family ! Thank you

  5. The family loved this. Now that it is getting cooler I need to get it in the dinner rotation! I love your recipes! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Ive made this dish numerous times over the past couple of years now. It is extremely tastey and great meal! Hurts my hands a bit but i started breaking everything down into different sections to cook first and prep and its a lil better, the constant whisking kills my hands but I just think, “THIS IS WORTH IT!!” lol!

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