What Can I Use Instead of Condensed French Onion Soup?

Try using homemade onion soup mix instead of condensed French onion soup. It is easy to make and tastes better.

Onions are an essential ingredient in many cuisines around the world because of their sweet, pungent flavor and versatility. French onion soup, a classic blend of caramelized onions, broth, and cheese, is a flavorful and comforting soup that is perfect for cold weather.

But what if you don’t have any condensed French onion soup on hand? Don’t worry, you can easily make your own homemade onion soup mix using basic pantry staples like dried onion flakes, beef bouillon granules, and herbs. With just a few simple steps, you can create an incredibly tasty substitute that is perfect for adding flavor to your soups, dips, and casseroles. In this article, we will show you how to make homemade onion soup mix and give you a few ideas for using it in your recipes.

What Can I Use Instead of Condensed French Onion Soup?

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Homemade French Onion Soup

Before delving into the substitutes, let’s consider making homemade French onion soup. This delightful recipe requires caramelizing onions in butter, infusing them with aromatic herbs and spices, and simmering them in a savoury broth until the flavours meld into perfection. Homemade French onion soup offers a depth of flavour and authenticity that condensed versions cannot match.

Substitutes for Condensed French Onion Soup

  1. Onion and Beef Broth Combination: For a hearty and robust alternative, combine sautéed onions with beef broth. This mixture offers a savoury taste and complements meat-based dishes beautifully.
  2. Onion and Mushroom Broth Combination: If you’re seeking a more earthy flavour, try using mushroom broth alongside onions. The umami-rich mushrooms add a unique dimension to the dish.
  3. Onion and Vegetable Broth Combination: For vegetarians or those looking for a lighter option, pairing onions with vegetable broth is an excellent choice. It results in a flavorful and wholesome alternative.

Enhancing Flavors

  1. Using Caramelized Onions: Elevate the flavour profile of your dishes by using caramelized onions instead of condensed French onion soup. The natural sweetness of caramelized onions adds complexity to your recipes.
  2. Adding Various Herbs and Spices: Experiment with different herbs and spices to enhance the taste of your onion-based soups. Thyme, bay leaves, and black pepper are some excellent additions.

Creamy Options

  1. Cream of Onion Soup: If you prefer a creamy texture, consider making a cream of onion soup. The creamy base blends beautifully with the sweetness of the onions.
  2. Cream of Mushroom Soup with Caramelized Onions: Combining caramelized onions with cream of mushroom soup creates a luxurious and satisfying alternative.

Vegetarian and Vegan Alternatives

  1. Vegetable Broth-Based Options: Opt for vegetable broth-based recipes to cater to vegetarians. The combination of onions and vegetable broth results in a flavorful and nutritious alternative.
  2. Plant-Based Cream Soups: Vegan-friendly cream soups made from plant-based ingredients can be used to substitute condensed French onion soup in various dishes.

Low-Sodium and Healthier Choices

  1. Low-Sodium Broths: If you’re watching your sodium intake, choose low-sodium broths to ensure a healthier option without compromising on taste.
  2. Organic and Preservative-Free Alternatives: Consider using organic and preservative-free broths for a cleaner and more natural alternative to condensed soups.

Incorporating Onion Soup Mix

  1. Creating an Onion Soup Mix from Scratch: Make your own onion soup mix using dried onions, bouillon, and various seasonings. This DIY mix can be used as a base for soups and other recipes.
  2. Using Onion Soup Mix as a Base: In recipes that call for condensed French onion soup, use your homemade onion soup mix as a substitute for a personalized touch.

Creative Culinary Twists

  1. Onion-Based Sauces and Reductions: Experiment with making onion-based sauces and reductions to add depth and richness to your dishes.
  2. Onion-Infused Oils and Butters: Create flavorful oils and butters infused with onions to impart their essence into your recipes.

Regional Variations

French onion soup offers a diverse range of regional variations. Explore these regional recipes to discover unique twists on the classic dish.

Quick and Convenient Options

For times when you need a quick fix, consider using pre-made frozen onion soups or dehydrated onion soup mixes. While not homemade, these options can be a convenient substitute.

Cooking Tips and Techniques

Mastering the art of slow-cooking methods and using appliances like the Instant Pot or pressure cooker can significantly enhance the flavours of your onion-based soups.

Pairing Suggestions

Pair your onion soups with crusty bread or a side salad. Experiment with wine and cheese pairings to elevate the dining experience.

Family-Friendly Onion Soup Recipes

Make onion soup more appealing to children by exploring kid-approved variations that the whole family will enjoy.


In conclusion, there are numerous alternatives, allowing you to maintain the delicious flavour in your recipes. From homemade versions to creative culinary twists, the possibilities are endless. Embrace the opportunity to experiment and customize your dishes to suit your preferences. By doing so, you’ll uncover a whole new world of delightful onion-based creations.

FAQs (Frequenty Asked Questions)

Can I substitute condensed French onion soup with regular canned onion soup?

While regular canned onion soup can be used as a substitute, it may have a slightly different taste and consistency compared to condensed French onion soup.

Are there gluten-free options for onion soup substitutes?

Yes, several gluten-free broth alternatives are available, such as vegetable broth and certain commercial onion soup mixes.

Can I freeze homemade French onion soup for later use?

Absolutely! Homemade French onion soup can be frozen in airtight containers for future use.

Is it possible to make a vegan version of French onion soup?

Certainly! By using plant-based ingredients like vegetable broth and plant-based cream, you can create a delicious vegan-friendly version of French onion soup.

Can I use red onions instead of yellow onions for my soup?

Yes, red onions can be used as a substitute for yellow onions, although they may impart a slightly different flavour and colour to the final dish.

Can I Use Regular Onion Soup Instead Of Condensed French Onion Soup?

Yes, you can use regular onion soup instead of condensed french onion soup, but the taste will be slightly different due to the difference in consistency. You may need to adjust the seasoning as well.

Can I Use Beef Broth Instead Of Condensed French Onion Soup?

Yes, you can use beef broth instead of condensed french onion soup. To obtain a similar flavour, add caramelized onions and a pinch of sugar to the beef broth. Simmer for 20 minutes before using.

What Can I Use As A Vegetarian Substitute For Condensed French Onion Soup?

For a vegetarian substitute, use a mixture of sautéed onions, garlic, soy sauce, and vegetable broth. Heat the mixture over low heat until it thickens slightly, then use it as a replacement for condensed French onion soup.

How Can I Make A Homemade Version Of Condensed French Onion Soup?

To make a homemade version of condensed French onion soup, sauté onions until caramelized. Add beef broth and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Whisk in flour until the mixture thickens, then season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Is There A Low-Sodium Alternative To Condensed French Onion Soup?

Yes, you can make a low-sodium alternative to condensed French onion soup by using low-sodium beef broth and reducing the amount of salt used in the recipe. You can also use a homemade version with more control over the amount of sodium added.


It’s always helpful to have some alternatives on hand when cooking with this soup. Whether you forgot to grab some at the store or want to try something new, there are many options to choose from. You can make your own homemade version of the soup with fresh ingredients or try substituting it with other types of canned soup.

Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce can also be used to provide a similar flavour profile. Another approach is to use fresh onions and seasonings to create your own unique flavour. With a little experimentation and creativity, you can find the perfect substitute that works for you and your recipe.

By being resourceful in the kitchen, you can create delicious dishes that are both satisfying and full of flavour.

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