slow cooker french onion soup with beef

i really need to get on the slow cooker bandwagon. what has taken me so long?! it all started with the chicken tacos i made a couple weeks ago - before vacations and conferences and weddings got in the way - and i realized the only thing better than eating a homecooked meal every night, is eating one that's been cooked while you were at work. 
this time i tackled soup. french onion soup. one of my absolute favorite soups. i attempted a garlicky version  a year and a half ago but have yet to master the original. this time i decided to let the slow cooker do the work of cooking down the onions and added beef. yes, i know beef is not traditionally in french onion soup, but around these parts, i knew i needed to add some meat to the soup to get a certain someone to at least try it.

the verdict? the beef is good. really good. i ended up cooking the soup for a good 10 hours while i was at work. the beef was falling apart, so i removed any visible pieces of fat, shredded the meat with a fork, and mixed it into the soup. it was really good. 

the onions on the other hand, were still a bit hard. they still had a bite to them. i was expecting after ten hours of cooking that they would be soft and was almost afraid they would be mushy, but they were the exact opposite. i am undecided if i like them better a bit softer or not.

have a favorite slow cooker recipe?? please share it in the comments!

slow cooker french onion soup with beef
adapted from sweet anna's

because i made this soup during the week, i prepped the onions the night before and cooked it a good ten hours while i was gone to work for the day. if you prefer, skip refrigerating the cooked onions in step 3 and continue with the rest of the recipe.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4-5 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons flour
2 pound lean beef roast
12 ounce can or bottle of beer
6 cups beef stock
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
crusty bread & gruyere for serving

  1. turn your slow cooker onto high and add the butter. slice the onions and mince the garlic while the butter melts. once melted, add the onions, garlic, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and worcestershire sauce. mix well, cover, and cook for one hour.
  2. add the flour and stir to combine. turn the slow cooker off and let cool about 15 minutes. 
  3. cover the slow cooker sleeve and refrigerate until the next morning.
  4. nestle the beef in the onions. add the beer, beef stock, and fresh thyme. cook on low for at least 6 hours.
  5. remove the sprigs of thyme and any big pieces of fat from the beef and shred the meat. add it back to the soup. 
  6. there's only one way i like this soup - sprinkle the top with cheese and dip crusty bread into it. if you like the soggy bread on top, add a slice to your soup, cover with cheese, and broil and minute or two until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


  1. This looks amazing, and I've been looking for good slow cooker recipes...might have to try this one! :)

  2. French Onion Soup is one of my all time favorite soups and yours looks amazing!


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