These French Onion Chicken Meatballs (Low Carb) are juicy, tender, and packed with all of the classic flavors of a comforting French onion soup! Add a scoop to a bowl of egg noodles, on toasted bread, or enjoy them for a super savory dinner.Jump to Recipe
Skillet French onion soup meatballs
Hearty and savory meatballs are the cure for a cold winter day. Whether they’re stuffed into sliders with cheese and tomato sauce, baked in a sweet and sticky sauce, or enjoyed as a healthy appetizer, juicy meatballs are always the ultimate comfort food.
You know what else is a cozy, warming treat? French onion soup! I’ve combined the rich and sweet flavors of this popular soup with tender baked chicken meatballs to create this delectable recipe for French Onion Chicken Meatballs (Low Carb).
This recipe has everything you could want on a chilly day, like:
- A savory sauce made with caramelized onions and beef stock.
- Baked chicken meatballs (without any breadcrumbs!).
- A layer of gooey melted cheese.
Once the meatballs are baked and the French onion soup sauce is ready, the two are combined in a skillet and finished with a layer of cheese. It all bakes together to create a savory, rich, and gooey dinner!
What is French onion soup?
This classic cozy soup is made with caramelized onion and a rich beef broth. Each bowl of French onion soup is topped with croutons or toasted bread, then a layer of melted cheese. Each spoonful is ultra-rich, savory, and has a subtle sweetness to keep things interesting.
Chicken meatball ingredients
- Ground chicken – So juicy and delicious! Use lean ground meat so the meatballs aren’t too greasy.
- Onion and garlic – Because it won’t taste like soup without these two!
- Potato chips – Most meatball recipes are made with breadcrumbs to bind the mixture together. I replaced them with crushed plain potato chips to lower the carb count. Plus adds a great flavor.
- Sweet onions – Caramelized onions are a must in any French onion soup recipe. I prefer to use sweet onions but you can use white onions, yellow onions, red onions, or shallots as well.
- Beef broth – To give the onion soup sauce a rich, deep flavor. You could use chicken stock but the sauce would have a lighter and brighter taste.
- Thyme – Fresh is best.
- Cheese – Gruyère cheese is preferred and the classic choice, but you can use Havarti, Parmesan, Swiss, Mozzarella, Gouda, or Asiago instead.
How to make low carb French onion chicken meatballs
- Make the meatballs: Combine all of the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Roll the mixture into balls and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
- Caramelize the onions: Add the sliced sweet onions and salt to a skillet over medium-low heat. Let them cook until they’re soft and golden brown, adding butter halfway through the process.
- Finish the French onion sauce: Pour the garlic, beef broth, and thyme in with the onions. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the sauce is thick.
- Combine, bake, and serve: Transfer the meatballs to the skillet with the sauce. Top the meatballs with some of the onions and then top with cheese and place in the 450 F oven until the cheese melts. Garnish with more parsley and enjoy!
Tips to make the best chicken meatballs
- Different meat – This recipe works well with lean ground beef, turkey, and pork in case you’re not in the mood for chicken.
- Caramelizing tip – Make sure you stir the onions often so they don’t burn. The longer you let them caramelize, the richer the flavors will be.
- Breadcrumbs – Replace the potato chips with breadcrumbs, panko, gluten free breadcrumbs, or almond meal if you don’t need the recipe to be low carb.
- Storing – Keep any leftover meatballs and sauce in a sealed container in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh for about 3 or 4 days.
How to serve French onion meatballs
Craving meatballs for dinner? Scoop a few meatballs and sauce from the pan onto a hot bowl of freshly cooked egg noodles, pasta, or cauliflower mash. They’re also super delicious as a main dish with smashed potatoes or roasted cauliflower on the side.
Serve the French onion meatballs at your next holiday celebration or potluck. Add 1 or 2 meatballs to a crostini or toasted crusty bread, add some cheese on top, then place in a toaster oven until the cheese melts. Yum!
Can you freeze meatballs?
You sure can! Just keep the meatballs and French onion sauce separate. You can freeze both in freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months. To serve later, defrost in the fridge overnight and bake with the sauce and cheese on top to heat up.
More warm and cozy recipes to try
Did you try these French Onion Chicken Meatballs? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and giving this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to take a picture tag me on Instagram or use #lenaskitchenblog to be featured in my stories! I love seeing what you come up with!
These French Onion Chicken Meatballs (Low Carb
- 1 lb ground chicken lean or thighs
- 1 medium sweet onion grated and drained
- 1 egg
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- ⅓ cup potato chips crushed (measure once crushed)
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- ⅓ cup parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
French Onion Sauce
- 2 large sweet onions thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 7 slices Havarti cheese or substitute with 2 cups gruyere cheese
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Mix well with your hands or a spoon until combined.
- Scoop the chicken mixture with a 1½ – inch cookie scoop onto the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Using wet hands form the meatballs and place them back on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165F. Keep oven on to melt the cheese on top.
French Onion Sauce
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add sliced onions and salt, cook until very soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes, add butter halfway after cooking. Stirring them often to prevent burning.
- Add in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the fresh thyme and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the baked meatballs to the skillet, top with some of the caramelized onions, and then the cheese over the meatballs.
- Add pan to the 450F oven and bake until cheese has melted about 3-5 minutes. Serve them warm, garnish the meatballs with fresh parsley.
Onions: I prefer sweet onions for this recipe. But you could use whatever onion you wanted – white, yellow, red, etc.
Cheese: I like using Havarti or Gruyère cheese, but you can swap it for one of the following cheeses or use any combination of Jarlsberg, Asiago, a mix of Fontina/Parmesan, Swiss, or Gouda.
Stock: Beef stock produces a rich, deep flavor. You could use chicken stock but the sauce would have a lighter and brighter taste.
Ground Meat: This recipe should work with ground beef or pork (or a combination) just make sure to buy lean meat!
Bread Crumbs: You can swap potato chips for bread crumbs, panko, or almond meal, however, this does raise the carb count to the recipe. Can you freeze the meatballs?
These meatballs and sauce will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 days. You can also freeze them and store them in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. I would suggest separating the sauce and meatballs and bring to room temp before reheating them.