French Onion Bruschetta is your new favorite appetizer with deliciously caramelized onions, two kinds of browned and gooey cheese, all on top of crusty French bread. It’s your favorite part of a French Onion Soup without the hot messy liquid.
These French Onion Crostini are welcome at any fancy party like a wedding or a New Year’s Eve party. But they’re also at home at casual gatherings as well like game day or tailgating. And, since it’s almost tailgating snacks month here on Life Currents, these are a timely addition to the appetizer recipe box.
These can also be served as a great side to soup and stews.
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I’m very excited to be participating in this fall 2022 edition of Freaky Friday, an old-fashioned blog hop! With this wonderful recipe for French Onion Bruschetta from The Speckled Palate, and this recipe makes the perfect appetizer for any party!
This blog hop is always so much fun; it’s hosted by the talented and lovely Michaela at An Affair from the Heart. I’ve known Michaela for many years, and am always so happy to participate in her events. Please do stop by her blog and check out her tasty food.
See all of our 2022 Freaky Friday Fall Edition Recipes
- An Affair from the Heart – Pepperoni Pizza Bread
- Aunt Bee’s Recipes – Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- The Culinary Compass – Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
- Devour Dinner – Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice
- Family Around the Table – White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Martini
- Feast + West – Bourbon Caramel Sauce
- Fresh April Flours – Butterfinger Poke Cake
- Home Cooked Harvest – Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes
- Hostess at Heart – The BEST Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog – Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Off the Eaten Path – Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip
- The Speckled Palate – German Pancake
- Sue Bee Homemaker – Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
- Take Two Tapas – Crockpot Pizza Dip
- The Wimpy Vegetarian – Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
The Speckled Palate
I’ve met Erin at The Speckled Palate through Facebook a few years back. She’s a bubbly friendly happy person, and all that fun is reflected in her recipes.
Erin uses fresh ingredients and simple entertaining to create meals from the heart.
She describes her blog as, “Life is busy, especially when you have young kids, and making the time to invite friends over can seem overwhelming and stressful.
“The Speckled Palate is here to help you, you busy person you, reconnect with the people you love. How do we do this? Through easy recipes (and drinks!) that call for simple, fresh ingredients.”
I connect with those ideas, and so her recipes are a great fit on my blog and for my readers.
I had a hard time deciding what to make for this Freaky Friday event. She has great recipes like bourbon sweet potato casserole and tortellini butternut squash.
And her dessert recipes for peanut butter pretzel bites, Creamy cranberry tart, and pumpkin caramel cream cheese blondies just called my name!
But in the end, this French Onion Bruschetta recipe won out for me because, well, you know I love appetizers and game day grub!
The Difference Between Bruschetta and Crostini
In making this recipe I wondered if bruschetta was the “officially” correct term for them. So, I decided to do a little bit of research.
Now, they are all toast of one kind or another. And, honestly, I haven’t met a piece of toast topped with yummy stuff that I didn’t like.
But let’s take a look at what I learned about bruschetta, crostini, and tartine…
Bruschetta is Italian, means “to roast over coals”, and is singular. Slices of crusty Italian or sourdough bread are grilled or toasted, brushed with olive oil, rubbed with garlic, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Then they’re topped with tasty savory or sweet toppings.
Crostini means “little toasts” in Italian, and is plural. Round fine textured baguette-style bread is sliced and toasted. They are often brushed with olive oil, but not rubbed with garlic, then topped with a light amount of toppings.
Tartine is French for an open-faced sandwich.
Usage of the three terms seems to be a little loose, and kind of up to the cook what the final dish is called. I think that these toasts fall into the French tartine category. They have lots of toppings, so bruschetta makes sense as well.
Or, maybe you could just call the French onion toasts. But no matter what you call them, they’re super tasty!
And if you love these, you gotta try Roasted Garlic & Herb Cheese Sticks too!
Pro tips on how to make
These caramelized onion canapés are a quick dish to pull together, and everyone loves this drool worthy snack!
Caramelize the onions
Be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions.
The first, and most time consuming step, in making these is to caramelize the onions.
Slice those onions up. You can do this by hand with a knife or by using a mandolin (just be really careful!).
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the oil. I’ve found that a large wide skillet is best here, like a nice cast iron. If you use a saucepan, the onions won’t have as much contact with the heat source, and won’t cook as well.
Caramelize the onions
When the oil is nice and hot, add the thinly sliced onions to the pan. Season with salt, and stir often.
The salt not only helps to flavor the onions, but it will draw moisture of of them as they cook so they caramelize better.
If the onions are cooking too fast, or starting to burn on the bottom, simply add a bit of water to the pan. About 2 tablespoons or so. Stir that in, and it’ll slow down the cooking so the onions can caramelize rather than burn, and it’ll deglaze the pan so the browned bits get cooked into the onions.
And don’t forget, the darker you cook the onions, the darker the topping will be, so don’t skimp on the caramelizing step.
When the onions are nice and browned, add the broth, about a quarter cup at a time. Stir with the spoon as the onions soak up the broth. Do this three more times until all the broth is cooked in. Add the thyme leaves, and remove the pan from the heat.
When the onions have finished cooking, preheat your broiler, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Assemble the toasts
Slice the bread into ½-inch slices. Place the sliced bread onto the baking sheet.
Do you have toast the bread?
No, you don’t have to pre-toast the bread. The bread helps soak in some of those yummy juices. And I like the softer texture. Of course, you can toast it if you prefer.
Spoon the cooked onions on top of the sliced bread. Some of the bread slices may be different sizes, so you’re looking for a nice thin layer that uses all of the onions for all of the bread slices. Some slices may get more onions.
Place a slice of cheese on top of the onions, and top that with some shredded mozzarella. Again, do this based on covering the slice of bread, not to a specific amount.
Broil the toasts
Place the toasts under the broiler for 4-6 minutes, or until the cheese has browned and is bubbling.
Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Sprinkle with additional thyme leaves for garnish.
I made these bruschetta vegetarian with vegetable broth.
However, beef broth is more traditional in French onion soup.
Use your favorite broth here. As I always encourage people, use whatever broth tastes best to you.
There’s so much going on in these appetizers with the onions, cheeses, thyme, and bread that the both flavor is just a minor part of the final dish.
Changes to the recipe
Can dried thyme be substituted for fresh thyme? Yes, you can sue dried thyme for these. I think fresh has a nice flavor here, so I recommend that, but in a pinch, feel free to use 1 teaspoon dried thyme for 1 tablespoon fresh thyme.
I also think these bruschetta with onion toasts would be delicious with some sauteed mushrooms tossed into the onion mixture. Kind of like my Mushroom Bruschetta.
Goat cheese would be great on these appetizers, making them a little less of a traditional flavor profile and less like a French onion soup appetizer.
Bruschetta with onion and balsamic is another flavor combination that’s delicious, as in my Brie and Balsamic Crostini.
These are a great make ahead appetizer.
You can caramelize the onions up to 3 days in advance. Then on the day of the party, you can assemble and broil the appetizers.
Or, you can full make and cook them and reheat them. This is a perfect option if you have any leftover. Just pop them in a 300 ° F oven for about 5 minutes and they will be hot and ready to go again.
We also enjoyed them cold leftover from the fridge.
You can make large batches of caramelized onions and freeze in small baggies. Another great time saving tip!
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French Onion Bruschetta
- 4 small onions thinly sliced (about 4 ½ cups)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme plus more for serving
- ½ loaf crusty French bread sliced into ½-inch thick slices
- 4 ounces shredded Mozzarella
- 2 ½ ounces Swiss or gruyere cheese slices
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When warm, pour in the olive oil.
- When the olive oil is shimmering, add the thinly sliced onions to the pan. Season with salt, and stir continuously with a wooden spoon.
- Let the onions caramelize slowly, constantly stirring so the onions don’t burn on the bottom of the pan. This process should take 20-30 minutes, depending on the heat in your pan.
- When the onions have browned beautifully, add the broth a quarter cup at a time. Stir with the spoon as the onions soak up the broth. Do this three more times. Add the thyme leaves, and remove the pan from the heat.
- When the onions are cooked through, turn the oven on to its broil setting. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper, then set aside.
- As the oven preheats, slice the bread. Place the sliced bread onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Spoon the onions evenly on top of the sliced bread.
- Lay down half a Swiss cheese Slice, then top with Cheese Mozzarella Shreds. (There’s no exact amount here – eyeball it!)
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven, and broil for 4-6 minutes, or until the cheese has browned and is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with additional thyme leaves, and enjoy!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.
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I seriously want this RIGHT NOW and it’s 8:30 AM. That is quite possibly the most droolworthy bruschetta I have ever laid eyes on!
French onion soup is SOOO good, I just have to try this fun version served as bruschetta! This will be great for game day!
Debi! This is one of my all-time favorite finger foods and I am tickled pink that you made it because it’s just so dang good! In fact, you’re inspiring me to make it this weekend for my family so I can enjoy all the flavors again!
You don’t toast the bread first?
San, no you don’t have to. The bread helps soak in some of those yummy juices. Of course, you can toast it if you prefer. Enjoy!
What a great idea for bruschetta! I love these flavors and it’s the perfect appetizer for fall!
I adore anything French Onion. Can’t wait to bite into these they look fantastic
This is an amazing recipe! I’d love a couple of these toasts with a glass of wine or a salad for lunch!
Ohhh, Erin has GREAT recipes! You picked an awesome one, I’ve made this before and it’s so good!
Holy WOW! This bruschetta is now my personal favorite version! Thanks for sharing!!
I LOVE French Onion Soup and its such a creative and delicious idea to make it in recipe form!
Oh man I think you wrote this recipe just for me! What a perfect combination of some of my favorite flavors.
The flavors are amazing! This is an appetizer that we will enjoy again and again!
I could just eat this for dinner! They are so rich and buttery and have that delicious crispy bottom!
Erin is the queen of all things French Onion and I’m so glad you picked this recipe of hers. I could eat the whole batch of this bruschetta, and I need to make it super soon!
(P.S. I love your furry photo bomb in this post too. So cute!)
I am SO in love with anything French Onion!!!!! This is a winner!
Oh my gosh, Debi, these look absolutely fantastic. I’m adding to my list of “must make soon” recipes!!!