15 Delicious Ways To Use French Onion Soup Mix In Dishes

A well-stocked pantry can do wonders for your cooking game. Single ingredients like beans, rice, and canned fruit might come to mind, but products like soup mix packets should be on your radar too. Not only do powdered soup mixes make it possible to make flavorful soups in minutes, but they can also be used as a flavoring component in myriad recipes. French onion soup mix is especially versatile, as the ingredients work well with a wide range of foods.

Now, the exact ingredients of instant French onion soup mix depend on the brand, but it's generally made of onion flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, and beef bouillon granules. You can also make it at home, which will allow you to control the proportions of ingredients and skip any fillers, preservatives, or milk powders if you prefer to avoid them. Be sure to store homemade soup mix in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place like the pantry.

The thought of using instant soup mix in non-soup dishes might sound strange, but the trick is to view it as just another seasoning. With this mindset, you'll be able to find chances to incorporate the ingredients into recipes, whether you're making a sauce, baking a casserole, or cooking grains. If you need inspiration, check out the following ways to use powdered French onion soup mix in different dishes.

Dress up chicken cutlets

Equal parts crispy and satisfying, breaded chicken cutlets are a welcome addition to any meal. They're also delightfully easy to customize, as you can combine the breadcrumbs with other ingredients for an extra punch of flavor. Instead of hauling out multiple bottles of spices and seasonings (or reaching for pre-seasoned store-bought breadcrumbs), consider a packet of French onion soup mix. The savory blend will instantly enhance the breadcrumbs, whether you're using regular breadcrumbs, panko, or a gluten-free version.

Note that soup mixes are highly concentrated, as they're meant to be diluted — so you won't need an entire packet when using them for this purpose. About 1 or 2 tablespoons of French onion soup mix is enough for a batch of chicken cutlets. Once fried to golden perfection, the herby cutlets can be served in a sandwich, on a bed of greens, or alongside cozy side dishes like mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.

Season roasted vegetables

Roasting vegetables is a simple way to deepen their flavor and coax out their natural sweetness. Tossing them in a blend of seasonings will make them even tastier, especially when it's in the form of a French onion soup mix. The dehydrated onion flakes and onion powder in the mix boast a subtle sweetness, which will balance more bitter or earthy vegetables such as asparagus, radish, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.

When coating vegetables in instant French onion soup mix, toss them in a bit of oil first. The oil will help the soup mix stick to the vegetables, ensuring each bite includes a burst of savory flavor. Also, to avoid overly salted vegetables, consider skipping the salt or using less than usual, as the soup mix will likely already contain the ingredient. You can then toss the seasoned vegetables in cornstarch — a secret to making roasted vegetables extra crispy — or go ahead and pop them straight in the oven.

Make a dip

If French onion dip is one of your go-to party condiments, you'll want to stock up on French onion soup packets. They often contain similar ingredients to French onion dip mixes but offer even more flavor thanks to the addition of beef bouillon granules or powder. By using soup packets in this way, you'll be able to save a trip to the store and whip up a tasty dip in seconds.

Thanks to its creamy texture and tangy taste, sour cream is a popular candidate for party dips. It's especially delicious with French onion soup flavors, though it's not your only option. For example, try blending the soup mix with ricotta for a version that's fluffy and packed with protein and calcium. Ricotta is also less rich than sour cream, making it ideal for a lighter French onion dip. You could even mix and match sour cream or ricotta with other creamy bases, such as plain yogurt, mayonnaise, or softened cream cheese.

Add flavor to rice

Seasoning rice is an excellent way to spruce up a meal, whether you're serving it as a side dish or part of an entrée. A packet of French onion soup mix makes it easy to add extra flavor to rice; simply toss cooked rice with a bit of powdered soup mix for an instant upgrade. To help the soup mix stick to the grains, stir in a pat or two of butter while the rice is still warm. As the butter melts, it will coat the grains in the savory ingredients while adding extra richness.

Another option is to add French onion soup mix to water or broth, essentially making French onion soup, then cook the rice in the liquid. For an even richer dish, use coconut milk or whole milk as the liquid base. When combined with instant French onion soup mix, these ingredients will create a creamy umami-packed dish, almost like a savory rice pudding.

Mix with mashed potatoes

Whether you're making mashed potatoes from scratch or preparing the boxed version, a packet of French onion soup mix might be the ticket to a mouthwatering side dish. All you need to do is add 1 or 2 tablespoons of instant soup mix to milk or cream, depending on your go-to dairy for mashed potatoes. As you stir the liquid into the mashed potatoes, the herb-infused liquid will evenly disperse the seasonings. You can also sprinkle French onion soup mix onto prepared mashed potatoes, just like you would salt or pepper.

If you'd like to emphasize the French onion soup flavor, consider folding caramelized onions into your mashed potatoes. It will add a delicious sweetness and texture to the dish, along with a welcome departure from plain mashed potatoes. Keep in mind that properly caramelizing onions takes time — about 45 minutes — so be sure to plan ahead.

Fold it into meatloaf

With a packet of French onion soup mix by your side, you'll never have to deal with boring meatloaf again. For starters, the soup mix contains ingredients that work well with meatloaf, whether you're making it with ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Plus, by using the pantry staple to flavor meatloaf, you can add multiple seasonings at the same time instead of measuring each one out. About 1 tablespoon of soup mix should be enough per meatloaf, though you're welcome to add a bit more for an extra punch of flavor.

Even a vegan meatloaf made of chickpeas, lentils, or mushrooms will benefit from an instant soup mix, due to the versatility of the ingredients. However, if you want to keep the dish completely vegan, use a powdered soup mix without beef bouillon granules. Another option is to add vegan Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and liquid smoke to the meatloaf mixture, which will create a beef-like flavor profile.

Add it to a casserole

Elevate your next homemade casserole with an instant French onion soup mix. The ingredients are versatile enough to complement a wide variety of casseroles, whether you're making a croissant breakfast casserole, potatoes au gratin, or savory bread pudding. Baked pasta dishes — such as lasagna, stuffed shells, and baked mac and cheese — are also fair game.

If you're unsure how to use French onion soup mix in casseroles, consider the ingredient as a seasoning. This will help you find opportunities to incorporate the powder, depending on the type of casserole you're making. For example, if your recipe has a sauce, try adding the soup mix to the liquid as it cooks. For casseroles with meat or meat substitutes, use a bit of soup mix to flavor the mixture, just like you would with salt and pepper. You can also toss French onion soup powder with breadcrumbs and melted butter to create a delicious casserole topping.

Season popcorn

As far as snack foods go, popcorn is so easy to customize. On its own, plain popcorn is quite bland, making it the perfect canvas for various flavoring ingredients. This includes French onion soup mix, which can be tossed with unflavored popcorn to create a delightful savory snack. To ensure the soup mix sticks to the popcorn, spray the cooked kernels with oil or butter first. You can also blitz the soup mix in a spice or coffee grinder until it resembles a fine powder; the smaller granules will coat the popcorn more thoroughly. If you don't have either appliance, a food processor or old-fashioned mortar and pestle works great, too.

When using French onion soup mix as a popcorn seasoning, don't hesitate to combine it with other ingredients for a tastier snack. For example, if you're craving a cheesy kick, add cheddar cheese powder or grated Parmesan cheese to the mix. Another option is nutritional yeast, which will add a tangy cheese flavor sans dairy.

Flavor tuna salad

There's a lot to love about canned tuna: It's inexpensive, shelf-stable, and packed with protein and healthy fats. The pantry staple is also easy to prepare, as proven by tuna salad, a classic lunch meal. There are many ways to make tuna salad, though most versions call for nothing more than canned tuna, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and a crunchy ingredient like relish or diced celery. But if you're looking to upgrade your typical tuna salad, a sprinkle of French onion soup mix might be just what you need.

Of course, you're not limited to salad made with canned tuna. Powdered French onion soup mix can also be used to season other types of salads, such as chicken salad, egg salad, or chickpea salad for a meat-free option. From there, enjoy the onion soup-flavored salad as a sandwich filling, in a wrap, or as a topping for crackers or chopped vegetables.

Upgrade cream cheese

If you're a fan of chive and onion cream cheese — a common flavored cream cheese found in stores — take this as a sign to make a French onion soup version. Start with a bar of softened cream cheese, then fold in a packet of instant French onion soup mix. A spatula works best for the job, as it will easily spread the cream cheese while evenly dispersing the seasonings. The result will be a tangy, creamy spread that will shine on bagels or in sandwiches.

As a dip, French onion soup cream cheese is the perfect partner for sliced vegetables, crackers, pretzels, or chips. You can also add chunks of the condiment to egg dishes, such as quiche or omelets, where it will add a tasty burst of creaminess. French onion soup cream cheese can also be used as a filling; think stuffed mushrooms, stuffed chicken breasts, or even savory French toast.

Spruce up meatballs

For a hearty and flavorful dinner that's sure to please, make a batch of French onion meatballs with a packet of powdered French onion soup. The beef bouillon powder in the mix will amplify the flavor of beef meatballs, though you're welcome to use it with other types of ground meat, too. Chicken, turkey, and lamb are all fair game; you'll generally need 1 packet of soup mix for every 2 pounds of ground meat. Alternatively, for a meat-free version, use a French onion soup mix without beef bouillon granules and add it to vegetarian meatballs made of tempeh, mushrooms, or chickpeas.

When your French onion meatballs are ready, enjoy them with rice, quinoa, or pasta. They also work well as a filling for wraps or pita bread, especially when paired with creamy spreads like tzatziki or whipped feta. If you're hosting a party or attending a potluck, consider serving the meatballs as appetizers by sticking a toothpick into each one.

Make a gravy

Traditionally, gravy is made with pan drippings or the juices that naturally drip off meats as they cook. But thanks to instant French onion soup mix, you can easily make a flavorful gravy at home — no meat needed. The trick is to use two techniques: Use less water than a batch of soup and add a cornstarch slurry. If you're unfamiliar with cornstarch slurry, it's a simple mix of cornstarch and water. When added to hot liquids, it will have a thickening effect, resulting in a gravy consistency. If you don't have cornstarch on hand, simply replace it with all-purpose flour to make the slurry.

Though this type of gravy isn't made with meat drippings, the beef bouillon granules will add that quintessential meaty flavor. It can also be enjoyed like your typical gravy, whether you're serving it on mashed potatoes, steak, biscuits, or French fries for a delicious spin on poutine.

Upgrade garlic bread

Buttery and crispy, garlic bread is perfect on its own. But if you're in the mood to give the classic side dish a unique spin, look no further than instant French onion soup powder. When making garlic bread from scratch, add a bit of soup mix to the melted butter, along with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and freshly minced garlic. Note that your soup mix might already contain parsley and garlic, so consider adjusting these ingredients according to your taste buds.

If you prefer to buy frozen garlic bread or order garlic bread from a restaurant, you can still use French onion soup powder to elevate the dish. Simply sprinkle it on top for an instant punch of flavor. Whether you choose the homemade or store-bought route, French onion soup-flavored garlic bread will be a delicious partner for myriad dishes, including pasta, pizza, and salad.

Flavor mozzarella sticks

Thanks to their gooey cheesy center and crispy fried exterior, mozzarella sticks are one of the most popular appetizers in the country. They're also surprisingly easy to make at home, as all you need to do is slice a block of mozzarella cheese, dip it in breading, and fry until golden brown. A typical recipe might have you season the breading with just salt and pepper, but why stop there? Consider adding a sprinkle of French onion soup mix to make the appetizer even more delicious.

When seasoning mozzarella sticks with soup mix, there are two opportunities to incorporate this ingredient. You can process it into a fine powder with a spice or coffee grinder, then stir it into the flour used to initially coat the mozzarella. Alternatively, the soup mix can be added to the breadcrumbs. To avoid over-seasoning the snack, be sure to use plain breadcrumbs or panko rather than the pre-seasoned version.

Add it to homemade bread

If you're an avid baker, try using French onion soup mix to flavor homemade bread. You can add a packet directly to the flour, then prepare the bread as usual. Another option is to add the soup mix to warm liquid, either water or milk, which you'll then use to activate the yeast. However, people who have tried this technique suggest using two 1-ounce packets of soup mix per loaf of bread, as one packet won't add much flavor.

Quick breads, which don't require yeast, can also be seasoned with powdered French onion soup mix. Think cornbread, drop biscuits, scones, and savory loaves like zucchini bread. Simply add 1 or 2 tablespoons to the batter, just like you would other seasonings. You can also take a tip from homemade garlic bread recipes and combine the soup powder with melted butter, then brush it on top of the quick bread just before serving.