Cheesy Pull Apart Bread with French Onion Flavors

Looking for a tasty appetizer to feed a crowd? This Cheesy Pull Apart Bread with French Onion flavors is the way to go. A twist on classic pull apart cheese bread, we add wine-soaked caramelized onions for extra flavor! This bread tastes like classic French Onion Soup, but is an easy appetizer! Makes 6 servings.

hand pulling apart french onion pull apart bread

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m already thinking about what to make for the Big Game.

And since Winston and I adore hosting folks at our home, I know we want to do something for this upcoming event.

What better way than to start plotting out our party menu now?

Why I love this recipe:

Instead of making your run-of-the-mill fondue or another finger food for our guests, I wanted to try my hand at pull apart cheese bread.

All the iterations of the bread I’ve seen look incredible, so I got to brainstorming… then grabbed bread, cheese, onions and cabernet sauvignon.

Honestly, I wondered if I could make a pull-apart bread recipe that tasted like my all-time favorite wintertime soups.

Turns out, you can totally make pull apart bread that tastes like French Onion Soup. I’ve been so happy with this recipe that I’ve been tempted to make it multiple times.

To confirm its goodness, as well as to force feed it to our unsuspecting friends and family members.

More easy appetizers for gameday: Garlic Herb Cream Cheese Dip | Cucumber Bruschetta (Easy Cucumber Appetizer) | Pretzel Cheese Dip | Homemade Loaded Queso | Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Need more starter inspiration? Head over to my Appetizer recipe index for more ideas.

Cheesy French Onion Bread on plate in front of bottle of wine

What you need to make this recipe:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you need:

  • Sourdough boule—or another round of your favorite crusty bread.
  • Unsalted butter—for the onions to cook in. This gives the onions awesome buttery flavor. Do not substitute it.
  • Onions—either yellow or white are perfect here. You’ll want them thinly sliced.
  • Kosher salt—or another medium grain salt, like sea salt.
  • Cabernet sauvignon—or another red wine. If you do not drink alcohol, you can use beef stock or vegetable stock in place of the wine.
  • Shredded cheese—we’re using a combination of gruyere cheese and mozzarella cheese for the ultimate gooeyness!
  • Milk—you can use whatever type of milk you have at your house. We used whole milk.
  • Dried thyme—or use fresh and double the measurement!
  • Black pepper—for just a little bit of spice!
Side by side picture of Cheesy French Onion bread and a bottle of wine

How to make Cheese Pull Apart Bread with French Onion flavors

Caramelize the onions

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

Add the thinly sliced onions to the pan, seasoning with the salt. This will help them cook down more quickly.

Stir the onions occasionally until they have begun to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.

When the onions are a deep brown, pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan. (If you don’t want to use wine, use the same amount of beef stock.)

Cook until there is no liquid left in the pan, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Slice the bread

The most labor-intensive part of this recipe is cutting the bread into 1″ squares without slicing all the way through.

It’s not too terribly challenging.

Use a serrated knife to cut slices into the bread on the diagonal, making them 1″ each without cutting through the bottom of the bread.

Then turn the bread 90 degrees, and slice it going the opposite direction to make little 1″ squares or diamonds.

Make the cheese sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place two pieces of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, shaping them into a plus sign. (These will wrap around the bread as it bakes.)

Add the shredded cheeses and milk to the same pan that the onions were cooked in. Turn on medium heat.

Stir constantly, melting the cheese. Season with the thyme and black pepper.

Once the cheese sauce has finished cooking, pry open the bread pieces using your fingers or two butter knives and drizzle the cheese in.

Top with the onions.

Work slowly until every nook and cranny of the bread has been filled with cheese and onion.

Wrap the bread in the prepared foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes until gooey and delicious.

Enjoy immediately!

Overhead view of French Onion Bread in dish paired with glasses of red wine

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you heat up pull apart bread?

Yes. We heat this in the oven for 20 or so minutes so that the cheese gets more gooey. The bread will also crisp up.

What do you eat with cheese bread?

This bread is the perfect kind of appetizer, so you can serve anything alongside it! It would be excellent served before Pan Fried Hamburgers at an at-home tailgate.

Which two cheeses melt the best?

Mozzarella is wonderful for melting. Our second cheese here is gruyere, which also melts beautifully.

Quick tips and tricks to the best Pull Apart Bread

  • Add in some different flavors. Consider adding garlic powder to make this a Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread. You could also add some parmesan cheese, too!
  • Cook the onions down early. They keep in the fridge, so do this piece when it’s convenient for you!
  • How to store: Wrap the cooled leftovers in plastic wrap or foil and pop in the fridge. Reheat in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until crispy, gooey and warmed through.

Here’s my recipe:

Cheesy French Onion Bread on plate in front of bottle of wine
Yield: 6 servings

Cheesy French Onion Pull-Apart Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Looking for a tasty appetizer to feed a crowd? This Cheesy Pull Apart Bread with French Onion flavors is the way to go. A twist on classic pull apart cheese bread, we add wine-soaked caramelized onions for extra flavor! This bread tastes like classic French Onion Soup, but is an easy appetizer!

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sourdough

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup cabernet sauvignon

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Caramelize the onions

  1. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the thinly sliced onions, seasoning with the salt. This will help them cook down more quickly.
  3. Stir the onions occasionally until they have begun to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. When the onions are a deep brown, add the red wine to deglaze the pan. (If you don't want to use wine, use the same amount of beef stock.)
  5. Cook until all the wine has evaporated out of the onions, then remove from the heat to let cool.

Prepare the bread

  1. While the onions cook down, slice the sourdough into 1″ squares. Keep in mind that we do not want to cut all the way through the bread.
  2. Use a serrated knife to slice 1" slices on the diagonal into the bread, careful not to cut all the way through the bottom.
  3. Spin the bread 90 degrees, and cut slices going this direction, forming the squares or diamonds.

Make the cheese sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place two pieces of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, shaping them into a plus sign. (These will wrap around the bread as it bakes.)
  2. In the same pan that the onions were cooked in, add the shredded cheeses and milk.
  3. Stir constantly, allowing the cheese a chance to melt.
  4. Season with the thyme and black pepper. Remove from the heat.
  5. Once the cheese sauce has finished cooking, pry open the bread pieces using your fingers or two butter knives and drizzle the cheese in. Top with the onions.
  6. Complete this process until every nook and cranny of the bread has been filled with cheese and onion.
  7. Wrap the bread in the prepared foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Enjoy immediately!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1009mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 28g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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14 Comments

  1. This sounds incredible – my favorite soup and cheesy bread sounds like perfection! I’m totally going to try this for the big game! #client

  2. This looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing it at The Pretty Pintastic Party! We enjoyed it so much we are featuring it at this weekend’s party. Stop by, grab a featured badge, and link up some more awesome posts!

  3. Hey Erin,
    You are spot on. This would be fabulous for the super-bowl party. Actually, just about any party, in my case the T20. Such a beautiful and delicious idea. Have a great weekend.
    Cheers!

  4. This looks so yummy, I’m featuring it over at the Pretty Pintastic Party this week! I hope you’ll come back to link up again!

  5. Oh My Gosh!!! This looks INCREDIBLE!!! I could eat the whole thing myself…. I can’t wait to try this out!

  6. I ate way too much football party food tonight, it’s 2am, and yet all I can think about is how much I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. Not like, next weekend for the game. Not at a reasonable hour. Right. Now. Erin, this looks amazing!

  7. I love that this is such a sophisticated, classy twist on cheesy bread. No fraternity ragers need apply – this is for adults only! It’s basically like my favorite fondue, except no dipping required.

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