Vegan French Onion Soup

Warm up this season with our Vegan French Onion Soup—a comforting plant-based version of the classic, perfect for chilly days. Join us on a flavorful journey that'll cozy up your evenings in the most delicious way possible!
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Vegan French Onion Soup in a bowl.
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Our vegan french onion soup is an enticing fusion of caramelized red onions, savory broth, and optional melted vegan cheese. This recipe redefines classic comfort with its simplicity and warmth, making it a must-try for both seasoned vegans and those exploring plant-based cooking. Prepare to wow your taste buds and cozy up to a bowl of sheer deliciousness!

The slow-browned red onions, infused with balsamic vinegar and aromatic herbs, create a depth of flavor that’s both comforting and sophisticated. The broth, seasoned to perfection, forms the soul-warming base, while the optional layer of melted vegan cheese adds that quintessential French Onion flair.

We love making plant-based dishes that everyone can savor and enjoy and this french onion soup is no exception. If you need more amazing vegan soup recipes, check out our Creamy Tomato Soup, Vegan Potato Leek Soup, Vegan Asparagus and Mushroom Soup, and Vegan Potato Soup!

Prepare to be amazed by the extraordinary taste packed into every spoonful!

A bowl of Vegan French Onion Soup.

Why You Should Make This Vegan French Onion Soup

This Vegan French Onion Soup is a masterpiece of simplicity and flavor. Crafted with care, this recipe offers more than just a tasty meal; it’s a versatile addition to your weekly routine! Here’s why you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to create this delectable dish:

  • Dairy-Free: Enjoy the richness of classic French Onion Soup without a hint of dairy. Our vegan rendition ensures a luscious, creamy experience, perfect for those seeking a dairy-free alternative.
  • Nut-Free and Soy-Free: Catering to various dietary preferences, this recipe is both nut-free and soy-free, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals with different allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • Easy-to-Make: Impress your taste buds without the hassle. This recipe combines simplicity with sophistication, proving that gourmet plant-based meals can be both accessible and easy to prepare.
  • Budget-Friendly: This soup, in particular, is so easy and affordable to make. Onions are one of the cheapest vegetables and probably one of the most long-lasting ones too! You can score a big bunch of onions for just a few dollars and they will last for weeks if you store them in a dark and dry cupboard. Onions for the win!
  • Cozy Day Comfort: Picture a cozy day inside, rain tapping on the windows, or snow falling gently outside. Our Vegan French Onion Soup is the ideal companion for such moments, wrapping you in warmth and culinary bliss.
Vegan French Onion Soup on a tabletop.

Essential Ingredients

All you need are 7 simple ingredients to create this cozy meal!

  • Red Onions: Thinly sliced and playing the starring role, red onions bring a robust, slightly sweet flavor to the soup. As they caramelize in olive oil, they add complexity and depth, setting the stage for the soup’s signature taste. Feel free to swap with yellow or white onions as needed.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Introducing a delicate balance of acidity and sweetness, balsamic vinegar complements the natural sugars in the onions. Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar also add tons of flavor and depth. For a different complexity and acidity, try dry white wine.
  • Bay Leaf: Contributing a fragrant and earthy note, the bay leaf infuses the broth with a distinct aroma. Its role is to add a layer of complexity to the flavor profile, elevating the overall sensory experience of the soup.
  • Dried Oregano: Bringing herbaceous and savory undertones, dried oregano enriches the overall seasoning of the soup.
  • Vegetable Broth: Serving as the hearty foundation of the soup, vegetable broth brings a savory depth to the dish. Opt for low-sodium options as needed or use an equivalent amount of vegetable bouillon with water.
  • Toasted Rustic Bread Slices or Vegan Croutons: Adds a lovely crunchy element to each bite! Go for croutons for convenience or make a delicious rustic bread like this spelt bread or rosemary beer bread.
  • Vegan Cheese: Optional but indulgent, melted vegan cheese adds a creamy and savory layer to the soup.
  • Sprigs of Thyme (or other Fresh Herbs): Used as a final garnish, sprigs of thyme or other fresh herbs add a touch of brightness and freshness.

How To Make This Recipe

Whipping up our Vegan French Onion Soup is a breeze! Simple steps and familiar ingredients make you the master of this delightful, cozy creation in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Sliced red onions in a pot.

Step 1: Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add sliced onions and brown for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes.

Vegan French Onion Soup being prepared in a pot.

Step 2: Stir in balsamic vinegar, bay leaf, and dried oregano. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Vegan French Onion Soup being seasoned.

Step 3: Add vegetable broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Vegan French Onion Soup in a bowl topped with vegan cheese and sprigs of thyme.

Step 4: Ladle into oven-proof bowls, add croutons or toasted rustic bread and sprinkle with vegan cheese.

Easy Broiling Tips for Perfect Vegan Onion Soup

Broiling is the finishing touch that turns our Vegan French Onion Soup into a melty masterpiece. To broil, set your oven to the broil setting and place those cheesy bowls on the top rack. It’s like giving your soup a quick tanning session—the high heat makes the vegan cheese bubble and turn golden brown.

This not only makes your soup look inviting but also adds a delightful crunch to the bread. Keep an eye on it to avoid any burnt surprises—we’re aiming for golden perfection! Broiling is the secret sauce that transforms a tasty soup into a visually appealing and utterly scrumptious dream.

Once broiled, garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve hot.

Expert Tips

  • Achieve the perfect caramelization by allowing the onions to brown slowly, stirring every 2-3 minutes. This patient approach enhances the natural sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Experiment with different vegan cheese varieties for a unique twist. From melty mozzarella to tangy cheddar, the choice of cheese can elevate the taste and texture of your soup. Check out our vegan cheese guide and our vegan cheese slices guide for some great options!

How To Serve

  • For an elegant presentation, use oven-proof bowls to broil the soup with the cheese-topped bread. This ensures a delightful blend of textures and flavors in every spoonful.
  • Customize each serving by adjusting the amount of vegan cheese. Whether you prefer a lightly covered layer or a decadent cheese blanket, tailor it to your taste. Or feel free to change up the toppings if vegan cheese isn’t your thing! From the classic croutons to some more fancy ones like hemp seeds. But we can’t forget the best topping of all, nutritional yeast! It just makes everything better!
  • Bulk up the veggies. Another amazing way to make this soup even more healthy and nutritious is by adding any veggie you like or have on hand. Some chopped carrots or celery would be great!

How To Store

  • Refrigerate leftover soup in airtight containers for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop to maintain the soup’s rich flavor and consistency.
  • If freezing, do so without the bread and cheese. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and add fresh bread and cheese when reheating for optimal taste and texture.

Vegan French Onion Soup FAQs

Can I use any type of onions for vegan French onion soup?

While red onions are traditionally used for their mild sweetness, you can experiment with yellow or white onions based on your preference. Keep in mind that different onions may affect the soup’s flavor profile.

How do I achieve the best caramelization of onions?

Patience is key. Allow the onions to brown slowly over medium heat, stirring every 2-3 minutes. This gradual process enhances the natural sugars, resulting in a deeper flavor.

Can I make this soup in advance for a dinner party?

Certainly! Prepare the soup ahead of time without the bread and cheese. Store in the refrigerator and add fresh toppings before reheating for a perfect party dish.

Can I use vegetable bouillon in this recipe?

In any soup recipe that calls for vegetable broth—this one included—you can always use vegetable bouillon and the equivalent amount of water instead. We’re big fans of bouillon because it is often shelf-stable, and it’s packaged without water so it’s a much more eco-friendly alternative to packaged broths (which are usually in tetra packs that aren’t recyclable). There are tons of varieties of vegan bouillon out there that comes in foil-wrapped cubes and little glass containers. Better Than Bouillon is one of our favorite brands!

A spoonful of Vegan French Onion Soup.

Vegan French Onion Soup

Author: World of Vegan
5 from 6 votes
Warm up this season with some delicious vegan french onion soup. This soup is scrumptious as is, but if you have a slice of vegan cheese on hand feel free to melt it on top of the soup for that classic French Onion flair. Just pop it on top of an oven-friendly bowl of the soup and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts. Yum!
Vegan French Onion Soup in a bowl.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 medium-sized red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, or equivalent amount of vegan bouillon and water
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • toasted rustic bread slices or vegan croutons, to taste
  • vegan cheese, to taste, optional
  • sprigs of thyme (or other fresh herbs), to garnish, optional


  • In a large soup pot over medium heat, add in olive oil, allow to heat, and then add the sliced onions. Allow onions to brown for about 15 to 20 mins, stirring occasionally (every 2-3 minutes).
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and bay leaf and dried oregano. Keep stirring and cook for another 5 mins.
  • Add the vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it boil for 5 mins.
  • Ladle into oven-proof serving bowls, add a handful of croutons or a slice of toasted rustic bread to each bowl, and sprinkle with vegan cheese (allowing the cheese to cover most of the bread and some of the soup, so the soup can still peek through).
  • Broil in the oven (with a cookie sheet below them to catch anything that drips) until the cheese is melted. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and and serve hot.


Want to add melted cheese on top, like classic french onion soup? Serve in an oven-proof bowl, top with your favorite vegan cheese slices, and broil for a minute or two just until cheese melts.  


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 1382mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 651IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine French
Keyword french onion soup recipe, vegan french onion soup
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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious Soup! French onion is one of my faves.

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely love french onion soup, and I haven’t had it in years. This recipe was delicious. I had it without the vegan cheese, but it’s so good with nice tear of sourdough bread for dipping!

  3. 5 stars
    I was never a huge fan of this soup until now. There’s something lovely about how simple and satisfying this soup is to eat and to make. The combination of fresh ingredients, herbs and spices makes this classic dish really pleasant and enjoyable. If I was going to add vegan cheese to it, I would probably add a slice from Violife’s cheddar or provolone! Or even Field Roast’s Chao cheese (yummm). An awesome soup to make for chilly nights or when I’m craving a savory lunch!

  4. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    I can vouch for this super cozy recipe! Delicious! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I made this and it’s SO delish! I even fed some to my very-not-vegan brother in law and he loved it! It stores great in the fridge for reheated lunches. Yum!

  6. joan cehn says:

    5 stars
    This soup is so delicious and healthy…who needs cheese? Yum

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