Everything you love about French onion soup is in these Crave-Worthy French Onion Stuffed Shells. But now it's in a brand new (yet still incredibly delicious, and cheesy) unexpected form.
Since my recipe for French Onion Pork Chops is still one of the most popular posts on my blog, I keep trying to reinvent different ways to bring the rich, slightly sweet and savory flavors of deeply caramelized onions smothered in melted cheese to the dinner table in unusual ways. Enter, Crave-Worthy French Onion Stuffed Shells.
Imagine if you will, deeply caramelized onions (cooked in a slow cooker) with red wine, butter, beef broth and thyme until they're sweet and pungent. The onions are stuffed into large, perfectly cooked pasta shells until they're practically overflowing.
The stuffed shells are then layered on top of toasted, garlicky French bread, topped with an abundant mixture of grated Swiss, and Gruyere cheeses, and popped into the oven, so the cheese melts into a blanket of golden, gooey, goodness.
Be still my French onion loving heart!
As I mentioned earlier, I'm all about the brilliance of French onion deliciousness and have posted many different versions of the caramelized onion and cheese-themed based preparations in the past. Not the least of which are the following recipes for:
French Onion Pork Chops (that I spoke of earlier):
And, because everyone loves chicken, Cheesy French Onion Chicken:
As with all of these recipes I've shared the items that remain constant in my creations for French onion fare are the same ones that make French onion soup so iconic and beloved. The base of a substantial, crusty bread, the abundance of intensely flavorful, and perfectly caramelized onions, and of course, the best part of all (in my book) the topping of creamy, melted cheeses.
As you can see, Crave-Worthy French Onion Stuffed Shells ticks all those boxes, and adds pasta to boot! Yeah, baby!
Along with the printer friendly version of this recipe for Crave-Worthy French Onion Stuffed Shells (which follows shortly), I'm happy to also share with you my step-by-step photo tutorial in case you're a visual learner like I am.
Ready to get cooking? Good! Let's begin!
Crave-Worthy French Onion Stuffed Shells:
Add butter and olive oil to a 7-quart slow cooker. Slice 5 large sweet onions and add them to the cooker along with salt and pepper.
To the onions, add beef broth, red wine, and fresh thyme sprigs.
Cover and cook on high for 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Allow the onions to cool and then place them in containers and refrigerate until ready to stuff the shells.
Add French bread into the bottom of a large casserole dish. Drizzle the bread with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, and fresh thyme leaves. Meanwhile, cook large pasta shells according to package directions.
Drain the pasta shells and use a large spoon to generously fill the shells with the cooled, caramelized onions. Place the filled shells in a single layer on top of the prepared French bread.
Grate Swiss and Gruyere cheeses and liberally cover the stuffed shells with the grated cheese. Top with additional fresh thyme leaves. Bake uncovered in a preheated 425-degree oven until the cheese is melted and golden and the shells are heated through approximately 30-35 minutes.
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Printable Recipe Card
Crave-Worthy French Onion Stuffed Shells
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 large sweet onions sliced
- ½ cup beef broth
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 5-6 fresh thyme sprigs plus 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves
- 8 slices French bread
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 box large pasta shells cooked according to package directions. Drained.
- 5 ounces Gruyere cheese shredded
- 8 ounces Swiss cheese shredded
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Add the butter, olive oil, sliced onions, beef broth, red wine, salt and pepper into the slow cooker. Top with the fresh thyme sprigs. Stir well.
- Cover the cooker and set to high. Cook for 8 hours on high, stirring occasionally.
- Cool the onions. Remove the thyme sprigs.
- *Note - The onions can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the casserole.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking dish with sliced French bread.
- Drizzle the bread with olive oil and evenly sprinkle with garlic powder and half of the fresh thyme leaves.
- Use a large spoon to liberally fill the cooked and cooled pasta shells with the cooled carmealized onions.
- Place the stuffed shells on top of the prepared French bread slices.
- Evenly spread the grated cheeses over the stuffed shells and sprinkle with the remaining fresh thyme leaves.
- Bake uncovered in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden and the shells are heated through.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
chefs knife and cutting board
Dinner's ready. Let's eat!
Along with my food blog, I also run a small hand painted fabric and glassware business. Below is an example of my hand painted aprons. This is one of my favorite designs because I've always been a huge fan of Julia Child. Maybe you are too?
I hope you've enjoyed this recipe for French Onion Stuffed Shells as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you.
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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!
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