Canning French Onion Soup: Homemade Goodness, Jar by Jar

The versatility and sheer goodness of French onion soup is hard to beat. It can be enjoyed as a hearty broth or used as a rich, caramelized base for casseroles, pasta dishes, or even onion rice. Canning your own homemade French onion soup will mean you always have a supply of this valuable ingredient at your fingertips.

French onion soup must be canned using a pressure canner. The recipe consists of caramelized onions, beef broth, and seasonings. Once it is prepared, add it to canning jars, leaving a one-inch headspace. Then pressure can the jars to seal them. Canned French onion soup can last for up to two years.

If you love the aroma, taste, and decadent goodness of French onion soup, but don’t know where to start, read on. All you need are basic ingredients and knowledge about safely preserving this wholesome broth for future use.

How To Can French Onion Soup

Before you get to the canning part of the process, you must begin with a great French onion soup recipe. There are plenty of variations, but if you are preparing the soup in bulk for canning, it is best to stick with a standard versatile recipe that you can adapt to when you are ready to use it.

To can French onion soup, you will need a pressure canner. Since the recipe contains low-acid ingredients like vegetables and meaty broth, water bath canning will not get hot enough to preserve the contents for storage at room temperature safely.  

If you don’t have a pressure canner to preserve your French onion soup, the next best way to preserve it is to divide it and freeze it in conveniently-sized portions. There is no substitute for a pressure canner to preserve this type of soup in jars.

To can French onion soup, you will need the following supplies:

  • Pressure canner
  • Canning jars with metal bands and new lids
  • Canning funnel
  • Ladle
  • Jar lifter
  • Paper towel to wipe the jar rims before putting on the lids.

Add freshly prepared French onion soup to the mason jars using the canning funnel. Since French onion soup consists of solids plus broth, it is a good idea to divide the caramelized onion component equally between the jars and then top them up with broth. That will result in all the jars containing similar amounts of liquid and solid soup.

Leave a headspace of 1 inch in each jar. Check for air bubbles, but since the mixture is primarily liquid, they are uncommon when canning French onion soup. Then wipe the rim with a damp paper towel, and add a new lid and metal screw band. The jars are then ready for the next step, which is the pressure canning process.

How To Pressure Can French Onion Soup

It is essential to follow the directions that came with the model of pressure canner that you are using. The most common method to begin is to fill the pressure canner with 2 to 3 inches of water. Heat the water with the lid off.

Once the water has reached a simmer, carefully add the jars, lock the lid, and turn up the heat to bring the water to a boil. Allow the steam to vent for around 10 minutes, and then close the vent.

Allow pint jars to process at 10 lbs of pressure for 60 minutes and quart jars for 75 minutes. Remember to adjust the pressure according to your altitude. When the end time is reached, turn off the heat and let the pressure canner return to normal pressure naturally.

Once the pressure has equalized, the lid lock will disengage. You can then open the pressure canner and wait another 10 minutes before carefully removing the jars of French onion soup using the jar lifter.

Allow them to cool completely before checking that the jars are sealed and moving or storing them in the pantry. Remove the bands and label the jars with the date to make food rotation easier.

Homemade canned French onion soup can last up to 3 years or more, but for the best taste, it is advisable to use it within two years.   

What Is In Canned French Onion Soup?

If you have your pressure canner, you may be wondering what you need to create the distinctive glorious caramel color, velvety soup. In addition to yellow onions, the soup contains beef broth, butter, and seasonings that amp up the delicious, sweet onion flavor.

There are plenty of variations on French onion soup, but for canning purposes, a simple recipe is less limiting when using the soup as an ingredient in other recipes. Stick with the basics and focus on getting a delicious, caramelized onion texture so the soup can be enjoyed on its own or add depth to other recipes.

Easy French Onion Soup Recipe

There are many French onion soup recipes available in cookbooks and online. One of the most reliable for canning only contains a few basic ingredients.

French Onion Soup Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of sliced onion. Slice onions according to your preference. Some people enjoy the long onion rings, while others prefer to dice the onions so they fit neatly in a spoon.
  • 1 teaspoon of butter to sauté the onions.
  • 1½ cups of water
  • ½ cup of red wine
  • 8 cups of beef broth. Make your own by simmering meaty bones, or use beef stock.
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper


Use a large stock pot and sauté the onions in the butter. It is essential to cook them until they are golden brown. They should retain their texture and become sweet and almost sticky in appearance.

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and let the French onion soup simmer for 20 minutes.

There is no need to cook it longer as the soup will continue cooking during the pressure canning process. Before decanting the soup into canning jars, bring it to a boil for a final time so it is hot when it is ladled into the canning jars.

Classic french onion soup on a white wood table with some red wine and a silver spoon on the side

Is It Worth Canning French Onion Soup?

Most home canners immediately think of lining the shelves of their pantries with preserved seasonal fruits and vegetables. While those are important, French onion soup is a versatile ingredient to keep on hand, as it can instantly make any meal feel like it was slow-cooked.

Commercially available French onion soup often contains high amounts of salt. Making and canning your own French onion soup makes it possible to create healthy versions of the flavorful broth that you can have on hand to use confidently.

Most homesteaders know the feeling of coming across a basket of onions in storage and realizing that some have started to sprout. Creating a few bulk batches of French onion soup is the perfect way to utilize onions that may have reached their best-by date.


French onion soup is a versatile addition to any pantry shelf. It does not require many ingredients and is easy to prepare. A pressure canner is needed to can French onion soup, and the processing time is usually between 60 and 75 minutes. The delicious taste of French onion soup can be enjoyed on its own or to add depth to an assortment of other recipes. Bon appetite!

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