Italian Onion Soup with Fontina and Grana Padano

Italian Onion Soup with Fontina and Grana Padano

Looking for a comforting and hearty soup to warm you up?

Dive into my kitchen as I share my take on Milanese Onion Soup. With tender caramelized onions, gooey melted cheese, and crusty French bread, this soup is a delicious twist on a classic favorite. Let’s get cooking!

Italian Onion Soup with Fontina and Grana Padano

Recipe by Luca at Italian Cooking and LivingCourse: SoupsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time







Milanese Onion Soup is a flavorful dish featuring caramelized onions, beef stock, and melted Fontina cheese on toasted French bread.
Topped with grated Grana Padano, it's baked to perfection in a pot, delivering a comforting and satisfying meal.


  • 6 large onions, sliced

  • 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 quarts (1,4 l) of beef stock

  • 1 1/2 French bread loaves, sliced

  • 5 ounces (140 g) of fontina cheese

  • 4 tablespoons of grated grana padano cheese


  • Melt 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large casserole.
  • Add roughly sliced onions, cover, and cook over low heat for about 1 hour. Gradually add 1 cup of beef stock at a time while cooking.
  • Strain the onion mixture and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place slices of French bread on a baking sheet.
  • Top each bread slice with fontina cheese and bake until cheese melted and bread is browned.
  • Remove from the oven and place the cheesy bread slices in a large ovenproof pot.
  • Layer the cheesy bread with cooked onions, alternating until all ingredients are used.
  • Sprinkle with grated grana padano cheese.
  • Bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  • Serve hot from the pot.
  • If you want to divide the soup into portions before serving, cut the bread into cubes and arrange it together with the onion in 6 ovenproof ramekins, sprinkle with grana padano cheese and bake in the oven.


  • Caramelizing onions takes time: Allow at least an hour for the onions to cook slowly and develop their rich flavor.
  • Watch the cheese closely: When melting Fontina on the bread, keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
  • Layering is key: Assembling the soup in layers of bread, cheese, and onions ensures even distribution of flavors.
  • Serve hot: Enjoy the Italian Onion Soup straight from the pot for the best experience.


What type of onions are best for this recipe?

Sweet onions like Vidalia or yellow onions work well for caramelizing in this soup, as they develop a rich, sweet flavor when cooked slowly.

Can I use a different type of cheese instead of fontina?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with your favorite cheeses like Gruyere or mozzarella.

Can I make this soup ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the soup ahead of time and reheat it when ready to serve. However, add the cheesy bread topping just before serving for the best results to maintain its crispiness.

How can I make this soup vegetarian?

Substitute vegetable broth for the beef stock for a delicious vegetarian version.

Can I use store-bought beef stock?

Yes, you can use store-bought beef stock, but homemade stock will provide richer flavor.

Can I substitute Grana Padano cheese with another type?

Yes, you can substitute Grana Padano with a Parmigiano Reggiano for a similar flavor and texture.


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