French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs for #SundaySupper with @GalloFamily


It’s a #SundaySupper Father’s Day Feast honoring the main man of the family, paired wines from one of our favorite families – Gallo Family Vineyards. Take the best part of French Onion soup – the rich caramelized onions and ooey, gooey cheese – and turn it into a true “man meal” by making French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs.

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs - caramelized onions and gooey cheese stuffed into meatballs for a true "man meal" | | #beef #glutenfree

My parents got divorced when I was only about five years old. Strangely, most of my food memories are of the snacks and treats that I only had when I was with dad. There are the memories of polishing off an entire bag of Cheese Doodles, splitting a sleeve of Chips Ahoy cookies with a single glass of milk for dunking, sneaking popcorn and soda from home into the movie theater, stirring cook & serve pudding over the stove to make (and devour) pudding pie, and picking up a giant bagel loaded with an obscene amount of cream cheese and a carton of chocolate milk for breakfast on the ride to school Monday morning before I headed back home to with my (slightly) healthier mom. I think many little kids of divorced parents get spoiled a bit when they go visit the parent they don’t live with.

But I know my dad fed me meals, too. Though the funny thing is that only two stand out in my mind (well except for that one time he tricked me into eating an elk burger – but I wasn’t going to recreate that). One is hot dogs, “Campfire” Potatoes, corn on the cob, and S’Mores when we spent summer evenings around the fire pit in his backyard. The other was our cold weather favorite –  grilled cheese and French Onion Soup au Gratin. Because, you know, can you really have too much bread and cheese in one meal? I think not.

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs - caramelized onions and gooey cheese stuffed into meatballs for a true "man meal" | | #beef #glutenfree

French Onion Soup (albeit from a can), gently simmered until hot, then poured into crocks, topped with toast and plenty of mozzarella cheese (not traditional, but that’s how Dad made it), and put under the broiler until it bubbled and browned. I eagerly awaited those crocks being removed from the oven and placed on the table so that I could pierce my spoon through the gooey layers. I would scoop up a perfect bite with some of each component, drawing it towards my open mouth, thin strands of cheese slowly stretching their way from the bowl until I pursed my lips around the spoon and broke them off, sighing with delight as the aromas and flavors enveloped me in warmth and comfort and love.


French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs - caramelized onions and gooey cheese stuffed into meatballs for a true "man meal" | | #beef #glutenfree

Since the weather is getting warmer, I am married to Mr. I (Pretend to) Hate Soup, and Dad lives in North Carolina so wasn’t around to enjoy it with me, I didn’t want to just make French Onion Soup. I wanted to reinvent it into a manly man meal. What’s more “manly man” than meatballs? So I caramelized some onions with Gallo Family Pinot Noir, and stuffed them with a cube of mozzarella cheese inside the meatballs. After browning, they were covered in a rich sauce (almost a gravy, but not quite so thick and heavy) of red wine and beef stock, and baked in the oven until they were cooked though and the cheese became a pocket of melty deliciousness. And of course I couldn’t leave off the au Gratin, so the entire pan was covered in more mozzarella and placed under the broiler to get that perfectly browned cap of toasty cheese.

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs - caramelized onions and gooey cheese stuffed into meatballs for a true "man meal" | | #beef #glutenfree

Three of the most important guys in my life – The Hubby, The Bug and Baby Smiles – went crazy for these meatballs. I might have had one more than I really should have, too. I only wish I could have shared them with my dad. But I’ll be sure to send him this recipe if he wants to make them, and I know what will be on the menu for his next visit.

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs - caramelized onions and gooey cheese stuffed into meatballs for a true "man meal" | | #beef #glutenfree

Gallo knows all about the importance of family and the meals that bring us together, and they want to help us honor Dad with special recipes just for him. Learn more about the wines of Gallo Family Vineyards, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, and check out the store locator to try some of their wines yourself.

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Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sunday Supper Movement

And check out all of today’s amazing recipes that honor all of the special Dads in our lives at the bottom of this post! Make sure you pair these with their Pinot Noir or Cafe Zinfandel for a truly special meal.

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs - caramelized onions and gooey cheese stuffed into meatballs for a true "man meal" | | #beef #glutenfreeDisclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.

What is your dad’s specialty?

4.8 from 4 reviews
French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs for #SundaySupper with @GalloFamily
Turn the best part of French Onion soup - the caramelized onions and gooey cheese - into a true "man meal" by stuffing it into meatballs.
Recipe type: Beef, Main
Serves: 4-6
  • For the onions:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ Tablespoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup red wine (I used Gallo Family Pinot Noir)
For the meatballs:
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs or ground oats (gluten free, if needed)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese (about 1-2 oz into sixteen approximately half-inch cubes, to stuff the meatballs, the remainder shredded)
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish, optional
For the sauce:
  • 1 ¾ cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup red wine (I used Gallo Family Pinot Noir)
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt & pepper, to taste
For the onions:
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium, add onions, salt & pepper, cook 15-20 minutes, stirring frequenlty or until caramelized.
  2. Add thyme, sauté for minute or two, then add the wine and beef broth.
  3. Reduce until very little liquid remains.
  4. Set aside.
For the meatballs:
  1. Combine all ingredients except the cheese in a large bowl, and gently combine with your hands.
  2. Divide the meat mixture into sixteen equal pieces.
  3. Take one piece of the meat mixture and flatten slightly into a patty. Place about a half tablespoon of the onions and one cube of cheese in the center of the patty and wrap the meatball around the onions and cheese, sealing as best you can. Repeat with the remaining meat, onions, and cheese cubes.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  5. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides.
  6. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. If you are not using an oven-safe skillet, transfer to a casserole dish before pouring over the sauce.
  7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the meatballs and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through, then place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
  8. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Here are some more meaty man meals for the special guys in our lives…

Individual Beef Phyllingtons 4 title wm Merlot-Onion-Burger-4-title.jpg Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes 4 title

And make sure you check out the rest of today’s recipes for Dad from the #SundaySupper family using or paired with the Gallo Family Vineyards Pinot Noir or Cafe Zinfandel wines:

Father’s Day Salads and Main Dishes:

Father’s Day Sweets and Treats:


French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatballs - caramelized onions and gooey cheese stuffed into meatballs for a true "man meal" | | #beef #glutenfree



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  1. says

    Just put the whole skillet down in front of me and let me eat my way though it. Then I’ll take a big loaf of bread and sop up every single drop of that sauce. Awesome.

  2. says

    Loving this dish! I mean…the cheese. There is something so wonderful about bubbly, golden brown, toasty cheese.

    I don’t know that my dad really has a “specialty” when it comes to cooking. He’s always been the grill master around the house…I guess that counts!

  3. cindyzs says

    your dishes and photos ALWAYS make me so hungry it’s not funny! i think i could eat the whole thing, lol :) tfs

  4. tina says

    could you replace the wine with anything else? son is a transplant recipient so no acohol thank you

    • Michael says

      Alcohol? You are aware that the alcohol cooks off? The wine is for the flavoring when cooking with it.

      • says

        Due to health reasons, the small amount that remains may be a concern for some people. I had a friend in college who had a heart transplant, and it can be a big deal with the medications and all. It will still be a fabulous dish, even without the wine.

  5. says

    Two thumbs up to your father’s version of French Onion Soup! And, oh my goodness, your meatballs with mozzarella tucked inside swimming in the Gallo wine infused sauce must be heavenly! Certainly your pictures give that impression. Thank you for sharing this marvelous recipe!

  6. Deborah says

    This sounds delish! I cannot wait to try it! I will be using Swiss cheese though instead of the mozzerella since that is the traditional cheese used in French Onion Soup. Thanks for the recipe : )

  7. Lynn says

    We had a french onion chicken breast dish at a friend’s house that was amazing but I never found a recipe. So glad to find this one! Can’t wait to make it for Father’s Day!

  8. says

    I love all your food memories with your dad, healthy or not they stay with you. Also what kid doesn’t have fond memories of eating onion soup? It’s the one that comes with the cheese! I love these meatballs. I could probably put down that tray.

  9. says

    OMG – These look incredible! Something hubby and I would love. I found you over at the Cast Party Wednesday link party. I host Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday and would love it if you linked up this recipe. I’m sure our party goers would love it as much as I do. Here is the link Have a wonderful day!!

  10. says

    I still remember the first time I tried French onion soup was at a French restaurant with my dad. These tasty meatballs would be a delicious dish to relive that fun memory. They look wonderful!!

  11. says



  12. Holly says

    Stumbled across this while browsing Pinterest and made it last night. After one bite, I knew I had to come here and tell you how wonderful it is!! Both the husband and I loved it so incredibly much. I served it with some balsamic roasted tomatoes and crutsy bread for dipping. Super huge hit!!

  13. says

    Brianne, this recipe is simply amazing! I look at hundreds of recipes daily, and this is definitely one of my favorites from this year! Keep up the great work!

  14. elaine laskowski says

    This was way to much trouble for the mediocre result. I thought it would be fantastic, I was so disappointed in this recipe.

  15. Nadine says

    Hi, this looks amazing. I am making it this evening. I have a question, for the onion recipe there are two different measurements for thyme. Can you explain this to me please. Maybe I missed something as no one else commented on this.
    Thanks so much,

  16. Nadine says

    I just finished my meal. ..oh my oh my! Incredible . I made a few changes and want to share with you . I couldn’t have a dinner like this without garlic so I added minced garlic to the meatballs and sliced garlic to the sauce. I don’t like the texture eggs give to meatballs so I soaked the crumbs in beef broth. I stuffed the meat with aged cheddar and topped them with Swiss cheese, parsley and chives from my garden. Oh, since I am not a huge fan of thyme, I used herb d’ Provence. This is a keeper….thank you so much for this favorite . I hope I haven’t offended you with all the changes!

  17. Cathy O says

    I prepared these last night, so all my husband has to do is bake them in the oven. I can’t wait to try them. I had a lot of onion left over, so I spread them on the bottom of the casserole dish. I will let you know how they taste!

  18. says

    Brianne – these meatballs knocked my SOCKS OFF!!! They were so delicious and perfect! I served them over rice and we loved, loved, loved them!! Thank you so much! I hope you won’t mind if I feature them on my blog (with my own pictures and link backs :)
    All the best, Heather

  19. Katie B. says

    I made these tonight and they were a hit! I served them over mashed potatoes and topped off with sautéed portobello mushrooms. Yum!

  20. Aly says

    Couple of ideas for you: I know you were supported by a wine company but I think better onion soup has either sherry or brandy in it. I make an easy onion soup with caramelized onions, 1 can chicken broth or homemade : (low sodium swanson’s) i can beef broth (swanson’s also) and 1 can beef consomme (campbells is fine) also use gruyere and or emmenthaler cheeses to top, the mini mozzarella pearls would be great for stuffing. Also a combination of ground pork and ground beef would be a moister meatball. I learned a little trick: beat the pork well with bread crumbs soaked in milk and the seasonings to a smooth past. then gently combine the beef. Pork does not toughen like the beef and will get better as it is beaten. The panade or milk bread mixture helps keep it moist. Try this and tell me what you think. Aly

    • says

      Thanks for the tips. Since I have a wheat allergy I don’t use bread in meatballs. I love the idea of the little mozzarella balls. I know mozzarella isn’t traditional, but it’s how my dad made it, and this recipe was a tribute to him.

  21. Carla says

    Have these in the oven right now… Upon another review of the recipe, I realize I have goofed… I made 8 extra large meatballs. When reading the directions to flatten a meatball, I assumed it needed topped with another one. Fingers crossed it still turns out okay.

  22. Natasha says

    I made these a couple of weeks ago and they were beyond AMAZING! They definitely fell into my top 5 “Best Things I’ve Ever Made” list!! I’m probably going to make them again tonight. I made them exactly like your recipe and they were so incredible. My best friend and fiance rave about them. Thanks so much for posting this!!!

  23. Tylstenie says

    I was just wondering what everyone serves with these meatballs besides some lovely crunch bread?

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