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Friday, February 5, 2010

Bistro Chicken

Why is there a picture of an empty plate? Because this recipe is so good by the time you’re done serving it up, the plates will be empty lickity split!

bistro chicken1 web

Okay, actually, I didn’t get a decent picture of the chicken. It looks more like a pile of cheese. A delicious pile of cheese, but not much like chicken. Trust me, there is delicious, tender chicken hiding in there. I didn’t spend any time plating this dish because I just wanted to eat it!

bistro chicken2 web

My mom’s friend Jen shared this recipe with me in the early days of my blog. It has become one of our favorites and a quick go-to meal. Enjoy!

Bistro Chicken
My mom's friend Jen sent this recipe to me when I started my blog and it fast became a favorite. Easy, unique and so delicious!
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I usually do two, but the amount of sauce could handle probably 4-6 breasts)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 14-oz can diced tomatoes (I get petite diced)
  • Italian seasoning (or a few shakes of oregano, basil, parsley and garlic powder)
  • 1 can Campbell’s French Onion soup
  • Swiss cheese, sliced
  1. I cut my chicken breasts into thirds and pound them thin before browning, but the recipe didn’t originally call for that. Brown the chicken breasts in a medium-high skillet in oil or butter. Remove and place in casserole dish.
  2. Cook onions in skillet for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, french onion soup and cook together to reduce liquid for 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken in the casserole dish, top with Swiss cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  3. I like to serve with garlic mashed potatoes.
  4. Addendum after comments have come in: the last few times I’ve made it I haven’t used the entire can of french onion soup. I put all the broth in, but I only put maybe half of the onions from the can in. for me, it’s the right balance. the first time I made it, though, I followed the recipe to a “t” and we still liked it, so feel free to modify or not according to your tastes!


  1. 1

    Sounds scrumptious – you’ve convinced me! I’m going to make it this weekend.

  2. 2
    Kate Z

    I made it thanks to your blog – it’s a really quick/easy recipe!

  3. I’m new to your blog and haven’t commented before! This looks great and seems that it would be kid friendly! Thanks!

  4. 4

    looks good but we don’t like swiss cheese, any idea for a substitute? provolone maybe?

  5. 5
    Jane Maynard

    I think provolone would probably be good. or maybe monterey jack, that melts well and is mild flavored…whatever you like with chicken and tomatoes that melts nicely I’m sure would be great!

  6. 6

    This is so good. I made it once seeing it in your menu and it was awesome. My hubby suggested since the sauce is so good to have it over rice and that was tasty! I am afraid that with the soup my turned out a heck of a lot more brown but was still really good.

  7. I must admit – I do put ALL the soup in, but I don’t put all of the onions from the can of soup in…I sort of strain some of them out, that might account for the difference. I think it’s great both ways! 🙂

  8. Laughing… some days it is so hard to get good pictures of your food! Totally trust you though and I think your photos look great. Love the color.

  9. I was excited about this recipe because of its simplicity, but I have to admit that I didn’t really like it. Something about the soup – overwhelming (probably due to sodium and lots and lots of onions). Consolation – my boyfriend and best friend both loved it and my friend asked for the recipe the next day. Diff’rent strokes I guess.

  10. 10

    I made it last year for the first time. I use 6 chicken breasts and all of everything (except I don’t use “Italian seasoning”, just my own amounts of basil, oregano, and rosemary). LOVE IT! My favorite is the sauce with the mashed potatoes.

  11. 11

    I wonder if my dearly departed Mother-in-law got this recipe from you. Do you know? I remember her putting swiss cheese on the chix and baking it. I think I am going to give this a try! Thanks, Janey May!

  12. 12
    Jane Maynard

    vanessa – I think I need to modify the post a bit b/c you’re the second comment that I’ve wanted to say that I don’t use the entire can of french onion soup for. see my comment #7…I’m kind of with you. I feel like I’ve gotten the balance right and now it’s even better. but, like you said, I think it’s a taste thing. 🙂 glad it was a hit with everyone you served, at least! 🙂

  13. Bistro chicken is probably my favorite find on TWFD — I’ve made it many, many times since stumbling upon your blog looking for an oven-puffed pancake recipe a couple years ago. 🙂

  14. 14
    Melissa Grogan

    Everytime you use one of Jen Shulte’s recipes… my family loves it. Her chicken and artichoke recipe that you also had… mmmm. Not to mention chimento chicken, chicken goop that you cook in the crockpot, which i use for enchiladas… actually I think we’ve liked every recipe! 🙂 Keep up the good work. People in Colorado need your new recipes to branch out beyond the taco, spaghetti, meatloaf rut!

  15. 15
    Jen Schulte

    Yay Jane, thanks for the nod to bistro chicken! I will tell my friend Gina who gave me the recipe originally (or mentioned it, and made it for me when I had my first baby … I’ve done my best to re-invent what she did!). She will be proud it’s famous.

    My family gobbles it up too, so anything that gets them to eat is great in my book. Plus – it’s so easy, and easy to adjust to what you like!

  16. 16

    I made this tonight and loved it. Thanks for sharing! Even my three year old boy ate it.

    Just a not: I used a can of Italian style diced tomaotes instead of the Italian seasoning. Next time I think I might puree the tomatoes and onions. Thanks again!

  17. I finally got around to making this! You know its good when my husband gobbles down his food and then starts eyeing my plate and asking “are you going to finish that?” I agree with Collette – my favorite part is the sauce on the mashed potatoes. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. 18
    Noé Khalfa

    My experience with this chicken was tragic. Let me clarify… I ate it so fast and crammed so much mashed potatoes into my mouth that I was stuff about 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven. Also if you cant find the good french onion soup, chicken broth is an equally tasty substitute. Thanks.

  19. 19

    My husband LOVES this recipe! He literally wants to drink the sauce! Lol! =)

  20. 20
    Jane Maynard

    love all these comments on this recipe! 🙂

  21. I’m really dying to try this recipe, and I plan to do so tomorrow night, but I guess I don’t understand why you would take onions out of the soup and add fresh ones to the sauce. Why not just leave the onions in the soup and skip the chopped ones?

  22. the original recipe does NOT call for removing any of the onions from the canned soup. the first time I made it I followed the recipe exactly and it tasted great.

    however…my husband is not a huge onion fan, and I like the taste of the fresh onions better than the canned ones, so when I cut back some of the onions from the recipe, the onions I cut were from the can instead of the fresh ones.

    it’s all a matter of taste…so just play with it and find what works for you! 🙂

  23. 23
    Allison Rufleth

    I tried this recipe last night and it was a big hit with my husband and my 2 year old son. Thanks for such a great, but simple, recipe! I am new to this site and have tried a couple recipes already, and they have been easy to follow and delicious…thank you for your website!

  24. 24

    YUMMY!! it has been on my menu for awhile now. i decided to make the jump last night, and boy am I glad. The entire family loved it. The mashed potatoes were great.

  25. 25

    Very excited to try this recipe today. Of course could not find french onion soup anywhere-so I bought lipton onion soup mix, followed instructions and used about half of the “homemade soup” in the mixture. I wanted mashed potatoes, but trying to be good in the new year and had it with whole wheat pasta…the chicken was heaven-the pasta-soo.
    This recipe is going in the book as a success!

  26. Looks delicious. I will have to try and find a French Onion Soup without MSG. I am allergic.

    • Jane Maynard

      if you find it, let us know! 🙂 and if you’re super ambitious, you could make some soup from scratch, but then this suddenly isn’t such an easy recipe 😉 but I bet it would taste amazing!

  27. 27
    Leona F

    I am a horrible cook!! But I just made this and it was amazing. My family loves onions so we followed the recipe exactly and it was truly amazing. The only canned petite tomatoes I had had green chili in them as well and it made it extra spicy (maybe not as kid friendly) and I only had pepperjack cheese. Thank you, thank you, thank you

  28. 28

    I made this tonight (delicious) and I used a can of the diced fire roasted tomatoes from Muir Glen. It was awesome!!!

  29. 29

    I’m a new visitor to your blog and tried this recipe tonight over pasta (because I had some on hand). It was to die for! We all ate every last bit and I was sure there would be leftovers. Going to try it with the mashed potatoes next time. Thanks for the great recipes!!!

  30. 30

    I tried this recipe last night, since I happened to have a can of french onion soup and diced tomatoes on hand to use up. It was okay. It wasn’t knock my socks off good, BUT it was very easy to prepare and my husband and 3 yr old ate it, which makes it a WINNER in my book. We had it with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I don’t like cooking w/ cans of soup, so when I make this again (and I’m sure I will) I’ll just set aside some homemade french onion soup to use and maybe opt for fresh tomatoes.

    Oddly, I liked it more reheated today for lunch. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jane Maynard

      I bet it would be AWESOME with homemade french onion soup and fresh tomatoes. I just might have to try that myself…I do love the ease of this recipe, but I bet that modification would be just so delicious.

  31. 31

    Jane, do you know of a brand of french onion soup that doesn’t contain MSG?

  32. 32

    Jane, I’m making this for a second time. It is easy, delicious and a perfect end to a very long week!

  33. 33
    Kathy E.

    I found this on Pinterest and made it tonight. It was great! What I loved the most was how easy it was to pull together on a busy weeknight. I have about one cup of the sauce leftover and am wondering if I could pull together some sort of soup with it…it’s too good to throw out!Or even throw it into a cassrole. Any ideas?

    • Jane Maynard

      I think it would be a great soup base! I have the tuscan tomato soup recipe on here, you could modify that…or just add some more tomatoes and broth, simmer, blend, maybe add some cream, salt & pepper…would be yummy!

      so glad you liked the recipe!

  34. 34

    pretty excited about this week’s menu… my blog post explains why:

    here’s the menu
    beef stew & biscuits
    swiss chicken w/ green beans
    taco soup
    mongolian beef w/ fried rice
    russian chicken w/ rice and corn & dutch oven cherry soda cobbler
    crown rib roast with mashed potatoes and cauliflower

  35. 35

    woops. totally posted that comment in the wrong place!!!

  36. 36
    Robyn Lilly

    Love this recipe. I add mushrooms. Delish!

  37. 37

    Made this dish for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. I can see how it would make a great pasta dish, but, I served along with mashed potatoes and a nice salad. I could not think of a better way to warm up this cold Canadian night.

    However, I was thinking that instead of the soup, you could substitute an onion soup mix for the flavor and not have as much liquid. However, I will be saving the left over liquid for some future kitchen endeavor.

    • Jane Maynard

      I like the idea of the onion soup mix, sara. the sauce IS quite liquidy, although so delicious I haven’t thought about modifying, but might be worth giving that a try!

  38. 38

    Ohhh my gosh! I made this tonight & it was divine! My husband who is a picky eater had 2 pieces of chicken. Will be making this again soon

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