French Onion Egg Noodle Casserole and Cress Salad
Sweet caramelized onions mixed with noodles and topped with cheese is the pasta bake version of French onion soup! Serve with a crisp cress salad.. This recipe works well as a make-ahead meal, too.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 large onions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or an additional 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 pound extra-wide egg noodles
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 4 cups watercress leaves, loosely packed (2 bunches)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- A drizzle of honey
Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, in a skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Add the onions, garlic, thyme and bay, then stir frequently and caramelize, 25-30 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine, stir until evaporated, then add the stock. Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat to low.
When the onions are very soft but still cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the pasta. Undercook the noodles by a minute or so and drain.
Combine the noodles with the onions and place in a casserole dish. Top with a layer of both cheeses. Cool completely for a make-ahead meal before covering and storing. Or, place an oven rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat the broiler. Place the casserole under the broiler to brown the top.
To reheat a make-ahead meal, bake at 375°F, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until brown and bubbly.
When ready to serve the casserole, dress the cress with lemon, honey and the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
This is one of many “Yum-o!” recipes – it’s good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael’s nonprofit organization, go to