Transform any evening into a night of tasty, crunchy fun with these easy-to-make Crispy Air Fryer Onion Rings.
Once a month, my husband and I get together with some friends for game night. We play all kinds of board games, cards, and dominos. And what adds to a great night of fun and games? Delicious snack foods, of course!
Enter the Air Fryer Onion Rings. I’m a little obsessed with my air fryer anyway. It’s so fast—and turns out crispy treats every time. I particularly like this recipe: it has the same crunch as a killer mozzarella stick or fried pickle but with a sweet twist. I often pair it with Cheeseburger Sliders or Loaded Tater Tots for a decadent, finger-food kind of night.
These onion rings taste best when they’re served fresh out of the fryer. You might consider hosting an all-air-fryer night and put these Brats or Homemade Fish Sticks on the menu too. Double the flavor by dunking them into this Sweet Onion Dip, or add a few to your salad for a crunchy topper.
- 3 large sweet onions
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings
- Top and tail the onions and peel the skin off, then cut them into thick rings about an inch thick. Use your hands to push them apart so that you have a single layer of onion in a ring.
- Prepare your dipping bowls by whisking together the egg and buttermilk in one bowl, the flour, salt, pepper, and spices in another, and the panko crumbs in another. Line up your three bowls.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350°F.
- Use a fork or clean hands to dip the onion rings into the flour mix, then the egg mix, then the panko mix.
- Lay them in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer and cook at 400°F for 10-15 minutes.
Tips & Tricks to the Perfect Air Fryer Onion
- Sweet onions are a popular choice for their mild yet distinct flavor that complements the seasonings. Vidalia or Walla Walla onions are great options.
- Follow the recommended order when prepping your onion: flour mix, egg mix, and finally, the panko crumbs.
- The right temperature is important for achieving the best crunch. Pre-heat the air fryer to 350°F, and maintain a temperature of 400°F while cooking. Keep a close eye to avoid overcooking.
Of course! Just pop them in the oven instead. Turn it up to 425°F, set the crumb-coated onion rings on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and give them a light spray of cooking oil. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
Add a dash of lemon zest or sumac for a tangy kick or sprinkle some grated parmesan in the panko mix. You can substitute almond flour and gluten-free panko for a gluten-free version, breadcrumbs for panko, or even make your own buttermilk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk. Let it chill for 10 minutes until the milk starts to curdle.
The air fryer basket might be too crowded, which stops the rings from getting that ultra-crispy crust. Also, double-check if your air fryer is properly preheated.
- Substitute half of the flour with cornmeal for a Southern-style Onion Ring.
- Dip the fried rings in a mix of honey and sriracha for a Hot Honey Onion Ring.
- For a coastal touch, mix the breadcrumbs with shredded coconut and serve with sweet chili dip for a Tropical Onion Ring.
- If you love all things cheesy, mix in some grated cheddar into your batter for a Cheesy Onion Ring.
Make Ahead and How to Store
These onion rings are best served right after cooking, but you can do the prep work beforehand. Coat the onions up to two hours before preparing, then air fry when it’s snack time. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. When you’re ready to reheat, use the air fryer again (not a microwave; they’ll turn into a soggy disaster). Preheat the air fryer to 350°F and give them a quick fry.
Crispy Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Too and tail the onions and peel the skin off, then cut them into thick rings about an inch thick. Use your hands to push them apart so that you have a single layer of onion in a ring.
- Prepare your dipping bowls by whisking together the egg and buttermilk in one bowl, the flour, salt, pepper, and spices in another, and the panko crumbs in another. Line up your 3 bowls.
- Preheat your Airfryer to 350f.
- Use a fork or clean hands to dip the onion rings into the flour mix, then the egg mix then the panko mix.
- Lay them in ask glue layer in the basket of the Airfryer and cook at 400f for 10 – 15 minutes.