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Air fryer onion rings come out just as crispy as deep fried, but with hardly any oil. Try them with one of our tasty dipping sauces!
Crispy Air Fryer Onion Rings
Onion rings are a perfect, flavorful, quick, healthy[ish] snack, especially when made in the air fryer. They come out just as crispy as they do when deep fried, but with a fraction the oil. This has quickly become one of our all-time favorite air fryer recipes. Try it and you will see why!
Air Fried vs Actual Fried Onion Rings
The obvious difference between frying onion rings and air frying them is that regular onion rings are submersed in oil to fry. Air fryer onion rings use MUCH less oil, but can get just as crispy! Regular onion rings can simply be dipped in batter and put straight into the oil, but trying to do this in an air fryer will make a big mess. For air fryer onion rings, you always need to coat them with breadcrumbs after dipping the rings in batter. This will help hold everything together and keep the batter from dripping off into your air fryer.
What I Learned Through Recipe Testing
I tested this recipe several different ways and I thought it would be fun to share the results of the different coatings:
- Flour > Egg Mixture > Breadcrumbs – First, I dredged the rings in flour, then dipped the onion rings in an egg mixture, then coated them in the breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs did NOT stick on very well when I did this. I had to repeat the steps 2-3 times until I got the desired coating and it was just too much work. I also used cornstarch instead of flour and got the same results.
- Egg Mixture > Breadcrumbs > Oil – The next one I tried, I dipped in the egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs, then I dipped the rings in oil. I had the same problem with the breadcrumbs not sticking. I will be fair and say they may have stuck on better had I used regular breadcrumbs rather than Panko bread crumbs. The breadcrumbs came off in the oil and just made a mess. When I finally got them to stick on and I air fried them, they came out too oily.
- Flour/Egg Batter > Breadcrumbs *WINNER* – With a thicker batter to begin with, the breadcrumbs stuck to the onion rings beautifully with little effort. It was less of a hassle and the onion rings came out of the air fryer perfectly crispy. This is the method used in the recipe below.
What Onions are Best for Onion Rings?
I have found that Walla Walla sweet onions and Vidalia onions are best for onion rings, but any kind of sweet onion will work. Yellow onions tend to be sweeter than white or red onions, so they are ideal for making onion rings.
How Long to Cook Onion Rings in the Air Fryer
Exact times for cooking will depend on your air fryer. For this recipe, in our counter-top air fryer, we air fried them at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. At this time the onion rings were perfectly golden brown. When we cooked them in our oven on “air fryer” mode, we cooked them at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. We have found that air frying in the oven takes a bit longer and higher temperature. This is probably because of the size of the oven compared to the smaller, counter-top fryer.
Ways To Serve Onion Rings
My favorite way to enjoy onion rings is by dipping them in a tasty sauce (see dipping sauce ideas below), but there are so many other ways they can be enjoyed! Eat them on their own, serve them as a side dish, or as a topping on burgers or sandwiches. Chop them up and serve over your favorite salads or use instead of onion straws over green beans.
Onion Ring Dipping Sauce Ideas
- “Bloomin Onion” Sauce (Mayo + Creamy horseradish + Ketchup + Paprika)
- Fry Sauce
- Chik-Fil-A Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Sriracha Mayo
- Honey Mustard
- Tartar Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Buffalo Blue Cheese Sauce
More Air Fryer Recipes
Love air fryer recipes as much as we do? Here are some of our favorites:
How to Make Air Fryer Onion Rings
Air Fryer Onion Rings Recipe
- Peel onion and cut off top and bottom stems. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut onion into slices. Gently pull apart the individual onion rings from the onion slices. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, milk, egg, seasoning salt, paprika, and garlic powder until smooth. You want to have the consistency of pancake batter. Add more milk to thin or more flour to thicken until you reach the desired consistency. You want the batter to coat the onion ring. Place the breadcrumbs in a separate, shallow dish.
- Take the onion rings one at a time and dip them in the batter. Gently shake off excess batter.
- Next, dip in the breadcrumbs, coating completely. Set each ring aside until ready to air fry
- Carefully place each onion ring in the air fryer basket in a single layer and spray well with cooking spray (or your favorite oil spray). Unless you have a very large air fryer, you will probably have to air fry in batches.
- Air fry at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. There is no need to flip them part-way through.All air fryers are different so be sure to check after a few minutes and make time adjustments as needed. Carefully remove from air fryer and serve with your favorite dipping sauce (see options above).
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