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Make Amazing Onion Rings in Your Air Fryer

Air Fryer Onion Rings are a great way to feed your junk food cravings. These onion rings turn out crispy, crunchy, and golden brown without all the fat and mess of deep frying.

Overhead shot of a plate of air fried onion rings.

Air fryers aren’t just for French fries and wings; you can use them to make amazing onion rings too! Here’s what you need to know before making this recipe with your air fryer so that you can get the most out of it.

Here’s how to make amazing onion rings in your air fryer!

Perfectly Crispy Air Fried Onion Rings

I confess, I LOVE crunchy, salty, junk food-y snacks. Some air fryer recipes deliver sad impersonations of those crave-worthy indulgences, soggy brown globs that don’t even come close to the real thing.

But after a whole lot of experimenting in the search for truly crunchy onion rings, I hit on this air fryer recipe that changed everything.

These air fryer onion rings are golden brown, crunchy, crispy, and perfectly seasoned. Now I can’t get enough of them! They are great on their own, and even better dipped in BBQ sauce, bang bang sauce, or ranch dressing.

Overhead shot of the ingredients you need to make the onion rings.

The Ingredients

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

A handful of simple ingredients are all you need for delicious air fryer onion rings! Here’s what you need:

  • Onions—Any large sweet onions work great. I like vidalia, maui, Walla Walla, or red onions, but just plain white or yellow onions work in this air fryer recipe, too!
  • Seasonings—I like a mix of garlic powder, paprika, and salt, but you can change it up with whatever seasonings you like. Chili powder or curry powder would be delicious!
  • Flour—I use all-purpose flour, which helps the seasoning and coatings stick to the onions. Don’t skip this step if you want evenly breaded, crispy, delicious onion rings!
  • Cornstarch—Combining cornstarch with flour adds to the crispiness factor.
  • Egg—Dunking the floured onions in egg gives the panko breadcrumbs something to stick to. Again, don’t skip this step if you want crispy, crunchy, golden brown onion rings.
  • Panko breadcrumbsPanko breadcrumbs make the crispiest, crunchiest onion rings. If you don’t have them, you can substitute regular breadcrumbs, or if needed, gluten-free panko.
  • Spray cooking oil—You can use any type of cooking oil (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.), just be sure to use a non-aeresol spray (the propellant in aerosol sprays will erode the nonstick coating on your air fryer basket.) I like this non-aerosol avocado oil spray.

How to Make Onion Rings in the Air Fryer

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

It’s super easy to make delicious onion rings in an air fryer. Here’s how:

  1. Slice the onion into rings.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg.
  4. Place the panko in a third bowl.
  5. If desired, place a perforated parchment paper liner or a silicone liner in the air fryer basket.
  6. Dip onion rings first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, and then in the panko. Place the coated onion ring in the air fryer basket. Repeat with as many onion rings as you can fit without overcrowding (you may have to cook in batches). Spray the onion rings with oil.
  7. Cook the breaded onion rings for about 6 minutes, flipping halfway through and spraying again with oil, until the onion rings are golden brown and crisp.
  8. Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!
Low angle shot of a plate of air fried onion rings.

Tips for Success

Great air fryer onion rings are more than just a recipe—they’re an art form. Follow these tips to ensure success every time.

  • Change up the seasonings—This recipe calls for paprika, garlic powder, and salt, but you can season your onion rings however you like. Add onion powder, cayenne pepper, or dried oregano to the mix. Or go a completely different direction and season with chili powder, Cajun seasoning, or curry powder.
  • Use non-aerosol cooking spray—Aerosol cooking spray (like PAM) contains a propellant that will erode the nonstick coating on the basket of your air fryer. Instead, use a non-aerosol spray oil. I like this non-aerosol avocado oil spray. Trader Joe’s also carries great non-aerosol spray coconut oil, avocado oil, and canola oil, for instance.
  • Quick re-heat before serving—If you cook your onion rings in batches, you’ll end up with a bunch of cooled onion rings by the time the last batch is done. No worries! Pile all the cooked onion rings in the basket and cook on 350°F for a minute or two to reheat and make them nice and crispy again. Serve immediately!
  • Freeze for later—After cooking the onion rings, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the onion rings to a freezer-safe resealable plastic back. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. To heat frozen onion rings in air fryer, pop them right into the basket and air fry for 4 to 6 minutes at 350°F.
Closeup shot of an onion ring being held up by someone's hand. The onion ring has been dipped in ketchup.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Onion Rings

These crispy onion rings make a great snack on their own, especially for game day! Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce: BBQ sauce, ketchup, Sriracha Ranch, Zhoug Sauce, Raita, Charmoula Sauce, Ranch Dressing, or honey mustard sauce are a few great ideas.

If you’re feeling creative, add onion rings to salads in place of croutons for a nice crunch and flavor. Or tuck a nice fat onion ring into a tuna sandwich or burger, like this Chickpea Burger or Air fryer Chicken Sandwich.

Straight on shot of a plate of air fried onion rings.

more air fryer snacks you’ll love

Looking for more snacks you can make in your air fryer? Try some of these: Air Fryer Empanadas, Air Fryer Fried Pickles, Air Fryer Wontons, Air Fryer Taquitos, Arepas con Queso, Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers, or Air Fryer Cookies like these Air Fryer Peanut Butter Cookies.

Yield: Serves 4

Air Fryer Onion Rings

overhead shot of a plate of air fried onion rings.

These air fryer onion rings are golden brown, crunchy, crispy, and perfectly seasoned. They're the perfect snack for game day or side for burger night.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups Panko
  • Cooking oil spray (non-aerosol)

Instructions

  1. Slice the onion into rings about ¼- to ½-inch thick.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg.
  4. Place the panko in a third bowl.
  5. If desired, place a perforated parchment paper liner or a silicone liner in the air fryer basket.
  6. Dip one onion ring first in the flour mixture, then in the egg, and then in the panko. Place the coated onion ring in the air fryer basket. Repeat with as many onion rings as you can fit without overcrowding (you may have to cook in batches). Spray the onion rings with the oil.
  7. Cook at 360°F for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through and spraying again with the oil, until they onion rings are golden brown and crisp.
  8. Enjoy as is or with your favorite dipping sauce!

Notes

1. You can substitute regular breadcrumbs for the panko, but they won't be as crispy.

2, Don't skip the spray oil if you want your onion rings to be that beautiful golden brown and super crisp.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 294Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 47mgSodium 982mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 9g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on March 22nd, 2022

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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