Air Fryer Blooming Onion Recipe or a Sweet Vidalia Onion Blossom is a quick and easy recipe using a whole onion to create the best crunchy, crispy breaded appetizer. Dip the onion petals in a zesty dipping sauce.
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The post was originally published in 2019. It has since been updated.
Back in high school I learned what a Blooming Onion was at my first Friday Night Football game. Who has a Blooming Onion? Outback Steakhouse has it. They used to serve the onions and fresh, grilled burgers in the concession area.
What is a Blooming Onion at Outback Steakhouse? It’s a large onion that is cut to resemble a flower and then it’s deep-fried and served as an appetizer.
According to the Outback Nutrition Facts, the Bloomin Onion has 1,950 calories and 155 grams of fat. You can cut the fact tremendously in this recipe by air frying.
What Type of Onion to Use
A sweet onion will work best. I use Vidalia.
How to Cut the Onion
Make sure you are using a sharp knife.
- Cut the tip off one side of the onion. Make you cut so that you are able to level out the onion easily on a flat surface. Leave the root completely intact. Place the onion root side up and cut side down.
- Make 4 evenly spaced cuts into the onion, at least a half an inch from the root. The closer you cut to the root, the easier the onion will fall apart.
- Next, make 3 cuts in between each of the 4, still slicing away from the root.
- Open and fluff out the petals.
How to Make Air Fryer Blooming Onion
- Once you have your onion sliced up, create a cooking station. Add flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to a bowl large enough to dredge the onion.
- Add milk and beaten eggs to a separate bowl large enough to dredge the onion.
- Cover the onion in flour, then the milk mixture, and the flour mixture again.
- Wrap the onion in foil and freeze.
- Remove the onion and air fry.
Air Fryer Temperature
I like to use 400 degrees.
Air Fryer Cook Time
Cook the onion for 10 minutes and then spray it again with oil. Be sure to get any of the spots with flour. Air fry again for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the onion is completely crisp.
To make the best dipping sauce to your liking, decide if you like it to have more of a horseradish taste, more ketchup taste, or do you want something that is more mild, and a light combo of the two?
How to Reheat
Place the onion in the air fryer and spray with additional oil. I cannot get the onion to crisp up again without additional oil, and even then it isn’t as good as when it has been cooked fresh. Air fry for a few minutes until crisp on 400 degrees.
Pair with these Main Dish Recipes
Air Fryer Appetizer Recipes
Air Fryer Blooming Onion Recipe
- Cut off the pointy stem of the onion leaving the root end intact. Peel the onion and place it cut side down. The root end of the onion should be facing up.
- Starting 1/2 an inch from the root end, cut downward to make 4 evenly spaced cuts. In each section, make 3 additional cuts. There should be 16 cuts in the onion. This recipe includes a video that shows exactly how to cut the onion.
- Turn the onion over and fluff out the "petals."
- Place the flour in a bowl with the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the milk and eggs to a separate bowl and stir.
- Place the onion in the flour mixture and dredge completely. Use a spoon to get into every area of the onion.
- Next dip the onion in the milk and egg batter. Use a spoon or cooking brush to ensure it is fully coated.
- Return the onion to the flour mixture again and cover completely.
- Wrap the onion in foil and freeze for 45 minutes.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil or use air fryer parchment paper. Unwrap the onion and spray it with cooking oil. Focus on the spots with white flour. Spray them with oil and also remove any excess wet batter from the onion.
- Cook for 10 minutes on 400 degrees.
- Open the air fryer and spray any white areas with cooking oil. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until crisp.
Blooming Onion Dipping Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir and mix well.