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air fryer crispy onion rings in a bowl with a red wrapper

Crispy, Homemade Air Fryer Onion Rings

Crispy, Homemade Air Fryer Onion Rings is a quick and easy recipe prepared with a seasoned buttermilk batter, a Vidalia onion, and breadcrumbs. These fried rings are crunchy, kid-friendly, and are best served with a Bloomin' Onion dipping sauce. Cook time for frozen onions rings is included. If you are looking for a recipe with no breadcrumbs, swap for pork rinds and substitute flour for almond flour.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer homemade onion rings, air fryer onion rings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
freezing 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 305kcal


  • 1 large vidalia onion (peeled) Mine weighed 12oz.
  • 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste The breading will be very bland without salt. Be sure to season.
  • cooking oil spray I use olive.

Optional Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons ketchup I use unsweetened and 2 tablespoons
  • 1-2 tablespoons creamy horseradish If you are a fan of horseradish, you may enjoy 2 tablespoons. Start with 1 taste, repeatedly and adjust as necessary.
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil.
  • Cut the stems off both sides of the onion. Cut the onion into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Onions are very wobbly. Be careful while slicing and use a mandolin if necessary. Try to stabilize the onion before you slice.
  • Add the flour to a bowl large enough to dredge the onions. Season the flour with the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Add the buttermilk and egg to the seasoned flour. Beat and stir to combine.
  • Add the panko breadcrumbs to a separate bowl large enough to dredge the onions.
  • Dredge the sliced onions in the flour buttermilk mixture and then the panko breadcrumbs. Keep a moist kitchen towel handy for you hands. They will get sticky.
  • Place the onion rings on a plate. After breading the onions, freeze the onion rings for 15 minutes. This is an optional step, but highly recommended. It helps keep the breading intact.
  • Place the onions in the air fryer. Do not stack them. Cook in batches if needed.
  • Spray with cooking oil.
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes on 370 degrees. I found that my onion rings did not need a flip. Check in on yours to determine both sides are golden brown and crisp. Flip if necessary.

Optional dipping Sauce

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir.



Air Fryer Onion Rings Tips

  1. Keep a moist kitchen towel nearby to wipe your hands while breading. They will get sticky!
  2. The buttermilk and flour batter will be very thick. This is normal. The thick batter will help produce thick and crunchy onion rings.
  3. You can make your own buttermilk using 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon. Read more about How to Make Buttermilk here. 
  4. You may have leftover batter after breading the onion rings. The serving sizes suggested reflect the amounts used for a 12oz onion. The servings required in the recipe may vary depending on the size of your onion.
  5. Cook in batches. Believe me this will save you time and frustration. If you stack the onion rings, they will sometimes stick to each other and will require a longer cook time. If you want gorgeous rings, make them in batches if you have a smaller air fryer.
  6. You can use normal breadcrumbs instead of panko if you wish. Seasoned breadcrumbs will also work.
  7. If you want to cut the carbs in this recipe you can substitute breadcrumbs for crushed pork rinds and use almond flour in place of all-purpose flour.
How to Make the Onion Rings Low Carb
Omit the buttermilk, flour, and breadcrumbs. Replace with 1 1/2 cups crushed pork rinds and 2 tablespoons of blanched almond flour. Instead of using 1 egg in the recipe, use 2 eggs.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 3g