Air Fryer Bloomin' Onion Recipe

instant vortex plus air fryer blooming onion

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chill Time: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 onion
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
551 Calories
27g Fat
62g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 551
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 1552mg 67%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 123mg 9%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 290mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A Bloomin' Onion is a fun snack to make for the family or as a crowd-pleasing party appetizers. The air fryer cuts the fat and creates a lighter blooming onion because it cooks with hot air instead of oil.

This version cooks perfectly on the lowest level of the Instant Vortex Plus, an oven-style air fryer. If using a basket-style air fryer, try a temperature of 350 F for about 20 minutes to avoid charring the tips of the petals.

As with most breaded foods, preparation can be a bit messy. Make sure you have bowls and utensils ready before you begin and you'll find it much more manageable. The spicy sauce gets its zesty flavor from a bit of horseradish. If you aren't a fan of horseradish, feel free to replace it with an equal amount of Dijon or whole grain mustard.


For the Spicy Dip:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon horseradish

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 dash cayenne pepper

For the Onion:

  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup plain fine breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for air fryer blooming onion
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

    dip for the air fryer blooming onion
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Cut the top off the onion and remove the outer peel.

    peeled onion
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Place the onion on a cutting board, cut-side down. With a sharp knife, make a cut about 1/2-inch from the root.

    first cut blooming onion
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Make three more evenly spaced cuts around the onion. You will have 4 evenly spaced portions. Make sure you leave the root intact.

    four evenly spaced cuts on onion
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Make 2 to 3 cuts in the center of each quarter. You should have 12 to 16 cuts, depending on the size of the onion.

    12 to 16 cuts to make onion petals
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Turn the onion over and separate the petals slightly.

    blooming onion cut
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Place the onion in a bowl of ice water and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Remove the onion to paper towels to drain. 

    blooming onion in ice water
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  9. Place the onion in a bowl and sift the flour over it while gently separating the petals. You might have to do this a few times to get good coverage. Gently turn the onion upside-down to shake off any excess.

    blooming onion coated with flour
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  10. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk. Place the onion in a bowl and pour the egg mixture over it, gently separating the petals. Remove the onion to a wide, shallow bowl.

    blooming onion in egg and milk mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  11. Combine the breadcrumbs and Old Bay seasoning; sprinkle over the onion petals.

    onion blossom in a bowl with breadcrumbs
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  12. Set the air fryer temperature to 375 F and preheat the following the manufacturer's directions. Spray the tray with cooking oil spray and add the onion, root-side down. Cook for 15 minutes. 

    blooming onion in the Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer
    Diana Rattray
  13. Serve the blooming onion immediately with the dip.

    instant vortex plus air fryer blooming onion with spicy dip
    Diana Rattray

Recipe Variations

  • To vary the flavor, replace the Old Bay seasoning with Cajun seasoning or seasoned salt.
  • If you don't have buttermilk, use regular whole milk.