Air Fryer Onion Rings

Ari fryer onion rings

 The Spruce / Leah Maroney

  • Total: 26 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 11 mins
  • Yield: 18 onion rings (serves 3)

Air fryer onion rings are impossibly crispy and crave-worthy without any of the extra fat and calories. It's easy to think that they won't be as good as deep-fried onion rings, but this recipe recreates that favorite indulgence perfectly. You'll enjoy onion rings that are crispy on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside. Even better, they're guilt free and don't leave your kitchen smelling like grease.

The recipe is quick and easy, too. You'll simply slice the onions, fill three bowls with flour, beaten eggs and milk, and panko breadcrumbs, dredge the onions, and let the air fryer work its magic. The real secret here is that panko crumbs are already crunchy, so they produce a crisper breading than regular breadcrumbs. Serve the onion rings with your favorite dipping sauces for a delicious and healthy appetizer, side, or snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Optional: Creamy dipping sauces, honey mustard, or ketchup (for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for air fryer onion rings
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  2. Cut off both ends of the onions and peel off the skin. 

    Peeled raw onion on a cutting board
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  3. Slice the onions into thick rings. 

    Sliced onions on a cutting board
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  4. Carefully separate the rings from each other. Set aside the innermost rings for another recipe. If the rings break, you can still use them. 

    Raw onion rings
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  5. Prepare the three dredging bowls. Put the flour in one shallow bowl. Beat the eggs and milk in another shallow bowl. Add the panko breadcrumbs to a third shallow bowl. Split the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt between each of the bowls. Whisk each bowl to evenly disperse the seasonings. 

    Bread crumbs, flour and egg wash in bowls
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  6. Dip the onion rings in the flour first. Completely coat both sides of the rings and the inner portion. 

    Onion rings dusted in flour
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  7. Dip the flour-coated rings into the egg mixture. Make sure to completely coat them with the egg so you cannot see any of the flour. You may need to flip the rings a few times. 

    Onion rings in egg wash
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  8. Dip the rings in the breadcrumb mixture. To thoroughly coat them, use your fingers to press the breadcrumbs onto the rings. 

    Onion rings in breadcrumbs
    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 
  9. Generously spray the inside of the air fryer with cooking spray. Carefully place a single layer of the onion rings into the air fryer and spray the top with cooking spray. Cook on 375 F for 10 minutes. Flip each ring halfway through the cooking time. 

    Onion rings in an air fryer
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney
  10. Keep the first batch warm in a 200 F oven. Cook the second batch of rings. Serve with creamy dipping sauces, honey mustard, or ketchup. 

    Onion rings cooked in air fryer
     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Tips

  • Make sure to spray the onion rings thoroughly with cooking spray to get the nice golden brown crunchy coating.
  • Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the air fryer so the onion rings cook evenly. Air fryers have different capacities, so it may take more than two batches, especially if you're doubling the recipe. Serve each batch when it's ready or keep them warm in the oven.

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs if you prefer.
  • Use a paleo breading for paleo and keto diets.
  • Add other seasonings to the breading, such as cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, and seasoned salt.