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Once you try homemade air fryer onion rings, you’ll never want to make (or order) them any other way again! They’re hot, crispy, delicious perfection that can be ready in 30 minutes.
I love using the air fryer to make healthier versions of all the deep-fried foods I crave. But I have to say that of all the dishes I’ve tried, these air fryer onion rings might be my favorite!
You won’t believe how easy it is to make these onion rings from scratch. The flour, seasoning, eggs, buttermilk, and panko breadcrumbs come together for a crispy breading that is downright irresistible while the onions get beautifully soft and tender. They’re just so good!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- How to make the best crispy onion rings in the air fryer
- Which type of onion works best for this air fryer onion rings recipe
- What to serve with this dish
- Tips and tricks for making the best air fried onion rings
Once you try homemade onion rings in the air fryer, you’ll never want to eat them any other way again! Enjoy them as a snack, an appetizer, a side dish, or even toppings for a fancy burger. Trust me, you’re going to be looking for any excuse to enjoy this crispy, crunchy goodness!
I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.
How to Make Onion Rings in the Air Fryer
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Peel the onion and cut it into ½-inch thick slices. Separate the slices and place them on a plate, then set aside.
STEP TWO: In a wide, shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the buttermilk until well combined. In a second bowl, combine the flour, salt, and garlic powder. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
STEP THREE: Dip each onion ring first into the flour, then the buttermilk mixture. Finally, dredge it through the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Set on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining rings.
STEP FOUR: Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Spray the rings with an oil spray. I recommend using an EVO Oil Sprayer for easy and consistent spraying.
STEP FIVE: Transfer the rings into the air fryer basket in a single layer. You can nest the smaller ones inside the larger ones as long as there is still space between each ring. Work in batches if necessary.
STEP SIX: Air fry for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
STEP SEVEN: Sprinkle with salt if desired, and serve.
What Onions Work Best for Homemade Onion Rings in the Air Fryer?
I highly recommend using a Vidalia onion, which is a type of sweet onion. The mild flavor and natural sweetness make them ideal for recipes where you want a hint of that onion flavor without it being too overpowering.
Their size and shape also make them a little easier to work with.
How Thick Should I Slice My Onions?
Try to cut your slices about ½-inch thick, which will allow them to get tender all the way through in the time it takes the breading to crisp up. You don’t want super thick slices that won’t cook all the way through.
How Long to Cook Onion Rings in the Air Fryer
Every air fryer is going to cook a little differently, but I’ve found that cooking onion rings for 9-12 minutes seems to be the sweet spot. Start checking on the onion rings around the 9-minute mark, then take them out once they’re golden and crispy.
Can I Use a Wet Batter to Make These Onion Rings with No Breadcrumbs?
I do not recommend using a wet batter inside the air fryer.
I have tried several recipes and while some do have a nice taste to them, they are super messy to make and a lot of the batter falls off.
Can I Freeze Air Fryer Onion Rings?
You bet! I recommend freezing on a baking sheet, then transferring the rings to a gallon bag or freezer-safe container for longer storage.
When you’re ready to enjoy, there’s no need to thaw your onion rings. Just follow the instructions from my Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings article and they’ll be ready in minutes!
Ideas to Serve with Onion Rings in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings with Buffalo Sauce
- Air Fryer Chili Cheese Dogs
- Air Fryer Hamburgers
- French Bread Pizza in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Bacon Jalapenos
- Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer
You can also check out our list of Easy Air Fryer Dinner Ideas too!
Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Lay the rings in a single layer without crowding the basket. You can nest the smaller ones inside the larger ones, but only if there’s at least a little space between each ring. It’s better to work in batches if necessary.
- Press the panko breadcrumbs into the onion rings to get as much to stick as possible. This will give you the best, most satisfying coating.
- Try to slice all the onion rings to the same thickness so they’ll cook evenly. You want your slices to be about ½-inch thick.
How to Reheat Onion Rings in the Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F for 5 minutes.
- Lay the onion rings in the basket and cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
You can make your own buttermilk easily at home with just regular milk and vinegar!
1. Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and then using milk, fill it up to the 2/3 cup line.
2. Stir it to combine and then let the buttermilk sit for 5 minutes.
It should thicken up and curdle the milk slightly creating your own buttermilk!
Other Air Fryer Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Hush Puppies
- Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
- Tater Tots in the Air Fryer
- The Best Air Fryer Appetizers
- Air Fryer Onions
- Air Fryer Waffle Fries
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders — No Breading
- 1 large sweet (Vidalia) onion, sliced into ½-inch rings
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
- Peel onion and cut it into ½-inch thick slices. Separate the slices and place them on a plate. Set aside.
- In a wide, shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the buttermilk until well combined. In a second bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place the panko bread crumbs in a third bowl.
- Dip each onion ring into the flour, then the buttermilk mixture, and then dredge it through the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Set aside on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining rings. Spray the rings with an EVO Oil sprayer.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F.
- Transfer the rings into the air fryer basket in a single layer, nesting the smaller ones inside the larger ones but leaving a little space between each ring. Don’t overcrowd the basket, and work in batches if necessary.
- Air fry for 9-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Sprinkle with salt if desired, and serve.
How to Reheat Onion Rings in the Air Fryer:
1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
2. Place the leftover onion rings in the air fryer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until warmed thoroughly and crispy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 568mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.