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How to Sauté Onions in an Air Fryer

Using my air fryer is life-changing to the way I cook things. I no longer need to heat up an oven to cook dinner and a lot of times I don’t even need to heat up the stove. I can do thinks like sauté onions in an air fryer.

Air Fryer Sauteed Onions in a shallow white bowl

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As a busy mom, it’s amazing. That means less time making dinner and less time cleaning it up. Sometimes it takes more time to figure out how to cook and roast different foods, so they come out perfectly.

Foods like roasted carrots, I managed to perfect within one or two times making in an air fryer, but sautéing onions in an air fryer was a little harder.

I tried numerous times to make them, but they also came out crispy, and that’s not how you want them to taste when going for more of a caramelized onion taste.

Turns out, an air fryer accessory is hands-down incredible to use when cooking foods like onions or peppers in an air fryer.

I am currently using the Cosori Air Fryer Accessory Kit along with my newer Cosori Air Fryer. I heard a lot of great reviews recently and had to buy another one.

I’m now up to three air fryers, but I love testing them out for readers to make sure you make the right decision when air frying foods.

Title and Shown: How to Saute Onions in your Air Fryer: Yes it's Possible (in white shallow bowl)

How to Sauté Onions in an Air Fryer

First, cut your onions into long slices, cutting off the two ends and peeling the outside layer.

Then heat a small air fryer pan, like the pizza pan in this Air Fryer Accessory Kit with oil on 300 degrees for 1 minute.

This allows the oil to heat up, just like when you sauté or caramelize onions on the stove.

Place the sliced onions inside the air fryer and mix evenly to coat the onions with oil. If there is not enough oil, the onions can burn before they start getting soft.

Raw sliced onions inside air fryer on air fryer pan

Cook the onions on 300 degrees for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.

After 5 minutes, add a small pinch of sugar to the onions, mix thoroughly and cook for another 7-10 minutes stirring every 2-3 minutes.

I learned the sugar trick a few years back and use it every time I want a sweeter caramelized onion taste in less time.

I absolutely love caramelized onions, but waiting 30-40 minutes for them to cook is painful when you have two kids running around complaining they’re hungry.

As onions cook, their sugar molecules are broken down. This causes them to have a sweeter taste than when biting into a raw onion (don’t ever do that).

You can read more about the science of cooking and caramelizing onions here.

Sauteed Onions in Air Fryer on air fryer pan

Remove sautéed onions from your air fryer and enjoy with your favorite recipe immediately!

This recipe will create the perfect sautéed onion. I am still working on perfecting caramelized onions in an air fryer and will share that recipe with you once it’s at its best.

Air Fryer Sauteed Onions in white shallow bowl

What Kind of Onion Can I Sauté in an Air Fryer?

I personally sautéed sweet Vidalia onions in this recipe. They’re my favorite onion to cook with because it starts off with a sweeter taste than a normal cooking onion.

You can also sauté red onions (without adding sugar), cooking onions, yellow onions, and white onions using this recipe.

Other Air Fryer Recipes to Try:

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Yield: 2 servings

Air Fryer Sauteed Onions

Air Fryer Sauteed Onions in a shallow white bowl

An easy way to saute onions in your air fryer that requires little effort.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • a small pinch of sugar


  1. Cut onion into long slices.
  2. Heal oil in an air fryer pan on 300 degrees for 1 minute.
  3. Place onion slices in the pan and mix evenly to coat the onion with oil.
  4. Cook onions on 300 degrees for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  5. Add a small pinch of sugar to onions, mix thoroughly, and cook for another 7-10 minutes stirring event 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from air fryer and enjoy with your favorite recipe immediately!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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.

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About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

7 thoughts on “How to Sauté Onions in an Air Fryer”

  1. I’m curious whether it’s possible to cook a whole/unchopped onion in an air fryer (or in some other system).

    I like cooked onions but haven’t been able to do them for years. To say my eyes water is an understatement! If I chop an onion I’m basically out of commission for the rest of the day, between my eyes becoming sore and unopenable, and often giving me a headache. Raw onions cooking also gives me a headache.

    I miss onions, though, and trying to find a way to cook them, maybe by setting some kind of cooker outdoors

    • That must be terrible! I wonder if you have some sort of allergy to raw onions.

      I have not tried to do a full onion in the air fryer, so I’m not sure how that would turn out. I know my eyes water when I cut red onions. Always make sure you cut the onion with the cut side down to try to help out with it.

      Have you tried using a chopper to cut onions so it’s just one swift motion and it’s done? Our local store also has options for precut diced and sliced onions too. It’s possible a store near you does the same.

    • When chopping onions, set a glass of water next to your cutting board. The onion particles will go to the water and are diverted away from your eyes. It works!

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