Crispy, salty & JUST as good as your local restaurant! An Air Fryer Blooming Onion is the perfect way to satisfy your fried food craving without the guilt!
I LOVE fried foods. French fries, chicken wings, Crispy Onion Rings, popcorn shrimp. If it’s fried, it’s for me. But, my stomach does not always agree with me eating fried foods all the time. Enter my new favorite appliance – the air fryer!
Now, I can fry up all my favorite foods without using pots full of scalding oil or a hard to clean deep fryer. My favorite thing to cook these days is the Air Fryer Blooming Onion. I love getting Blooming Onions at the state fair and now I can enjoy them at home!
AIR FRYER BLOOMING ONION
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Growing up, I moved a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. I have lived in 9 different states (some of them multiple times!) – my dad’s company transferred him often.
Some people would hate that constant on-the-go lifestyle, and don’t get me wrong. I pitched my fair share of fits when I found out we were moving again.
But, I am SO thankful for the opportunities I was given to explore our country and call so many unique places my home!
One of my favorite things to do when we moved to a new place was to visit the local fairs and festivals. I learned so much about my new surroundings by exploring the fair!
New England has amazing fall festivals with apple fritters, pumpkin pies, and livestock shows. Florida has it’s famous State Fair every February.
Now that we live in Portland, our family always makes a point of heading to the Oregon State Fair at the end of the summer. Live music, entertaining shows, and delicious food. There’s nothing better!
I love seeing all the craft vendors and exhibitions at fairs and festivals, but trying out all the different types of food is my absolute favorite part! My family knows that no trip to the fair is complete without a deep-fried, crispy, Bloomin’ Onion.
Yes, I know you can get them at tons of restaurants (like Outback Steakhouse), but it’s just not the same. Now that we’re settled in Portland, I don’t have the opportunity to test out tons of different fairs on the regular. Instead, I decided to figure out how to make my very own blooming onion recipe using my new favorite kitchen gadget, the air fryer!
It’s crispy, crunchy, and every bit as delicious as the onions from my youth (but it’s not deep-fried so I feel less guilty when I manage to eat the whole thing!) And as an added bonus, it’s got a delicious dipping sauce to go with it! Now I can have a blooming onion whenever my heart desires!
- White onion
- Garlic salt
For the sauce:
- Olive oil mayonnaise
- Sour cream
- Worcestershire sauce
- Creamy horseradish sauce
- Cayenne pepper
I’ve found that my favorite flavor of onion for this blooming onion recipe is from a white onion. It’s got a little sharpness to it, but not nearly as much as a standard yellow onion. It’s not quite as sweet as a Vidalia onion (but those also work great for this recipe), I find that it fries up perfectly!
How to Make a Blooming Onion
Just a heads up: while the prep work for making this blooming onion recipe is super quick and easy, you will need at least 2 hours to let your onion soak in water. So, make sure you plan accordingly! Nothing worse than expecting to be able to pop a blooming onion in the air fryer real quick and realizing you’ll actually need to wait 2 more hours!
- Start by prepping your onion to get that beautiful “blooming flower” look. Peel your onion and cut the top part off. Place the cut side down onto your cutting board. Start about 1/2 of an inch from the root, and cut the onion into 4 even quarters.
- Then cut each quarter into 3 even pieces for a total of 12 onion petals.
- Soak the onion in cold water for 2 hours or more. The longer, the better (this gives the onion time to separate on its own).
- Next, take the onion out of the cold water and shake dry. In a medium bowl, whisk milk and eggs to create your glue for the flour mixture. Coat your onion in the egg mixture.
- In a medium bowl, add flour, paprika, garlic salt, thyme, and oregano. Place your egg-washed onion into the flour bowl. Use a spoon to make sure all petals are fully coated with the flour mixture – you want all the surface area to be covered, the allows your onion to get extra crispy in the air fryer!
- Next, place the onion in your air fryer and spray with olive oil (this will give you the deep-fried texture).
- Air fry on 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Shake, re-spray and fry for another 10 minutes.
- While the onion is air frying, make the blossom sauce: combine all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk.
- Carefully remove your blooming onion from the air fryer and turn the onion out on a plate. It’s ready to eat!
What is an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are ALL. THE. RAGE. these days (and for good reason, if I do say so myself)! Air fryers are the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets.
They allow you to cook up all your favorite crispy foods without having to submerge them in oil!
Think perfect chicken wings, crisp french fries, and of course, a state-fair quality Blooming Onion, all from a small, countertop kitchen appliance!
I’m not one for cluttering up my kitchen with useless fad tools, but believe me, my air fryer has a permanent spot in my kitchen! Fried foods, but MUCH healthier – sign me up!
How do Air Fryers Work?
An air fryer is like a mini convection oven. It circulates hot air continuously around the food inside allowing it to crisp up without having to be submerged in oil. Full-sized convection ovens are super cool, but definitely not in everyone’s price range (especially if you’re not in the market for a new oven!). An air fryer is affordable, compact, and allows you to fry up your favorite treats quickly!
Looking for some more tasty appetizer ideas? Check out these other Real Housemoms favorites!
- Easy Peasy Pizza Dough Breadsticks
- Low Carb “Fried” Pickles
- Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- Rotel Dip
- Loaded Potato Skins
- more APPETIZER recipes…
Tools used to make this Air Fryer Blooming Onion recipe
Air Fryer: There are quite a few different brands of air fryers on the market these days, but this is the one I have and love!
Mixing Bowls: No kitchen is complete without a favorite set of mixing bowls!
- 1 large white onion
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Olive oil spray
- 4 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise (or regular mayo)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons creamy horseradish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Peel the onion and cut off the top. Place topside down on a cutting board. Starting 1/2-inch from the root, cut the onion into quarters slicing down toward the cutting board. Then cut each quarter into 3 equal pieces for a total of 12 onion petals.
- Soak the onion in cold water for 2 hours or more. Longer is better as it gives the onion time to separate into petals on its own. Take the onion out of the water and shake dry.
- In a medium bowl, whisk milk and eggs together. Coat entire onion in egg mixture.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, paprika, garlic salt, thyme, and oregano. Place the egg-washed onion into the flour. Use a spoon to make sure to distribute flour mixture and make sure all petals are coated.
- Place onion in an air fryer and spray with olive oil. This will give the onion a deep-fried texture. Air fry at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Shake, re-spray with oil, and fry for another 10 minutes.
- Once the onion is done cooking, transfer it to a large, shallow bowl. Open the middle of the onion (be careful for the steam!) and place the ramekin of sauce in the center. Serve immediately.