If you crave crispy onion rings but need to watch your weight or need a solution to National Onion Rings Day (June 22) and National Onion Day (June 27), we’ve got your back. We’ll help you make the perfect batch of air fryer onion rings recipe — crisp on the outside, sweet and tender inside, and basically guilt-free to boot!
Plus, there’s no hazardous hot oil to work around and no greasy stovetop to clean afterward. With an air fryer, this crispy finger food is a snap to make.
So, to see how our air fryer onion rings are done. Or, read on and see why air-fried onion rings are worth the hype.
Are Air-Fried Onion Rings Healthy?
On a scale from healthiest to junkiest, fast-food onion rings fall near the bottom. They, along with most deep-fried foods, are often considered unhealthy because:
They sneak oil into your food, adding loads of calories that you don’t need. If you want to lose fat, deep-fried foods (and processed carbs as well) are the last thing you want to put in your body.
However, when done at home in an air-fryer, these foods can move several rungs up the health ladder. Without oil, none of the problematic substances listed above make it into your body.
Plus, making onion rings at home can help us avoid exceeding the USDA-recommended limits for sodium and saturated fats. It’s all too easy for store-made savory foods to exceed the recommendations.
Are Onion Rings Vegan?
Typically, onion rings aren’t vegan-friendly because the coating contains eggs. However, you can create vegan onion rings by substituting a vegan binder in place of the eggs.
To do this, combine half a cup of almond milk (or soy milk) with a quarter cup of flour. Whisk them together, adjusting the ratio if necessary, and you have yourself a vegan binder that works for all fried foods.
How to Cut an Onion for Onion Rings
Cutting an onion into rings is an easy task to master. Once you do, you’ll find yourself making them all the time.
Wash and peel your onion first. Then lay it on its side and slice off the top (not the root end). Don’t simply slice it in half because you won’t be able to hold it tightly for the next cuts.
Next, starting at the top, make incisions half an inch apart from one another. When you reach the root end, toss it in the trash right away to stem your flow of tears.
Finally, use your hands to separate the layers, creating onion rings of all sizes. We recommend separating out the ones that are too small to use. You can store them in the fridge for other dishes.
What Sauce Goes with Onion Rings
In case you don’t yet have a favorite, here are some of ours:
Mayo AND ketchup: with equal parts of ketchup and mayonnaise, you’ve got a simple sauce that goes well on salads or fried foods. We find it even tastier with a dab of sriracha and honey.
Dill and sour cream: a handful of chopped dill makes a world of difference when added to sour cream. It’s simple, easy, and works every time.
Storing and Reheating Onion Rings
You can place leftover onion rings in a Ziploc bag or any other container and keep them in the fridge. They last up to five days, and you can easily reheat them at 350°F in your air fryer.
For best results, spray some cooking oil over the top of the rings before reheating. It won’t add a lot of calories and will make them crispier.
Alternatively, freezing your onion rings will keep them good for several months.
Frozen onion rings can go straight to a bubbling deep-fryer, but do they work the same in an air-fryer? In short, yes, they do!
First, preheat your air-fryer to 350°F. Next, arrange your onion rings in the frying chamber, spray some (neutral) oil on top, and cook for 10 minutes (flip halfway through).
It’s possible to cook onion rings like this because they are relatively thin. Thicker foods like chicken fingers or nuggets need to be thawed (or microwave-defrosted) before placing them in the air fryer.
Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. Place an onion on your cutting board. Hold it on its side and slice off the top (not the root end). Cut it into half-inch-thick ring slices. Use your hands to separate the slices into rings. Measure out 4.5 oz onion rings (cut more onions if necessary), and put the ones you want to use in a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together 2 medium eggs, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tbsp milk. Set aside.
In a third bowl, mix 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp breadcrumbs with 0.25 grated parmesan cheese.
Add 2 tbsp all-purpose flour to the onion bowl and gently toss to coat them evenly. Dip each ring into the egg mixture, then finally into the breadcrumb bowl. Use one hand to touch the wet mixture, and the other for the dry mixture in order to avoid making lumps in the breadcrumb bowl. Place the rings on a large baking tray or dish.
Place onion rings in the preheated air fryer, and cook for 10 minutes (flip halfway). Try to arrange them such that you can cook as many as possible at a time — we only needed to cook two batches.
Serve with mayo and ketchup.
(*) Only part of these ingredients will end up in the final product and we have calculated nutritional values based on those amounts. The whole amount is needed for the coating and cooking process, but what actually ends up being consumed is 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs and 0.25 oz grated parmesan.
Air Fryer Onion Rings
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 158Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 8g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Vitamin A 130IU
Vitamin C 2mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.