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Air Fryer Onion Rings Recipe

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Skip the deep fryer for this lighter alternative – air fryer onion rings! This simple air fryer recipe is a healthier way to enjoy fried onion rings at home, as a crunchy side or light meal idea.

Air fryer onion rings with panko breadcrumbs

There is no denying that I love my air fryer and coming up with new ways to recreate favourite recipes using it. The crazy thing is, I never intended to buy one of our own.

My parents left theirs here when they moved, so we started out just using it to cook pre-made products, such as chicken nuggets… #fussykids but it soon progressed into a whole new world of yummy recipe possibilities.

Onion rings in the air fryer

Making Air Fryer Onion Rings

Making your own homemade onion rings in the air fryer is simple to do. It can be a little messy, but it does not take long to make a batch of light, crispy onion rings to enjoy at home or with family and friends.

How to make homemade onion rings in the air fryer recipe

Let’s check out the ingredients for making crispy air fryer onion rings:

  • You will need 1 large onion. As for the type of onion, I never fuss too much, however you may want to choose a sweeter type of onion. Go for a large one so you can get nice big crunchy onion rings.
  • In a shallow, medium-sized bowl, combine 1/2 a cup of flour with 1 teaspoon of paprika.
  • Add half of your dry mixture to a second shallow bowl and combine with 1/2 cup of buttermilk and 1 beaten egg.
  • In a 3rd bowl, add 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs and 2 teaspoons of salt and combine well.
  • Dip your onion rings first in the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk mixture. Then roll well in the breadcrumbs mixture to give them a thick crumb coating.
  • Add to air fryer in a single layer to ensure each of your onion rings comes out nice and crispy!

What is Buttermilk?

This recipe uses buttermilk rather than standard full cream milk. Buttermilk involves curdled proteins, creating a thicker consistency than standard milk, but not as thick as cream. It is also lower in fat than both regular milk and cream.

If you do not have buttermilk, you can try these substitutions instead.

Air fryer onion rings

Can I Reheat Onion Rings?

If you accidentally air fry too many homemade onion rings to eat in one sitting (what a terrible shame… is there really such thing as too many onion rings?), you may be wondering if you can save them for later.

Well, you absolutely can. However, they won’t be the same crispy onion rings straight out of the air fryer. They will be soft and a bit soggy. So really, it’s up to you whether you choose to reheat extra onion rings for later.

If so, make sure to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until reheating.

Crispy entree close up

Tips for getting crispy onion rings

Crunchy, crispy onion rings are perfection! And the air fryer does a great job of achieving this texture.

However, if you want to add a little extra crunch to your onion rings and ensure a golden brown finish, try spraying a little cooking oil onto them halfway through cooking. This will help crisp them up and turn them golden brown!

You may like to do a light spray on the base of your air fryer basket before adding your onion rings. Otherwise, you will have a bit of a mess to clean up after you are done. This isn’t essential but does save some time afterwards.

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Check out more air fryer recipes to try:

Air fryer onion rings

Air Fryer Onion Rings

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Skip the deep fryer and create perfectly crispy air fryer onion rings instead.


  • 1 large onion
  • ½ cup plain all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg


  1. Cut onion into slices around 1cm thick. Separate into rings. 
  2. In a wide bowl, combine flour, salt and paprika. Pour half of the mixture into a second bowl and stir in buttermilk until combined. In a third bowl, mix salt and panko breadcrumbs.
  3. Roll onion rings in flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk mixture then coating in the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with all onion rings.
  4. Place onion rings in a single layer in the air fryer basket, avoiding them overlapping as much as possible.
  5. Cook for around 10-12 minutes in air fryer on around 200 degrees Celcius (400F), until golden.
  6. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.


The panko breadcrumbs can be substituted for standard breadcrumbs instead. You may want to add additional seasoning.

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Did you try this recipe?

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Did you make this air fryer onion rings recipe? Leave a comment or a review below. And don’t forget to share a photo online and tag me at @simplifycreateinspire

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