How to Make an Air Fried Blooming Onion (Gluten-Free)

October 30, 2019Kristy
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It’s time to put your air fryer skills to the test and learn how to make an air fried blooming onion.  This happens to be easy to adapt to gluten-free too!

air fried blooming onion

As soon as I whipped up these Gluten-Free Air Fryer Onion Rings, I knew the next recipe on my list would soon be an Air Fried Blooming Onion.  

Have you ever had a blooming onion before?  I watch with envy at the fair as my husband devours one.  The sad part for me is since I’m gluten-free, I have to avoid that blooming onion.

Now that I know how to make one at home, life is just so much better.  Can you imagine?  Maybe that’s dramatic but I am telling you this air fried blooming onion was gone in less than 5 minutes.

Not sure about an Air Fryer?  Check out this post on Everything You Need to Know about An Air Fryer too!

There are plenty of tips though to go around with this air fryer recipe.  When making an air fried blooming onion, it’s actually simple but it does take a little bit of adapting to get the feel for what works best for you.

How to make an Air Fried Blooming Onion 

I have seen many recipes on how to make blooming onions and each one is just a little bit different technique.  It’s honestly going to come down to your personal preference.  I am going to share mine with you, the key I found was a good soak in buttermilk, plus a nice brush.

First, let’s start with cutting the onion. 

Before you begin to cut it, peel it first.  I found the best way to cut this was to cut one end flat and the other end that has that root to it, just trim that off and keep it still intact.

Once you have that down, you want to slightly cut down from the root to the end that is flat to make the petals.  Once you have it cut, slowly peel back the onion.

It’s important to get the onion separated but also still keep the bottom together, slow and steady.

Once you have it fully opened, place it in a shallow bowl and cover it with buttermilk.  If the buttermilk doesn’t fully soak it all the way, flip the onion over after an hour of soaking to soak the other side.  

Once they are soaked, it’s time to coat them with the eggs.  I found it was best to do this with a good basting brush because it was easy to get into all the layers of the onion.  Remember it doesn’t all have to be perfect but lightly coated.

Once that is done, I went ahead and put the onion in the air fryer on a sheet of foil. 

After that, add in the breadcrumb mixture.  This can be sprinkled onto the onion or you can dip the onion in the mixture.

The last step is to evenly coat the onion with a dash of salt to taste and cajun seasoning.

It gives it a burst of flavor.

Then, it’s time to make an air fried blooming onion!

Why do you need to soak onion in buttermilk?

It’s best to soak the onion in buttermilk because it sets it up to have the egg and breadcrumbs stick better. It also helps eliminate some of that potent flavor to the onions.  It takes them down a few notches.

How long do you cook an Air Fried Blooming Onion?

It takes about 15 minutes to cook an air fryer blooming onion at 390 degrees.  I suggest checking it halfway through the cooking time due to all air fryers putting off a different amount of heat.

How do you make a Gluten-Free Air Fried Blooming Onion?

It’s easy to make this air fryer recipe gluten-free with a simple swap of ingredients.  I use a gluten-free all-purpose flour such as Better Batter and Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs.  That’s it!  

Now, are you ready to make the BEST Gluten-Free Air Fried Blooming Onion?

It’s time! 

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Air Fried Blooming Onion (Gluten-Free)

Air Fried Blooming Onion (Gluten-Free)

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Make the best Air Fried Blooming Onion that is also easy to make Gluten-Free too!


  • 1 Large Sweet Onion
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1-2 Cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or Regular Flour
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • 2 Cups Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs or Regular Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Cajun Seasoning


  1. Begin by peeling the onion.
  2. Once it's peeled, trim the side with the root just to make it trimmed and more flat.
  3. Cut the other side flat.
  4. Starting at the root, slice it down from the root to the other end, space it out and do the same all the way around the onion.
  5. Carefully separate each layer.
  6. Soak the onion for 1-2 hours in the buttermilk.
  7. Once it's fully soaked, shake off any excess liquid and then place the onion in the flour, start with 1 cup of flour and add additional as needed. Coat well.
  8. Once it's fully coated, use a brush and carefully brush the egg onto the onion being sure to get into each layer.
  9. Spray a sheet of foil with Olive Oil Spray, cut the foil to fit into the air fryer rolling it up on the sides so that air can still easily circulate.
  10. Place the onion carefully on the foil.
  11. Coat with the breadcrumbs.
  12. Lastly evenly sprinkle with salt and seasoning.
  13. At this point, you can do another coat of olive oil spray just to add some extra moisture.
  14. Cook in the air fryer at 390 degrees for 15 minutes.
  15. Carefully remove and serve.


Be sure to check on the onion after about 8 minutes to be sure it does not overcook. Each air fryer is going to heat a little bit differently. This took 15 minutes in our air fryer without pre-heating.

The instructions are detailed; however, this recipe is quite simple and remember that you are going to likely find a method that works best for you as you go about making it.

Keep these things in mind:

  • Soak in Buttermilk
  • Dip in Flour
  • Coat with Egg
  • Sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and seasoning
  • Air Fry
  • Eat!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 972mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 16g

This is going to vary based on exact products and amounts used.


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