These crispy onions are ultra crunchy, easy to make and so yummy! Perfect in sandwiches, burgers and salads.
Honestly, once you master the crispy onion there’s no going back. Sometimes I whip up a batch of these just to snack on – mainly because they’re insanely delicious, but also because they’re so darn easy to make! Follow me…
Buttermilk Fried Onions
One of the key steps to ultra crispy onions is soaking them in buttermilk. Buttermilk has the perfect consistency for coating the onions and helps attach the flour when you dredge them. This in turn builds up a crust and creates a nice crispy coating for the onions.
What type of onion to use?
You’re just looking for a regular large white onion. If you can get a ‘cannonball onion’ they work well! Vidalia onions, or any other sweet onion variety works great as well.
How to slice onion for fried onions?
You can either slice into rings as I do here. Or you can slice into strips, to make onion strings. In both cases though just make sure they’re sliced very thin, at least half the thickness you’d slice regular onion rings. Also just make sure you separate all the strands to avoid them clumping up when you dredge/fry them.
How long to soak in buttermilk?
I usually go for 30-60mins, but just as long as you have time for. Even just as you prep the other ingredients/steps!
Process shots: peel onion (photo 1), slice into thin strips (photo 2), separate strips (photo 3), soak in buttermilk (photo 4).
Crispy Fried Onions
Once you’ve soaked the onions you’ll want to dredge them through flour. In the flour I like to add paprika, salt and white pepper for seasoning. I also like to add baking powder, which helps create a thin bubbly batter as they fry.
Some recipes suggest combining all the onion at once with the flour, but from experience I find this just makes everything go clumpy. Instead, I recommend working in small batches, shaking excess buttermilk off the onions before dredging. This will help give the onions more of a light crispy coating.
Deep Fried Onions
Just as you would regular onions rings, these beauties have gotta be fried. This is a great recipe for beginners as you’re not messing around with raw meat or anything. You’ll want to work in batches, just so the oil temp doesn’t drop too much.
Process shots: add seasoning to flour (photo 1), whisk to combine (photo 2), add onions (photo 3), coat (photo 4), deep fry (photo 5).
Serving Crispy Onions
Once they’re deep golden and visibly crispy just drain on paper towels and repeat. I like to sprinkle over salt and the end, not only to give them extra seasoning but also to draw out the final bit of moisture from the batter.
How to store crispy onions?
I do recommend serving these fresh as that’s when they’ll be at their crispiest. However you can allow them to completely cool and store in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
How long do crispy onions last?
I usually keep them for around a week, but just check past 5 days to see if they’ve started to soften or not.
What can I use crispy onions for?
These of course go great in Sandwiches (below I’ve served them in my Grilled Chicken Sandwich). Sometimes I also serve them up as an appetizer with a dip (Chipotle Mayo is great!). They also go great with burgers, soups, casseroles and great on my Roasted Veggie Salad!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these crispy onions shall we?!
How to make Crispy Fried Onions (Full Recipe & Video)
Crispy Fried Onions
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl
- Large Shallow Dish
- Pot (suitable for deep frying)
- Slotted Spoon & Tongs
- Tray & Paper Towels
- Kitchen Thermometer
- 1 large White Onion, peeled & very thinly sliced (see notes)
- 2 cups / 500ml Buttermilk, or as needed to cover onions (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups / 225g Plain / All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp EACH: Paprika, Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp Salt (plus more to serve)
- 1/4 tsp White Pepper
- 4 cups / 1 litre Vegetable Oil, or as needed
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine onion slices and enough buttermilk to comfortably cover them. Leave to soak for 30-60mins. If you're short on time just leave to soak as you prep the other steps.
- In a large shallow dish combine flour, paprika, baking powder, salt and white pepper. Use tongs to grab a small batch of the onions, give them a good shake to remove excess buttermilk, then add into the flour. Use a fork or your hands to fully coat them as best you can. Give them a shake to remove excess flour, place on a tray then repeat.
- Heat up oil in a suitably sized pot or pan to 180C/350F. Carefully lower in a batch of the onions and use tongs to immediately separate them if they stick together. Fry until deep golden and visibly crispy (around 2-5mins depending on how thick the slices are and how many you fry at once). Use a slotted spoon to remove them and place on paper towels then repeat. Bring temp back up to 180C/350F between batches. I find 3 batches works fine, just don't overfill the pot or the oil temp will drop too much and they'll all stick together.
- Sprinkle over salt to draw out the final bit of moisture then serve up in sandwiches or as finger food with a dip!
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