Air Fryer Blooming Onion

by Karly

A crispy coating covers our amazing AIR FRYER BLOOMING ONION petals. We serve it with a copycat Outback Bloomin’ Onion sauce!

a person dipping an onion petal into a sauce

I first had a blooming onion at a restraunt and fell in love with it immediately. It was such a creative way to serve up a fried onion and it rivaled a delicious onion ring.

As appetizers go, this is a good looking dish as well! Fun to look at, and fun to eat!

And the sauce…OMG the sauce! This copycat Outback bloomin onion sauce is every bit as good as what you’d get at the restaurant. Perfect for dunking those onion rings or even some air fryer potato wedges!

Blooming onion on a serving tray next to a cup of dipping sauce

Blooming Onion Ingredients:

  • Sweet Vidalia onion
  • All purpose flour
  • Smoked paprika – regular paprika will work, but we love smoked!
  • Garlic salt
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Panko – makes the coating extra crispy
  • Milk
  • Eggs

Copycat Outback Bloomin Onion Sauce Ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise – Miracle whip is not suggested here
  • Sour cream
  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Horseradish – this is a key ingredient. You can find small green tubes in the veggie section of your local grocery store.
blooming oniion ingredients spread out on a countertop

How to make the onion:

  • Cut off the top bit of the onion, a half inch or less. Then peel all the “paper” layers off the onion.
  • Turn the cut side of the onion down on a cutting board. Starting about a ¼ inch down from the root, make a slice all the way down to the cutting board. Repeat to make four evenly spaced cuts around the onion. Continue slicing between each section to form 16 slices in the onion. Turn the onion back over and separate the petals.
A cut onion next to a couple bowls of ingredients
  • Get a small bowl and mix together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • In a different small bowl, whisk your eggs and milk together. You can use just the whites of the eggs if that is your preference.
  • Place the onion in the flour mixture and cover the entire onion.  Separate petals and spoon flour between each layer.  Shake off excess flour. You don’t want any clumps.  
blooming onion being dipped into a bowl
  • Dip the onion into the egg mixture and spoon the egg mixture over each layer making sure to separate the petals while spooning.
  • Now place the onion in a large bowl and cover with the panko. Make sure to cover every petal and try to get the panko in between the petals. If there is excess panko, don’t worry about it. It will just make your onion a little extra crispy.
  • Carefully lift the onion into your air fryer basket. Spray olive oil on it with a pump spray bottle mister. Don’t use non-stick spray as that can hurt your basket lining.
  • Cook at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and carefully place on a serving plate.

How to make the sauce:

The sauce is a simple mixing of ingredients, no pans involved.

Grab a small bowl and mix together mayo, sour cream, ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and pepper.

This isn’t too spicy if you have anyone you are worried about. Most of the spice comes from the horseradish. So you can adjust the heat by backing off of that a little. But I don’t recommend you leave it out.

This can be cold or room temperature when you go to serve. As long as the onion is hot it will go good with the sauce either way.

Overhead view of a blooming onion in an air fryer basket

Leftovers:

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This air fryer blooming onion is always best served fresh. All fried foods are better that way.

But if you somehow don’t finish this off, you can store it in an airtight container. No need to put it in the fridge.

When it is time to reheat, place it back in the air fryer at 375 degrees F and cook for three minutes.

Extra sauce can be stored in a small jar or covered bowl for up to 1 week.

Overhead view of a sauce and a blooming onion on a wooden serving tray

More air fried appetizer recipes you might like:

Overhead view of an onion petal being dipped into a sauce
A blooming onion on a wooden serving board

Air Fried Blooming Onion

Yield: 1 onion
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This onion is cooked in the air fryer and comes out very crispy! Serve it hot with our spicy sauce for an appetizer you will be craving in your sleep!

Ingredients

For the Blooming Onion:

  • 1 large sweet Vidalia onion
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko

For the Sauce:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut off the top ½ inch of the onion.  Peel the paper layers off.
  2. Turn it cut side down on a cutting board. Starting about a ¼ inch down from the root, make a slice all the way down to the cutting board. Repeat to make four evenly spaced cuts around the onion. Continue slicing between each section to form 16 slices in the onion. Turn the onion back over and separate the petals.  
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and oregano.  
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and eggs together.
  5. Place the onion in the flour mixture and cover the entire onion.  Separate petals and spoon flour between each layer.  Shake off excess flour.
  6. Transfer the onion to the egg mixture. Spoon the egg mixture over each layer, making sure to separate the petals.
  7. Next, place the onion on a plate or large bowl and cover with panko, making sure to cover every petal and in between.
  8. Carefully lift into the air fryer basket. 
  9. Spray the entire onion with an olive oil spritzer.
  10. Insert basket into the air fryer and cook at 375° for 15 minutes. 
  11. While the onion is cooking, whisk all of the sauce ingredients together until well combined.
  12. Remove and place on a serving plate. Serve with dipping sauce. 

Notes

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and is great when used on meats, sandwiches, or as a dip for vegetables.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 838mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 11g

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