Air Fryer Blooming Onion

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An air fryer blooming onion is the best way to enjoy your favorite appetizer but healthier!


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 packet seasoned coating mix (2.5 ounces)
  • salt & pepper (optional)
  • blooming onion dipping sauce
  • oil for spritzing


Prepare the onion

  1. Start by cutting off 1/2 inch from the top of the onion, then peel the outer skin from the onion.
  2. Place the onion cut-side down. Starting about 1/2 inch from the root, make a downward cut all the way through to the board. Make sure your knife cuts into the middle of the onion. All your cuts should meet in the middleDO NOT CUT THROUGH THE ROOT OR TOO CLOSE TO THE ROOT.
  3. Repeat to make four evenly spaced cuts around the onion.
  4. Make 1 additional cut between each section until you have 8 evenly spaced cuts.
  5. Turn the onion over and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the petals to relax.
  6. Prior to breading use your fingers to gently separate the outer pieces.
  7. Now that the onion is open it’s time to bread it to get that crispy coating.
  8. If any of the “petals” are stuck together, gently separate them so the onion can be in “full bloom.”

Bread the onion

  1. Whisk the flour and spices in a large bowl. In a small deep bowl, whisk the egg, butter, and milk.
  2. Place the onion in a large clean bowl, cut-side up and separated.
  3. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the onion getting in between the layers. I used a fork to sprinkle the flour mixture, and used my fingers to separate each individual layer and sprinkle the flour between every petal.
  4. Dump the remaining flour over the whole onion. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  5. Turn the onion over and gently pat off the excess flour back into the bowl. Reserve the remaining flour. You want to make sure the flour coats the petals without leaving large clumps of flour in between the petals.
  6. Transfer the onion into a large bowl and pour the egg mixture over the onion and coat evenly. Pouring over the onion helps it to get in between the petals and coat the flour.
  7. Open each petal to make sure the egg mixture soaks every bit of flour between the petals. Let the onion sit in this mixture for a few minutes.  Remove the onion from the bowl and let the excess drip off.
  8. Add the packet of seasoned coating mix to the leftover flour mixture. Place the wet onion into an empty bowl or onto the aluminum foil and sprinkle the reserved flour and coating mixture over it. Do not sprinkle in between those petals as it will be difficult to spray with cooking oil afterwards. However, sprinkle the flour and breading mixture over every part of the onion that is exposed to the air. I will even brush more egg mixture over drier parts of the onion to get as much mixture there as possible. 
  9. Place the onion into the refrigerator to set while you preheat the air fryer.

Air fry the onion

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 300F.
  2. After ten minutes, remove the onion from the refrigerator and spray generously with cooking oil. This is important to help get that “deep fried” flavor and texture. Be sure to soak all the flour mixture with cooking oil that you can see. You can also check in between the petals and spray any other flour spots you see.
  3. Place on a piece of foil for easy removal after cooking.
  4. Air fry 20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Open and spray at least once with more cooking oil during the cooking process.
  5. Remove gently and serve with Blooming Onion Dipping Sauce.


  • Make sure you coat the individual layers of onion in flour to maximize the crispy outside. You might have to help them open to get the best spread.
  • You can get 12-20 slices depending on the size of the onion if you want, but I found it to be more difficult to deal with that many petals. I prefer 8 petals for maximum crispness.
  • Slicing the onion is dangerous so make sure you are doing it on a flat surface like a cutting board for stability.
  • Give the onion plenty of time to open so each onion petal gets coated.
  • You can substitute some or all of the milk for beer in the egg wash for a slightly different flavor.
  • Spray the onion multiple times during the cooking process and use a fork to pry the petals open if they look like they aren’t spreading enough or the inside will be gluey.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 16 

Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 16mg Sodium: 107mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Protein: 1g

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