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French’s Copycat Crispy Fried Onions

Crispy fried onions can be deep fried in oil or you can make air fryer onion rings too! Want homemade copycat French’s fried onions, they’re way better than canned!

Crispy Fried Onions

I think I could put Frenchs crispy fried onions on just about every casserole I make! Making them homemade was new this year and I couldn’t believe how easy they were! (affiliate links present)

Onion Straws

Have you had these on top of a hamburger at your favorite restaurant and would love to have them at your barbecue too? They are easier to make than you might think. Either fried or made as thin air fryer onion rings and crushed turn a good dish into something incredible I tell you.

You need to start with the obvious first, onions!! There are a lot of choices for sure if you’ve been to the produce section of your grocery store. From white to yellow, sweet, vidalia and red. Typically I opt for yellow because I have those on hand and they lead to a more savory flavor.

How to Make Fried Onions

copycat frenchs fried onions

Copycat French’s Crispy Fried Onions

Let’s start with the traditional method of making crispy fried onions on your stovetop first. This is what you will need. It’s not much, and quite inexpensive to make too. Whether you want them as a sinful snack, or to top your Instant Pot green bean casserole, homemade is always best.

Fried Onions Recipe

Yes you can buy a can of French’s fried onions to shake on top of your green bean casserole this year, but wait!! Try something new this year and make these onion straws instead!

There are many types of onions out there, but I think yellow are best for this. Can you use white onions for onion rings? This is purely up to you. White onions have a shaper, more pungent flavor, while yellow onions have a nice balance of sharp and sweet.

  1. Onions – sliced thin
  2. Flour
  3. Pepper
  4. Salt
  5. Buttermilk
  6. Vegetable oil for frying
  7. Shallow bowl

Of course starting with large onions is the first step. The thinner they are sliced the crunchier they will be, and the quicker they will cook.

Fried Onions

French’s French Fried Onions

Yes we are going to slice them thinly for this recipe because for the most part you’re using them to top another dish. Little bite size crispy fried onions is what we want. The smaller you slice them the crispier and faster they will cook. Keep that in mind when preparing

For example, for our easy green bean casserole I like them REALLY crispy and teeny tiny in size. If I’m making these just to snack on I will slice them a bit thicker, more like homemade onion rings.

Steps are basic: Just put flour mixture in a bowl to combine, dip onion into buttermilk, then into flour, fry and drain on paper towels!

air fryer onion rings

What is onion ring batter made of?

Here are a few questions you might be asking yourself as you start to make these. Typically it’s a mixture of flour and a liquid like buttermilk here with some salt and pepper for flavor.

What does soaking onions in ice water do?

Some people soak their raw sliced onions in a bowl of ice water for 1 hour. Then they drain the liquid out and pat dry with paper towels before battering them. This tends to keep the onions crispier I think. It also reduces their pungency. Once you’re ready you’ll want to prepare your oil for frying.

Tip: Do not put them in until it is nice and HOT. I drop a bit of batter inside the hot oil and if it immediately bubbles and cooks it is ready.

What if you don’t want to fry your homemade onion rings in oil?

homemade onion rings

Air fryer onion rings

You can make them another way too! Hot air machines are seriously the best I tell you. We love easy air fryer recipes like this one.

  1. 2 onions sliced
  2. 1 c all purpose flour
  3. 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  4. 2 c Italian bread crumbs
  5. 1 egg whisked
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. 3/4 tsp baking soda
    1. helps to keep them really crunchy
  8. 1 c liquid
    1. beer
    2. broth
    3. water

You could really choose any flavoring you wanted with these. There is plain of course and Italian seasoned that we prefer. Olive oil spray is something you’ll want to air fry everything, unless you want to make plain air fryer onions without any coating.

fried onion recipe

Crispy fried onions in an air fryer

You can use any brand of electric air fryer or we have the best large air fryer around too. Slice onions as thick or thin as you’d like them. Then separate the rings. In 1 bowl put in your breadcrumbs, in a 2nd mix together the rest of your dry ingredients, in a 3rd whisk your egg with your cup of liquid.

  • Preheat your air fryer or Ninja Foodi to 360 degrees
  • Now dip your handful of onions onion in the flour bowl, then the egg bowl, and finally cover with breadcrumbs.

Place in your air fryer basket, don’t overlap them. Then spray them all with olive oil spray.

  • Once full close lid and cook for 6 minutes total, flipping halfway through until golden brown. (timing is approx. depending on how brown you like them)

Remove, add remaining onions to fry until all are done. Sprinkle on top of your recipe or eat as is as a tasty snack.

easy green bean casserole

How do you preserve onion rings?

Pack them in layers inside rigid containers using plastic wrap in between them. Seal the containers, label, and freeze

How do you keep onion rings crispy when reheated?

  1. You need to preheat your oven first to 350oF.
  2. Cover them with foil.
  3. Bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes until as crispy as desired.
  4. Enjoy!

Here are a few other ideas you might enjoy using this same main ingredients too: We have directions for air fryer frozen onion rings too which are fabulous with some teriyaki chicken.

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fried onion recipe
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5 from 2 votes

Crispy Fried Onions

Crispy fried onions can be deep fried in oil or you can make air fryer onion rings too! Want homemade French's fried onions, they're way better than canned!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, frenchs, fried, onion rings, onions
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 291kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Line a large plate with paper towels and set aside. Pour oil into a cast iron pot and heat up to 375F in oven while you prepare the ingredients (if you're using cast iron, if not then skip this step and heat oil in med. frying pan over med. heat).

  • Peel and slice off the top and bottom from the onion. Thinly slice to about 1/8th inch round slices. Mix the salt and pepper into the flour until well combined and pour the milk into a small bowl.
  • Dip the onion slices into the milk, making sure they are completely covered in the
    milk. Next dredge them in the flour also making sure they’re throughly coated.

  • Carefully place the onion slices into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on
    both sides, this will take about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove the onion
    slices and drain off excess oil on paper towel lined plate.
  • Allow to cool before using. Chop into small pieces if making copycat French's fried onions to top on to green bean casserole etc… Any leftovers may be stored in an airtight container and in the


Nutrition Facts
Crispy Fried Onions
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 291 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 49mg1%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 25IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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Friday 19th of March 2021

Sounds great and easy !!! Thanks!!!

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