Air Fryer Onions are the best accompaniment to any sausage sizzle and you won't even have to turn the BBQ on! Pop them on a burger, serve them with bangers and mash, a side for roast meats or hot dog topper. Quick and easy, air fried onions are the too easy perfect side dish!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Super quick and super easy without turning the oven on: this is a quick and easy side dish that won't heat up the whole house!
- Fast cook time: taking less time than ever to prepare in the Air Fryer, these onions look, taste and smell exactly like their equivalent BBQ'ed counterparts.
- Budget friendly: onions are not expensive and definitely won't break the bank. Yet they pair well with so many options so can be a budget friendly side that works with almost anything!
- Back to basics: these onions are simply cooked in the air fryer with no batter, breading or seasoning.
- Versatile pairing options: they sing on their own and you will be getting a front row seat to the performance (Air Fryer Sausages the support act).
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the air fryer onions recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Spray oil: (optional) It is not essential for you to use olive oil when air frying onions. However, I do recommend it to produce similar results to stove top sautéed onions. A little goes a long way!
- Onions (I recommend standard white onions). We simply need to peel the skins and slice using the method set out below.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe, We start by lightly slicing the onions, you will need a knife and chopping board.
- Slice onions and remove skins (Photo 1)
- Add to Air Fryer basket or lined tray (Photo 2)
- Spray raw onion with a little cooking oil (Photo 3)
- Cook the onions for 8 mins, then pull the basket out, use tongs to stir and move about a bit, then return the basket and cook for a further 7 mins (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Onions
To make the recipe, start by preparing the onions, remove their skins and slice them into thin rounds.
Lightly spray the air fryer basket or tray then place the sliced onions in or on top. This is a recipe that is ok to pile up a little and not need to lay in one flat layer (usual air fryer technique 😉).
Push the basket back into the air fryer or close the glass door. Start cooking the onions as per the temperature in the recipe card. The sliced onions will shrink down massively when they are cooking.
The goal is to get the onions to the exact same slippery, stringy, cooked point of deliciousness that we would on a BBQ or hot plate (sautéed onions my friend 😍😘😉👍) .
As you can see, the onions are crispy, brown and delicious!
These photos are good to show the point I am making how the onions will 'shrink down' as they cook, so don't worry if they are piled a little high initially 👍👍 .
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Once the onions are cooked and ready for serving you have plenty of choices on what to do with them. Try one of the following suggestions:
- Use them as a burger topping for the Air Fryer Hamburgers.
- Add them to the Air Fryer Mini Hot Dogs or Oven Baked Mini Hot Dogs.
- Drizzle them with the Herbed Yogurt Sauce as shown in the photos throughout the post as it elevates the sausage and onion combo and reduces that 'too sweet' sauce taste.
- Serve them with bread and a sausage for a 'sausage sizzle'.
- Pop them on the side of a plate of Air Fryer Honey BBQ Chicken Wings.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Let the air fried onions fully cool, then transfer to an air tight container.
They will keep 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
How to Freeze
Ensure the onions have fully cooled before pacing in a sealed air tight container and placing in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively prep the onions by removing the skins and slicing into rings, then freezing in freezer bags until ready to air fry on use as desired.
How to Reheat
Pop leftover onions back into the air fryer and heat for 2 to 3 mins.
Alternatively microwave them on high for 1 minute to reheat.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You don't have to use olive oil, this can be omitted.
- Alternatively you can use a different type of oil such as peanut oil, sunflower oil or canola oil.
- Throughout the post you see me using a basket version air fryer. You also use a tray version simply by popping the sliced onions onto 1 or 2 racks in the air fryer. For this appliance, remove the rack using an oven mit mid way through cooking and use a pair of kitchen tongs to help 'stir' the onions', much like you would sauté them on the stove top.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Cut each end off the onion (stem and stalk), then peel prior to slicing.
- You can pull the basket out by the handle to check the onions after about 5 mins cook time.
- There are so many sizes and types of Air Fryers that some will cook faster or slower depending on the model, the 1st time you make the recipe, check the onions along the way to see how they are cooking!
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Are onions good in an Air Fryer?
Air fried onions are delicious!
They cook extremely quickly and look and taste like BBQ'ed fried onions.
For variety you can trying onion rings, a blooming onion, fried onions or sausages and onions!
Can you sauté in an Air Fryer?
When using the air fryer to cook onions, you can use a flat silicon utensil to move the onions around a bit during the cooking process.
This is very similar to how you can sauté foods, the main different being, sautéing on the stove is usually done using a fry pan and when using the air fryer, the olive oil is sprayed directly onto the food and not sitting underneath it frying the foods.
Air Fried onions look, taste and smell just like sautéed onions from the stove top!
How long do onion rings take in an Air Fryer?
It takes approximately 20 mins to cook onion rings (from frozen) in the Air Fryer.
You can refer to my Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings recipe if you want to cook store bought breaded onion rings. They are so easy and make a great side dish!
😍 More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
If you love air fried foods, then check out the following recipes from my Air Fryer recipes collection:
- Easy Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- Air Fryer Sausages
- Quick Air Fryer Mini Hot Dogs
- Air Fryer Stuffed Jalapenos
- Air Fryer Mini Corn Dogs
- Fun Air Fryer Sausage Rolls
- Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- Easy Air Fryer Pita Chips
- Air Fryer Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
- Simple Air Fryer Cheese on Toast (too easy!!)
Fry on my friend (and feel the air whilst doing it 😉🤣😘).
Air Fryer Onions
- 1 Air Fryer
- 1 Cooking spray
- 1 Kitchen Tongs
- 1 Oven Mit
- 2 large white onions Note 1
- spray olive oil
- Preheat Air Fryer: turn the air fryer on to 180°C/350 F (allow 5 mins to preheat if your model requires it).
- Onions: use a knife and chopping board to slice the onions into rounds. Peel the skin off the outside and separate the rings.
- Cook: add sliced onions to Air Fryer basket or lined tray. Spray with cooking oil (optional, but recommended). Cook onions for 8 mins, stir (Note 2), the cook for a further 7 mins.
- Serve and enjoy: use tongs to remove the cooked onions from the air fryer and place on a plate lined with paper towel. This will help absorb any mess over moisture from the onions. Serve with sausages, burgers, hot dogs and more!
- Note 1 - Air Fryer Size: for a 7 litre Air Fryer, you can use between 1 to 4 onions at the same time. More and it is best to work in batches.
- Note 2 - Technique: just like cooking on the stove top, when cooking in the Air Fryer you can 'stir' the ingredients. Simply pull the Air Fryer basket handle towards you (Air Fryer will shut off), use a silicon based utensil to stir the onions around then push the basket back in again using the handle. Or if using a tray style Air Fryer, push the tray back in and continue cooking.
Published June 2021, updated September 2023 with more tasty tips for you 😘!