Crispy Fried Onions are great for snacking but they’re also a classic addition to a green bean casserole and can easily jazz up hamburgers, soups, or casseroles!

These onions are marinated in sweet buttermilk, dredged in flour, and fried to crispy perfection. They’re so good, it’s impossible to just eat one!

close up of easy Crispy Fried Onions on a plate

What are Fried Onions?

  • French’s Fried Onions are not a French dish but originated in the US. These crispy little bits are great added to all kinds of dishes!
  • These fried onions are similar to an onion ring but they are much thinner with a lighter coating.
  • This recipe is different than a caramelized onion (which is soft and sweet), they are quick fried to be crisp.
  • Both cheap and flavorful, these onions can add zest and crunch to anything.
  • This recipe uses just a few ingredients you likely have on hand.

ingredients to make Crispy Fried Onions

Ingredients & Variations

ONION: So many kinds of onions, but the best onions for frying are the white and yellow versions. For a sweeter version, try the red or Walla Walla onions. Peel the skin off the onion, slice them into rings, and give them a fry!

BUTTERMILK: Marinating the onions in buttermilk will make the onions a little more tender, takes out a bit of the ‘bite’, and will help the flour adhere to the onions. If you don’t have any, it’s easy to make a buttermilk substitute.

VARIATIONS: Add a bit of cornmeal to the flour to give the onions a little more crunch. Or shred some cornflakes and add them to the flour.

onions in a bag and coating to make Crispy Fried Onions

How to Make Fried Onions

Deep fry or pan fry these crispy rings of flavor.

  1. Cut onions into thin rings and marinate in buttermilk.
  2. Toss onions in flour (per recipe below).

Crispy Fried Onions on a plate before cooking

  1. Fry in small batches & stir with tongs.
  2. Drain on a paper towel lined pan.

cooked Crispy Fried Onions on a baking sheet

How to Use Fried Onions

There are so many ways to use these tasty fried onions!

As a snack or side salt them well with seasoned salt and dip them in aioli, ketchup, or onion ring sauce.

Add them to this Classic Green Bean Casserole, to Air Fryer Hamburgers. They make a great topping for a salad like this Cheeseburger Big Mac Salad.

These onions go great with creamy dishes like cream of onion soup or mushroom soup. Sprinkle them over mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or even use them to top a baked potato with these tasty onions. Include them in a stuffed peppers recipe, or make a pot of mushroom soup and toss these in for extra flavoring.

Storing Leftover Crispy Onions

Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4 days. Reheat in the oven or in a pan on the stove (the microwave isn’t ideal, it’ll make them soggy).

They can also be frozen, which makes them great for adding to soups and stews. Freeze them in a ziplock bag or airtight container for 1-3 months.

Delish Dips for Fried Onions

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Crispy Fried Onions

These golden-crispy fried onions are so easy to make, with only a handful of simple ingredients!


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  • Separate onion rings and combine with buttermilk in a freezer bag or large bowl and let marinate for 20 minutes (or up to 24 hours if you’d like).

  • While onions are marinating, combine flour, salt, & pepper in a large bowl.

  • Heat 1″ of oil in a skillet or heat a deep fryer to 375°F.

  • Remove onions from the buttermilk and drain well. Gently toss with the flour mixture.

  • Add small batches of onions to the hot oil. Gently stir with tongs and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes.

  • Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with seasoned salt or kosher salt if desired.

Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4 days. Reheat in the oven or in a pan on the stove (the microwave isn’t ideal, it’ll make them soggy).
Add your favorite seasoning blends to the flour if desired.
Onions can be cut and dredged ahead of time, refrigerated on a pan and fried before serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate only and will vary based on the thickness of the onions and the heat of the oil. Nutrition information accounts for use of half of the flour (as there will be excess after tossing).

Calories: 169, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 602mg, Potassium: 223mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 28IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Air Fryer, Appetizer, Party Food, Side Dish

Cuisine American

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close up of easy Crispy Fried Onions on a plate with writing
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