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Air Fryer Blooming Onion Recipe


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This Air Fryer Blooming Onion recipe makes it easy to create a healthier version of Outback Steakhouse’s most popular appetizer. So now you can save money AND calories!

a bloomin onion on a white plate with some white containers and an air fryer in the background

Outback Steakhouse sells over 8 million Bloomin’ Onions every year. It’s hands-down a customer favorite and for good reason.

Delicious, mildly sweet onion strips covered in a crisp, flavorful deep fried batter. Dipped in the tangy sweet sauce they serve it with, it’s a true delight for your taste buds.

a close up of a bloomin onion on a white plate with some white containers and an air fryer in the background

Why I Love This Recipe

Unfortunately, because Blooming Onions are so tasty, it’s easy to load up on the calories, fat and sodium in the dish. The Outback Steakhouse version contains 1950 calories, 155 grams of fat (of which 56g are saturated fat and 7g are trans fat), 3840 milligrams of sodium and 123 grams of carbs (of which 18g are sugar).

The good news is, most of those shocking nutrition facts about the Blooming Onion are related to the partially hydrogenated oil that Outback uses to deep fry the onion. So, by making this in an Air Fryer, we can eliminate the worst (i.e. unhealthiest) parts of the recipe and still enjoy our favorite appetizer!

Instead of deep frying the onion, we’re going to lightly spray it with olive oil, cutting the calories and fat of this recipe WAY down. And thanks to the magic of air frying, we won’t be sacrificing any of the flavor or delightful crispiness that make this appetizer so popular.

overhead view of a bloomin onion on a white plate with some white containers and an air fryer in the background

What You’ll Need to Make an Air Fryer Blooming Onion

Ingredients

To make a bloomin’ onion you only need a handful of ingredients and some seasoning:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (if you like a little heat)
  • Cooking spray
ingredients needed to make a bloomin onion, and an air fryer

Which Onion is Best for a Blooming Onion?

This is entirely up to you and depends on your taste preference. If you like a sweeter onion, go with a large Vidalia onion.

A large yellow onion is a popular choice since this is they type of onion most often used for onion rings. For a stronger onion flavor, go with a white onion.

No matter what type of onion you choose, generally it’s better to choose a large onion instead of a small or medium one. First, it will be easier to cut the onion into the smaller segments. Second, it will be easier to coat the onion pieces.

Equipment

You’ll also need a few kitchen tools:

  • Air fryer
  • Large, sharp knife
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Whisk or fork

How to Make a Bloomin’ Onion in an Air Fryer

Ready to get started? Ok, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Step 1: Cut the Onion

First, cut the pointy stem end of the onion off. Then, peel away the outer skin of the onion.

Set the onion cut-side up (root-side down) on a cutting board. Position your knife on top of the onion at the center and carefully slice 3/4 of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and make another, similar cut that is perpendicular to the first one. You should have four equal sections.

Now, make similar slices (never cutting all the way to the bottom of the onion) in between the original cuts to create eight equal sections. Repeat this process once more to form 16 equal sections — these are your onion petals.

Pro Tip: To make it easier to keep the petals from sticking together, drop the onion into boiling water for one minute then transfer immediately into a bowl of cold water.

Step 2: Prepare Coating

Next, we’re going to make the wet and dry mixtures we’ll use to coat the petals. For the wet mixture, combine the eggs and milk in a large bowl and whisk together.

In a separate large bowl, combine the flour and all the spices and stir to combine.

flour and seasonings in a glass bowl on a gray counter

Step 3: Dredge the Onion Petals

This next step is the trickiest part but it’s the most important.

First, place the onion root side down in the bowl of flour. Use your hands to dredge all of the pieces with the flour mixture.

an onion in a glass bowl full of flour and seasonings on a gray counter

Next, place the onion in the egg wash and use your hands or a spoon to make sure each piece gets moistened.

Return the onion to the flour bowl and dredge again. For a thicker, crispier coating, coat the whole onion once more in the egg mixture followed by the flour.

Step 4: Air Fry

It’s time to let your Air Fryer work its magic! Place the coated onion in the air fryer basket and use a cooking spray to lightly coat the onion petals.

a coated onion in an air fryer

Cook at 350°F for 9 minutes. When it’s done, it should be a rich, golden brown.

a cooked bloomin onion in an air fryer

If you’d like to make the dipping sauce to go with your bloomin’ onion, simply combine the following ingredients in a small bowl :

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Air Fryer Blooming Onion Recipe

Don’t need all the details and step-by-step pictures above? Here’s the recipe card with the main details.

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Air Fryer Blooming Onion

This Air Fryer Blooming Onion recipe makes it easy to create a healthier version of Outback Steakhouse's most popular appetizer. So now you can save money AND calories!
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Total Time 24 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 324 kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer
  • Large, sharp knife
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Whisk or fork

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper if you like a little heat
  • Cooking spray

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cut off the top of the onion (the pointy side). Peel away the outer skin of the onion.
  • Set the onion cut-side up. Position your knife on top of the onion at the center and carefully slice 3/4 of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and make another, similar cut that is perpendicular to the first one.
  • Continue cutting 3/4 of the way down in between the original cuts to create eight equal sections. Repeat this process once more to form 16 equal sections.
  • Combine eggs and milk in a large bowl and whisk together.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine the flour and all the spices and stir to combine.
  • First, place onion root side down in the flour mixture. Coat onion in flour.
  • Place onion in egg mixture and coat each piece.
  • Return onion to flour bowl and dredge again.
  • For a thicker, crispier coating, coat the whole onion once more in the egg mixture followed by the flour.
  • Place onion in the air fryer basket. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Cook at 350°F for 9 minutes.

For the Dipping Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in small bowl.
  • Mix well.

Notes

Pro Tip: To make it easier to keep the petals from sticking together, drop the onion into boiling water for one minute then transfer immediately into a bowl of cold water.

Nutrition

Calories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 12gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1807mgPotassium: 315mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1348IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 111mgIron: 4mg
Keyword air fryer, copycat
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a collage of a bloomin onion on a white plate with some white containers and an air fryer in the background with title text reading Bloomin' Onion Made In An Air Fryer

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