Baby Air Fryer Blooming Onions

Creating mini blooming onions in the air fryer is a fun and delicious way to enjoy this classic appetizer without the excess oil from deep frying. Here’s a detailed recipe to make baby blooming onions in your air fryer:

Baby Air Fryer Blooming Onions


Mini blooming onions are a delightful and crispy appetizer, perfect for any gathering or as a snack. Using an air fryer makes them healthier while still delivering the satisfying crunch and flavor of the traditional version.

Chapter 1: Ingredients

  • 4-6 small onions (such as shallots or small yellow onions)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a spicy kick)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooking spray or oil mister

Chapter 2: Preparation

  1. Prepare the Onions:
    • Peel the onions and cut off the top (not the root end). Carefully make several cuts from the top of the onion down to about 1/2 inch from the root end, creating “petals.” Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  2. Soak the Onions:
    • Place the sliced onions in a bowl of ice water for about 1 hour. This helps the petals open up.

Chapter 3: Breading Station

  1. Set Up Breading Stations:
    • In one bowl, combine the flour with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper.
    • In a second bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.
    • In a third bowl, place the breadcrumbs.

Chapter 4: Coating the Onions

  1. Coat the Onions:
    • Remove the onions from the ice water and pat them dry with paper towels.
    • Dip each onion in the flour mixture, making sure to coat all the petals.
    • Dip the floured onions into the buttermilk mixture, ensuring they are fully coated.
    • Finally, coat the onions with breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere the crumbs to the petals.

Chapter 5: Air Frying

  1. Preheat the Air Fryer:
    • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes.
  2. Arrange in the Air Fryer Basket:
    • Lightly grease the air fryer basket with cooking spray or oil mister.
    • Place the coated onions in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not overcrowded.
  3. Air Fry the Onions:
    • Air fry at 375°F (190°C) for 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown and crispy. You may need to check and rotate the onions halfway through the cooking time to ensure even crisping.

Chapter 6: Serving

  1. Serve Immediately:
    • Carefully remove the mini blooming onions from the air fryer using tongs or a spatula.
  2. Dipping Sauce:
    • Serve the baby blooming onions with a dipping sauce of your choice, such as ranch, aioli, or a spicy dipping sauce.
  3. Enjoy:
    • Enjoy these crispy, flavorful baby blooming onions as an appetizer or snack.

Chapter 7: Tips for Success

  1. Cutting the Onions: Be careful not to cut all the way through the onion when making the “petals.” The root end should remain intact to hold the onion together.
  2. Even Coating: Make sure to coat each petal thoroughly with the flour, buttermilk, and breadcrumbs for maximum crispiness.
  3. Air Fryer Capacity: Work in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket, which can affect the crispiness of the onions.
  4. Adjusting Spice Level: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper in the flour mixture to control the spice level according to your preference.


Baby air fryer blooming onions are a healthier and equally delicious version of the classic deep-fried appetizer. With this recipe, you can enjoy the crispy texture and flavorful taste of blooming onions without the extra oil. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce for a crowd-pleasing treat at any gathering or as a satisfying snack. Enjoy the perfect blend of crunchy and savory in every bite!

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