Crispy Fried Onions Recipe – 4 Easy Steps

This crispy fried onions recipe is incredibly simple to make! These can be enjoyed as a snack while watching Gilmore Girl reruns and can also be added to sandwiches, soups, or even eaten as a side dish with your favorite dinner.

Fried Onions Recipe
Crispy fried onions.

Ingredients:

Red onions are ideal for this recipe because they impart extra flavors and hold up better when fried. However, if you decide to go more of a French route, substitute a white onion.

Sunflower oil is a bit pricier per quart but will impart a neutral oil flavor and is what I would suggest using. Feel free to use other oils, but be sure to choose one with a neutral flavor.

Olive oil isn’t ideal for frying because it burns quite easily.


Recommended Equipment:


Step 1: Slice onions

Peel your onions and rinse them under cold tap water.

Next, grab your mandoline (a fancy veggie slicer) and slice each onion until you’ve got a big pile of evenly sliced onion slices. I said slices so many times in that sentence.

If you don’t have access to a mandoline, use a sharp knife. Try your best to cut even, thin slices. This will ensure even browning when it comes time to deep fry the onions.

You can also use a Cuisinart food processor with the slicing blade inserted to make quick work of the onions.

Fried Onions Recipe

Step 2: Let the onions dry for a few hours

Take your onion slices and spread them out evenly on a kitchen towel or a few paper towels. You want to let the onions sit for a few hours to reduce overall moisture. This will result in a crispier onion when you’re done frying them.

Step 3: Fry the onions

Fried Onions Recipe

Grab your large saucepan, and over medium-high heat, pour in your 8-10 cups (64-80 ounces) of canola oil.

Once your oil is hot (almost smoking), place onions in the oil, if you add the onions before the oil is hot enough, you won’t have crispy onions.

Frying Stage 1: Fry for 10 minutes or so in the hot oil, stirring consistently, to remove all the moisture from the onions.

Frying Stage 2: Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir and fry the onions until they’ve turned a golden brown in color.

Fried Onions Recipe
These are the perfect color for done-ness.

Step 4: Last steps

Once the onions are golden brown in color, using your mesh hand-strainer, remove the onions and place them on a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet.

Leave the onions alone for 4-5 minutes until they reach room temperature. This is how the onions gain their crispiness. Also, the onions will continue to brown a bit while they’re sitting on the plate, drying.

If your goal isn’t to make a large quantity of fried onions, you can use one onion instead of two and reduce the amount of oil used.

Fried Onions Recipe Card:

fried onions recipe main

Crispy Fried Onions Recipe

This crispy fried onions recipe is incredibly simple to make! These can be enjoyed as a snack while watching Gilmore Girl reruns and can also be added to sandwiches, soups, or even eaten as a side dish with your favorite dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: Fried Onions
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 20kcal
Author: Kelsey Todd
Cost: $5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Step 1: Slice onions
    Peel your onions and rinse them under cold tap water.
    Next, grab your mandoline (a fancy veggie slicer) and slice each onion until you’ve got a big pile of evenly sliced onion slices. I said slices so many times in that sentence.
    If you don’t have access to a mandoline, use a sharp knife. Try your best to cut even, thin slices. This will ensure even browning when it comes time to deep fry the onions.
    You can also use a Cuisinart food processor with the slicing blade inserted to make quick work of the onions.
    2 large red onions
    crispy fried onions recipe
  • Step 2: Let the onions dry for a few hours
    Take your onion slices and spread them out evenly on a kitchen towel or a few paper towels. You want to let the onions sit for a few hours to reduce overall moisture. This will result in a crispier onion when you’re done frying them.
    crispy fried onions recipe
  • Step 3: Fry the onions
    Grab your large saucepan, and over medium-high heat, pour in your 8-10 cups (64-80 ounces) of canola oil.
    Once your oil is hot (almost smoking), place onions in the oil, if you add the onions before the oil is hot enough, you won’t have crispy onions.
    Frying Stage 1: Fry for 10 minutes or so in the hot oil, stirring consistently, to remove all the moisture from the onions.
    Frying Stage 2: Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir and fry the onions until they’ve turned a golden brown in color.
    2 large red onions, 10 cups vegetable oil
    crispy fried onions recipe
  • Step 4: Last steps
    Once the onions are golden brown in color, using your mesh hand-strainer, remove the onions and place them on a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet.
    Leave the onions alone for 4-5 minutes until they reach room temperature. This is how the onions gain their crispiness. Also, the onions will continue to brown a bit while they’re sitting on the plate, drying.
    crispy fried onions recipe

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1onionCalories: 20kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
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Recipe Notes & Advice:

Cooking Oil Temperature

Use hot oil. If you don’t, your onions will end up being soggy. The hot oil is key to the crispiness. A way to tell if the oil is ready is if you look closely, you’ll see little whispy movements in the oil. Also, the oil may begin lightly smoking, which is perfectly normal.

Lastly, make sure you’re using enough oil to cover the onions completely. You may need to cook one onion at a time if you don’t have a large enough saucepan to cook both whiles covered in oil.

Onion Slice Thickness

Make sure your onions are thinly and uniformly sliced. This is crucial for evenly fried, crispy onions (also known as birista or bereste). Uniform slices can be difficult to accomplish with just a knife, which is why I recommend using a mandolin (not the instrument, though I suppose that’d help create a nice ambiance) or a food processor.

Done vs. Burnt

Once the onions have turned golden or light brown in color, they’re done. Remember, they’ll cook a bit longer even when removed and set on a towel to cool. These onions can burn very quickly, so this isn’t a dish you want to walk away from.

This recipe takes patience (20 minutes or so). Once you’ve fried them at high heat to remove the excess moisture, you want to continue frying them LOW-AND-SLOW until they gradually turn golden brown.

Don’t rush this step. If you do, they won’t be crispy, and you will most likely burn them.


FAQ:

What should I serve these crispy onion strings with?

These are great on top of salads, as a crunchy layer in roast beef sandwiches, and sprinkled on creamy soups like clam chowder.

They also make great additions to biryanis, especially dum biryani.

What’s the difference between fried onions and carmelized onions?

Carmelized onions are cooked low-and-slow until they’re soft and melt-in-your-mouth. Fried onions are cooked quickly, under high heat, to create a crispy texture.

Can I use this recipe to create onion rings?

For onion rings, I would follow this recipe from Bon Appétit.

Can I make fried onions without deep frying them?

Yes! You can use an air fryer.

How to fry onions in an air fryer:

  1. First preheat your air fryer to 275 degrees F.
  2. Place the sliced onions in a separate bowl and spray with oil while tossing the onions. You can also add salt, pepper, and spices at this stage.
  3. Place the onions in the air fryer basket and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Next, open the air fryer and toss the onions around. Cook for another 5 minutes.

What are french-style fried onions and how do I make them?

Do you know the onions that go on top of green bean casserole? Those are the French onions I’m referring to. You can make these by following the same steps listed above with a few extra steps:

How to make homemade french onions:

You want to use a white onion for this recipe instead of a red onion.

  1. First, slice your white onions using a mandolin, food processor, or knife.
  2. Dip a handfdul of onions in an simple whisked egg mixture.
  3. Roll the onions in some kind of flour mixture or breading (panko mix works well)
  4. Fry for 10 minutes in a neutral oil; vegetable oil, peanut oil, or sunflower oil until the onions are brown and crispy. Let dry for 5-10 minutes before eating.

How do I store my crispy fried onion strings:

Make sure they’re fully cooled before storing. Then, when it comes time to store them, any airtight container will do. In our kitchen, we keep our dried goods–beans, oatmeal, etc., in large mason jars. We do the same with these crispy fried onions.


Thank you for taking the time to read this recipe. I hope it was an easy recipe for you to follow!

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