Air fryer blooming onion

Air Fryer Blooming Onion

Total Time
25 min
10 min
15 min
This leaner version of the popular restaurant appetizer skips the deep fryer in favor of the air fryer. Onion “petals” are dredged with seasoned flour—featuring an alluring hint of smoked paprika—coated with egg wash, and given a final dusting of a flour-cornmeal mixture before cooking to crispy perfection. You can use either a regular white or yellow onion, which will be more pungent, or a sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), which will taste mellow. The horseradish in the accompanying dipping sauce gives it some punch.


Uncooked onion

1 large, about 14 oz

All-purpose flour

¼ cup(s)

Garlic powder

1½ tsp, divided

Table salt

½ tsp


¼ tsp, smoked


2 Tbsp


2 large egg(s)

Yellow cornmeal

¼ cup(s)

Cooking spray

5 spray(s)

Plain fat free Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp

Light mayonnaise

2 Tbsp


1 Tbsp


1 Tbsp


  1. Cut a tiny sliver off root and stem end of onion; peel off onion skin. Arrange onion, stem side up, on a cutting board. Cut into quarters, cutting to about ¾ inch from bottom of onion (do not cut completely through onion). Cut each quarter into thirds, cutting to about ¾ inch from bottom of onion.
  2. Combine flour, ¾ tsp garlic powder, salt, and paprika in a small bowl. Whisk together water and egg in a bowl. Place onion in a shallow bowl; sprinkle with flour mixture, gently opening onion wedges to coat all surfaces. Shake off excess flour, and pour flour into another bowl. Stir cornmeal into flour mixture. Place onion back in shallow bowl; brush all surfaces evenly with egg mixture. Sprinkle with flour-cornmeal mixture, gently opening onion wedges to coat all surfaces.
  3. Preheat air fryer, if necessary, to 375°F. Spray air fryer basket with nonstick spray. Carefully place onion in basket and spray generously with nonstick spray. Air-fry until breading is crisp and onion is tender, 15-18 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, horseradish, ketchup, and remaining ½ tsp garlic powder. Serve sauce with onion.
  5. Serving size: one-sixth of onion and about 1 tbsp sauce