Air fryer onions are the perfect way to enjoy a delicious side dish with minimal effort. With only 5 ingredients and less than 20 minutes of cooking time, you’ll have sautéed onions that are sure to be a hit at your dinner table! The irresistible flavor will have your friends and family coming back for more.
It always amazes me how simple recipes can elevate a meal.
Case in point - these super easy air fryer caramelized onions.
With just a few minutes of prep and 15 minutes in the air fryer, you can create an unbelievably delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with so many different dishes.
From burgers to slow cooker polenta, sweet and savory sauteed onions in the air fryer are sure to elevate your meal.
This is a side dish that you’ll want to add to your regular rotation.
Follow along, and I'll teach you how to saute onions in your air fryer.
- Onion: I typically use white or yellow onion, but you could use red if you like. I especially like cooking a sweet onion, like Vidalia onions in my air fryer.
- Oil: Choose your favorite heat-safe oil. I usually use avocado oil, but coconut or olive oil could also work.
- Spices: I like to use smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. You can adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. Seasoning blends like Italian seasoning and cajun seasoning are great options.
- Sugar: Sugar helps the onions caramelize, so I like to add a pinch. Feel free to omit if you are sugar-free.
Step by Step Instructions
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Make sure you cook in batches if you have a small air fryer or are doubling the recipe for meal prep. Overloading the air fryer basket slows cooking and makes the food cook unevenly because the hot air can’t get to the food surfaces.
- If you do cook in batches, you may need to adjust the cooking time down on your second batch because the air fryer will be hotter.
- Although many models don’t recommend preheating, I typically do preheat my air fryer because I find that it jump-starts cooking. This is especially important when you want a crispy result!
- I recommend spraying the onions before you put them in the air fryer basket. Cooking spray can damage non-stick surfaces over time if sprayed directly in your air fryer.
- To make air fryer crispy onions, simply cook the onions a few minutes longer. Every air fryer is a little different, but mine takes about another 5 minutes to get crispy onions.
Air fryer fried onions are a fabulous way to uplevel burger night. Give my air fryer burger, Blackstone smash burgers, or Ninja Foodi Grill burger a try.
Other great options for serving with air fryer onions include tacos, pork chops, hanger steak, Blackstone steak, grilled chicken, or even a basic fresh green salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
Want to liven up breakfast? Try these onions with eggs and potatoes.
Can You Put Onions in the Air Fryer?
Yes, you can definitely put onions in the air fryer! Onions cook up perfectly crispy and caramelized (or soft and tender - depending on what you are going for) in the air fryer, and it's a great way to take flavors to the next level.
What Kind of Onions are Best for Air Frying?
I typically use white or yellow onions, but you could also use red if you like. Any variety of onion will work for air frying, so pick whichever one you prefer!
Can I make Ninja Grill Onions?
Yes! You have two options. One is to use your air-crisp basket and follow this recipe exactly.
You could also use the grill plates to make air fryer grilled onions. To do this, start the heat at high, and then reduce to medium. Watch closely towards the end of the cooking time, and reduce the heat to low if needed.
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- Air fryer
- Mixing bowls
Store leftover onions in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes until crispy. You could also reheat in the microwave.
You can also store cooked onions in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Just let them cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and freezing. To reheat, pop them directly into the air fryer without defrosting first.
More Air Fryer Recipes to Try
- For an easy side that pairs beautifully with these air fried onions, give air fryer mushrooms a try. They are sure to elevate any meal.
- Air fryer tomatoes are easy to make and always a hit at my house.
- When you need a super-simple meal that is sure to delight, air fryer tuna steaks are perfect.
- For all the flavor of a restaurant favorite without leaving your home, don't miss this air fryer Reuben.
Air Fryer Onion
- Air Fryer
- 1 large onion or 2 medium, sliced
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or your favorite heat-safe oil
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pinch sugar
- Place the onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the paprika, garlic powder, and salt.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400° F. Add the onion in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes. Toss.
- Reduce the heat to 300° F.
- Cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir.
- Cook for 3 more minutes, or to the desired crispiness.
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