Making homemade onion rings in an air fryer couldn’t be easier! This delicious, crispy, and easy vegan air fryer onion rings recipe ticks all the right boxes when it comes to making your favorite side dish at home.
Making these air fryer onion rings vegan means they’re naturally dairy and egg-free and can easily be adapted to suit a gluten-free, low-carb, and keto-friendly diet as well!
The panko breadcrumb coating crisps up the onion rings beautifully, providing that mouth-watering golden outer edge with sweet and softened centers.
Serve your homemade air fryer onion rings with your favorite dipping sauce (try this vegan ranch sauce, or this yummy vegan garlic aioli, or simply buy some vegan mayo!) or add them as a tasty filler in veggie burgers and sandwiches.
Ingredients for Homemade Air-fried Onion Rings
These are the ingredients I used to create these crispy eggless onion rings. But as I touched on earlier, there are some substitutions you can make to make these gluten-free, or keto-friendly too!
- 2 cups panko – for the crispy coating. Regular breadcrumbs would work too, and almond flour for a low carb/gluten-free version.
- ¾ cup chickpea flour – this is to create the ‘egg’ in these vegan onion rings.
- 3 large onions – white or yellow.
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast – gives the batter a lovely flavor and an added boost of protein, B12 and antioxidants.
- 1 tsp smoked paprika – a lovely kick to the flavor, without being spicy.
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp cornstarch (separately) – to thicken up the vegan egg.
- ½ cup of water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
What are the best onions for making onion rings in an air fryer?
Sweet onions like white onions are usually the best kind for making these crispy air fryer onions.
White onions have a natural sweetness to them and great flavor but you could also use yellow onions if that’s what you have on hand.
I recommend avoiding purple onions for these air fried onion rings, as the flavor profile is a little strong.
How to Make This Vegan Onion Rings Recipe
Start by chopping your onions in thick slices, about 1cm thick. You should be able to get around 4-5 slices per onion.
Separate each ring by pressing through the centre of your onions. You can leave 2 stuck together if they become too thin. This will make sure it’s the right thickness when cooked.
Next you can prepare the eggless onion ring batter by combining the chickpea flour with water, and adding the 2 tbsp of cornstarch.
Add in the smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Whisk it well to avoid clumps in the batter. The result should be quite thick, if it isn’t, you can add a little more cornstarch.
Put the remaining 1/2 cornstarch in a small bowl.
Take one of your onion rings at a time (using tongs is best for this step) and coat it with the cornstarch, then shake it to get rid of any excess.
Next, dip it in the chickpea egg, and make sure it is perfectly coated. Then dip it in panko.
Place each ring in the Air Fryer basket without overlapping, you may need to cook them in batches to make sure they all cook evenly.
Cook your eggless onion rings in the Air Fryer at 400F / 200C for 8-10 minutes.
What should I serve with air fryer homemade onion rings?
Air fried onion rings are best enjoyed alongside your favorite dipping sauce as a delicious snack or appetizer for a party, game day or to enjoy while waiting for a main meal.
Of course, you can also serve your homemade onion rings with a veggie burger and fries or grilled veggie sandwich as a tasty side or place them in your burger or sandwich!
How long will these homemade air fryer onion rings stay crispy for?
Like most fried foods, these air fryer vegan onion rings will remain crispy a couple of hours after making them. They’ll certainly lose their crispy factor if stored overnight, in which case you will need to add them back to the air fryer for a few minutes in order to regain some of that crispiness.
Tips for making the best vegan air fryer onion strings
- I’ve used chickpea flour and water as the binding agent for the panko breadcrumbs which makes these onion rings vegan and dairy-free. If you don’t need them to be vegan, then you can go ahead and use 2 regular eggs instead.
- For gluten-free air fryer onion rings, make use of a gluten-free panko breadcrumb alternative. This option should be readily available in most stores and online.
- For vegan onion rings without breadcrumbs, ditch the panko completely and use almond flour instead. This will give you eggless onion rings that are not only gluten-free but also low-carb and keto-friendly! You should note, though, that you probably won’t get as much of a crispy finish to your onion rings as you would when using the breadcrumbs.
- If the batter comes out a little too thin, add an extra teaspoon of cornstarch to the mix until you get a thicker consistency.
- Since all air fryers cook at varying heats and times, it’s best to use this recipe cooking time as a guide while keeping a watchful eye on your onion rings so that they don’t burn.
- Space your onion rings out sufficiently so that they don’t touch. This will allow proper air circulation so that they cook evenly and get that delicious crisp finish. It may mean that you need to cook the onion rings in batches (depending on the size of your air fryer basket) but it’s well worth it.
- To reduce mess, use one fork/tongs for dipping the onion rings into the batter and another for placing the onion rings in the air fryer to cook.
Other vegan air fryer recipes to try:
- 2 cups panko (see notes for alternatives)
- 3/4 cup chickpea flour
- 3 large onions (white or yellow)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (for the batter)
- 1/2 cornstarch (for dipping)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Start by chopping the onions in thick slices, about 4-5 slices per onion. Then separate each ring by pressing from the centre, leaving 2 stuck together if they’re too thin.
- Prepare the vegan onion ring batter by mixing the chickpea flour with water, and 2 tbsp of cornstarch. Then add smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Whisk well to avoid clumps. This should result in a thick batter, if it is not, you can add a little more cornstarch to thicken.
- Place the other ½ cup of cornstarch in a small bowl, this is going to be the first step for the onion rings.
- Take one ring and coat it with cornstarch, then shake off any excess. Then place it in the chickpea egg, make sure it is perfectly coated. Then dip it in panko.
- Place each ring in the Air Fryer basket without overlapping, you may need to cook them in batches.
- Cook them in the Air Fryer at 400F / 200C for 8-10 minutes.
Replace the panko with almond flour for a gluten-free option.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 628mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information should be considered as an estimation only.