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Air Fried Pearl Onions (Mini Blooming Onions)

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Make air fried pearl onions for bloomin' onion taste with less effort! These cute bite-sized onions are breaded and air fried for a delicious, crispy snack.
top view of mini blooming onions.

Looking for blooming onion taste at home? Make mini blooming onions with these fun air fried pearl onions. This bite-sized appetizer will satisfy your deep-fried onion cravings with less effort and mess!

Frozen pearl onions are breaded and quickly air fried for a delicious appetizer that is perfect for your next game-day gathering! Dip them in a spicy dipping sauce and enjoy.

dipping air fried peal onions in sauce

You can make an air fryer bloomin’ onion at home, but I’ll be honest, it takes some effort! Making bloomin’ onion bites from pearl onions gives you a similar flavor with much less work. Plus, these tiny crispy onions are adorable!

This idea became popular on Tik Tok over the summer, and I had to try it. My opinion – these make a tasty snack that will be gobbled up. And using the air fryer makes them quick and easy to make.

Find more tasty air fryer appetizers for game day! Try Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers, Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp, and Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts.

top view of mini blooming onions.

🧅Key Ingredients

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Frozen pearl onions
  • Flour
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Egg
  • Oil in a spray bottle
ingredient for air fryer pearl onions

❓What is the difference between regular and pearl onions?

Pearl onions are just smaller in size. They tend to be sweeter and milder than full-size ones.

🥣How to Make Air Fryer Pearl Onions

  1. Microwave – Put the pearl onions in the microwave and cook for half of the suggested cooking time.
  2. Prep – Break the egg into a medium bowl and stir to mix. Put the flour, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder in another bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Drain – Drain the partially cooked onions and pat them dry.
  4. Flour – Take 6, place them into the flour, and coat them with the mixture.
adding onions to the flour.
Onions in flour
coating the onions in flour.
Coat with flour mixture
  1. Egg – Then place them into the egg mixture and stir to coat.
  2. Flour – Finally, put them back into the flour mixture and coat. Use forks to transfer them between bowls.
dipping the onions in egg.
Onions in egg
mini onion dredges in flour.
Coated mini onion
  1. Chill – Put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes. This helps the coating stick.
  2. Preheat – Preheat the air fryer at 380 degrees F for 3 minutes.
  3. Air Fry – Put the coated onions in the air fryer basket and spray with oil. Then air fry at 380 F for 3 minutes. Shake the basket and air fry them for another 3 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.
adding the onions to the air fryer.
Before air frying
mini blooming onions in air fryer after cooking.
After air frying

Tip: Don’t use commercial spray oils. They contain preservatives that can damage the basket. Use a pastry brush or buy an inexpensive oil sprayer.

🍴Mini Blooming Onions Serving Ideas

These crispy little bites are best served right away! I love making homemade dipping sauces like Boom Boom Sauce, Bloomin’ Onion Sauce, or Copycat Chick Fil A Sauce.

And you don’t have to serve these as an appetizer. They go well with steak, salmon, or another meat dish. My family loves them as a snack too.

💭How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover mini blooming onions in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. To reheat them, put them back in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 3-5 minutes. They won’t be as crispy as when they were first made.

air fried pearl onion on a toothpick.

⭐Tips and Variations

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Change the amount of cayenne pepper to make these more or less spicy. Or use a spice mixture like Old Bay.
  • You can also thaw the frozen onions by leaving them in a bowl of cold water for an hour. Then you don’t have to microwave them.
  • To make the coating process easier, use a fork to move them between bowls and only work with 6-8 at a time.
  • Don’t skip the 10-minute chilling time! The coating sticks better when you chill them briefly.
  • To make these in the oven, bake them at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until they are crispy.

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

top view of mini blooming onions.
4.72 from 7 votes

Air Fryer Pearl Onions Recipe

Make air fried pearl onions for bloomin' onion taste with less effort! These cute bite-sized onions are breaded and air fried for a delicious, crispy snack.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Chilling Time10 mins
Total Time31 mins
Servings: 4
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Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 bag frozen pearl onions
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • oil in a spray bottle

Instructions

  • Microwave the pearl onions for half the time given on the package. This was 2 minutes of microwaving for my onions. *see notes for alternative
    1/2 bag frozen pearl onions
  • While they partially cook, add the egg to a medium bowl and beat.
    1 egg
  • Add the flour, paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder to another bowl and stir to mix.
    1 cup flour, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Drain the partially cooked onions in a colander and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Take 6 onions, dip them into the flour mixture and stir to coat.
  • Use a fork to lift them out of the flour, shaking off any excess. Place them in the egg mixture and stir to coat.
  • Use a different fork to take them out of the egg, letting any excess drip off. Put them into the flour mixture a second time and coat them with flour.
  • Continue until all of the onions are coated.
  • Place the prepared onions on a tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes. This will help the coating stick.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F for 3 minutes.
  • Take the coated onions out of the fridge and put them in the air fryer basket. Keep them in a single layer.
  • Spray them with some oil. Air fry at 380 degrees F for 3 minutes.
    oil in a spray bottle
  • Then shake the basket, spray some more oil, and air fry for another 3 minutes.

Notes

  • You can also thaw the frozen onions in a bowl of cold water for an hour. Then you don’t have to microwave them.
  • When coating the onions, use a fork to transfer them between bowls and work with only 6-8 at a time.
  • Don’t skip the 10-minute chilling time! The coating sticks better when you chill them briefly.
  • Don’t use a commercial cooking spray in the air fryer because it can damage the nonstick finish on the basket. Use an inexpensive spray bottle filled with oil.
  • To make these in the oven, bake them at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until they are crispy.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 598mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 657IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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mini blooming onions on a cutting board with sauce.
By on November 10th, 2022

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