a copycat French's fried onions recipe made gluten-free, baked to perfection, and unbelievably crispy. Our gluten-free fried onions are perfect for topping your green bean casserole, salads, or burgers. But we even like them on their own for the easiest gluten-free shoestring onion rings ever!
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Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
When working on an updated green bean casserole recipe (i.e. deconstructed, from scratch mushroom pecorino sauce- yum!) for Thanksgiving I wanted something crunchy on top. I tried almonds but at the end of the day, nothing is better than fried onions.
I found myself eating them non-stop and had to make another batch. That is when I realized these babies were basically gluten-free onion rings and I had to share my technique for homemade french fried onions.
Why we love this recipe:
- Dairy-free/ vegan option (see variations below)
- Bake not fried, making these a healthy snack
🧾 Recipe Ingredients
This recipe contains easy to find ingredients. The key is to not overdo in on seasonings and let the onion be the star of the show.
- Olive oil
- Rice flour
- Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
I prefer to use a white onion or yellow onion. Avoid Vidalia onions if using as a topping, it will be too sweet. But Vidalia onions are great for onion rings. Yum!
Red onions are fine, but they don't hold up to reheating as well.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Now that we have our ingredients let's review step by step how to make gluten-free french's fried onions from scratch. It is a simple recipe but as will simple recipes the key to success is in the details.
Step 1- Prep the Onions
The primary use for this recipe is a fried onion topping for casseroles. Therefore the onion needs to be sliced very thinly. I prefer in half-moons but you can also quarter.
If you plan on serving as onion straws, cut into very thin rounds.
Soak the onions in buttermilk for 10 minutes. Soaking the onions in buttermilk will tone down the sharp bite that the sulfur gives off. It also helps the crunchy coating to adhere to the onion.
Step 2- Coat the Onions
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl (or for less clean up a freezer bag).
Remove the onions from the buttermilk. Give them a good shake or drain in a colander. You don't want them totally dry but also not sopping wet.
Add the onions to the bag or bowl. Toss to coat thoroughly. There shouldn't be much if any, excess coating left.
Step 3- Bake
Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees. Brush half the oil on a sheet pan.
Spread out the onions. Don't worry about shaking off excess coating, we want it all! Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining oil over the onions.
Bake in the preheated oven, tossing onions occasionally, until crisped and golden, about 30 minutes. Expect a few pieces to get burnt, onions tend to do that. You can discard them.
🥗 How to Use Fried Onions
- On green bean casserole
- On top of steaks
- On top of burgers
- In place of croutons on salads
- Eat plain, with ketchup or siracha mayo
Note: Easy siracha mayo is ¼ mayonnaise mixed with 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
🥘 Tips and Tricks
- The high heat is one of the reasons I recommend making these in advanced if serving on Thanksgiving, easter, or another holiday. Nothing else will cook at this high of a temperature (425 F).
Dairy-Free Fried Onions
Soak the onions in oat milk (or other unsweetened non-dairy milk) with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Spicy Fried Onions
Add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or 1//2 teaspoon cajun seasoning. Highly recommended the cajun seasoning for burgers!
Air Fryer French Fried Onions
Just like the baked onions, you will need to divide the oil between the air-fryer basket with oil and the flour-coated onions. Add the onions to the basket and place them in the air fryer.
Depending on your air fryer you will likely need to cook in batches. Cook the onions at 375 F for 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
Even if you bake the onions, the air fryer is a great way to reheat.
🌡️ Making Ahead and Storage
Gluten-free french fried onions can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container at room temperature.
To reheat spread on a dry baking sheet and bake at 350 F until heated through. Microwaving is not recommended.
If using on a casserole, there is no need to reheat if baking on top of a casserole.
🧾 Best Gluten-Free Fried Onions
I am partial, I think fried onions are best made from scratch. BUT... we all have time constraints. Luckily at the busiest times of the year (i.e. around major holidays), many stores carry fried onions in gluten-free variations.
Here are my favorites:
They are typically only seasonal items so stock up.
🍴 Gluten Free Onion Recipes
Big fan of onions? Check out these savory recipes!
- Cheddar and Onion Zucchini Bread (gluten-free!)
- Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
- Pork Roast with Apple
- Lamb Vindaloo
Gluten Free French Fried Onions
- Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Brush half the oil on a baking sheet.2 tablespoons olive oil
- Soak onions in buttermilk for 10 minutes.1 large onion, 1 cup buttermilk
- While the onions soak, mix rice flour, cornmeal, salt and garlic powder together in a large plastic freezer bag or bowl.¼ cup rice flour, ¼ cup cornmeal, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Drain onion and add to the cornmeal-flour mixture. Toss onion in flour mixture until coated.
- Spread onion mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle remaining oil over onion. Bake in the preheated oven, tossing onions occasionally, until crisped and golden, about 30 minutes.
- Gluten free fried onions can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container at room temperature.
- To reheat spread on a dry baking sheet and bake at 350 F until heated through.
- Serving size:
- Makes a snack for 4
- A side dish for 2
- Topping for 8-10