Can you air fry frozen onion rings? Yes! Learn how to make the BEST frozen onion rings- homemade onion rings from scratch! Unlike onion rings from a store, this is an air fryer frozen onion rings keto recipe. Plus, get my top tip for minimizing the mess when making onion rings. You'll love the low carb count and how delicious they are!
I’ve been telling myself that this frozen onion rings in air fryer oven recipe is a good way to eat more vegetables. Let’s get real, though. One onion makes A LOT of onion rings- 8 very generous servings.
I wanted to create an onion ring similar to what most in the U.S. are familiar with. That might be the Red Robin onion rings served in a tower. Or perhaps it is one of the brands of frozen onion rings:
- Walmart brand (or other store brand)
What these onion rings all have in common is that they have a THICK coating of batter or breading. We can’t usually see the onion beneath all that bready goodness. (Until we take a bite, that is.)
These are onion rings with no bread crumbs and no batter, and yet they are still have that thick coating. The trick here is one we used in the keto air fryer mozzarella sticks. The onions get coated twice for a nice and thick low carb “breading.”
The result is a thickly breaded onion ring with a crisp exterior. It holds up nicely to dipping sauces and is full of flavor.
But I’m lying to myself if I’m pretending I’ve made something nutrient-dense just because it has a veggie and is homemade. I mean, there’s pretty much more pork rinds in these than onion. (Yup, they taste AMAZING.)
- 📋 What are the calories, net carbs, and protein?
- ⭐ Benefits
- 🥘 Ingredients
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Cook Frozen Onion Rings in Air Fryer
- ⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🌡️ How to Store Leftovers
- ️👪 Dipping Sauces
- 🥗 What to Serve with Onion Rings
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Keto Air Fryer Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
📋 What are the calories, net carbs, and protein?
One serving of these air fryer frozen onion rings provides 356 calories, 4.3 grams net carbs, and 32.1 grams protein. (There are approximately 22 grams of net carbs in an onion, per Cronometer.) Though the macros look better than typical onion rings, these keto onion rings are still high in fat and calories.
Why are these the best frozen onion rings? As I said above, these onion rings (and nearly all onion rings) are not a health bounty. However, this recipe holds some advantages over store frozen onion rings:
- Keto onion rings: Onion rings are not keto-friendly normally. These onion rings use a low carb breading to bring down the carbs. I’m not aware of any store-bought frozen onion rings that are keto. You have to make your own if that’s what you want.
- No need to deep fry: Store onion rings may be deep fried before they are frozen. These air fryer frozen onion rings never need deep frying. (That said, they are still very high in fat from the fried pork rinds.)
- Convenient: After you bread onion rings, they can be stored in the freezer until you are ready to air fry them. This makes them just as convenient as frozen onion rings from the store. Use this recipe to meal prep your favorite snack or appetizer.
- Gluten free onion rings: Your friends and family on gluten free diets will appreciate that these are onion rings without wheat! Most onion rings from the store use a wheat flour breading. Crushed pork rinds make delicious onion rings that are gluten free.
- Flavorful: I don’t eat onion rings often, but they’re always such a treat when I do! If you’re looking for an indulgent snack, appetizer, or side, this is the recipe for you. (Good thing we don’t need to eat the most nutrient-dense foods at all times to have an overall healthy diet.)
What do you need to make homemade onion rings? Not much! Here are the ingredients:
- Large sweet onion
- Almond flour
- Large eggs
- Pork panko breading
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
Pork panko is salty and high in fat. As a result, you don’t need oil spray or additional salt to make this recipe.
Sweet onions are my preferred onion for making onion rings. I recommend making the effort to seek them out if you are making these.
These are onion rings without milk, as milk is a higher carb dairy option that isn’t keto. In some recipes, the onion rings are dipped in milk instead of egg. I find the breading sticks more easily to the egg coating.
To make frozen onion rings in air fryer, you’ll need three small bowls, large baking trays, and freezer paper. The cookie sheets and freezer paper are for the freezing step. You’ll also need an air fryer or air fryer oven.
This was developed with my 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven. However, the Ninja Foodi, Actifry, Cosori, Nuwave, Instant Vortex, Cuisinart, Philips, Power Air Fryer, etc. can be used. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly if you use a different air fryer than I am using.
My air fryer oven has two trays. Cooking times are longer when both trays are used. This is because the food spends less time in the closest position to the heating element.
If you have a small air fryer basket, follow the cooking time for using one tray. You will have to cook the onion rings in more batches if you have a smaller air fryer.
🔪 How to Cook Frozen Onion Rings in Air Fryer
Making homemade onion rings is a messy process. As promised, I’ve got some tips to make things a bit easier.
Start by cutting your onion into ¼-½-inch thick rings. Carefully split the rings apart, saving the middles of the onions for another recipe.
The onion ring coating uses three bowls:
- First bowl: Almond flour and paprika
- Second bowl: Whisked eggs
- Third bowl: Pork panko, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne
Line two large baking sheets with freezer paper. You will be coating the onion rings and laying them in a single layer on the lined cookie sheets.
You can put small rings inside the larger ones on the sheet, but try to ensure they don’t touch. If the onion rings are touching, they may end up freezing stuck together.
Here’s how to coat the rings:
- If your cut onions are moist: Coat in bowls 1, 2, 1, 2, 3 (in that order)
- If your cut onions are dry: Coat in bowls 2,1,2,3 (in order)
Basically, you want a double coating of the egg so the breading sticks well to the onion rings without coming off. (Watch the recipe video if you need visuals!)
My top tip to minimize a clumpy mess is to fill each bowl a little at a time. The dry ingredients become wet and clumpy if you put them in the bowl all at once. Refilling the bowls as needed avoids this clumpiness and minimizes food waste.
After you have all of the breaded keto onion rings on the trays, freeze them for at least 4 hours. If you have a small freezer, you may need to cut the recipe in half so they all fit.
⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
Your air fryer frozen onion rings will cook a total of 10-14 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. BTW, this recipe makes A LOT of onion rings!
They won’t all fit in the air fryer at once. Only air fry what you'll eat and pack the rest of the frozen onion rings in freezer storage bags for later.
To air fry onion rings, put the rings in a single layer on your air fryer tray(s). Brush away any loose crumbs as you put them on the tray.
You can put smaller onion rings inside of larger ones, but try to ensure they don’t touch. I was only able to fit a maximum of 10 onion rings per tray.
If you’re only using one air fryer tray, air fry in the top rack position at 400F for 10 minutes. (There’s no need to flip them!) Those with small air fryer baskets will also need to air fry the onion rings for about 10 minutes.
If you are using two air fryer trays in an air fryer oven, start by air frying for 7 minutes at 400F. Then switch the position of the trays in the air fryer oven and cook an additional 6-7 minutes at 400F. (Again, there is no need to flip the rings over, they’ll crisp nicely on both sides!)
That’s all there is to it! Let your air fried onion rings cool before serving with your favorite dipping sauce. They’re perfectly crisp outside and tender inside. YUM!
🌡️ How to Store Leftovers
Leftover onion rings keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat them in the air fryer using the direction in the FAQS.
Better yet, only air fry the low carb onion rings you’ll eat, and keep the rest in the freezer. This is the best way to ensure you get crispy and delicious onion rings every time.
️👪 Dipping Sauces
What are some good dipping sauces for onion rings? Here are some of my favorites:
- BBQ sauce (there are keto barbecue sauces out there if you want to keep it low carb!)
- Cocktail sauce
- Sweet chili sauce
- Marinara sauce
- Keto cheese sauce
- Ranch dressing (Try the one from the air fryer breaded mushrooms recipe!)
- Garlic aioli
🥗 What to Serve with Onion Rings
My favorite thing to eat with onion rings is a good burger! Here are a few of my favorite burger recipes. All are keto if you use a lettuce wrap in place of the bun.
- Air Fryer Burgers Stuffed with Cheese
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
- Smoked Burgers (Stovetop Smoker Recipe!)
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Coating a food in pork rinds does not lead to a light recipe! (No surprises there, eh? Haha)
Onions are a low carb and low calorie food. However, the pork rinds are extremely high in calories and fat (and deliciousness, FWIW). If you’re having trouble losing weight on the keto diet, check your fat intake.
On keto a person may adopt the diet and eat excessive amounts of energy-dense foods. This includes pork rinds, but also other keto snack foods, nuts, seeds, cheese, heavy cream, avocado, and fatty meats. Then they’ll wonder why the ketogenic diet is not working for weight loss.
You need to maintain a calorie deficit to lose weight, regardless of your dietary lifestyle. High fat foods pack a lot of calories into a small volume. If you don’t find these foods filling, you may end up overeating them, sabotaging your fat loss goals.
When I enjoy onion rings (keto or not), I make sure to pair them with lean protein and non-starchy veggies. This balances out the meal, providing more satiating protein and volume (for few calories). The onion rings are already bringing a lot of fat to the table; I don’t need to add more.
It's nice that these are frozen onion rings since you can easily prepare one serving at a time. This may make it (slightly) easier to portion control these tasty treats.
That said, it’s really easy to air fry more onion rings for additional servings. If you know you tend to overeat onion rings, there’s no need to keep them in the house all the time. Setting your home environment up for success can be a huge positive step towards greater health.
Reheat refrigerated onion rings in an air fryer for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Flip them about halfway through cooking time to allow them to crisp up again on all sides. The onion rings may benefit from a spritz of cooking spray before air frying if they’ve become dry.
Store-bought and homemade onion rings may or may not be vegan depending on the ingredients used. To make these air fryer onion rings vegan, use whole wheat panko in place of pork panko. You’ll also need to replace the egg with flax gel or another substitute. Air frying times may vary if you change the recipe.
These keto onion rings are a healthier choice if you’re using a low carb diet for weight loss, seizure control, or diabetes management. Otherwise, I’d say fries are healthier, as they may give you more veggie and less added fat. This is particularly true of homemade air fryer frozen french fries.
Yes, you can bake keto onion rings in an oven if you do not have an air fryer. Put them on a dark metal baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit in the top third of the oven.
👩🏻🍳 Other Keto Air Fryer Recipes
Looking for other ways to use the air fryer that are keto? Here some more air fryer keto recipes you may enjoy:
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All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
"Keto" recipes on the web may not be appropriate for those using ketogenic diets as part of their medical nutrition therapy. That includes this recipe.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Air Fryer Frozen Onion Rings (Keto, Low Carb)
- Cut the onion into ¼-½-inch (0.64-1.27 cm) thick rings. Carefully split the rings apart, saving the middles of the onions for another recipe.
- Line two large baking sheets with freezer paper.
- You will be putting the breading mixture in three small bowls. Fill each bowl with the ingredients shown, and refill them as needed as you coat the rings. This is VERY important to help prevent the dry coatings from getting clumpy. Don't skip doing this!
- Bowl 1: ¼ cup almond flour and ½ teaspoon paprika. Stir. (I needed to refill this bowl 4 times.)
- Bowl 2: Whisk 2 eggs. (I needed to refill this bowl 3 times.)
- Bowl 3: 1½ cups pork panko, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, pinch of cayenne pepper. (I needed to refill this bowl twice. If you use a different amount of the breading ingredients than I did, the nutrition information below will be incorrect.)
- Bread the cut onions by dipping them in bowl 1, bowl 2, bowl 1, bowl 2, then bowl 3. If the unbreaded onion rings are dry, you can skip a step and bread them like this: bowl 2, bowl 1, bowl 2, then bowl 3. Coat all the onion rings well with the breading.
- Lay the coated onion rings in a single layer on the lined baking sheets. Try to ensure that they are not touching. However, it's fine if you place the small-diameter onion rings inside of the larger ones.
- After you have all of the breaded keto onion rings on the trays, freeze them for at least 4 hours. The freezing step helps ensure the coating won't fall off when we air fry.
- After the onion rings have frozen solid, air fry what you'll eat and pack the rest of the frozen onion rings in freezer storage bags for later.
- To air fry onion rings, put the rings in a single layer on the air fryer tray(s). Small onion rings can be put inside of larger ones, but try to ensure they don’t touch. I was only able to fit a maximum of 10 onion rings per tray.
- Air frying on one tray: air fry in the top rack position at 400°F (200°C) for 10 minutes. No need to flip them.
- Air frying on two trays: air fry for 7 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Then switch the position of the trays in the air fryer oven and cook an additional 6-7 minutes at 400°F (200°C). (13-14 minutes total air frying time)
- Let the onion rings cool a little before serving with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!