This homemade Gluten-Free Crispy Onion Strings recipe is baked, not fried! Made with white rice flour, dairy-free buttermilk, and spices, they make a great topping and easy appetizer! Dairy-free and vegan.
These easy gluten-free onion strings make for the best toppings and delicious snacks. Whether you want to make these in a conventional oven or an air fryer, this recipe has you covered.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Healthy alternative to frying
- Simple ingredients
Ingredients and substitutions
Here are a few quick notes about the key ingredients in this recipe. You can see a full list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card below.
Onion - Yellow onions are used for this recipe but feel free to swap in a sweet onion like Vidalia onions.
Full-fat coconut milk (or other dairy-free milk) - I like the richness and high fat content of coconut milk for dredging, but any unsweetened non-dairy milk will work. If dairy is not an issue, regular cow's milk works as well.
Apple cider vinegar - A tablespoon of this vinegar will help create our tangy dairy-free buttermilk. Lemon juice is a great substitute.
White rice flour - This starchy gluten-free flour works well for coating baked and fried foods. Gluten-free all-purpose flour can also be substituted.
Need a grain-free option? Cassava flour is a good substitute.
Smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper - These spices give our flour mixture a little flavor and kick!
Cooking spray - An olive oil or avocado oil cooking spray are both good options.
Before you start: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
Step 1: Carefully use a sharp knife or mandolin slicer to slice onion into ¼ inch slices.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar. In a separate bowl or shallow dish, add the dry ingredients, white rice flour, salt, smoked paprika, and garlic powder, whisking to combine.
Step 3: In batches, drop thinly sliced onions into the milk mixture to coat. Transfer the handful of onions to the rice flour coating mixture and dredge to coat.
Give onions a slight shake to remove extra coating, then place the into an even layer onto baking sheet. Spray onions with cooking spray.
Step 4: Place baking sheets in oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven halfway through baking and flip the onions.
Spray again with cooking spray and return to oven for the remainder of cook time.
Air fryer instructions
Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F.
Step 2: Prepare onions as instructed.
Step 3: Spray the fryer basket with cooking spray and place onion slices in an even layer. (May have to do this in small batches.) Spray onions with cooking spray.
Step 4: Cook at 390 degrees F for 7-8 minutes, flipping onions halfway through and spraying with cooking spray.
- To save space, you can place smaller strings inside of bigger strings.
- Using cooking spray is key to crispy onions!
- Thinner strings will bake up more quickly, so keep a close eye on them in the last few minutes.
- To make these look more like copycat French fried onions, cut the onion rings or long straws in half for shorter crispy fried onions.
Once the oven-baked onion straws have cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place leftover fried onions on a parchment or foiled lined baking sheet. Heat for 5-7 minutes or until warm.
Yes! Crispy onion strings make for an easy appetizer or side dish and go great with dips, a topping for burgers, tacos, and sandwiches, soups, salads, and more!
Soaking onion strings in buttermilk enhances their tenderness, imparts a subtle tangy flavor, helps retain moisture, assists in coating adhesion, and can prevent browning.
This step by step web story shows you the onion strings process!
If you've got the snack bug now, you've got to check out Alyssa's Instant Pot hummus!
More snack recipes
Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating on the recipe card below and let me know what you think in the comments!
Gluten-Free Crispy Onion Strings
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced about ¼ inch
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup (120g) white rice flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- olive oil or avocado oil cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
- Carefully use a sharp knife or mandolin slicer to slice onion into ¼ inch slices.
- In a medium bowl, combine milk and apple cider vinegar. In a separate medium shallow bowl, add white rice flour, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder, whisking to combine.
- In batches, drop onion slices into buttermilk mixture to coat. Transfer onions to the rice flour mixture and dredge to coat. Give onions a slight shake to remove excess coating, then place the into an even layer onto prepared baking sheet. Spray onions with cooking spray.
- Place baking sheets in oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven halfway through baking and flip onions with a spatula. Spray with additional cooking spray and return to oven. Thinner or shorter strings will bake up more quickly, so keep a close eye on them in the last few minutes. Add a couple extra minutes if necessary.
- Allow gluten-free onion strings to cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring them to a serving plate.
Air Fryer Onion Strings
- Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare onion slices according to instructions above.
- Spray the fryer basket with cooking spray and place onion slices in an even layer. (May have to do this in small batches.) Spray onions with cooking spray.
- Cook for 8 minutes, flipping onions halfway through and spraying with additional cooking spray.