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You’re in for a treat with these Gluten-Free French Fried Onions! They are so good that it’s hard to believe these healthy crispy fried onions are Whole30 compliant, keto-friendly, and vegan. These fried onion strings can be made in the air fryer or baked in the oven.

a bowl of crispy fried onions with parsley and dipping sauce
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There are two things in this world that can be paired with almost anything and they instantly make the dish better. One: Homemade Taco Salad Bowls. And the second? These crispy fried onions.

Crispy fried onions, which might also be called onion straws or crispy onion strings are hopelessly delicious. Most people put them on top of green bean casserole (my Thanksgiving nemesis), but why stop there?

Try them on top of Cheesy Green Bean Casserole, Whole30 Potato Soup, Healthy Cauliflower Soup, Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potatoes, or as the perfect crunchy topping on Pressure Cooker Chicken Tacos.

And if you’re smart (and I know you are), you’ll find a way to pair your fried onion straws with Sweet Potato Fries Dipping Sauce. Make it happen.

onions, almond flour, olive oil, and other ingredients for making gluten free fried onions

What Kind of Onions Work Best for Shoestring Onions?

If you want a strong onion flavor, use white or yellow onions. Sweet onions (like Walla Walla or Vidalia) work great if you don’t want the onion flavor to be overwhelming.

If you have any leftover onions, whip up a batch of Pressure Cooker Caramelized Onions.

How to Store Gluten-Free Fried Onions

Allow the fried onions to fully cool before storing them in an air-tight container. Onions that are still warm will put out heat, causing condensation in the container. Any moisture trapped with the onions will cause the breading to become soggy. Store at room temperature.

How Far Ahead Can I Make Crispy Fried Onions?

These onion straws can be stored for two days before using. They will lose some of their crunch but can be quickly reheated to crisp up again. I popped ours back into the air fryer for 1 minute at 400 degrees.

sliced onions in a bowl with milk
three photos showing the process for making crispy fried onions

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • If you consume gluten and dairy, feel free to use all-purpose flour and regular milk.
  • Cornstarch can be subbed in for the potato starch. 
  • If you follow a keto/paleo lifestyle, use all almond flour instead of adding the potato starch. Or, use 2 tbsp of arrowroot powder.
a close up photo of a bowl of gluten-free fried onions


One serving of Crispy Fried Onions has 4 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

5 from 2 ratings

Gluten Free French Fried Onions

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
a close up photo of a bowl of gluten-free fried onions
You're in for a treat with these Crispy Fried Onions!



Air Fryer Instructions

  • Slice the onion in half and then make "ribbons" about 1/8 inch thick. Separate all the onions and add them to a bowl.
    3 cups onion
  • Pour milk over the onions and use a spoon to push down the onions so they're mostly covered by the milk. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
    1 cup coconut milk
  • Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in a lidded container. Set aside.
    3/4 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup potato starch, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper
  • Drain the onions, shaking the excess milk off. Place onions in the flour mixture. Put the lid on and shake until the onions are coated.
  • Preheat air fryer at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  • Using clean hands, remove the onion from the flour mixture and set aside. In another bowl, add the olive oil. Add the onions to the olive oil and stir or shake to coat.
    2 tsp olive oil
  • Lightly brush the inside of the air fryer with olive oil and add the onions. Cook for 8 minutes, and then shake the basket to distribute the onions. 
  • Cook for another 5 minutes. Pro tip: spritz with olive oil on top to keep the onions extra crispy!
  • Continue to cook in 3-minute increments until it has reached your desired level of crispiness (took 20 minutes total for me).

Oven-Baked Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Follow steps 1-4 and 6 above.
  • For oven-baking, you’ll need to use 1/4 cup olive oil.
  • Bake on rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes. Stir, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.


Onions can be made up to 2 days before serving. Allow the fried onions to fully cool before storing them in an air-tight container.  Store at room temperature.


Serving: 2tbspCalories: 115kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 81mgPotassium: 144mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin C: 3.3mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. Hi I’m on a low carb diet and potato starch is out of the question. Can you recommend an alternative for it that’s low carb? I have some xanthan gum but I’m not sure if it’s a 1:1 ratio or not.

    1. I would replace it with more almond flour.

      I know some people who do keto grind-up pork rinds to use as breading. If you’re not vegetarian, that would likely work very well here!

  2. Hi Sarah – will this recipe work with 2% milk rather than coconut milk? They look delicious in the pictures!

  3. Hi Sara,

    Nice recipe! I wonder how the shelf life can be extended? Do you know if dehydrating the fried onions afterwards would do the trick? And if so – for how long will they last?


    William5 stars

  4. Oh my gosh!  I was just looking for a gluten and dairy free French fried onion recipe today!  I have a really good dairy-free from-scratch green bean casserole recipe (grandson), but now both my daughters are gluten free because of thyroid issues. So I can now make these rather than just opening a can. Doesn’t matter much for one of my daughters — she has found out she is also allergic to green beans!  Along with eggs.  Wish me luck as I embark upon our dairy-free, egg-free, gluten free Thanksgiving!  Sorry Kid, can’t do without my green bean casserole and Grandma’s stuffing!

    1. Oh my goodness that is a lot of moving parts for a big meal!

      Who is allergic to green beans?! That’s a new one! Your poor daughter.