Gluten-free french fried onions are an even better tasting homemade recipe with a crispy, easy coating made in minutes. Now you never have live without the French’s Onions topping on green bean casserole again!
seriously damn good gluten-free fried onions
I’m going to be honest, I did not have high expectations when attempting this recipe. I imagined a messy, complicated process with disappointing results.
Seriously. I could not have been more wrong. Gluten-free french fried onions are not only simple to throw together, but the end result absolutely blew me away.
Picture those crispy haystack onion straws that are impossible to stop snacking on. Not only could I not stop stealing bites, but everyone in the family wouldn’t stop eating them. I had to make another batch so I would have enough for the Thanksgiving gluten-free green bean casserole!
Whether you need a gluten-free onion topping for the traditional green bean casserole or just want to have a guilty pleasure snack, like gluten-free mozzarella sticks, you have found the winning recipe!
retail gluten-free fried onions
If you would rather buy french fried onion topping, that may also be an option, depending on what stores you have access to. I’ve noticed most of the retailers only stock GF fried onions during the holidays, and not very consistently.
- Aldi (best-tasting)
- Trader Joe’s
- Substitute crushed pork rinds (more commonly stocked year round)
Make from scratch, homemade French’s Onions, but with an easy gluten-free recipe! They are quite affordable to make and taste better than other store-bought brand I have ever tasted!
- Onion – You will need one large Spanish or Vidalia onion for best taste. I have used a yellow onion in a pinch, though, and it still tasted great!
- Buttermilk / Milk – Rather than buy buttermilk, I used a homemade soured milk mixture, which also works great if you need a dairy-free recipe.
- Gluten-Free Flour – The brand isn’t really important here. Any gluten-free alternative will work since you only need a small amount.
- Oil – For frying I use canola or vegetable oil. You will need at least a couple cups, depending on the size of your pan, to make the oil 2 inches deep.
For optimal results and ease, I do recommend a few kitchen essentials to have on hand.
- Heavy-bottomed, deep skillet – This is an investment, but something you will never have to replace. A stainless, heavy skillet is ideal for maintaining the temperature of oil and conducts heat significantly better than cheaper versions.
- Instant Read Thermometer – Thermoworks Thermapen is pretty much my most prized kitchen possession. It not only reads meat temps quickly and accurately, but also serves as a candy thermometer, or, in this case maintaining the correct temperature of oil. This is key for cooking the fried onions for an even brown coating.
- Wire Skimmer – A wire skimmer quickly removes the onions from the oil, letting the excess oil drip away. If you do not have one, a slotted spoon may also be used.
How To Make gluten-free french fried onions
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- If not using buttermilk, first make the soured milk. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Pour the soured milk or buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the thinly sliced onions and let sit for 10-30 minutes. Meanwhile, add the gluten-free flour, seasoning salt, and pepper to a large ziplock bag. Shake to combine and set aside.
- Use a wire skimmer to remove the onions from the milk and transfer to a paper-towel lined baking sheet. Transfer the briefly drained onions to the flour mixture bag and shake to combine.
- Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet so the oil is 2 inches deep. Heat oil over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 350ºF. Make sure the oil temperature is maintained at 350ºF the whole time you are frying.
- Without crowding the pan, add the coated onions to the hot oil in 3-4 batches. Stir briefly with the wire skimmer so the onions don’t stick together and brown evenly. Fry for 3 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown.
- Remove the onions to drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to soak up excess grease. Repeat with remaining onions until they have all been fried.
Other ways to enjoy fried onions
Of course, french fried onions are the ideal topping for green beans and green bean casserole, but what other ways can they be enjoyed?
- Gluten-Free Haystack Onion Straws – Dip in Thousand Island or Fry Sauce
- Side dish for chili
- Just like onion rings, a great side dish for oven fried fish, burgers, or crispy gluten-free chicken
- Casserole topping
- Mashed potatoes
- Burger topping
- Crispy Soup or Salad topping
Once cooled, homemade, gluten-free fried onions keep for 2-3 days at room temperature in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate or they will become soggy.
To reheat, place them on a dry baking sheet and bake in 350ºF oven until crisp.
I have not experimented with freezing the onions, but I don’t think it would be an issue. If you find them to be soggy once thawed trying crisping them in a 350ºF oven.
frequently asked questions
It helps mellow the onions out. Since they don’t cook very long, it subdues the strong taste of an raw onion. It also helps the gluten-free flour and seasonings to have something to stick to.
For a recipe such as this, where you are only using it for breading and not baking, any gluten-free all-purpose flour will serve its purpose. Personally, my go-to flour is Cup4Cup gluten-free flour, which has consistently great results with everything!
No. I’ve tried baking them and they definitely did not have as great as results. However, if you have leftover fried onions, they may be placed on a dry baking sheet and re-warmed in 350ºF oven until crisp.
I have tested the recipe in an air fryer, and while it works, I didn’t like the results as much.
Yes, simply replace the buttermilk with soured dairy-free milk. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then add enough dairy-free milk to make 1 1/2 cups total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
Click here to see the
step-by-step web story instructions for this recipe!
SAVE THIS recipe gluten-free french fried onions TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
Let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always sharing great recipes!
Gluten-Free French Fried Onions
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk or soured milk* see recipe notes for soured milk
- 1 large Vidalia or Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons gluten-free all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- If not using buttermilk, first make the soured milk. Add 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough milk to make 1 ½ cups total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Pour the soured milk or buttermilk in a large bowl.
- Add the thinly sliced onions to the milk and let sit for 10-30 minutes. Meanwhile, add the gluten-free flour, seasoned salt, and pepper to a large ziplock bag. Shake to combine and set aside.
- Use a wire skimmer or slotted spoon to remove the onions from the milk and transfer to a paper-towel lined baking sheet to briefly drain. Transfer the onions to the ziplock bag and shake to combine.
- Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet so the oil is 2 inches deep. Heat over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 350ºF. Make sure the oil temperature is maintained at 350ºF the whole time you are frying. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels and set aside.
- Without crowding the pan, add the coated onions to the oil in 3-4 batches. Stir briefly with the wire skimmer so the onions don't stick together and brown evenly. Fry for 3 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown. Remove the onions to the paper towel lined baking sheet to soak up an excess oil. Repeat with the remaining onions until they have all been fried. Serve immediately or use as casserole topping.
- DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?? DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE FEEDBACK AND/OR CLICK A STAR RATING ON THE RECIPE CARD!
storing tipsOnce cooled, homemade fried onions keep for 2-3 days at room temperature in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate or they will become soggy. To reheat,place them on a dry baking sheet and bake in 350ºF oven until crisp. I have not experimented with freezing the onions, but I don’t think it would be an issue. If you find them to be soggy once thawed trying crisping them in a 350ºF oven.
This post contains affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you. Read full disclosure policy here.
I do not understand any of the positive comments. I did exactly as told with this recipe and after mixing in the plastic bag, all it did was clump together. This was such a complete total waste of time, effort, and most importantly ingredients. Because, wasting food is a sin.
Melissa Erdelac says
So sorry to hear this Stephanie. I wish I could have been there to help figure out what went wrong. As you can see from the images in the post, they shouldn’t all clump together. The only thing I can think of what too much liquid was added to the plastic bag when you removed them from the milk. Did you use a slotted spoon?
I will never use Fried Onions in a container again!!! I am gluten intolerant and these are the best ever.
Melissa Erdelac says
Yay! Thank you, Susan!
I have made this recipe for 3 years in a row now. This year I decided to use cornstarch instead of GF flour, and they turned out great! So it would be a good (and much cheaper) alternative to buying an entire bag of gluten free flour. Just thought I’d share 🙂
Melissa Erdelac says
Thank you! I’m making right now and the cornstarch is a great tip!