If you need an impressive appetizer recipe that everyone will love make this Blooming Onion! It has a slightly spicy breading, is deep fried until golden and is served with a delicious sauce. A copycat version of the famous Outback Steakhouse one that you can make at home whenever you want.
If you’ve ever had the blooming onion at Outback Steakhouse you already know how delicious it is: crispy fried “petals” that you can pull off and dip in a sauce. Well, now, you don’t even have to leave the house if you get a craving because I am showing you how to make one at home!
It’s not as complicated as you think – it’s actually pretty straight forward!
Why this Recipe Works:
- I’m showing you how to cut a whole onion into a blossom just like they do at the restaurant.
- It’s double breaded for a super crunchy and crispy coating that is perfectly golden fried.
- It has the best flavor! It’s a little spicy with a mixture of spices you probably already have in your pantry.
- The dipping sauce is so easy to make and can be made ahead!
- Large sweet onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla are best)
- All-purpose flour
- Cayenne pepper
- Ground cumin
- Dried thyme
- Dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- High-smoke point cooking oil
The blooming onion sauce is super easy to make – I usually mix it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to serve it. All of the details for making it are in the recipe card at the end of the post!
How to Cut the Onion
Basically, we’re cutting it so it looks like a blooming flower. It’s not hard to do, but be sure your knife is sharp before you start cutting.
- Cut a 1/2” off the end opposite the root end. You will want the root intact as that is what will hold it together once it’s “blossomed”. Remove the outer skins and discard them.
- Place it cut-side down on your cutting board so the root end is facing up.
- Position your knife about a ½” lower than the root and slice into the onion towards the middle and pull the knife down to the cutting board. Repeat this process four more times, evenly spacing each slice around the onion.
- Now, slice each section in half that you already did, evenly spacing each cut. At this point, you will have eight total cuts.
- Repeat this again, slicing each section again so you have 16 even cuts all around the onion.
Turn it over and let it sit for a few minutes so the petals relax and open up. While it rests, you can prepare the breading and batter.
Breading and Batter
Flour Mixture: In a large bowl, whisk the flour and spices together.
Batter: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper with water until smooth.
At this point, you are ready to do the breading and batter steps. Before you do, gently separate the petals so they are splayed open. Be careful not to break or pull them out from the root.
Double Breading Steps
1st Flour Coating: Place the onion in a separate bowl, cut-side up, and pour the flour mixture over the top. Use a spoon to coat it in the mixture making sure to coat in between each petal. Carefully lift it from the bowl, turn it over, and gently pat to off the excess flour mixture.
Batter Coating: Place it in the batter in the other bowl and evenly coat it. Lift it out of the bowl and allow the excess to drip off.
2nd Flour Coating: Place it back in the bowl with the flour and use the spoon to coat it evenly. Once done, lightly pat it again to remove the excess coating and then place it in the refrigerator to chill while you get the deep-fry oil ready.
How to Fry It
Fill your pot with enough oil so once the onion is added it will be covered. Heat the oil to 400 degrees F. While the oil heats, place a wire baking rack over a few paper towels.
Remove the breaded onion from the refrigerator and tap off any excess breading. Place it on a wire skimmer and carefully lower it into the hot oil. Once you add the oil temperature will drop, so maintain the heat so the oil is 350 degrees while the onion is cooking.
Fry it for about three minutes and then carefully turn it in the oil and fry it for three more minutes or until it’s golden and crispy.
Using the wire skimmer, carefully lift it out of the oil and transfer it to the baking rack to drain. Serve hot with the sauce on the side!
- The best onion to use is a sweet variety. I don’t recommend using red onion for this recipe!
- The best oil for deep-frying is one that has a high smoke-point like canola oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil.
- For best results, be sure to use a thermometer when you fry! This will take all of the guesswork away and you will avoid burning the breading with oil that is too hot or ending up with soggy breading if it’s too cool.
- A heavy pot that retains heat well is best for deep frying.
- This recipe is for one blooming onion. If you are making more than one, I recommend frying them one at a time. If you overcrowd the pot they won’t cook evenly and it will be difficult to maintain the correct frying temperature.
- This is best served not long after it’s fried – it will maximize the crispy, crunchy breading! Because of this, they don’t keep well after they’ve been made – the breading will soften as they cool.
I feel like I should warn you because once you make this crispy golden treat at home your friends and family will beg you to make it all the time! The crispy petals taste just like onion rings but served up in a fun way. I hope you give this one a try soon!
Want More Party Snacks?
If you’re like me, there’s never enough snacks!
- You can skip the restaurant and make your own Mozzarella Sticks whenever you get a craving! Crispy breaded cheese sticks are so delicious with a side a marinara sauce for dipping.
- No one can resist a big bowl of Guacamole! My recipe is so simple and is the perfect dip for every party.
- My quick and easy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites are a delicious bite-sized appetizer. You only need a few ingredients to make them!
- No party is complete at our house without some Cheesy Beer Smokies! This is a really easy appetizer or snack you can make in your crockpot.
Did you love this recipe? I knew you would! Rate it, please!! It would be awesome if you’d give it a five-star rating below!
If you snap any photos, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats that way I’m sure to see your pictures!
- 1 large sweet onion
- 2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c. milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
Blooming Onion Sauce
- ¼ c. mayonnaise
- ¼ c. sour cream
- 2 tsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp horseradish
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp dried oregano
- Black pepper to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste
Blooming Onion Sauce
- In a small bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients, cover and place into the refrigerator while you prepare the onion.
How to Cut the Onion
- Slice the onion to make it bloom. Start by cutting off 1/2 inch from the top of the onion, then peel the outer skin from the onion.
- Place the onion cut-side down. Starting about 1/2 inch from the root, make a downward cut all the way through to the board. Repeat to make four evenly spaced cuts around the onion.
- Make 3 additional cuts between each section until you have 16 evenly spaced cuts. Turn the onion over and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the petals to relax. Prior to breading use your fingers to gently separate the outer pieces.
How to Make the Blooming Onion
- Whisk the flour, paprika, cayenne, cumin, thyme and oregano in a large bowl. In a medium deep bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and 1 cup water.
- Place the onion in a clean bowl, cut-side up, and pour the flour mixture on top. Using a large spoon to coat the onion with the flour mixture, especially between the onion petals. Turn the onion over and pat off the excess flour. Reserve the bowl of flour.
- Transfer the onion into the egg mixture and coat evenly. Remove and let the excess drip off, then transfer back into the reserved flour mixture and repeat the flouring process.
- Place the onion into the refrigerator while you heat the oil.
- Using a large deep pot heat your cooking oil to 400 degrees, use a thermometer for best results. Remove the onion from the refrigerator and shake any excess flour from the onion. Using a wire skimmer lower the onion into the oil, cut-side down. Adjust your heat to maintain the oil temperature at 350 degrees.
- Fry about 3 minutes, then turn the onion over and cook until golden, about 3 more minutes.
- Remove onion using your wire skimmer and drain on a rack placed over paper towels.
- Season with salt and pepper, serve with the dip.