Gluten-Free Fried Onions: The Perfect Add to Your Casserole

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Fried onions are a beloved staple in many kitchens, adding a delicious crunch and flavor to a variety of dishes.

For those adhering to a gluten-free diet, finding a suitable recipe can be challenging.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to make gluten-free fried onions, perfect for enhancing your green bean casserole or serving as a standalone snack.

Why Gluten-Free?

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, can cause health issues for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

By opting for gluten-free alternatives, these individuals can enjoy their favorite foods without health concerns.

French Fried Onions Ingredients and Substitutions

Main Ingredients

  • Onions: Vidalia or yellow onion varieties are recommended for their sweet flavor.
  • Rice Flour: A gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour, providing a crispy coating.
  • Brown Rice Flour: Offers a nuttier flavor and extra crunch.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper for taste.
  • Oil: Olive oil is a healthier choice, but other vegetable oils work too.

Optional Enhancements

  • Buttermilk: For soaking onions, add tanginess.
  • Cornmeal: For an extra crispy texture.
  • Thousand Island seasoning: For a unique flavor twist.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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Preparing the Onions

  • Slice Onions: Thinly slice the onions into rings or half-moons.
  • Soak in Buttermilk (Optional): Soak onion slices in buttermilk for 30 minutes to tenderize.

Making the Flour Mixture

  • Combine Flours and Seasonings: Mix rice flour, brown rice flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
  • Dredge Onions: Toss onion slices in the flour mixture until well coated.

Frying the Onions

  • Heat Oil: In a deep pan, heat olive oil to medium heat.
  • Fry Onions: Fry onions in batches until golden brown, tossing occasionally for even cooking.
  • Drain: Use a slotted spoon to remove onions and drain on paper towels.

Baking Alternative

  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to a moderate temperature.
  • Bake Onions: Spread coated onions on a prepared baking sheet and bake until get crispy onions.

Air Fryer Method

  • Preheat Air Fryer: Set to medium heat.
  • Cook in Batches: Fry in a single layer, tossing occasionally, until golden brown.

Serving and Storage

As a Casserole Topping

  • Layer crispy fried onions on top of your traditional green bean casserole before baking for added texture and flavor.

Storing Leftovers

  • Store any remaining gluten-free french fried onions in an airtight or sealed container.
  • They can be refrigerated or kept at room temperature.

Tips for the Perfect Fried Onions

  • Thickness Matters: Slice onion rings uniformly for even cooking.
  • Oil Temperature: Maintain medium heat for frying to prevent burning.
  • Batch Size: Fry in small batches to avoid overcrowding.
  • Seasoning: Adjust garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Gluten-Free Fried Onions for Various Dishes

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These gluten-free fried onions are versatile and suitable for various dishes:

  • As a topping for green bean mixture casserole.
  • Sprinkled gluten-free onion topping over salads for a crunchy element.
  • Served alongside meat dishes as a flavorful side.
  • Enjoyed as a snack on their own.

Health Benefits

Gluten-Free Diet Advantages

  • Reduces Symptoms for Gluten Intolerant and Celiac Individuals: Consuming gluten-free ingredients like rice flour and cornmeal is essential for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, as it prevents the adverse reactions caused by gluten.
  • Digestive Health: Even for those without gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet can lead to improved digestion and reduced bloating.

Nutritional Benefits of Ingredients

  • Rice Flour: A good source of fiber, rice flour aids in digestion and can help in maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Brown Rice Flour: Richer in fiber than white rice flour, it also contains essential nutrients like magnesium, iron, and B vitamins.
  • Olive Oil: Known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil can help reduce bad cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Onions: Onions are high in vitamins C and B6, iron, folate, and potassium, which are beneficial for immune support, red blood cell formation, and heart health.

Dietary Considerations

  • Low Allergen Risk: By avoiding wheat and other gluten-containing grains, this recipe reduces the risk of allergic reactions for those with wheat allergies.
  • Versatility for Various Diets: This gluten-free recipe is suitable for a range of dietary preferences, including vegetarian diets.

Cooking Method Benefits

  • Frying in Olive Oil: When deep fried, olive oil is a healthier option compared to other oils due to its high content of monounsaturated fats.
  • Baking Option: Baking offers a lower-fat alternative to frying, reducing overall calorie intake.
  • Air Frying: This method uses significantly less oil than traditional frying, resulting in a lower-fat product while still retaining a crispy texture.

Balanced Diet Integration

Adding gluten-free fried onions into a balanced diet adds a flavorful and textural component without the health risks associated with gluten.

It’s important to balance these with other nutritious foods like vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits to maintain a healthy and varied diet.

Mindful Consumption

While gluten-free fried onions are a healthier alternative, moderation is key.

They should be consumed as part of a balanced diet to ensure overall health and wellbeing.


Making gluten-free fried onions is simple and rewarding.

With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create a delicious, crunchy topping that’s perfect for green beans casseroles or as a standalone snack.

Enjoy the crispiness and flavor of these onions while adhering to your gluten-free diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Crispy Fried Onions gluten-free?

Typically, no. Traditional crispy fried onions are often made using wheat flour, which contains gluten. However, gluten-free versions can be made using gluten-free flour alternatives like rice flour, brown rice flour, or a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

Are cooked onions gluten-free?

Yes. Onions themselves are naturally gluten-free. The gluten content in cooked onions depends on how they are prepared. If no gluten-containing ingredients are added during cooking, the onions remain gluten-free.

What is a substitute for Crispy Fried Onions?

Gluten-Free Alternatives: Use homemade crispy fried onions made with gluten-free flour.
Baked or Air-Fried Onions: For a healthier version, bake or air-fry thinly sliced onions until crispy.
Commercial Gluten-Free Options: Some brands offer ready-made gluten-free crispy fried onions.
Other Crunchy Toppings: Almond slivers, fried shallots, or crispy rice noodles can substitute for texture.

What are the ingredients in French's fried onions?

Traditional Ingredients: The typical ingredients in French's fried onions include onions, palm oil, wheat flour, salt, and dextrose. It's important to note that these contain gluten due to the presence of wheat flour.

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Gluten-Free Fried Onions

Our Gluten-Free Fried Onions recipe offers health benefits, easy-to-follow steps, and versatile cooking methods to fit your dietary needs. Ideal for gluten-sensitive individuals or anyone seeking a healthier alternative.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 150 kcal


  • 2 large Vidalia or yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (optional, for soaking)
  • Olive oil or other vegetable oil for frying
  • Optional: 1/4 cup cornmeal for extra crispiness


Prepare the Onions:

  • Thinly slice the onions.
  • Optional: Soak the onion slices in buttermilk for 30 minutes.

Flour Mixture:

  • In a bowl, combine rice flour, brown rice flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Dredge the drained or raw onion slices in the flour mixture until well coated. For extra crunch, mix in cornmeal.

Frying Method:

  • Heat olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat.
  • Fry the onions in batches until golden brown and crispy, tossing occasionally.
  • Drain the fried onions on paper towels.

Baking Method:

  • Preheat the oven to a moderate temperature.
  • Spread the coated onions on a prepared baking sheet and bake until crispy.

Air Fryer Method:

  • Preheat the air fryer to medium heat.
  • Cook the onions in a single layer, tossing occasionally, until golden brown.


Serving Suggestions:
  • Use as a topping for green bean casseroles, salads, or as a crunchy side with your main dishes.
  • Store any leftover onions in an airtight or sealed container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Keyword gluten free