Gluten Free Crisp French Fried Onion Topping, Recipe


I never even considered that I could make my own French fried crisp onion topping, until I needed some that were gluten free for a green bean casserole. Now I know that these are really easy to make (though somewhat time consuming, but not bad…), and a lot of fun!  I was so proud of myself when I tasted them! “Wow, I MADE those!!” A ton of other people were impressed too, and it was so simple! Just like myself, I think people just don’t realize it can be done at home. It’s just not something you think about until there is a need for it.

If you do try this recipe, I would really appreciate a quick comment with a star rating (option found immediately under each recipe). It helps me out tremendously! Thanks in advance!

I sliced a large red onion into thin slices, and chopped them just a little bit to be more fitting as a casserole topping.

Next, I put them all in a bowl, poured on enough milk to cover, and let them soak for a few minutes. If you need to watch out for dairy in addition to gluten, you could probably use broth instead, or even gluten free beer, as a couple of my readers have since suggested.

This recipe shows you how to make the onions gluten free. If you don’t need to be gluten free, you can use regular white all-purpose flour instead of the gluten free, and if you do, just add a teaspoon sugar and an extra 1/4 tsp salt to it to give it a little bit more flavor.

The original recipe for these onions used a mixture of different gluten free flours: tapioka, rice, and soy flours. Since I don’t need to cook gluten free every day, I don’t have all these ingredients on hand. So, after checking with my sister-in-law, who eats only gluten free, I decided to go with the gluten free bread mix that she gave to me to use for breading around the onion rings:

 Here’s a list of the ingredients from the bread mix:

I thought this seemed like the perfect mix, although gluten free Bisquick will work as well. Or if you prefer not to use a mix from the store, you can use whatever you have on hand and make your own mix. If so, add a teaspoon of sugar and an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt in addition to the ingredients in the recipe on the bottom of this post. This will give the onions some flavor.

Using the bread flour mix, I added some extra salt; I started with 1/4 tsp of salt for 1/2 c of bread flour mix, and later decided I should have added a little bit more. This is reflected in the recipe below. I ended up using 3/4 c of flour mix altogether for this one large onion. And I forgot to add pepper… But I did add this as well to the recipe below. So next time I make these fantastic onions, I will include the pepper. I suggest to try just a pinch, but you might have a different preference; I would love for you to leave me a comment on what you ended up with and how you liked it.

When I had my flour mixture ready, I tossed the onion slices with the flour until well covered, just a handful at a time.

I filled a medium sized pot with about an inch of canola oil, and heated it over medium-high heat. After I suspected the oil was getting hot, I flicked a little droplet of water into the oil now and again, until I saw that it sizzled.

NOTE: A word of caution is needed here: Anytime you deep fry at home, you should be careful to not over heat the oil, and be aware that hot oil can be a fire hazard. I always keep a lid handy for my pot, in the even of a fire. A fire extinguisher nearby is a good idea as well. Here’s a link with some helpful safety tips.

A handful at a time, I gently put the breaded onions into the oil, still on medium/high heat. At first, it sizzled quite dramatically, but quickly settled down and fried more gently for the next few minutes.

After a few minutes I turned the onions over, and continued to fry a while longer. The cooking time will vary depending on how hot the oil is. I have found that it’s easier to get them crispy all the way through if the heat is medium or a little lower, just not too high, so that it takes a little bit longer to cook them. If they cook too fast, the onion inside might not be crisp all the way through.

When they were nicely golden brown, I used a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the pot onto a cookie sheet lined with paper towel, to drain and cool. Just be aware that they brown quite quickly toward the end of the cooking time, so pay attention so they don’t end up too dark.

A small batch at a time, and I ended up with a nice little pile of crisp, French onions. They were crispy all the way through, just the way I like them. I was so excited!

I used these crispy French fried onions for my new Gluten Free Creamy Green Bean Casserole, both inside and on top, and it can also be used for Gluten Free Cheesy Green Bean Casserole. Both are wonderful side dishes! Since I made this casserole one day in advance, I put the extra onions in a bag to save for topping. However, when I was going to use them, I found that they were no longer crispy. So, while the casserole was baking, I put them in an oven safe dish next to the casserole, hoping they would crisp up again. It worked like a charm! Since then I have learned that you can freeze them as well. At any rate, they were delicious, and so was the casserole! I WILL be making these onions again, that’s for sure! And if I don’t need them to be gluten free, I will use regular all-purpose flour instead of the gluten free mix, that should work just fine as well. But for now, I know that I have a wonderful gluten free alternative to my green bean casserole! Please comment and rate this recipe if you try it; option is found immediately under the recipe. Thank you!!



4.8 from 6 reviews
Gluten Free Crisp French Fried Onion Topping, Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Crispy Fried Onions are a wonderful gluten free alternative to French's French Fried Onions.They make an excellent topping on Green Bean Casserole.
Recipe type: Side dish
Serves: 8
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Milk to cover
  • ¾ c gluten free breadmix or bisquick. Or use a blend of tapioca flour, rice flour, and soy flour (add one tsp of sugar, and an extra ¼ tsp of salt; also add this if you use regular all-purpose flour, for those who do not need to be gluten free.)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
  1. Pour onions into a bowl, and add milk to cover. Let soak for a few minutes.
  2. Mix together the flour blend, salt, and pepper.
  3. Remove onions from the milk, and toss onions with the flour mixture, a small batch at a time.
  4. Heat oil over medium / high heat, until a drop of water sizzles.
  5. A small batch at a time, gently put breaded onions into the oil, and fry until golden brown. Flip them over halfway through.
  6. using a slotted spoon, remove from oil and let them drain and cool on paper towel.


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46 Responses to “Gluten Free Crisp French Fried Onion Topping, Recipe”

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  1. Kelly says:

    These onions and the green bean casserole were delicious!!! The homemade g-free onions are ten times better than store-bought fried onions. What a great alternative to traditional green bean casserole!

  2. Vickie Silverman says:

    If you are gluten free you CAN NOT use beer.

  3. You can use Gluten Free Beer (Redbridge is FABULOUS!!!)

  4. Father Yod says:


    Great basic recipe. I too make a GF green bean casserole, although rather than using mushroom soup I make a Shiitake Ginger Cream Sauce from Epicurious <>. Anyway, these were great. They also made me very happy I got a mandolin as a present last year. Thin slicing was easy. For the marinade I mixed half milk, half GF amber beer (personal preference for beer battered rings). Rather than a red onion, I had a large Vidalia on hand so I used that, and the sweetness was not out of place. I also had GF Bisquick, so I used that and added 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 2 tsp granulated garlic. This mix worked for my taste, and gave the resulting rings a bit of a kick. I had been planning on doing something baked until I ran into your recipe. Thanks!

  5. Carolyn says:

    When making the gluten-free fried onion rings for casseroles, how far in advance can these be made/ How well do they keep? What is the best way to store them? I’m hoping to make these a couple of days before Thanksgiving, but concerned about how long they will last and stay crisp. Any info?

    • Terese says:

      I find that they will get soggy easily if you store them, so that’s one thing I don’t like so much about them. But I’m thinking the best way to store them would be in the freezer, then thaw on a plate without cover so that they hopefully will be crispy still when ready to use. I would also think that they can be placed in the oven on 250 to crisp up, maybe turning them over a couple of times if you have too many to place in a single layer; I will experiment a little, hopefully in the next two days, then I’ll let you know how it goes. It definitely would be helpful to be able to make them ahead of time for a holiday like Thanksgiving. Also, when making gluten free, I’m thinking they will not keep for long if not in the freezer; I’m not gluten free myself, but I have heard that gluten free baked goods does not keep nearly as well as wheat products. So I’d think you’ll either have to use the day of, or put them in the freezer.

    • Terese says:

      OK, I did some testing; first off I should say that mine were not super crispy from begin with this time as I tried to speed up cooking by raising the temperature a little bit. That was a mistake as I had to remove them from the oil before they burned, which caused the onions on the inside to be a little bit soft still, even though the outside was crispy. They were still good and could be used as is if we needed them right away, but the problem is that the moisture inside will caused them to soften in storage. I still did learn a little bit about how to store them best:

      1.I put portion in a zip lock bag on the counter, and kept it partly open overnight. These were the worst off; they were very soft the day after.

      2. One portion was placed in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator, still soft.

      3. The last portion was put in a zip lock into the freezer, then left to thaw with the bag fully opened to let condensation escape. This worked very well, and they seemed to be about as crispy as when I first made them.

      One thing that does work to crisp up soft onions, is to bake them for a little while in the oven. Try 250 for 5 minutes at a time, watching closely so they don’t burn.

      I think the best option to make ahead and keep them crisp, is to fry them on medium heat, which takes longer, but the onions will have a better chance at getting crispy all the way through. Store in the freezer, thaw in an open bag or on a plate, and if needed, crisp them up in the oven on 250 for a few minutes.

      I hope that helps!

  6. Jill Whittle says:

    Thanks for this great recipe. I have to cook gluten free and these turned out as great as you said. Green bean casserole is back on the menu.

  7. Sarah says:

    I made these for a GF greenbean casserole , but i used an egg thinned with a bit of milk to soak them in, then tossed in GF bisquick mix. I didn’t have enough left to see if they got soggy overnight, but they stayed pretty crispy sitting on the counter (I made them at about 10 am, put them on the casserole about 4 pm). If you are using them in a recipie, you can always use them if they are soggy, just put them on the casserole and then bake. if it’s something that has to be in the oven for more than about half an hour, you may want to wait til the last 15 to 20 minutes to add, so they don’t burn.

    • Terese says:

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experience regarding how to keep the onions crisp. I’ll bed the egg helps get more breading cling to the onions, which does sound very good. I’m thinking the thicker liquid will make more of the flour mix to stick to them. Maybe I’ll try that sometime.

  8. Jodi says:

    There is no problem with sogginess after frying at all if you just put them in the refrigerator and DO NOT cover them. I just had mine in the fridge for over a week and they are still crispy. I just put them on a tray or sheet in a single layer and put them on the top shelf on top of the drinks- they will remain crispy- never did have to re-heat them. I do the same thing with crispy fried chicken- it will stay crispy if you don’t cover it.
    Also tried it with a sweet onion- like a Vidalia or Walla Walla or Texas sweets- great.
    Also made a batch with coconut flour- thought it would taste funny, but not at all- I almost like it better than the GF flour I usually use (King Arthur brand)

  9. Wendy says:

    I ended up making our traditional casserole BUT I used your recipe for the homemade fried onions and they were a BIG hit! My boyfriend was not too sure about me making them at home as opposed to buying French’s Fried Onions, but he couldn’t get enough. Thank you for posting!

  10. Leah Price says:

    I used your recipe as a base for the topping on my Vegan and Gluten Free version of the green bean casserole and it turned out delicious! Thanks so much for sharing such a great recipe.

    Editor’s note (Terese here): Please see the above link for a vegan version of gluten free Green Bean Casserole with Crisp French Fried Onions.

    • Terese says:

      Thank you for your comment! Your blog post with recipe will be very helpful for those who need it to be vegan in addition to gluten free! With no gluten, dairy, eggs, or even honey, it should be helpful for people with allergies as well!

  11. Debbie says:

    Sounds like a great recipe. But according to the cream of mushroom soup I have there is gluten in there. Does anyone know of any other soup/sauce I could substitute, other than making my own sauce?

  12. Jill says:

    Thanks for a great recipe. I made these for Thanksgiving as my neice has to be gluten free. Everyone was wowed by them and they were so easy. They are so much better than the store bought fried onions.

  13. Shelley says:

    Looks easy enough! Going to make these for green bean casserole for Christmas dinner. We’ve got a couple folks gluten and dairy free this year so I’ll be soaking these in almond milk. Thanks!

  14. Beth Winkelmann says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m trying to get my spouse to follow the Paleo diet I’m on but there are certain foods neither one of us want to give up. For example, we use French fried onions to make onion crusted baked chicken thighs. If you’ve never had it you should try it. You can use any kind of boneless skinless chicken.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
    Foil line a cookie sheet
    Season your chicken with a little salt & pepper
    Scramble a couple eggs in medium bowl
    Crush the fried onions small enough that they will stick to the chicken and not fall off. (I use a ziplock bag and a rolling pin)
    Pour the onions into a shallow pan or cookie sheet (not the fooled one lol)
    Dip chicken into the egg wash
    Lay chicken on the fried onions and cover the top of the chicken with fried onions and press to make them stick
    Lay chicken on a foiled cookie sheet and bake until done
    (Cooking time will depend on the chicken you use. Breast will take longer than thighs unless they are thin.)

    Again thanks for sharing your recipe and I’ll be back looking for more in sure. I’m rating this a 4 only because I haven’t tried the recipe yet.

  15. Jason says:

    Golly your recipe for homemade GB casserole sounds like a home run to me, can’t wait to make a batch this weekend!!!! I’ve decided your recipe will be my forever casserole dish to join the thanksgiving table each year. I trust your loyal readers and appreciate many positive praises By the way, can you please explain to me why should the onion be soaked in milk? The only reason why I am asking is merely because so many other on-line GB casserole gluten free recipes do not mention soaking in milk & I’d like to merely understand why soak? thank you so much!!

    • Terese says:

      Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you found this recipe interesting and hope it will live up to your expectations! As far as your question on soaking, I have to tell you I am not entirely sure why that is. But I believe it helps to cut down on the “bite” of the onions, to mallow them out a little bit. Technically it doesn’t have to be milk; it could be water or broth. For batter dipped onions, I’ve seen suggestions to use buttermilk as it is a little bit thicker and helps to get batter to cling better to the onions. But I have never tried buttermilk myself for onions. I’m sure you’d get a thicker layer of breading or batter if you did, which might be very nice. If anyone tries it, please let the rest of us know how it went!

  16. Brenda says:

    You are a sweet sister in law! I will try this out and get back to you!

  17. Brenda says:

    So I promised to come back and comment! I love them. So excited to have this recipe. Making ahead, wrapping in a paper towel and hoping they are this good on Thanksgiving!

  18. Oh i love these. Theyre so tasty. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


  19. Tried your recipe and am in awe of how closely the results came to the store-bought product! Learned a lot along the way too, such as not getting the onions too brown or they will have a suggestion of bitterness, shake off some of the flour before putting the onions in the oil (I used a fairly tight meshed metal strainer to do that) because you just may run out of flour mixture before you run out of onions, do cook in small batches, overcrowding the onions slows the process down. I simply used all-purpose flour and followed your directions. Thank you for saving tonight’s dinner, Terese!

    • Terese says:

      Oh wonderful!! I’m so happy to hear that! And thank you very much for adding all these little hints on how the help the process along! I’m sure others will find it very helpful, I sure do!

  20. Tami says:

    I am making these a couple of days ahead. Should they be stored in the fridge? I would imagine. Also they are delicious!!! Trying not to eat then all!!!

    • Terese says:

      There are some great tips on storage in the comments’ section, how to store without getting the onions soggy. But in short, here’s something you could try:

      Put them in a zip lock into the freezer, then thaw on the counter top with the bag fully opened to let condensation escape. One reader commented that it will also work to leave them in the refrigerator as long as they are not covered.

      To crisp up soft onions, should that happen, is to bake them for a little while in the oven. Try 250 for 5 minutes at a time, watching closely so they don’t burn.

      I think the best option to make ahead and keep them crisp, is to fry them on medium heat rather than higher heat. Medium heat will slow down cooking, but the onions will have a better chance at getting crispy all the way through, and therefore preventing sogginess. Store in the freezer, thaw in an open bag or on a plate, and if needed, crisp them up in the oven on 250 for a few minutes.

      Hope that helps!

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